In our Jan/Feb issue we catch up with the boutique owner who tells us how she balances children, business and life in Chelsea…
What made you decide to start Marie-Chantal Children?
I really wanted to create a children’s lifestyle brand where mothers could buy everything from party wear to casual wear in one stylish shop. We now have two stores in London, concessions and boutiques around the world and a website I’m really proud of.
Where is home and where do you work from?
My home is in Chelsea. I work around the corner on the Kings Road with the prettiest view of a tree lined street looking down to The Royal Hospital. I love London – it inspires me.
Describe your typical day
It’s kind of manic. I’m up at 6.30am, then it’s breakfast with the kids at 7.30am. I drop the kids off at 8.15am and, depending on my schedule, I’m in the office at around 9am. Then it’s design and business meetings and a working lunch. I also try to get to the gym at least three times a week. I like to be home for the kids at 4pm. Then it’s homework and dinner.
You spend a lot of your time travelling. Can you tell us three of your favourite places?
I love going back to Hong Kong as that is my home away from home, but I adore Greece, of course, and New York.
How do you find juggling a family with running a business?
It’s always a challenge, but for me family always comes first. When things get too hectic I try to focus on the home and kids and that always gives me a great perspective on what’s important.
What’s the best thing about being a mother?
And the hardest?
Being away from my children.
What’s your secret to staying (or trying to stay) balanced?
The Marie-Chantal Children’s Diary helps me to stay organised. I have five children in four different schools and the diary is the only way I can remember what’s happening when.
Who are your inspirations?
Valentino is a great friend and I really admire his lengthy career. Diane von Fürstenberg is like family – she’s been a great mentor. And my father (American entrepreneur Robert Warren Miller) for his work ethic.
Which achievements are you most proud of?
Creating an international business while having five kids. I have an amazing team supporting me.
You’ve recently started a blog. Can you tell us why you started it?
Businesses need to embrace social media to stay on top. My blog – mariechantalblog.com – is attracting a new audience as it is more of a lifestyle blog for mothers. I enjoy sharing my experiences with others.
Any future plans you can share?
We are expanding in the Middle East – very exciting.
148 Walton Street, Chelsea, London, SW3 2JJ
For the original interview with Marie-Chantal, and lots more, see the Jan/Feb issue of Baby London. Out now.