A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to meet with sister Georgina and Annabel alongside their mum, Caroline.
Georgina and I had known each other for a while, I had followed her years ago when I was suffering a similar health journey.
Georgina had always been so supportive of my brand and so it was a true pleasure to meet her over a #FriendsofCE shoot, involving beautiful, deeper conversation of being diagnosed with a debilitating and under-known condition in your teenage years, getting over ‘wheelchair shame’ and connecting together on a level that only those who have experienced can understand.
Meeting Georgina’s beautiful, wisdom-filled mum and supportive, kind sister, it struck me how it really is the little things that matter. You can see the light that the family unit, this ‘womanhood’ pull together and create in the little interactions and moments of kindness with one another. It was a pure joy to watch 🌟. We enjoyed cake at The Primrose Bakery, one of my most favourite cake 🍰 cafes in London. Lines in the fairytale-like streets of Primrose Hill, and with the room scented with cakes, we were transported into another world, from the storming and soaking outside one!
The hours we spent chatting together really moved my perspective to appreciate just how important it is that we must come together more often, to help and support one another, with the potential to explore our equal vulnerabilities to really help one another through our journeys.
Their interviews show a huge power of the family's bond, how connected the sister and mother bond can be. It is pure magic to read and a reminder of the most important thing, LOVE!
“Hi I am Caroline age 51 from Nottinghamshire I’ve been married for 30 years. And I am an extremely proud mother of two amazing daughters. They are the centre of my universe.
Being a mum is one of my proudest achievements in my life, I should probably rephrase that, being a mum to daughters who I have such an astonishing relationship is my proudest achievement. Being a mum has brought out emotions and feelings I never knew I could experience. The good, The bad, the challenging, sad, proud the full spectrum of emotions. We have all faced life challenges and I know we will face more as life goes on. Even when we have not known what to do in a situation, when we found it hard to find the strength to move forward, by supporting each other we have been fortunate to get through and ride this rollercoaster ride of life.
Whatever our pathways, whatever our experience, they shape as to who we are and that strengthens our family bond.
Life has taught me that the people have been broken the most, are usually the ones who go out their way to put others back together. ~ Bianca Sparacino
I have too many favourite memories to name, I just love that no matter how old my girls are we always make time in our lives to create special memories together in whatever shape or form they may take. For them to want me to be so involved in their lives is an incredible feeling, I feel so blessed. We are very much a Disney family and it does feel that we live it’s a magical life. I have my two princesses and we all love each other very much where we’re having a Mary Poppins or Cruella DeVill kind of day.
Trying to keep strong and positive when your loved ones are in such a troubled place and feeling lost. The fear I have is not being able to help the pain and losing the ability to make everything right, mums should always be able to make things right shouldn’t we? Feeling powerless to fight and feeling the fight is being lost. Finding the strength to move forward is my definition of being brave.
The thing about being brave, is it doesn’t come with the absence of fear and her bravery is the ability to look fear in the face and say move aside, you are in my way.
My greatest learning of life is do not fear the unknown, life’s pathways can take some unusual turns and twists. Mine and that of my daughters paths have not been the same as everybody else’s. That’s okay though, that’s what makes us unique. Life is different for each and everyone of us.
Being a true life Mary Poppins, the bag for me would have to be the Emma. large enough to keep all my essentials in just in case!
I have been known to pack a small fridge on one of my vacations, so with that in mind, there are no limits to what you may find in my bag.
The shoot day was just simply beautiful. No frills no pretence it just felt real and pure, meeting honest lovely people with heart and soul.
The smile on my face is not a fake one it was just a reflection of all my heartfelt feelings of that day.
I heard about the brand through my daughter, who had followed Charlotte through Instagram. My initial support was for my daughter, to go to this meet up and attend this shoot as this opportunity meant a lot to her. But being in the company of Charlotte and her sister was so inspiring, I would just love to support their journey and wish him all the very best.”
"My name is Annabel, 18 years of age, from Nottinghamshire. Since a little child I have always been interested in anything creative, ranging from dancing, to music, to baking, to fashion and makeup. As long as I have some kind of outlet to express my creative side I’ll be happy.
Growing up my sister was diagnosed with CFS/ME, which was difficult to understand at first as I was only young when she was diagnosed but I knew something wasn’t right as my sister wasn’t the carefree person she used to be.
But I didn’t let that get to me as I knew it wasn’t going to make her feel any better so I decided to put my efforts into trying to make her smile and have a laugh daily. She may of not understood at the time what I was doing but she sure returned the favour when I became ill myself with TMJ. For most people TMJ isn’t very severe, but in my case it was and even to the point where I ended up having to come out of school early.
I never got to finish my A-levels and at the time I thought that it meant the end of a lot of things for me, but I’ve realised to achieve something academically whilst very impressive isn’t the only way to achieve something in life. To me everyday experiences are worth far more than the education I couldn’t finish.
As a family we are extremely close and love to spend time together whether it’s going to a concert or to the theatre or just simply just being together. I’m so blessed to have a family like the one I do and I’m so blessed to have a mum as strong and as kind as the one I have.
The bond between mother and daughter is one that starts from the very first touch, and even though it is strong it can be broken and that is why you have to nurture it each and everyday.
I am so grateful for the close relationship I have with my mum, and even though I don’t tell her enough I always cherish the time we spend together, whether that's baking in the kitchen or going on a shopping spree. I admire so much about my mum but one of the things I admire the most is her huge heart, she always puts everyone before herself and tries whenever she can to make every experience great from everyone.
She is truly inspirational as a person, and even after having two ill children she stills stays strong for everyone else around her. And to me that’s what true bravery is, even if you’re scared or sad you stay strong because you know someone else needs it more. I’m so grateful for the family I have and the experience I get to have with them.
One place that will always be special to me because of the family memories I have there is Centre Parcs in Sherwood Forest, my parents were going there before I was even born and we’ve gone pretty much every year since and being away in that tranquil world is always a part of the year I look forward to. Spending time with just the family and nature.
That is why when I met Charlotte and Emma on the day of the shoot it was so familiar and heartwarming to hear about them growing up with illnesses and their experiences, but also talk about family stories and memories. It was in such a wonderful setting in a little place called primrose bakery in London, which just added that extra personal touch to the photoshoot and it really as if we met the people and not just the business.
Both Charlotte and Emma are two very strong, beautiful women and the bond they share as sisters is wonderful to see, and the fact they can put that into CE is amazing. As the end products are just wonderful, for example, the Alicia bag I had pictures taken with during the shoot is the perfect little bag and the colours they come in just add to the look.
Personally, I love the look of the oxblood bags, I find them so striking but simple and elegant at the same time. I think it is completely amazing how far Charlotte has come with her bags and the story behind it is even more impressive. Charlottes’ bags are a great show of what a person can do with a dream as long as you have the passion to follow through with it."
"I’m GeorginaWasdall, I’m 20 from Nottinghamshire and I have a condition called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome which I’ve had for almost 11 years now. I wasn’t born with my disability, instead ME/CFS came into my life when I was 10 years old. I soon took a dip and found myself in a shell, but after work and time, I’ve broken down those walls to embrace the change and me for me, disability and all.
Through it all, I’ve grown and learned so much about myself. It’s helped me be a better person. Everything happens for a reason!
Due to my condition, I use a wheelchair and I got my first one when I was 12. At the start, I let it control my life and define me but once I realised that getting my chair was a lease of life, things just went up from there and although my condition is always present, Idont let it control me anymore and I try to live my life to the fullest. I am someone who has always loved the arts and being creative so a lot of that influences my life. Whether it be doing to see a show at a theatre or baking with my sister and Mum. My relatively new venture of modelling and acting is opening up a whole new world to me and I’m loving it!
A mother and daughter bond is like no other. They know what you need, even if you don’t know. They know how you are feeling, without saying a word. You can rely on your mum to be there through the good, the bad and everything in between. We can talk about everything and I know I can tell her anything. My Mum isn’t just my Mum, she’s my best friend.
Together, we do a lot of different things; some traditions, some new and spontaneous. But one thing we both cherish and love is having a girly pampering day at our favourite spa. It’s our time to relax, destress, have a natter and treat ourselves. It’s a day that never fails to remind us of our bond and it always leaves us feeling loved.
Some of my favourite memories as a kid included arts and crafts. I think my love of being creative spans from all the times we spent making different pieces of “art”. I once had a mermaid-themed birthday party as a little girl, we spent a day trailing the beach for tiny little shells with a little hole in so that during the party we could make seashell necklaces. That’s the kind of mum she is, going out of her way to make events so unique!
The day I decided to follow my dreams and sign with Zebedee Management. Taking that leap towards into the unexpected, a new direction and doing something I hadn’t really done previously was so scary. It was throwing myself in the deep end, not knowing what would happen. But, as it happens, it was one of the best decisions of my life. So much good has happened because of that one moment that I was brave enough to just go for it!
My Mum, Caroline, she’s one of my hero’s. We’ve been through a lot as a unit, with my health problems and one thing or another. Throughout it all she’s remained my rock, she’s one of the strongest women I know. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my her. She has the biggest heart I know, if she can do something to help someone, she’ll be there lending a helping hand or a listening ear. Mum will always go out of her way to make sure no opportunity passes us by and make sure we have an adventure of life. Did I also mention just how stunning she is? Nobody else is like her, truly one of a kind and I’m so lucky that she’s my Mum.
A modern-day Mary Poppins. That’s one way, to sum up my Mum. You just know, she’s prepared for anything. Not only that, but she is so friendly, a total people person. At dance shows, she’d be the person they’d go to so they could get their hair sorted, for spare tights, more hairspray and so forth. You can always count on her. Mum’s got the kindest heart and soul and I admire that so much.
To be brave doesn’t mean you don’t have fear. It means you feel that fear and you move forward and do it anyway. Even if you fail, you get back up and try again. Bravery comes from finding that inner strength and believing in yourself, even if your feeling a bit scared.
What inspires me is that inner drive to make a difference, even if it’s a small one. Thinking that I could help, inspires me to keep going in trying to bring more representation so that the future generations grow up with acceptance and love.
I absolutely adore The Alicia bag in chestnut, as soon as I saw it, I loved it. It’s a perfect size, it’s not too big and not too small, you can fit whatever you need for a day in this bag with ease. The colour is perfect from going from day to night and season to season. It’s an all-round bag but with the added style and sophistication, a classic staple piece. You can tell how much thought goes into each handbag, such a sleek and beautiful design. I really recommend pairing this handbag with “The Helping Hand” scarf. Not only is it such a gorgeous scarf with a beautiful message but it also brings a little pop of colour to the look and I just love it!
The shoot day was just an absolute joy from start to finish. We took a trip to London and Primrose Hill, where we visited a little bakery and met up with Charlotte and her sister. It was so lovely to finally get to meet Charlotte and hear about her inspiring story. Chatting away over cupcakes, it was wonderful to find out that we are such likeminded people. We ended up spending more time talking than we did taking photographs which I didn’t mind one bit. Getting to talk to two lovely ladies who understand you are so special. When it came time to take some photos, it was so relaxed and super friendly. I’m thankful for this day and this opportunity, so glad I got to share it with my Mum and sister too. Memories made to last a lifetime. A day spent with friends that just so happened to include a little fun photoshoot too!
I originally stumbled across Charlotte Elizabeth on Instagram after seeing a post of someone with one of Charlottes original Bloomsbury designs and I just loved the design, it’s so me. I further connected to Charlotte’s story. It is so wonderful to see someone so real behind a company, a lady who generally cares about her products and her customers. I will continue to support CE and I look forward to seeing where her journey takes her.
Life is one big adventure, your own author to your story.
I love going on adventures, whether they be what I and my family call a “mini adventure” which normally consists of a day out to somewhere new or to a new place I long to go. Two of my top adventures (and most magical holidays) so far have been Florida and Lapland. We only flew to Lapland for one day but what a day it was, my parents, woke us up early in the morning saying we were going to go Jack Frost hunting but instead we went to the airport! I hope one day I make it to Iceland to hunt for the northern lights and see such stunning sceneries that Mother Nature has created for us.
No matter where I go, I always have to have a little lipstick in my handbag. Along with the usual essentials such as wipes, tissues, money, phone charger and of course my favourite soft mints. I also like to bring a reusable straw and a reusable bag too, just in case.
That everybody’s path is different, just as unique as each of us our as individuals. There’s an inner strength in us all, we can get through challenges that we face and achieve our dreams. But we’ve got to stop judging each other just from their appearance, its time to lift people up and support each other."
How special the mother, sister bond is! Thank you so much again ladies for letting us spend beautiful afternoon eating cakes and learning more about your lives. It was so special to see this beautiful family's bond.