Inspirational Woman: Charlotte
Every month on the 18th, I celebrate the strong, intelligent and kind women in my life.
This month, meet Charlotte, entrepreneur (founder of @charlotteshouse), wife, mom of five children (ages eight to one), and friend of mine.
We met 7 1/2 years ago, when our daughters, now BFF’s, started pre-school. I have watched her family and business grow over the years and in awe of all she has accomplished. She works her butt off, pays it forward and truly inspires me everyday!
18th Style: Where are you from?
Charlotte: Born in Charlottesville, VA. Grew up right outside Washington DC in Alexandria, VA and currently live in Southport, CT.
18th Style: You lived in New York City, what did you love most and what do you miss most?
Charlotte: I LOVED living in the city and still miss it desperately. I loved the fundamental diversity of experiences that are so omnipresent in the city.
I loved getting on a subway with people from all backgrounds, cultures and life experiences. I loved that camaraderie of the city despite the thousands of people crashing into each other on a daily basis. I loved the it is completely unapologetic, un-pristine and just VIBRANT.
I also just loved being able to find anything at anytime anywhere.
18th Style: Tell us about your background.
Charlotte: Growing up, I loved sports and the arts and pursued both throughout high school and college. I suspect they gave me very different things, but a sense of creativity, teamwork and self-motivation was probably the overarching traits of these two disciplines.
After college, I fell into elementary school teaching and loved it. I taught 1st grade for 4 years and then decided to move to NYC and try my hand at the corporate world on the off hand chance I might still love my job AND make a more impressive salary.
Didn’t take me long to realize corporate life was not for me, so I went back to school to get a psychology degree in order to work as a school counselor.
I spent 5 years as a guidance counselor at PS165 in NYC and then we made the difficult decision to leave NYC to live full time in Connecticut, where my husband grew up.
Our third child was a newborn, so the city was growing increasingly difficult to navigate, but I was still the only member of the family not convinced that suburban living was my jam. 🙂 When we moved to CT, I started a DIY blog on a complete whim and with ZERO understanding of what that entailed.
I’ve had two more children since we moved, have parlayed my blog into TV appearances and continue to build upon my brand, At Charlotte’s House.
18th Style: What’s At Charlotte’s House and where do you see it going in the future?
Charlotte: My website has become a place for me to share creative colorful ideas and to champion the idea that ANYONE can have a house that reflects their personality and style.
It doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be fancy. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Home should be a place you love regardless of budget or experience.
18th Style: You’re raising five beautiful children. How do you balance motherhood, work and life?
Charlotte: Lots of HELP!
We have some to help with the logistics of kids every morning. I would never be able to get it all done so she’s essential for me getting any work done.
My husband is incredibly supportive and doesn’t consider his contribution to raising the kids any different than mine. I.e. if he has to make dinner for the kids every night, so be it! I also admit to being fairly low on the micro-management scale.
I let my kids entertain themselves and they’re pretty independent as a result. As I sit here typing, one child is drawing next to me, the other is doing puzzles in the other room, two are making ‘poor’ decisions, and one is helping get dinner ready.
18th Style: How do you spend your free time (and do you have any)? 😉
Charlotte: Very little free time.
Honestly I LOVE what I do so if I had a night to spend alone in a hotel, I’d bring my laptop and my computer and
would edit photographs with the Housewives playing in the background and a glass of Prosecco next to me.
18th Style: Who or what inspires you?
Charlotte: My fellow bloggers and designers are incredible. They are the most multi-talented group of people I know and their ability to create and run a business and manage social media is incredible.
18th Style: How would you describe your style? What are your favorite brands?
Charlotte: My style is colorful and eclectic.
I love mixing and matching and bringing a sense of the unexpected into my design.
I’m not sure I could pick a favorite brand because I’m always thrifting and pulling pieces from all over… I love Serena and Lily although I don’t have much of their stuff in my home. I love Anthropologie.
18th Style: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Charlotte: I’d love to time travel! Having a few more hours in the day would be REALLY useful. That or flying.
18th Style: What’s your favorite quote or saying?
Charlotte: I love “No one can make you feel inferior without your own consent.”
18th Style: Lastly, I love fun facts. Tell us something people wouldn’t know about you? Can be anything.
Charlotte: I used to sell tie-dye t-shirts on the corner when I was a kid. Also… I’ve run 8 marathons and played division 1 lacrosse.