Meet our Soho Works workmate, Charnice Blaize

A woman tying up a pair of sneakers.

When COVID-19 hit just six months after leaving her job to launch her new business venture, the London Works member had to rethink. We caught up with her to see how she’s adapted, the importance of an accountability partner, and why it’s always good to end the day laughing

Local Soho Works: 180 Strand, London

How did you get where you are today?
‘After graduating from university, I worked in influencer marketing at ASOS. It’s the perfect mix of business negotiation and creativity. I left there last August to take the big leap and start my own business, Blaized. I made it work based on what I knew and enjoyed – helping brands and agencies source, negotiate and manage talent for campaigns. Business was great until COVID-19 hit in March. All my booked work got cancelled and I quickly realised I was going to have to work out how I could pivot.

‘With many of my friends also recently launching their own businesses and in a similar position, we’d spend days on the phone bouncing new ideas around and keeping motivation high (or as high as it could be). I discovered that a lot of people were like me and didn’t know all that much about how to run a business, especially during a global pandemic. 

‘So, I started creating business resources that are really valuable, but also easily digestible. I covered topics from how to set up a business, marketing strategies and money management, to setting boundaries and working out your work/ wellness balance. I don’t want anyone who has a good idea and passion to be put off starting their own business simply because the process seems too daunting.’

What are you currently working on?
‘A month ago, I launched The Blaized Agency (with the help of my amazing team member Georgette). We focus on representing a diverse range of talent who, as well as being strong content creators, have incredible stories to tell and want to make change within their communities. I’m so excited to be representing the talent that we do and to secure opportunities for them with brands whose values match theirs.’

It’s been a tumultuous year – what’s inspiring you at the moment?
‘I think lockdown really taught us that you don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow, or how the world might change. So that’s made me realise I’ve got to be less afraid, try not to overthink every decision, and “just do it” (living by Nike’s mantra). Things could definitely go wrong, but things could also go right. It’s important to remember that when you start to stress and overthink.’ 

Proudest achievement?
‘Starting my business.’

What do you do when you’re stuck for inspiration?
‘I speak to my friends a lot. My best friend Kaysha is also a business owner (founder of Kaywigs), and we talk to each other daily. When I’m having “one of those days”, when I just feel at a bit of a loss, I’ll speak to her and she’ll help me refocus.   

‘Every Monday, we’ll have a conversation at 10am and break down what our plans are for the week, pinpoint what we’re trying to achieve, and whether we’re a step closer to what we talked about doing last week. I guess you could call her my accountability partner. I strongly recommend that everyone gets one.’

What challenges did you face this year?
‘Well, lockdown! Just when I thought I had it all worked out, the world clearly had other ideas. But also, a big challenge during lockdown has been adapting my mentality about money. When you’ve just started a business (and in life in general), it’s important to remind yourself that money comes in and money goes out. You might not see that return straight away, but your time is an investment. It can be difficult to remember that when you’ve got bills to pay. Create clear budgets to help yourself and your business, and focus on the now while having a broader strategy for the future. Put the time in, it’ll pay off in the end.’ 

What are your three essentials for a productive day?
‘Water, a laptop, and a charger.’

Have you got any Sunday night rituals before starting a new week?
‘I actually do this every day, not just on Sundays, but I always try to end the day laughing. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the stresses and strains of life, but laughter is therapy. It helps to remind me that really everything is, or will be, fine. I think it’s powerful and important to start and end the week (or day) with a perspective check.’