Image: Anna Clarke Photography
With the upcoming addition to our family (our due date is Saturday, same as the Duchess of Cambridge’s no less!) there’ll be a few subtle changes to the schedule of the blog for the coming weeks while I’m adjusting to life as a mama of two.
I’ll still be posting the very coolest real Jewish weddings every week, but there’ll also be a brand new feature running where I interview all sorts of inspirational women in the wedding industry whom I greatly admire. These women successfully combine running their own business with married life and in a lot of cases, raising a young family.
The series is called Chitter Chatter and the twist is is they have to answer my questions in just 140 characters or less….
Today I’m chitter chattering to a doyenne… a ‘queen bee’ wedding bloggess, and superstar creative mama. It’s the one and only Charlotte O’Shea, founder and MD of Rock My Wedding, the phenomenally successful UK wedding blog that launched in 2009. A few years later, the ‘Rock My’ empire grew when Charlotte launched the hugely popular Rock My Style, a lifestyle blog for women covering beauty, fashion, travel, food, interiors and family.
Charlotte lives in the West Midlands with her husband James, and their one year old daughter, Mabel Rose.
What was your first job?
My first job was in retail with House Of Fraser – I was a Morgan Girl! Think lycra boob tubes and chain mail crop tops (actually don’t – tragic doesn’t even cover it.)
Tell me more about your career before launching Rock My Wedding and Rock My Style
I was an Account Manager for a small yet very successful technology and web design company, I learnt a hell of a lot about everything to do with running a business and then some.
How do you cope with running two growing businesses: Rock My Wedding and Rock My Style?
I employ a very VERY talented bunch of folks. And endeavour to be as organised as feasibly possible. Oh and biscuits – essential brain fuel.
What inspires you to keep growing and developing your businesses?
My dedicated team and our loyal stylish readers are a constant inspiration, as is my daughter Mabel. No two days are the same – the diversity of what we do generates constant creativity.
Image: Little Beanies
What obstacles have you overcome along the way?
It was tough when we started out as there were few well known blogs, hardly any in the wedding sector and none that were focussed on building a UK audience. But we were very determined – if at first you don’t succeed…..be better.
What is the best opportunity RMW and RMS have brought you?
I wake up every morning knowing that I am essentially creating my own career path as it were, it is both daunting and exhilarating in equal measure. The company has bought me the opportunity to support my family financially by doing something I love. And I am both humbled and grateful every day.
What’s your best tip for a work / life balance?
Book time with your family and friends as far in advance as possible, it enables me to organise schedules and deadlines around holidays, essential R&R getaways and special occasions.
What are your top tips for working from home when you’re self employed?
I write myself a new list every morning and endeavour to work through in order of importance/what is time critical. I also endeavour to take a proper “break” during the day as I think it’s really important, I’ll put some loud music on and do a workout DVD, read a magazine or arrange to meet friends or family for a coffee. Sometimes I might pop out to the shops and accidentally buy some make-up or shoes…..
How did you meet your husband?
On a blind date set up by my best friend. I had no idea what he looked like. NO IDEA.
What was the highlight of your wedding day?
We were blessed with really hot weather which was amazing but meant the sun was super bright until the early evening. As a result our photographer suggested this would be the best time for our portraits and somehow virtually all of our guests followed us around the beautiful grounds of our venue to join in – it was hilarious, and made for some of my favourite captured moments of the day.
Was there anything standout about what you wore?
I opted for quite demure delicate jewellery and make-up for the daytime and mixed it up for evening with a statement “back” necklace and a coral lip.
Looking back, is there anything you would change about your wedding?
In my job you see an insubordinate amount of decor, floral and fashion ideas – I see something at least once a day where I’m like “I want THAT!” but in truth our day was perfect…because it was ours, I wouldn’t change a single thing.
What are your top tips for brides-to-be when planning their wedding?
1. Don’t drown in the detail – focus on the aspects most important to you and everything else will fall into place.
2. Arrange to take time out during the day to spend just you and your partner to soak it all in as newlyweds – even if it’s just for ten minutes.
3. Delegate and utilise the skills of your friends and family – they will be only too happy to help. Promise.
Images: Anna Clarke Photography
Secret to a happy marriage?
Respect each others dreams and aspirations. Spend time together, just the two of you, as often as you can. Listen, laugh and tell each other you love each other – as often as you can.
The most important thing in the world.
Though she be but little but she is fierce (William Shakespeare)
My iPhone 6. I run my life with it. And the camera is really great.
Can I have a few? True Romance (Quentin Tarantino) and the Before Sunrise/After Sunset trilogy (I am yet to see the final movie, I almost don’t want to as it means the story will actually have to end.)
Chateau Les Merles in the Dordogne. France is my favourite place in the whole world and the Chateau is breathtakingly beautiful and is the perfect place to get away from it all.
Tell me something about you that most people don’t know… preferably non work-related
I used to be a dancer. Competitions, sequins, the Rhumba……the whole nine yards. I had lots of shiny trophies. And a permanent perma-glow fake tan.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Taylor Swift. LOVE HER.
What did you do today?
Made several excited phone calls to my business partner Adam, danced with my daughter in the kitchen, had dinner cooked for me by my husband and maybe just maybe discovered our dream family home whilst perusing Right Move…fingers crossed.
We are currently planning the design and subsequent launch of a third blog to add to the Rock My group as well as working on various collaborations with brands that we hugely admire behind the scenes.