This week we interviewed self- made millionaire Celia Sawyer. Celia is a businesswoman, property developer and interior designer. She’s best known for presenting Channel 4 programme Four Rooms. Celia lives on Sandbanks on the South Coast with her husband Nick and two children Lili and Jack.
You left school at 15 and went on to become director of several companies and you’re now a self-made millionaire. What obstacles did you face along the way, and what was key to your success?
Not having done well at school was a difficult start, although it made me learn to use my common sense and wits to clinch any deals in business early on. I had to learn that way as I didn’t have much else to offer, but I wanted to be my own boss, and because of that it made me work really hard from the beginning. I always expect 150% from myself, and this is the key really, I have very high standards and have to do everything the best I can. It’s a good habit to get in to though as you don’t disappoint anyone or yourself!
You’re also involved in property development and you’ve invested in film projects and script developments. How do you manage to juggle so many different careers, and are there any you’re most passionate about?
Its very difficult, I have two children who are extremely important to me so it’s about organising things well. I have to get up really early in the mornings just so that I can go out for a run , this helps me stay focused and gets my mind in the right place to conquer the events of the day ahead! I then stick to a routine of getting things done in order so that I don’t run late or mess up on anything. Of course if there is more work going on then I have to work at night too, but it’s worth the effort as it pays off in the end. I have just started working on an e-commerce site for my furniture range, which is made here in the UK and I’m very passionate about this as I think it will offer a great standard of luxury furniture without being silly prices!
We’re huge fans of TV show ‘Your Home in Their Hands’. Have you ever had to re-do any of the homes after a disastrous make over?
Of course not! Do you think any were disastrous? All the participants knew there was a risk at having their homes worked on by amateur designers and that is all part of the show, if they don’t like it afterwards, then unfortunately that’s the price you pay. To be honest, apart from a couple being a bit too “out there”, most of the results were an improvement on what the homeowners originally lived in anyway!
What words of wisdom will you be passing on to your two children?
Well, I’m a keen fan of Tony Robbins, and have been to his events. I love motivational stuff, so I do talk to my children in the same way and I tell them everyday that they can do ANYTHING they want to with their lives and be ANYONE they want to , they just have to want it enough.
What are your three top tips for looking incredible?
- (Thank you!) Keep fit and do some regular exercise. The amount of times I hear people saying they don’t have time… I do and I have a lot on my plate so it’s worth taking the time out.
- Eat well and healthily
- Laugh a lot and go out and have fun!
Share with us your favourite family recipe.
Pesto is my favourite. I make it from scratch with fresh basil, pine nuts, parmesan, garlic, olive oil , pepper and a pinch of salt and mixed with fresh pasta. It’s fantastic and very quick and simple.
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
My babys sleeping bags. I used them with both children and they are brilliant, as they baby stays so cosy all night instead of kicking off their blankets.
You’re heavily involved in charity work. Tell us a bit about the children’s charities you support and why they’re important to you.
I want to give something back – this is very important to me. It’s hard with charity work as there are so many more initiatives you could help, but I support quite a few charities for children, such as Great Ormond Street, Well Child and also Variety to name a few. I give my house in Barbados as a prize to Variety the children’s charity each year, and the great thing is it has bought the children a bus so that they can get out and about. When I hear how things like this change these childrens lives it means so much to me.
What’s in the pipeline for you next?
More TV next year, launching a new jewellery business, and my furniture range and lots of lovely interior design projects coming up!
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Hard working fair and determined!