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Family Focus

The Fashion Guitar's Charlotte Groeneveld

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Get to know a different side of Dutch fashion influencer, Charlotte Groeneveld, founder of The Fashion Guitar. The self-described mother-in-chief talks to us about her off-duty life as a mom and philanthropist in support of Good+Foundation—and how those two worlds overlap. Bonus: With summer officially here, she shares her style tips for the season, too.

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Q&A

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What's your morning mom routine?
Get everyone and everything ready, then get them out of the door, and do me. One cup of black filter coffee, a few drops of my favorite CBD oil, do my emails, update my social media channels, respond to audience questions and requests, plan my day in terms of shoots and editing, then take a shower and START.

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You balance work, motherhood and still have time to pursue creative and philanthropic passions—how do you keep everything in balance?
I always feel I’m not doing enough, but I do my best, in everything I do. In general, though, I believe part of the problem for women is that they think they need to have it all down, keep all balls up and also be a continuously happy person. God, that is a lot of pressure. So I adjusted my mindset, because I did it all, but it didn't make me a happy person, just a stressed out one, haha. I say there is no work-life balance. Truly, stop trying to achieve that. It will make you a better and happier person—just go with the flow. Learn to be flexible, adaptable, and not too harsh on yourself, and you will be a good mother-in-chief, business woman, and philanthropist.

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Tell us about your involvement with Good+Foundation
My involvement is way less than I want, not because of them, but because of my—until not so long ago—hectic work life. Not an excuse, of course, but I’m learning! Right now I make sure to be at every meeting, event, project visit, fundraiser, and whatever is happening, and share this to its full extent on my social media channels. Bringing exposure is basically what I feel my biggest contribution is. With this I try to raise awareness with my audience, do fundraising when possible, potentially bring in partners—for example, for the Bash—and of course, motivate the people who follow me to become involved.
During the start of Covid I did a small fundraiser by selling seven summer looks from Rhode Resort—they generously gave these to sell. We created a video, photos, and shared on my channels. People could buy the looks via the GoFund.me page. It was a huge success!

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What's the significance of giving back for you?
I think it is very important. It is part of me and I would not feel whole if I couldn’t do my part. It’s a forever feeling of not being able to do enough, but every bit helps. This is important for everyone who considers connecting to a charity to know—don’t worry about changing the world overnight. Just bring whatever you can to the table to contribute to the bigger goal, to long-term change.

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“Learn to be flexible, adaptable, and not too harsh on yourself, and you will be a good mother-in-chief, business woman, and philanthropist.”

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What first brought you to nonprofit?
There’s a long and a short version of the story, but the short one is as beautiful: Founder Jessica Seinfeld connected with me a few years ago, for a beautiful initiative Good+ did in partnership with Olivela. After just having moved to New York, and still researching all charities and which ones I felt most connected with, I immediately knew Good+ was the right one—working on a better life and future for people close to us, just here in the city, just a few blocks away. Moreover, at that time the Fatherhood initiative was developing and, together with the focus on mothers and children, it made it full circle for me.
Good+ is an organization that is not stuck in successful systems and setups and just riding it out; they are continuously looking for even better ways to really help those who need our help. They are on the forefront of it and you feel this through everything: every single activity, event, and all the people who are closely involved. Everyone is so driven to make a difference and you very much feel the real compassion. Needless to say, Jessica is in it with her whole heart, and that drives everyone, too!

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As a mom, what advice do you have to encourage philanthropy and volunteerism in children?
Our kids have been involved with Good+ from the moment I was. That was also the moment when we explained what charity means and what you can do to contribute. We have done, for example, the Net-a-Porter books and clothes donations with them. They selected what to give away from their own books, to make another kid happy, too.
Sometimes we have to remind them they are in a very privileged position; they never have to worry about sleeping in a bed, if there will be dinner, if daddy will be home to kiss them goodnight. This awareness is so important in the way they grow up, we find. Raising responsible kids are our future.

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Like the Veronicas, you made the career pivot—from finance to fashion...
Quick adjustment, I did my masters in Corporate Communication and then works in the financial industry in corporate communication. I worked in Singapore and Beijing, then moved to London and started in online marketing—hated it—so on the side started a website to write about fashion, and share runway inspirations. Slowly started to share my own looks and the rest is history. This is nine years ago, and the best decision I’ve ever made. It has been non-stop, exhausting and absolutely draining at times, but to build your own business, share a true love for something like fashion with so many people is beyond. Working with the designers I had the editorial campaigns ripped out of Vogue on my bedroom walls when I was little… a true dream come true!

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Top 3 Style Tips for Summer

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1. Everything that floats… long white dresses, loose cuts, and open toes.

2. Color color color! We all love beautiful monochromatic looks, but at the end of the day who doesn’t get so happy from a good colorful look!

3. Bags, even though we don’t go places still. Invest in a good bag—straw or solid leather. It will go with everything linen and silk!

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