Subject: interview with Charlotte Jones, CEO of Charlotte Elizabeth
Hey girls and boys, we have a real treat for you today, an exclusive interview with Charlotte Jones, Founder and CEO of the wonderfully gorgeous Charlotte Elizabeth. Charlotte sat down with us to discuss how it all started, what she would tell her 18-year old self and what advice she has for aspiring designers. Get your notebook at the ready and take note!
Take it away Charlotte
Name: Charlotte Jones
Job Title: CEO / Designer
Did you study design? If so, where? If not, what did you study?
I didn’t actually! My only qualifications are a handful of GCSE’s, I suppose I fell into design. What inspired The Bloomsbury was sparked from my obsession with vintage cars, the beautiful curvature, I wanted to incorporate that into a reinvention of 1950’s style handbags, with their high handle which forms a shape so elegant and timeless.
Did you intern? if so where, if not, what was your first job? My first entrepreneurial endeavour was when I was housebound after my heart operation, just a few months after I left school at 16. One day a week, I would use my energy and head to my nearest Topshop Outlet. I’d go in with pocket money and come out with some real goodies. I started an ASOS Marketplace and would price the clothes anywhere from 25%-150% their cost price. I would get my mum or dad to take photos of me wearing the pieces against our garden fence. Every item sold, except one dreaded coat that was a really thick, long haired faux fur, it looked like humans hair!
How did Charlotte Elizabeth come to life?
I had a £3,000 loan from The Prince’s Trust, after attending their Enterprise Course and being accepted to have their support. That money bought my first stock and helped me with website costs. I have also had over two years free mentoring, something I will forever be grateful for.
What made you specialise in bags?
It all happened very naturally - I didn’t originally think of anything but simply creating the bag and selling a few along the way. As the brand has become more business then hobby, I believe there is a market for a young designer who could create classically beautiful, not unattainably priced products within the industry.
What is the highlight of your career so far?
The Duchess of Sussex supporting Charlotte Elizabeth will always be a very memorable highlight!
What’s your go to shop for work wear?
I really love the way my job allows me to be in loungewear one day and power suits the other. Shops I love are & Other Stories, Rixo, Lily and Lionel, Zara, Olivia Rubin and Mango.
Do you have any advice for aspiring designers?
This is rather unconventional advice, but I really do believe in sticking to your own gut and instincts on what’s right. Not getting too caught up with your competitors is key. I feel as soon as you do, you are just like everyone else. Your designs lose heart.
What advice would you give to someone who doesn't know what they want to do? Choose a job or situation that makes you so uncomfortable and miserable. You will absolutely find what you want to fill your time with after that experience!
What would you tell your 18-year-old self? Enjoy Life.
Where can our readers find you?