FREDA Girl: Charlotte Reiss
Please tell us who you are and what you do?
I am Charlotte Reiss and I am the founder and owner of Vivi et Margot, a French homewares brand available online.
Describe your personal style. Do you have a certain look that is your go-to? How has your go-to changed while shifting to a work from home culture?
I like to think it's effortless, classic and more European. My go-to right now is ankle crop denim, a white t-shirt, and white sneakers, or a simple floral dress with sneakers. I’ve been wearing more kaftans and dresses in quarantine. Comfort dressing.
How are you structuring your days during this period of self-isolation? Are you sticking to a schedule?
For the most part yes. I have 2 daughters at home with me and we are tackling the new normal of homeschooling. It's a challenging time and working from home has its limitations, but we are all in this together and I remind myself of that every day. I try and get my own work done early in the morning (I’m an early riser) so I don’t find myself frustrated later on. My children need my attention now more than ever.
Did you already have an at-home workspace or did you create one recently? What’s your set up?
Literally weeks before lockdown I had moved into a new house and hadn’t had the chance to fully furnish, but luckily I had started on my home office as this is where I spend a lot of time doing my Live interviews on Instagram, although mind you, I could probably do them anywhere and no one would mind, it's the relevance of the content of the interviews, not the backdrop!
Are you looking at your business differently now? Do you think any new ways of working will live beyond the shelter in place?
I have found myself being uncharacteristically vocal during this time. Whereas once I let my brand speak for itself, I now connect with my customers on a much more personal level and I know they appreciate it. I host daily Live interviews with small business owners, homeowners, architects, photographers and other creatives from all over the world. This is a time to come together in the world so I am using my time to be more creative. I believe that things will change for many once life as we know it resumes. I believe that people have sought great comfort in their homes and will continue to want to nurture themselves and their families through more cooking, decorating self-care.
Where do you find inspiration and how do you stay inspired? Has that changed at all since you have been home?
The first week for me personally was the hardest. I found myself in a new and empty space with my children but not in vacation mode, and having to learn very quickly homeschooling. I felt deprived of creativity and inspiration, so I quickly remedied that and made changes, created the structure the family needed, carved out my own time and started the interviews to connect with others.
Do you have a silver lining that is getting you through these unprecedented times?
Yes, until the end of 2019 I used to work 50 hour weeks and didn’t see my children as much as I wished. Although some days are more challenging, nothing can compare to this quality time I am being able to spend with them during this time. I also think I may want to pursue some kind of podcast once this is all over, I enjoy interviewing that much.
Has anything surprised you about yourself since life has slowed down so much?
Actually yes, I always imagined that if the grass was greener on the other side, I would be lazy. The absolute opposite is true, I have found myself working harder than ever on my business, our new product line for Fall, interviews and such. I’m also calmer than I thought I would be. I’m that person who all hell can be breaking loose all around me and I am calm as can be.
What are you reading right now?
I kindly just received a signed copy of Nature of Home by Jeff Dungan so I’m reading and getting inspiration. I am also binge-watching Ozark.
What are you listening to right now?
The Boxer by The National on repeat
HOME SPRUCE UP:
Do you have any tips for people wanting to refresh their homes without having to purchase anything?
Yes, try redoing your shelves or coffee table. Use items you already own but try restyling them in different areas around the house. Simple small things can make a big difference. Try changing the cushions around in the house, switch up the ones of your sofa, move some artwork or lamps around. There are lots of great styling blogs and advice on social media right now.
Once you mentally accept that this isn’t going to be over as soon as you hope, find small ways to create comfort around yourself.
IG LIVE: We have been loving your IG live interviews! You are a natural. Wondering, did you know all of the amazing photographers, designers, and architects before you started your Live? Or how did you reach out? Please share day and time you go Live so our community can hop on!
Thank you! That's very kind. You know I have never interviewed anyone in my life. The first one I did I was so nervous, but the premise of the Lives is to just casually chat over virtual coffee and we do incredible tours of people's homes and quite a few Chateaus in France. I never met any of the interviewees before except one and some I hadn't even been following. I never expected to do more than a couple of Lives, but as the days turned into weeks they have become a great source of fun, entertainment, and comfort to many people. I love connecting people and I love the idea that I am bringing people into other living rooms and giving them an opportunity to chat and connect when they ordinarily might not.
It's also hilarious it's become an unwitting OOTD moment!
Pretty much I go live 10am EST and I announce the guest the day before on @vivietmargot