To know Charlotte Jacklin is to feel sunshine. Whether it’s through following her on social media or listening to her podcast, Charlotte exudes joy and light into the world. You might also know her from Betty magazine, her colorful and fun publication that she published from 2011 to 2017. She is bright and bubbly, and looking at her feed is a little slice of heaven. There’s something about Charlotte that makes you think you could easily be friends right off the bat. Hey, if you live in London, maybe you could! Her life mantra is one I think we can all get behind. I’m excited to introduce you to Charlotte and share more about her sparkly spirit. Let’s get into it.
Hi! Let’s start with the basics:
Name: Charlotte Jacklin
Profession: Content creator and podcast co-host
What’s your backstory? How did you land where you are right now?
I always have such a hard time telling this and it making sense, I can waffle—but here goes.
More than 10 years ago, I studied a degree in fashion promotion (public relations, journalism and styling) at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) in Rochester Kent, after having a lifelong interest in fashion. I really wanted to do fashion design, but I absolutely hated drawing, and that was a key skill to getting onto any design course back then. In hindsight, fashion promotion was the perfect course for me. I absolutely loved it and was an important stepping stone to what I am doing now.
Once I graduated, I landed my first industry job, and was able to work within digital marketing for fashion brands. Over a decade ago, digital meant there was one or two people in the web team, and people like Stella McCartney weren’t even selling online. Digital marketing was Facebook, a bit of Pinterest and no one really knew what to do with Instagram. It was a great time to learn all about the developing e-commerce and digital marketing world. I worked for brands like Lulu Guinness, Paul Smith, Topshop and Ben Sherman and did everything from social and e-mail campaigns, to in-store marketing activations. While I did this in the daytime, at nighttime, I’d go home and work on an independent magazine I started in my second year of university, called Betty.
Betty started out as a 12-page stapled zine, it was inspired by magazines such as Frankie and Lula. Not a lot like that existed in the UK, so I decided to have a go myself. Once I’d graduated from uni and was working 9-to-5, five days a week, I really missed being creative, so I continued Betty in the evenings. I was able to take it from online on Issuu to a physical printed edition with the help of my old business partner, Charlotte Melling. We self-funded it, and had no idea what we were doing, but figured it all out as we went. We got it printed, got it a barcode (not as easy at it sounds) and distributed it around the world. It was such a fun chapter of my life. We hosted IRL events under The Girls Club and it was a truly wonderful community.
In 2017, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. By this point, I was freelancing in digital marketing, lecturing at London College of Fashion and UCA, plus still publishing Betty twice a year. I knew I couldn’t spin all those plates and a child too, so I decided to take Betty online before June was born. While I was on maternity leave, I rebranded Betty as Charlotte, and relaunched it in November of that year. Before this, I was creating content online for brands, and hoped that I could make that my full-time job. Turns out I could, and I’ve been doing it for two-and-a-half years, and now employ someone who works with me part-time on creating content. I now send out a weekly newsletter called the ‘Monday Motivator,’ publish on the blog twice a week, work on creative projects for brands and co-host a weekly podcast. Who knows what the future holds! Currently, I am selling the whole Betty back catalogue for charity as PDF downloads.
Do you have any creative hobbies?
There’s not one thing that I do, I like to just dedicate time to faffing and trying things out that aren’t work-related. I’m trying to get better on my sewing machine so I can start making my own clothes, and I have a note on my phone with a list of fun things to do or try out when I am in the mood. I’ve been dabbling with tie-dye recently and marbling, which has been really fun. On the flip side, punch needling did not turn out as well for me. I think I am a minimal input, maximum output kind of crafter.
How have you been spending your days at home?
It’s organized chaos really. With an almost 3-year-old in the house, the routine isn’t always as rigid as I’d like.
On weekdays, we spend some time together as a family first thing in the morning, then I like to get a workout or a run in, and then head to my office, stop to eat lunch together and then work again until late afternoon. My husband looks after our daughter—he works in props in TV, and all his work, like so many others, has been cancelled. Then it’s time for me to come down and cook dinner together. Once June is in bed, we catch up on some TV. I’m surprised at how tired I am considering there are more adults than toddlers, but it’s a real roller coaster age in terms of emotions. Weekends are much more relaxed, and I enjoy them much more, too. The weather has been unusually sunny for the UK, and we are lucky enough to have a garden, which means we’ve spent lots of time playing out there. There’s a lot more leisure cooking happening, and cleaning, too.
What’s on your bedside table?
Water, always. I never go to bed without a glass of it. Also, nail oil, lip balm, hand cream, CBD oil (perfect if I am anxious before bed) and a watch because I sleep with my phone in another room and like to know the time. If my glasses aren’t on my face, they are here (I wear contacts the rest of the time). A candle and collection of vintage matchbooks, just because they look nice. There’s a stack of books that I don’t know when I’ll ever get around to finishing, a notebook for relieving anxiety if I need to journal or get some thoughts on paper, and a few pots of vitamins that I take before bed, too.
What are your favorite must-read books?
Valley of the Dolls, it was my favorite book as a teenager. I think I tell everyone I meet to read Playing Big by Tara Mohr—it’s a wonderful book for working on banishing all those fears we have about the things we want to do in life. Elton John’s biography is the book I wish I could erase from my reading memory and read again, along with I’m with the Band by Pamela Des Barres. I love old rock ‘n’ roll stories. Modern Love is perfect if you want a short, but inspirational read before bed. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge is an essential read. Our Stop is the most perfect rom-com book by Laura Jane Williams, which I love for switching off. Hashtag Authentic by Sara Tasker is perfect for those days when you are not inspired creatively, and a book that makes the perfect gift is The Poetry Pharmacy compiled by William Sieghart. You have an emotional symptom, and you look up the poem prescription—it’s so lovely.
Shop Charlotte’s book picks:
Who are some of the creative women who inspire you the most?
I get a lot of inspiration from Instagram, so here a few accounts I love: Martina Martian, everything she posts is visually awesome, as is April Seelbach’s work, and Morgan Harper Nichols writes poetry that speaks to me every single time. Christina Winkelmann from Bando is always giving me inspiration with her aesthetic and things she shares. I love Nadine Ijewere, Jesse Chamberlin Marble, Courtney from Pretty Little Fawn and Carrie from WishWishWish for their photography.
I also love sites and following the founders behind them like Oh Joy!, A Beautiful Mess and DesignLoveFest. I think a lot of inspiration for me comes from American content creators.
Tell us about your podcast!
The podcast I co-host is called The Fringe Of It. My partner in crime is Liv Purvis, and we record and release it once a week. It was an excuse to catch up with each other more regularly than we were doing. Like most things I do, I start them and figure them out as I go. We discuss a lot of TV that we’ve watched, and have guests on every now and then. Our first-ever episode discussed friendships and adult loneliness, which really struck a chord with people, as I know a lot of people talk about how hard it can be to make friends when you are older. On the back of that, we have a really lovely and supportive community on Facebook, and when we do live recordings, there’s a real sense of friendship in the room. Right now, I really love recording the podcast each week. Even if everything else has gone to pot, that feels like an achievement.
What’s your most-treasured item in your closet?
Tough question. If we discount my wedding dress, then I think my pink silk Mary Benson dress that I got earlier this year. It’s made from old fabric remnants, and then Mary adds her signature stars and moons. I can’t wait to wear it somewhere lovely when we can go out again.
What is one thing you can cook really well?
I had to ask my husband, who said I can cook most things well…thank you! But he then said eggs, and I have to agree. I love eggs, poaching them was a skill I mastered when my daughter was born so we can pretend we are having a fancy brunch out. I think I’ve finally mastered Shakshuka, too. I use the Ottolenghi’s recipe from Jerusalem—it’s such a good weekend brunch recipe. I finish with feta, some pita, yoghurt and fresh chopped up parsley.
What does self-care look like for you?
Moving my body to release those endorphins, eight hours sleep, my five a day, a lot of water and rest. So simple, but some days so difficult to do. Without all those things, I can feel a bit out of sorts. I also absolutely love getting my nails done and getting a facial, and having flowers in the house is my favorite way to treat myself.
5 must-have beauty items?
- Glossier Futuredew: For the days when I don’t want to wear any makeup, this works nicely with the stretch concealer.
- Weleda Skin Food: This moisturizer is so good, lasts forever and is really affordable, too.
- Chanel’s Coco Flash in Immediat: This is a hybrid between a lip balm and lipstick—I really love it.
- Beauty Pie has so many good products, but its body moisturizer is the most luxurious thing ever.
- Megababe Thigh Rescue is the best thing to have happened to my summer. You can’t get it here in the UK, but I stocked up when I was in LA on my honeymoon. I adore it!
Shop Charlotte’s beauty picks:
What do you do when you feel like you’re in a creative funk?
Try and not force myself to get out of it and do something else, which can be super-hard when you’re on a deadline. A walk always helps, as does Pinterest most of the time and sometimes picking up my SLR camera rather than my phone to experiment with. But sometimes, if you are able, just doing something totally different and switching off. Showers help, too. I get most of my creative ideas in the shower.
My uncle used to say, “Life’s not a dress rehearsal,” and I try to live by this sentiment as much as I can. Wear the dress, take a risk, be bold—we are not going to get to do this again.
Connect with Charlotte | @charlottejacklin