Charlotte Knight has never been one to fit the traditional mould of a businesswoman.
Across her now 20-year career within the beauty industry, Knight has garnered international acclaim for her creative vision and innovation, continuing to reach new heights globally with new to market and trend-setting formulas.
Charlotte shared with us her thoughts ahead of 2023’s International Women’s Day, reflecting on her career and sharing some advice for up and coming business women.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
“International Women’s Day is a wonderful day to recognise, acknowledge and honour women around the world for what we bring to society particularly women in science, technology, business, politics as well as those around us and in our day to day lives. Women are continuing to make significant progress in shattering the glass ceiling, breaking through barriers and overcoming obstacles to reach the top, proving that they are just as capable and equal to their counterparts.
This years theme of #EmbraceEquity is a powerful theme which highlights the importance of creating a fair and just society for all women. The theme emphasises the need for gender equality in all aspects of life. By embracing equity, we acknowledge that women face unique challenges and barriers to achieving their full potential. It is essential to recognise and address these challenges to ensure that all women have equal opportunities to succeed.
Two years ago, we launched the Ciaté London I Am Woman Palette inspired by forward-thinking, powerful women who have fearlessly shaped the world. The I Am Woman Palette champions female figures throughout history who have challenged the norm and achieved the unexpected – from activism and invention to science and the arts. Through passion, dedication, resilience and grit, each woman helped make the world a better place.”
What inspires you to do what you do?
“I run this company because I really love it. I love my team, the brands we’ve created and I honestly am in love with the beauty industry and everything about it! I love seeing all the new innovations that come to market and seeing the positive impact the products make in their lives. Beauty and cosmetics are skin deep, it’s all about how it makes you feel on the inside and for me, seeing our products make that difference in people’s lives is really rewarding.”
What’s your favourite product from your own brands?
“My first ever brand favourite from my first brand has to be Ciaté London’s Dewy Stix Bronzing Balm – so versatile I never do a look without it. For Lottie London, it would be the Ombré Blush as all the shades are stunning. Skin Proud, I love our Bright Boost Serum, a Vitamin C serum that is a real glow getter and I have to say our Sorbet Skin too – certainly a best seller for a reason. For my new brand Hair Proud which we’ve just launched in the UK and US, it’s the Glass Hair for sleek, smooth hair all day long!”
As a brand founder, how do you overcome challenges?
“No matter how hard you try to avoid them, mistakes do happen. You’ve just gotta make sure you learn from them. I would firstly recommend to surround yourself with seasoned mentors and a strong, experienced team who can be your sounding board and go-to as you plan your adventure into the business world. Secondly, a clear, well thought out strategy with good planning and strong execution. Finally, education is key, to constantly immerse yourself and grow your knowledge through reading case studies and learning about the industry your business is in but also the wider business community. A great platform I find for this is LinkedIn not just for education but a key platform for your business too.”
What’s the best advice you could give fellow female entrepreneurs wanting to pave their own path in the industry?
“You need to be able to take a step back and get the bigger picture and the best place to start is to listen – to those around you and on your team but also at the wider industry. Also, listen to what your customer wants – they are the ones that are leading the charge and changing the game, make sure you are listening to them and keeping up!”