Interview with Claudine Reid, MBE
1. Tell us about you, where you're coming from and what you do now?
Currently I am Co-Director of PJ’s Community Service, a Community Interest Organisation, providing services to enhance and impact the community, using the vehicle of Care, Education and Economic Empowerment & Arts.
I am also a trainer & inspirational speaker, TV presenter and Mentor. My experience includes:
- 2003 – 2005 – Advisor to the Secretary of State – Department of trade and industry
- Appointed as one of 28 Cabinet Office Social Enterprise Ambassador for the country, by the Office of the Third Sector.
- Listed By Royal Bank of Scotland (March 2009) as one of Britain’s top 100 most Entrepreneurial women.
- Appointed to the National Social Enterprise Expert Panel for OTS
- Trustee for the Nurture Foundation – An international Charity working to Support and empower parents in Developing countries.
I am extremely happily married to my husband of 14 ½ years we share our lives with our two children aged 12 and 11.
Rewind 15 years ago I was young woman, lacking confidence, not really sure of what I wanted out of life – what a change!
For services to social enterprise, basically working in the community which I am very passionate about, empowering people. I received a letter from the Prime Ministers Office stating that my name had been nominated to receive the investiture – at first I thought it was a hoax – but I soon realised that it was not easy to forge letter headed paper from Downing Street.
3. What has been one of your greatest achievements so far?
Not sure if I would call this an achievement, however, a great high in my life is being a mum, through the laughter, tears and tantrums I love it and I don’t take my responsibility lightly.
4. Describe your personal style
I really am quite simply. I love dark suits with a coloured top or dress and jacket suit, 1-2 inches heels and I am off. It is simple and goes with the professional image that I want to portray. Also in my field I feel that I need to be ready (dressed appropriately) for any opportunity. I have had the newspapers call my office to ask for a photo shoot in “20 minutes” as they were working on an article about my company – “sure” I replied as I inwardly thanked God that I was appropriately attired.
5. Where do you shop and why?
For everyday work / casual – high street, TM Lewin, Per Una, Next, Zara – it suits my life style and it is economical.
6. Who's your favourite bag designer and why?
I haven’t got one
7. What do you like about House of ilona designs and why?
Unique, easy and comfortable to wear, with creative designs
8. You've had a bespoke dress made, what was that process like?
Super, very professional, I had a mixed up vague idea of what I wanted. The senior designer was very creative and was able to work with my jumbled ideas. Her suggestions, fabrics choice, style, cut and the complete design totally fitted in with my image and style for my visit to Buckingham Palace.
9. What's more important to you, inner beauty or outward beauty and why?
It has got to be Inner beauty. I believe whatever is on the inside will reflect on the outside, this makes me feel confident about who I am and it is with this confidence I move forward.
10. You are a spokesperson, a business woman and you're on TV. Your beauty regime consists of Dove soap, water and Vaseline (minus the Dove soap, this is that same beauty regime I use for my 4 month old daughter) yet you always look radiant, tell us your secret, surely there's more to it than that?
I am a woman of great Faith, my regime also consists of “quite time” to de-stress, re-focus, reflect and prayer time to maintain connection with my spiritual side I think this is very important to maintain balance especially in this fast pace of life.
11. What advice would you give to working Mums trying to find balance?
That’s a challenging one, because at different stages of my personal growth and the development of my children I would sometimes find it easier or harder to balance things. The rule I live by is Family First! After everything is said and done, they will be the one beside your bedside. Ensure they know how important they are to you. Develop a strong, trustworthy support network and take time out to let your hair down and relax.
12. What moto do you live by?
I’ve got lots of motos, one of my favourites is ‘Don’t wait for the opportunity to prepare. Prepare for the opportunity!’ and ‘Winners never Quit – Quitters never Win’.