Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson and welcome to another edition of Women Mean Business where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is former fashion designer and current owner of The Fashion Chef in New York City Charlotte Neuville; welcome Charlotte.
Charlotte: Thank you Leisa.
Leisa: I’m so excited to have you here, you’ve just had an extraordinary career but I think getting to The Fashion Chef and your new book Stylish Cakes – it’s just incredible, tell us how you did that.
Charlotte: I’m not sure how I did it. Basically what happened is in 2007 I left The Gap. I had been they’re Executive Vice President for all of Adult, a huge, huge job, it was a dream job, but in the end you’re talking about corporate design. And I had been doing that for some time and still missing the entrepreneurial life that I had led when I had my fashion business in the early 90s and I was kind of lost when I left. As wonderful as that experience had been it really is about napkin design; you know, you do a sketch the night before at a restaurant and then you hand it to an assistant the next day and then you never see it for another year. And it just lost the immediacy of what creativity can be and that is important to me.
And I started on a search really of who am I and what is going to be my connection to that creative side and it ended up with going to NYU, trying and thinking about being an executive coach and that not being creative, etcetera, etcetera until one night literally I was with a group of friends who said you have got to go to the International Culinary Center, just check it out. Just, you know, they really were pushing me to make cakes, which had just been a hobby my whole life to be honest. And the rest is history; 2 weeks later I signed up for their intensive Classic French Pastry course and then interned for Ron Ben-Israel and then after that started The Fashion Chef out of my apartment to be honest. And it’s been pretty exciting.
Leisa: Wow, congratulations and thank you for sharing that. There you have an extraordinary experience by an extraordinary woman. I’m Leisa Holland-Nelson, President and Co-founder of ContentActive, Houston’s leading web and mobile design and development company. You can find me at ContentActive.com of follow me on Twitter @LHNelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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