Women Who Rock: Charlotte Olympia Dellal on What Women Want

For Charlotte Olympia Dellal, being a female designer is a major selling point.

“There are fantastic male designers, but I always think we have that small little advantage [as women],” said Dellal, who has spent the past eight years building her namesake business. “At the end of the day, men know what women want, but women know what women really want.”

Here, the mom of three — who is celebrating her birthday today — talks about believing in yourself and doing what you love.

The power of being a female designer:
“I actually saw myself being a woman as an advantage. I was designing women’s shoes and can see how they fit. The experience of what it feels like to literally wear my shoes is an advantage. We know what women want. I love beautiful shoes, but what kind of designer would I be if you couldn’t wear them? I always think from a female perspective — you can’t help but design the things you love. What I want to wear comes from within; my designs tend to come from a personal level. As a woman, use what you love to create a product.”

Her biggest female mentor:
“I haven’t really had a female mentor from a business perspective, but I’ve always looked up to my mother. She’s encouraging and has always been the kind of person to do 1,000 things at once, and I’ve always admired that.”

Advice for women just starting out:
“Work hard and believe in what you do. I’ve always wanted to build my own business, and I went and did it. Most of the people I have working at my company are women. I don’t think it’s been on purpose, but I like to surround myself with women. It’s good to have feedback.”

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