Delphine Nicholls is a founding partner of ROI Relations whose impressive client list includes Club Monaco, Maybelline New York and The Body Shop. Launched over five years ago after her tenure at MAC Cosmetics, she has since had two littles, Laurier, 3 and Aleph, 14 months. She’s juggling a burgeoning business in a shifting industry (like advertising and media, PR is evolving to the world’s digital heartbeat) all while raising two toddlers. That’s a lot to manage, but this mom has also learned that the art of letting go quickly makes her days that much easier and enjoyable. Bravo.
“My dad was a Colonel in the military so he was a problem solver, a leader and a ‘doer’. My mother is more of a free spirit and the most positive person I know. They’re an amazing combination and because they are polar opposites, I’m able to understand where differences lie and how these differences can help me succeed in my work and my professional life.
For example, differences between my husband and I are what brought us together. When we first started dating, he told me he wanted to raise Jewish children and I’m a French-Catholic girl from Ottawa. I didn’t think about it much until we started getting serious and then when it came to commit, I was comfortable with it. However, we struck a compromise. He respects the fact that the French language is very important to me. Together we’ve committed to sending our children to French language schools and we speak French at home and he practices Hebrew with them as well. (I personally think it’s so important for growing minds to learn different languages).
“I find letting go is a big internal equalizer that helps me see the bigger picture, and most of all, be happier.”
At the end of the day, I’m not bothered by much. I let others lead on a lot of the decision-making, whether it’s my husband or my business partner, because I know and trust we’re generally on the same page and share similar values. And you have to remember, I’m also easy-going because it’s my job to put out fires often, so when I’m not doing that, I try to remain positive, figure out what’s worth fighting for and most importantly, figure out when to let go. I find letting go is a big internal equalizer that helps me see the bigger picture, and most of all, be happier.
I’m also never afraid to ask for help and I have an amazing support system around me. Neither of our families live close by, so we have a full-time nanny but I also made changes at work to help me keep up my career momentum. After we each had our second child, my business partner and I realized it was becoming too much, so we checked our egos at the door and stopped being involved in every business decision. We divvied up responsibilities that play to each of our strengths and hired senior account executives who can share the lead with us. They’re moms too and I find that together we’re all stronger.
I’ve always dreamed of being an entrepreneur and finally the timing was right in my career to take the leap a few years ago. I felt like I had experienced the dream corporate job and the only thing that could top it would be to own my own business. Although it comes with a bigger to-do list, especially with my growing family, I’ve welcomed the challenge of work-mom life. No one told me it was going to be easy and now that I’m in it, I think every mom deserves a medal for making it work.”
HOME TOUR A family home that’s sophisticated and full of surprises
A FAMILY AFFAIR
EAT MY DUST
COLOUR ME HAPPY
BEARER OF GOOD BOOKS
ART IN TRANSLATION
SHIFT TO NEUTRAL
WE’VE GOT LETTERS
ABA, ABA, ABA
MY FAVOURITE THINGS
“I describe my personal style as safe but elegant. I like to invest in staple pieces like a classic black dress pant and a button down silk blouse.” Her latest acquisition: A wrap-coat from Max Mara that will seriously last her a lifetime.
She has a healthy collection of black boots including a stiletto and studded pair from Michael Kors that she hopes will come back in style. “When I worked for MAC Cosmetics, I wore them to the Sundance Festival. I have a thing for wooden heels and studs and they just have a great memory for me of such an exciting event.” Moto boots, Frye and Chelsea boots, The Kooples.
When she’s not at work, she opts for a relaxed uniform of jeans (usually skinny jeans from The Gap or J Brand), a t-shirt and easy-to-wear boots like these lace-ups from Urban Outfitters. “Since becoming a mom, I don’t wear heels as much anymore, but I still have them for events.” Houndstooth pumps, J.Crew.
While her home is an exercise in colour and pattern, her wardrobe remains low-key and well-edited. “Even though I’m in PR, I don’t like to be the centre of attention and wouldn’t want to make a splash with what I’m wearing. I’d rather be noticed for my work and what I have to say.” Pleated skirt, Banana Republic, and relaxed moto jacket, Club Monaco.
What’s in her beauty tool kit? Purely Great Men’s Deodorant in Citrus. “I switched to an all-natural formula when I started breastfeeding, and I just like this scent best even though it’s for men.” Garnier Skin Active Micellar Water. “I’m obsessed with this because I’m lazy about removing makeup and this makes it so easy.” The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost. “It makes my skin feel so good and the scent helps me feel awake, especially if I’ve had a long night with the kids.” Batiste Dry Shampoo which she finds helpful to tame the baby hairs that tend to grow in around the hairline after having a baby. Rita Hazan Root Concealor to touch up greys that are just starting to show and Maybelline Colour Sensational Vivids Lipcolor in Vibrant Mandarin. “I get so many compliments when I wear this colour. It brightens up my mood and my complexion.”
Date Night In: More than 100 Recipes to Nourish your Relationship by blogger Ashley Rodriguez. “We try to make a menu at least once a week after the kids have gone to bed because it’s so much nicer and easier than going out, especially while we’re still waiting to get more sleep when they get older.” They’re first date night in? Dinner and a Movie on page 238 with a sun-dried tomato Caesar salad and a white pizza with sausage and pickled peppers.
“I’ve always wanted to commission a living wall but because of the lack of direct sunlight in our kitchen, we had to create a fake one. We’re going to build a real one in our backyard next summer.” Faux foliage designed by Amy Saleh at Pink Twig.