Nadja de Oliveira #FriendsofCE

Nadja de Oliveira #FriendsofCE
Today's #FriendsofCE takeover is by one of our very beautiful customers, who I am lucky to also call a friend. 

Nadja was one of my very first customers back when I launched in 2016. She warmed so much to the brand, and would always promote what I was doing (at that point in my career, I was going it alone and running everything from my bedroom!), helping to spread the word about Charlotte Elizabeth.

She would adventure in her hometown, Copenhagen, and snap beautiful shots with her (now growing!) collection of Bloomsbury's and other CE accessories. 

What was so beautiful about our blossoming friendship was the fiercely beautiful, and often rare, fellow female spirit. Every time I'd speak to Nadja, she would encourage me in my dreams, supporting me all the way. 

It is this very spirit that I hope Charlotte Elizabeth can be to you, too. Each time you wear our products, I want you to feel that you can take on the world, that you can take on your dreams and that you can be a force to the world with your inner light.

You can read Nadja's wonderful blog here.
Charlotte. X

How did you first find/hear about Charlotte Elizabeth?

It was around Christmas 2016 (wow, it's already 4 years ago), I was searching for a gift for myself and I had an idea of what I wanted, a bag that I can wear always, no matter the occasion or outfit because I am the worst at changing bags over minor miscalculations or details. I ended up googling bags made in Britain and an article popped up with loads of brands. Then, CE showed up and I remembered I thought uh, yes, this!, which led me to check Charlotte's profile on Instagram. On some cosmic coincidence, there was a post and story about a limited edition of the Bloomsbury, in my favourite colour - oxblood! Seconds later, I had PMed Charlotte, seconds after that Charlotte had replied, et voila!, my first Blooms.

What made Charlotte Elizabeth different to other brands you have invested in?

For me, it's Charlotte Elizabeth's humanity, it translates into something real, personal, and honest. Charlotte's closeness to her customers and her wish to make it a shared story makes her brand unique. Going back to the honesty and realness, that is what inspires me the most because I feel that is what's missing in so many brands - Who is behind it? When and why did you start it? without it being a bio that you read. With CE, I follow it's daily routines in a way, with packaging, Charlotte's adventures, and other CE lover's stories.

What Bloomsbury do you have?

Oh no! Now you'll all find out I'm a bag addict!

Well, I have the first version in chestnut and oxblood, as well as the new Blooms in Midnight, Black, and Oxblood.

Why did you get The Bloomsbury? Was it a gift, a present to yourself or a marker of a milestone?

It was a gift for myself, my birthday, and Christmas. And, the odd one, I need that colour too.

How do you wear your Bloomsbury?

Crossbody, always, or in my bike basket.

What do you put inside your Bloomsbury?

EVE-RY-THING! Phone, keys, post-its and pen, charger, at least 3 shades of lipstick (because one is useless, right?), hand lotion, wallet, and, now due to Covid-19, hand sanitiser.

Where are you from?

This is always a complex question for me, so get ready for a little story. I am both Danish and Portuguese, I was born on a small island in the baltic, called Bornholm. I grew up between the two countries, where I mostly lived in the countryside, then I moved to Lisbon to study when I was 18. Then I lived in Wales for a year, before moving to Copenhagen, where I have lived since 2010, except for the two years I was in Stockholm.

So, I am both southern and northern, but I have found my home in the north.

What inspires you?

I think most of all, nature. I have always thought of myself as a city person, but I can feel the ease in my mind when I can look over a field and see the wind moving the straws as if it was the sea. The same for the sea, sitting on a dock or beach and listening to the water and looking as far out as you can. And not forgetting, sunsets and seasons, animals and flowers.

Favourite adventure you've ever had?

I wouldn't know which to pick, I have had so many adventures that are close to my heart, but the first ones that come to mind are Scotland. With its kindness, beautifully untamed nature, and all the pies. I have been quite a few times by now and just thinking about it, makes me happy. I have been up to the highlands, as far as Inverness, to the Isle of Skye and done bits of touristy things, driving through Glen Coe, going on Loch Ness, and travelling on the Jacobite train (yes, I am a Harry Potter lover). If I close my eyes and imagine myself standing before Loch Shiel, where it was both sunny and misty, surrounded by fierce mountains, all pictured in autumn colours, it still warms my heart as if I was there.

What do we need to show more of in the world?

Love, understanding, patience for one another, but also ourselves. We need to listen more, be curious, and learn.

What do you wish you'd known when you were young?

That everything would be okay and work out as it should. That I was enough and that I should trust my own voice. That life is here and now, there is no rush.

Favourite mantra?

I have my own, which I created last year: I am strong and kind, I am deserving and calm, I am accepting and trusting, grounded and centered, I only think of things I can control, I am.

What's your dream?

I think this is both one of the hardest and easiest questions there is. A few moons ago, I would have answered something about a career that wasn't me at all. Now, it's different, it's simpler. I dream of a garden, where I can care for flowers and bumblebees, a home I feel at home in, traveling around Europe slowly and enjoying every bit of it, writing poems and hopefully getting them out there, and lastly, most important, a simple, love-filled life.