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05/04/15: Ten minutes with... Charlie from Sophia's Choice

Charlie Hughes is a green blogger and owner of the natural and organic boutique Sophia's Choice.  I've ordered several times from her site and am always struck by the sweet wrapping that makes me feel like I'm receiving a present rather than some items just whacked in a box.  Her blog follows the same method: detailed and friendly.  I asked Charlie if she would take part in my ten minutes series last year, and have been looking forward to sharing this with you ever since.  Enjoy :) 

Last thing you do at night?
After checking on my 2 girls, to make sure they’re still breathing (it’s a mother thing!), I always tell my hubby that I love him.  It goes back to when I was a child; it was the very last thing I said to my Mum when she tucked me up at night and it’s something I’ve always carried on with my husband. Soppy really!
Top tip for being happy and healthy?
Oooh there are lots. I believe the most important are being grateful, laughing – lots, and kindness.  When it comes to what you eat and drink, then it has to be drinking loads of water, eating lots of fresh fruit and veg, preferably juiced or in smoothies, nuts and seeds, omega 3 oils, B vitamins, a good multi vitamin/mineral, walking in nature and sleep.

Brands/bloggers/people that inspire you?
First and foremost it has to be my Mum. She was and has been a huge inspiration to me. She made huge sacrifices whilst I was growing up, looking after my elder sister who has special needs. She always showed great strength in the face of adversity and always had time for others no matter how busy she was with her own family. She taught me to always see the positive in every situation no matter how impossible it appeared to be and she showed that quality during her treatment for lung cancer, a journey she sadly lost 3 years ago. She was truly one of a kind.

When it comes to Brands in the Green Beauty world, then I’m inspired by people such as Elijah Choo of Bodhi and Birch. He has been an amazing support to me with regards to my online boutique and his passion for what he does just oozes from every pore. His smile is like sunshine; it lights up a room and his generosity and kindness for others is given in equal measure. He’s a great role model.

In the blogging world, it has to be Galina (A Curious Russian in London), Ana (Ana Goes Green), Danni (Holistic Green Beauty) and Annie (Hello Purple Clouds). I connected with them on Twitter and had the privilege of meeting them all last year. It’s been like meeting kindred spirits. It amazes me that Twitter can bring you together with such great people. These bloggers all write with integrity and passion and all of their blogs are packed full of fabulous content. If you haven’t already, make yourself a cuppa and pop across to their blogs for a read.

Favourite TV series?
I love a good period drama so a bit of Downton Abbey always goes down well. Sadly, hubby doesn’t “do” period dramas so they are left for moments on my own with a good glass of wine.  I also love TV series’ such as Waking the Dead and Spooks and after being a bit of a late starter, I devoured 24 with Kiefer Sutherland. He’s changed such a lot since The Lost Boys days!

Product you wish you'd invented?
I’m not sure. I’m not really an inventor type person by nature. Probably one of those kid’s fads that come and go but make you loads of money in the process, such as the Rubik's Cube or Loom Bands (god, those things drive me insane. They get everywhere in our house!)

Favourite skincare item?
A good facial wash. I love cleansing oils, balms, face oils, moisturisers but for me nothing beats a great smelling facial wash. I love the clean sensation it gives my skin and nothing wakes me up more in the morning than washing my face.

Favourite cosmetic item?
Eyeliner. It helps to define my eyes which look naked without it. I’ll happily go out in public without any other make up as long as I’ve got eyeliner on, preferably charcoal grey.

Your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate... and boots!

Favourite book?
There are many!   A Place in the Hills by Michelle Paver. Two stories set 2000 years apart but intrinsically linked. My head was buried in this book until it was devoured.

The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff – “While Eeyore frets and Tigger bounces and Owl pontificates, Pooh just is. And as for Piglet? He demonstrates the Te, or Virtue of the Small.” If you want to understand Taoism through the eyes of Pooh, then this is the book to read.

Others include Biology of Belief, Journey of Souls, The Alchemist…the list goes on.

Why did you start your blog/boutique?
For me, the beginning of my blog and then the launch of my online boutique a year later all relate to the loss of my Mum.  For a long time I’d wanted to write a blog to share all the information I’d gathered whilst being a more natural/green Mum to Sophia, my background as a holistic therapist and my general passion for a more natural, holistic way of life. I kept putting it off because I had Sophia young and there never seemed to be enough spare time.

I then had my second daughter and when she was 6 weeks old my Mum was diagnosed with cancer. Six months later she lost her battle and passed away. I realised in that moment that “time and tide wait for no man” and if I really wanted to share this information then I just had to do it, because time was precious and there wasn’t as much of it around as I’d previously thought.

I wrote my first blog post the day after what would have been her 70th birthday. It was also the year that I celebrated my 40th. We had always planned to celebrate “big” together, however that never happened. Beginning my blog was about taking something devastatingly life changing and sad, and creating something positive from it.

Then one year on, with her spirit close by spurring me on, the blog developed into the online boutique and I haven’t looked back. It’s not been easy but I took what my Mum had always taught me and found my positive in amongst the darkness.  Sophia’s Choice, both the blog and the boutique exist because she believed in me and what I had to share. For that I will be eternally grateful.

Proudest/most exciting moment in your blog/boutique career?
With regards to my Green Lifestyle blog, it has to be when I received my first blog comment.

When you begin blogging you almost feel like you’re writing to yourself initially and then all of a sudden someone makes a comment on a post for the first time ! It’s both scary and exciting all at once and in that moment I realised that a) someone was actually reading what I had to say, and b) that I had a responsibility for what I was sharing – it did matter.

And for my online boutique, it was my very first order. Wow, that was such an exciting moment for me. You spend all that time deciding which brands and products to stock, building your website, getting the word out, making sure you’ve dotted all the i’s and crossed all the t’s and then you go “live”.  You wait with baited breath wondering if anyone will indeed buy from you and then it happens; the email with that first order. It will always be a special moment for me particularly as it wasn’t long after the website went live. I will always hold that person dear. They set me off further along my dream!

Thank you Charlie for taking the time to answer the "Ten minutes with..." questions ~ I loved reading Charlies open, honest and funny responses, I hope you did too. 

Have you shopped at Sophia's Choice - what did you pick up?  Let me know down below!

And if you haven't visited Sophia's Choice yet, hop to it people!!

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Thanks for commenting! For quicker replies find me on Twitter @gfmgfy.

  1. Thanks so much for asking me to be a part of your "10 minutes with" series Hephzibah :) I was very touched to be asked xx

  2. Annie HelloPurpleClouds9 April 2015 at 00:12

    I'm really enjoying this series Hephzibah and I loved this post. Lovely to find out more about Charlie's interests and nspirations (thanks so much to Charlie for the mention - the feeling is mutual!) x

  3. You're welcome - my top post of the week! :) xx

  4. So glad you're enjoying the series - Charlie's has been waiting in the wings for a while so it's great to share it - such an interesting and in depth set of responses :) x

  5. Aw this is such a lovely post. So sad to hear about the loss of Charlie's mum but she's turned the sad loss into such a wonderful thing - her blog & website are both amazing! :) xx


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