In The Spotlight: Charlotte Wilkinson, Founder, Hello Sister

Sometimes it happens. We lose our passion – that spark that drives us to do what we do. This can be frustrating, but at the same time can help lead us to even greater passions.

 


Charlotte Wilkinson went through such experience; because of this, she learned where her heart truly belonged, and is now doing something she truly loves – something that is making a significant impact in the lives of fellow women.

This is her story.

How It All Began
I’ve always been in brand consulting; but in the last few years, I’ve felt that I’d lost the spark or passion for the business. I knew I was ready for a change and started to search what that might be. After some soul searching, I realized that most of my knowledge was focused on understanding women around the region. So at the end of 2016, I launched Hello Sister, a women-focused brand consultancy – essentially growing brands and businesses who target women.

Following That Urge
It’s all been organic really – I had a strong desire to come to Asia in my mid-20s so I jumped at the chance to move to China with a major marketing group ( WPP). From then on, opportunities have just been presented that were hard to refuse – so here I am in Singapore 12 years later, running my own business.

Realizing Her Dreams
I’ve had full P&L responsibilities for over eight years, but being responsible for all of your own financial security is very different. However at the same time the freedom to work on projects I really want to in sectors that really interest me has been both inspiring and liberating at the same time. So yes, my dream is coming true but I’ve no doubt there will be more challenges ahead, too.

From a strategic perspective – I think both short and long term planning is the only answer, always thinking about what could happen – both positive and negative – helps you be ready for all eventualities.

Biggest Frustration
As transparent as Singapore Government Departments are, they are very difficult to navigate and get exact answers from. I recommend paying someone who is more familiar with MOM, ACRA, IRAS than you to save you time, money and your sanity!

Greatest Failure
I wouldn’t say it was a failure but working in Beijing, speaking only basic Mandarin with a local team of 25+ was very challenging. It meant very long hours and a lack of general support – but this taught me to be pragmatic, resilient, and determined, all qualities I think are still key for me. I owe some of my success to them.

On Regrets
I was in the deep end in Beijing, but had I had time I would have spent more of it understanding the local working culture – and of course learning more Mandarin! I am now very good at speaking taxi and restaurant Chinese and bargaining in markets, much to the amusement of Chinese colleagues!

A Quote To Live By
My granny was born in Asia and she told me this: “Never marry the first man who asks you, travel and learn as much as you can, and invest in jewels!”

I’ve always lived by those ‘rules’ in life, and certainly, my career is founded on travel and learning! I just need to invest in more jewels!

Work With Charlotte!
Hello Sister is Asia’s only women-focused brand consultancy – and I’m determined that going forward brand strategies’ will be focused more on purpose relevant to women’s lives, rather than be pink and flowery!

 

Edited by Michelle Sarthou
Image credit: Charlotte Wilkinson


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Charlotte Wilkinson

HELLO SISTER’s founder, Charlotte Wilkinson, has more than 15 years’ experience in brand consulting, including 12 in Asia. From luxury brand positioning through to bottom of the pyramid innovation, there are few marketing challenges she has not encountered. In addition to running HELLO SISTER, Charlotte is an engagement and business advisor to various women’s NGOs in the region; she would love to one day see both areas of her life join up as brands place greater emphasis on purpose. Charlotte works alongside numerous experts to support her successful delivery of client briefs – from presence engagers, digital experts and videographers through to statisticians, graphic designers and semioticians. HELLO SISTER’s response is tailor-made to individual clients, meaning that we build a team to support your challenge, rather than having you support our overheads.

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