Claire Christian tells me a bit about herself and how she came to be where she is now!! A very inspirational woman!!
How did you get started in your business?
After being in the fashion Industry for 18 years, I wanted to start my own business, so that I could create a brand that was both beautiful and innovative, one that people could understand, and feel an instant connection with.
Have you studied a course or taken any qualifications for your chosen career?
I studied a degree in fashion design and marketing. Age 19.
How have you balanced work-life/family and avoided burnout?
I believe it’s not just about balancing the day to day, it’s about balancing the year to year too. At some points in our lives our focus is love, family, or work, or exercise etc, I think we are better at some of them at different times in our lives. In my 20’s I would have done anything for my career, in my 30’s I would have done anything to improve me personally, and now in my 40’s… Well we will have to wait and see!
What are you most proud of?
I love seeing my clothes on people, and seeing how they make people feel about themselves. I am proud of accomplishing what I set out to do, and that was to dress people.
Have you faced any challenges being a women in this male dominated world?
Yes! When I first started at Burberry, I was not only the youngest, but one of the only female managers who sat at the weekly board meetings. I sat across the table with all men. At first I think they thought I was there to make coffee, then they realised I had a voice, an opinion, and not a bad one too. Some of them didn’t like the change that was coming, women were about to take over a majority of the senior positions in the company offer the next ten years, starting with Rosemarie Bravo as CEO.
Is life turning out just how you planned it?
I am very blessed to be surrounded by my family and friends. At times I felt far from them when I worked in London, New York or Italy. I try not to plan too far advance, then you can be flexible and not be disappointed!
What do you love the most about your partner?
He is the most honourable man I know. He lives every day of his life with honour and integrity, not many people can really say that.
Do you have any regrets?
When I was about 24 I was offered a job as an expedition artist on a dig in Egypt at the valley of the dead, working for Dr Zahi Hawass, who is now the Director of Antiquities at the Cairo Museum. I didn’t take it because I thought I might be the only girl on a dig in the middle of the desert, with 2000 Egyptians! It was a big mistake, years later I went to see Dr Hawass at a conference at the O2. He showed pictures of that same dig with all of his apprentices…. There were many women, and many westerners too. But, if I had done that, I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now I am sure of that, but I will always wonder about it.
Whats your partners most irritating habit?
People who know me, will know I am serious when i say he has none! But if I had to pick something, it would probably be that my dog loves him more than me!
Whats your ultimate vision?
My vision is to build a luxury brand which draws from its heritage to provide quality, to work with great partners to create beauty, and to use technology to enhance these qualities, giving value for money. As my company grows, I want to give people the same if not better opportunities as I did, both locally based and further afield attracting talent like future designers, product developers, managers, sales, etc, to Claire Christian Couture…. I won’t live forever!
Check out Claire’s blogs!!