Celeste Dickason – Cilla Bloom Photography

by Claire Minnaar

Tell us a bit about YOU and your family (where you are based, single / married, number of kids, etc)

I am a now single (divorced) Mommy of the most amazing little 3 year old boy… which means I now also mother 2 cute dogs, 1 very cool cat and 2 well, not-so-exciting fish – Shark-bait and Gill. We live in Jozi. I am a marketing consultant and photographer. I am discovering life and unconditional love. I have the most amazing family and friends. I love travelling, socializing, music, cycling and playing golf. I am blessed!!

I started working from home as a marketing consultant when my son was 7 months old. I was on maternity leave for 6 months, was retrenched in month 5 of my maternity leave, (which turned out to be a blessing in disguise!) so I now worked from home, raising my little love myself. Eeeeck!! Challenging!

In March 2009 my life was turned upside down when the love of my life left… It’s been two years of growing and crying and forgiving and living… and starting my own business!!

What is the name of your company and when did you start your business?

*stomach in, chest out* Cilla Bloom Photography! *BIG PROUD SMILE*

We are still in the teething phase – (very similar to my son’s teething experience) and dreams became a reality last year, 2010. We love natural light photography – capturing the essence of what makes you special in the comfort of your own home or favourite outdoor spot, but also have a studio.

[I say we, because a very good and dear friend of mine and I are business partners, both photographers]

We offer the following (and we are completely in love with all of them!):

  • In the making – maternity photography
  • In the beginning – newborn photography
  • In essence – family photography
  • In time – special occasions and events, like birthday parties, photo booths, kitchen teas, baby showers, etc
  • In fur – pet photography
  • In secret – boudoir photography
  • In matrimony – wedding photography
  • In the limelight – corporate photography

What inspired you to start your own business?

My passion and love of photography… and wanting to create something special!

What are the challenges you face or have faced being a working Mom and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge is to be a working Mom! 🙂 Because I am so passionate about what I do, and because the company is still so new… and because I am a single Mom – I make sure that there is a healthy balance – especially when it comes to my son.  I have a fantastic support system (that believes in me and my business) and this helps a lot!

What is the hardest part or have been some of your struggles starting your own business?

The photography market is saturated. Half the time I think I am crazy to do this! But I love it – actually I think I am obsessed with it! The struggle is to build up a customer base, to create fans and to constantly be better than the rest! Starting a business is tough! It is actually very similar to having a baby!

How do you balance your business and your family?

I make sure the time I spend with each is quality time.

What or whom has been the greatest support for you and your business?

My business partner Carina (who just had a baby girl), my family and friends. I am totally spoilt with an amazing family and very, very special friends.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

Wayyyy back, I should’ve studied photography full time… But that’s about it! This journey has been amazing – I really think everything worked out just as it should’ve!

What advice can you give other Moms out there who are starting a new business?

Make sure you are going to love (doing) it – for the next 18years 🙂

Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that I may have missed?

Starting your own business and having a baby is similar in so many ways! Really wanting it badly, dreaming about it, and then finally getting it. In the beginning it is hard work and takes up so much of you and your time, but you love it more than anything in the world! And then it gets easier, but still has so many challenges and surprises… But it’s YOURS! You made it! You are proud of it, take extra special care of it and love it!

If other Moms would like to keep in touch, how can they contact you?

Website: www.cillabloom.co.za
Facebook: Cilla Bloom Photography
Twitter: @cilla_bloom
Email: cdickason (at) mtnloaded.co.za
Blog: www.iamcilla.wordpress.com

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NickiD May 10, 2011 - 11:09 am

A wonderful interview of an equally wonderful woman! Nice one Cilla!

Jana May 10, 2011 - 12:23 pm

Jy maak ons almal trots. Sterk enkel ma doin’ it like a rock star!!

Rudolf May 10, 2011 - 2:27 pm

Baie, baie nice. trots op jou !!!


Chris Rowan May 10, 2011 - 7:00 pm

You are amazing – and extremely focused and talented with lot’s of guts .
I wish you every success !

Cindy May 11, 2011 - 8:32 am

Thumbs up my friend! ! ! You inspire me on a daily basis 🙂 A friend is never a coincidence in your life, they are meant to enter your life to bring you joy and laughter. So, I will always treasure the friendship between us. And Joshie is so powerfully blessed to have a mother like you xxx

Linda May 11, 2011 - 1:11 pm

You are a truly blessed girl Cilla! I love everything you do and everything you say! Love you 2 bits.

Melanie May 12, 2011 - 7:31 am

Wow! Jy is so geseend en talentvol Celeste! Ek is blessed om jou te ken en weet jy gaan nog baie ver in die lewe kom!

Rene May 13, 2011 - 8:09 am

Jy is SO `n inspirasie!! Pragtige interview!!

Marion Wittet May 27, 2011 - 7:53 am

It’s actually Mike here for Marion.
Congratulations on the progress in your new life, Celeste.
It seems to have been difficult but very worthwhile for you in the last couple of years. Well done. I was given your web details by your very proud Dad.
This comes with love from Mike and Marion


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