Charlie Albers talks to us about planning parties, raising 3 children and letting dreams guide her life. The question we have for her – as a woman, as a mother, as an entrepreneur – can we have it all?
Before I had Eva, my eldest daughter, I worked in corporate events and for as long as I can remember I always loved organising events and parties. But it was only when a friend of mine mentioned how my parties were so great that I thought why not take this further? I have done this for large corporates; I love doing this at home, so why not do this as my own business, my own job? I personally feel that it is important for children, especially girls, to see their mothers working at something outside the family, not just in the home. I was so driven, that in one night I bought the domain name, set up my email and website and was ready to go.
It has been running for a year now. I organise and run beautiful whimsical children’s parties and events. I also have a props hire part of the business where people can hire vintage china, fabulous photo booths and backdrops as well as a myriad of gorgeous props. I have just started hiring out beautifully decorated belltents, which can be used for an additional, quirky space for entertaining at weddings and events. I love it!
How do you balance work with family?
In the early days I would be up working until 1-2 AM, then sleep and would have to wake up at 6 AM to get them ready for the day ahead. Setting up your business is not easy and it takes time and effort. It is important for me not to let it take over my life; my priorities are my children. I feel it is important that they see me working but know they can reach me, so my office door is always open. It’s important for me to involve my children as much as possible so they feel included. Plus they seem to have taken on my passion to sew and make things.
Who has been an inspirational woman for you?
Personally for me my mother is an inspiration. She is an amazing, kind wonderful person, and always put us first. I also admire my mother in law, she works hard and has such a generous heart. In the media, there are also many inspirational women that are doing some amazing work. Angelina Jolie for example – she promotes humanitarian causes, and is noted for her work with refugees as a Special Envoy and former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. There are a lot of inspirational women who show us how to juggle many things at the same time: family, friends, work, social causes.
We are taking the business to the other side of the pond, as we are moving to the USA so I am excited to take a little bit of English vintage to the USA.
What do you think is the most important step for women who are looking to set up their business but are not quite there yet in terms of confidence.
As long as you have a passion, you have to do it. What is the worst that can happen? If it does not work out, at least you loved doing what you are doing. This is the main thing I want my children to take from my work: If you are passionate about it, go and do it! Make sure you surround yourself with people who support you and encourage you. It’s hard when you are a woman. But who says you can’t have it all. Or at least try to have it all?
What are the challenges of running a business?
Balance. Never enough hours in the day to get it all done and it’s easy to keep going through the night. As a mother, you need to make sure you portion segments of your day for yourself as you always come last. It’s really important for me that in the evening I switch off to have family time and then time for me. It was very hard to do that in the beginning but we must otherwise we risk burn out. Meditation and healthy living for me are both key and I encourage my girls to look after themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually but at the same time fight for what they believe in.
My middle name is Emmeline after all.. Emmeline Pankurst has to be the biggest inspirational woman of all times.
Photography Sarah Smith