Happy New Year everyone! My blogs in 2015 were thin on the ground – thankfully down to a lack of time and brain power rather than a case of ‘nothing to report’. As we begin a new year I wanted to write about it, mainly so that I remember it myself! Here’s what I got up to:
- I relocated my business (and the rest of my life!): In February we moved from Richmond to Fleet – a small town in Hampshire noted for its quality of life, and yes, its service station. It turned out to be a great decision as we love the laid back pace of life and community feel here, as well as being closer to family.
- Chic by Charlotte became my main work: Following my maternity leave and the move, I resigned from my part-time Project Manager role at The Royal Marsden, and now focus my energies on being a mum and an image consultant. I’ll leave you to guess which is the most exhausting! It has been a luxury to be able to devote more of my attention to what I really love doing.
- Corporate work: I’ve had some very exciting opportunities this year:
- ‘Christmas in July’, Sainsburys: Every year on a particular day in July, a few major retailers host a launch of their Christmas produce. Sainsbury’s called on CMB to add a little pizazz to their event this year. And so it was that on the hottest day of the year I found myself at Somerset House surrounded by Christmas jumpers, with ‘Frosty the Snowman’ blaring out! My role was to offer mini colour consultations and help the invited press to find their best looks among the Tu A/W collection. An utterly bizarre and fun day.
Good Housekeeping and Triumph photoshoot: A couple of weeks later I was asked to work on a photo shoot. A group of Good Housekeeping readers had been invited for a special day which was to be photographed for the latest Triumph campaign. My job was to run a workshop to demonstrate the ladies’ most flattering colours for lingerie. It was overwhelming to be surrounded by lights and cameras, not to mention that I had to follow Lisa Snowdon (the new face of Triumph) and Poppy D (famous for her ‘What I Wore Today’ blog) in the line-up, but all ran smoothly. A fascinating insight into the world of magazines, especially the lunch which included a vegan ‘raw chocolate cheesecake’ made primarily of avocados. Apparently this kind of thing is all the range now but a few months out of London and I felt a real country bumpkin!
- Max Factor Miracle Match campaign: In September Max Factor launched a new foundation, the USP of which is there’s a shade to suit every skin tone. They got CMB on board to give their campaign some welly. I spent a week responding to #MiracleMatch tweets, ‘diagnosing’ people’s colouring from selfies they’d tweeted. This culminated in spending two days on the Max Factor counter in a Boots store giving mini colour consultations. I’d forgotten how hard it is to be on your feet all day but there’s a thrill about being on the shop floor!
- Workshops: The move has given us more space which has enabled me to run regular colour and style workshops for small groups. These have proved popular and have helped to spread the word! Whether the groups know each other or not, there’s a lovely sense of friendliness and support between the women (possibly helped by an ice-breaking glass of Prosecco!).
- The Ridgeway School: I’ve been able to donate some of my time this year and a highlight for me was running a workshop for parents and carers of children and young adults at The Ridgeway Community School. This was a group of lovely ladies who don’t get much time to themselves and really enjoyed finding out how a simple scarf and lipstick in their colour could transform them.
- Women’s Institute talk: I ended the year on a high with a colour presentation for the 120 strong Camberley WI at their Christmas meeting. I included showing a Christmas jumper to flatter each colouring and offered a lipstick clinic to help the ladies find their perfect shade. This was a hit and I really could have done with an extra pair of hands! A real milestone as I’ve always been terrified of public speaking, but finding a subject I love and building up from small workshops to presentations over a number of years meant I was almost nerve-free on the night.
- Consultations: My bread and butter is, of course, seeing ladies for colour, style and make up consultations, wardrobe weeding and personal shopping. This is what I love most and has been happily continuing in the midst of all the more unusual jobs I’ve taken on this year. I’ve been privileged to meet all sorts of kind and interesting and kind people this year who have really blossomed as they’ve discovered how to make the most of themselves. And I’ve had some lovely feedback which you can find on my Testimonials page, including this wonderful Christmas card: