Since graduating, Charlotte has been a regular – and popular – sight on London’s South Bank, charming tourists and locals alike with her vocal talents as she busks in all weathers. If you have visited the capital, it’s likely you will have seen or heard her performing.
We recently shared her story in Southampton Connects Alumni & Supporters, in which she told us about how her degree gave her the skills she needed to forge her own path in a field she is passionate about.
This feature opened up another opportunity for Charlotte, and she found herself benefiting from her Southampton degree once again, six years after graduating.
After reading about her work, co-founder of Caffè Nero and Southampton alumnus Paul Ettinger (BSc Physics and Astronomy, 1980) got in touch with Charlotte to ask if her music could be played in Caffè Nero stores across the world.
“I saw Charlotte’s story in Southampton Connects Alumni and I recognised her name,” says Paul.
“After going back over some old emails, I discovered she had actually been recommended to me by one of our area managers who had heard her busking in London. I listened to her music, and it was perfect for playing in Caffè Nero, so I emailed her, and that was it!
“I say to all entrepreneurs and musicians I meet that networking is critical. Just by being a part of the Southampton alumni network, Charlotte will now be played in 800 Caffè Neros in 10 countries across the world, which is great public exposure for her.”
Charlotte’s skills resonated with Paul on multiple levels. Not only was her music perfect for his stores, but it tapped into another passion of his; one which he has extended beyond his management of Caffè Nero’s music department.
“About a year ago I started up a music company called TalentBanq, which looks after unsigned artists,” he explains. “We have actually just released our first single from another musician we discovered who also started as a busker, called Joe Slater. It’s a very exciting time.”
Charlotte is delighted at the prospect of her music being heard by coffee lovers across the world.
“I was so surprised to hear from Paul and so thrilled at the idea of hearing my music in Caffè Nero stores!” she says.
“It was also such a positive thing to hear that he had actually heard my name before and the article reminded him to get in touch. It’s a really good reminder to keep doing what you’re doing and remember that it is a combination of all your hard work over time that brings success.”
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