As part of our We Are Sisterhood initiative, we're shining a spotlight on the women behind some of the most remarkable ventures; the businesses and passion projects championing everything from sustainable fashion to social activism, with one thing in common – they have someone identifying as female at the helm.
Having started out writing an online travel journal during a year abroad ten years ago, Charlotte Williams (@charlottesevensix) quickly caught the blogging bug. But it wasn't long before she delved into the other side of the industry, scoring prestigious digital management roles for brands like Hello Kitty and WAH Nails.
Now? Charlotte is the brains behind influencer marketing agency SevenSix that counts some of the industry's coolest and most in-demand women as clients. And when she's not helping grow female entrepreneurs and small businesses? Charlotte co-hosts Sustainably Influenced – a podcast series centred on the world of ethical living and sustainability.
Here, Charlotte shares her journey with us...
How did your two big ventures - SevenSix agency and Sustainably Influenced - begin?
I founded SevenSix Agency in 2019 as a response to the lack of inclusive representation in the marketing and advertising industries. Equality is at the heart of our company, so we have made it our mission to champion creatives who would otherwise be underrepresented. At SevenSix, we ensure that our talent and influencer network are fairly represented in – and fairly compensated for - brand campaigns. Bianca and I launched the Sustainably Influenced podcast in 2020 to help our listeners navigate sustainability, since it's more than the food you eat or clothes you wear. With each episode, we enlist the help of experts in sustainability and ethical living to shed light on how to embrace a conscious lifestyle. I can’t believe we’re in our third season already!
Which women have inspired you along the way?
My mum! Sharmadean Reid, my old boss and founder of WAH Nails, Cassandra Stavrou, my sister-in-law and a big reason why I felt confident enough to launch my own business, Chloe Pierre, who's my friend and accountability partner who seems to be able to get it all done and more.
What are your top tips for other females dreaming of starting their own venture – whether a business or a passion project?
My biggest tip is to look at your numbers. I didn't do that when I first started because all I wanted to focus on was campaigns and growth. I soon realised that financial forecasting is essential to achieving growth, so I highly recommend undertaking a course in finance or hiring an accountant if you have the means. Having integrity is also really important. This may mean you’re unable to take part in certain campaigns or use certain products, but you have to stand your ground. It makes a big difference in the long run because then you can confidently say your brand has remained consistent – in a good way!
What has been the most challenging element of starting your own business and how have you overcome this?
Money. In so many different ways: having to find money, understand money and spend money. There’s so much I didn't know about accountancy, taxes, pensions, etc. when I first started. When it comes to spending, I always assumed it was best not to spend too much, but the saying “spend money to make money” is so true. I’ve also come to recognise the importance of investing: whether it's in assets, equipment or people. There’s so much I've learned, and I'm still getting there.
Interviewed by: Sarah, Co-Founder, By Sarah London.
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