Nicoleta | #FriendsofCE

Nicoleta | #FriendsofCE

My name is Nicoleta, I am 39  years old, I am Romanian originally and moved to the UK in 2006; I lived in the Bedfordshire countryside for the last 4 years but lived in Oxfordshire prior to that. I work in Market Research and I am a consultant (Account Director) for one of the (two) leading companies in this field.

I have worked for multinationals all of my life but, at the end of the day, I love nothing more than going back home to my country house; I love country life and I would absolutely love to have a pretty little French café or an antiques shop somewhere in a quaint Oxfordshire village.

In 2006 I have been offered a really good job but that meant I would have had to relocate to the UK (I was living in Bucharest) should I be willing to accept it; I wasn’t sure how it’s going to work out, whether I am going to adjust to a completely new life,  in a new country, with a very different culture but I said ‘what will be will be’ and decided I’m going to take advantage of the opportunity and just do it (my mum told me I’m crazy to just leave all my life behind and move to another country)! So, in October 2006 (13 years ago ), I had moved from Bucharest to Oxford and I never looked back – it has been the best decision ever and I felt right at home! It turns out, I may have had some ancestors somewhere in Yorkshire, going back a few hundred years but I am still to do more digging around that…

In 2013 I had started a new role and this time my office was in Marylebone (I was commuting from Oxford) and I remember going to work on my first day, wearing a beautiful pencil skirt, a tailored little blazer, heels and a beautiful handbag and I was feeling all grown up, confident and ‘belonging’ … I am not quite sure what gave me the confidence, it must have been the whole outfit 

I find inspiration everywhere around me, but I can only be creative if I lose the fear of being wrong! Coffee, a walk in the park and art would definitely be my ideal day out in London; I have a big passion for paintings (Dutch, French and Romanian classics in particular) and I can easily spend a few hours in a museum just as I can take 2 hours to have coffee!

I live for Autumn! It is all about soft cashmere, beautiful and warm tweed, earthy colours, conkers, my grandmother’s pumpkin pie, crisp and misty mornings, the smell of bonfires, extra blankets in the evenings in front of the fireplace … and candles, lots of candles! Oh, and lots of Meg Ryan films, of course. 

To sum up my experience at the #FriendsofCE shoot day, it has been the most exciting thing that has ever happened to me! I already had 3 CE handbags prior to the this and to be part of such an experience together with a brand you love, it’s like a reward!

I was a bit nervous as I was on my way to the shoot thinking that I am not pretty enough, not slim enough, etc, and then I have arrived at the shoot and I’ve met the other ‘models’ and Charlotte’s sisters and they were all soooo lovely and down to earth and I felt at ease and relaxed immediately … then I’ve got so much into it that I could have spent the whole day shooting (I actually brought quite a few outfits with me!).

The new collection was a bit of a surprise as I was probably expecting something similar the Bloomsbury collection … so when I have seen how different the new handbags are, I was surprised … they are so beautiful and different! The Alicia is a bit retro I feel and it takes me back to the interwar period when women were so feminine and classy; The Emma is probably my favourite as it’s an all-rounder, perfect for work but also for dinner somewhere nice; I probably fell for the beige one to begin with but then I loved the raspberry more as it’s such an unusual colour and it goes with so many outfits and colours (and scarfs)!

I was flicking through the Instagram feeds one night at the beginning of 2018 and I have seen the Duchess of Sussex wearing the Chestnut Bloomsbury at an event and I thought ‘wow, that’s the bag I’ve been looking for all these years’! I have got the Midnight Bloomsbury for Christmas and soon after that the Chestnut and Red Bloomsbury have followed.

My handbag essentials are my iPhone, a red old Burberry purse which I’ve had for so many years (too many – any plans on launching a purse collection too?), Bobbi Brown Bare Raspberry lip tint, Benefit They’re Real mascara, Ray Ban sun glasses, Clinique Smoldering Plum blush, L’Occitane hand cream … and head phones for when I’m travelling so I can listen to audiobooks!