#Girlboss: Camille Thioulouse on motherhood, running her own business and the juggle



“Being a mother is learning the strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you didn’t know existed,” says Sydney-based communications consultant and mother of two (Anaïs, 19 months, and Raphaël, eight weeks) Camille Thioulouse...

Having worked with brands such as Tiffany & Co.,Hermés, Moët & Chandon, Collette Dinnigan and Ralph Lauren as well as digital influencers such as Nicole Warne from Gary Pepper Girl; Amanda Shadforth from Oracle Fox and Tash & Elle from They All Hate Us, Thioulouse is one of the industry’s most in-demand publicists.

“I’ve been able to build my consultancy business Communiqué around my family life, which is really a dream come true,” she says. “The pros of running your own business are flexibility, being able to work when you need to work and also being able to be there for your children. I also love that I am able to choose who I work with. I work with so many inspiring people, all who are pushing the boundaries and achieving great things – it’s exciting.” She also admits that running your own business can be challenging at times. “There is no turning off,” she says. “I have to consciously make an effort to put my phone down and be present when I’m with my family.” We visited Thioulouse and her children at home to find out more about how she juggles work with motherhood, her experience with miscarriage and IVF, her approach to health and wellbeing and more.

Photography: Grace Alyssa Kyo | Hair and makeup: Sarina Zoe | In association with Maxi-Cosi Australia


On her background...

As soon as I finished university, I moved to London and started working at Coca-Cola in marketing. It was a dream job and incredible training, working for one of the most iconic brands in the world. I was lucky enough to work with some inspiring people who really pushed and encouraged me and it was at Coca-Cola that I developed a passion for PR and worked on projects with Matthew Williamson, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

Since being back in Australia, I’ve worked at several leading PR agencies, working with brands including Tiffany & Co.,Hermés, Moët & Chandon, Collette Dinnigan, David Jones and Ralph Lauren. A career highlight for me would be working with Roger Federer as the ambassador for Moët & Chandon – he was an absolute delight and a true gentleman to work with.

My business Communiqué has taken me to Paris, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. I’ve also shot covers with Nicole Warne for Harpers BAZAAR Singapore and the Qantas Magazine – definitely a career highlight for me. I also recently worked on a TV show on Style Network with Tash & Elle called Style Squad – it was an incredible learning experience and I’m really proud of what we achieved.


On her career after children...

When I went on maternity leave with my first child, I decided I didn’t want to return to my role as the PR Director for an agency – I just couldn’t see how I would be able to manage the demands of a baby with that type of role. About six weeks after I had my daughter Anaïs, I started getting phone calls asking me if I was available for projects and that’s when I started my consultancy business Communiqué. After I had my second child Raphaël, I took a small break and scaled back some of my clients, but seeing as it’s my own business, I don’t really have the luxury of stepping out full time. I also had Raphaël around the time that Style Squad went to air so there have been a lot of PR requirements around this. Raphaël went to his first photo shoot when he was about two weeks old! I guess that is also the beauty of owning your own business – you can make the rules and work with clients who understand that there may be times that you might need to bring the baby to a photo shoot.

I’ve been really blessed that everyone I work with is understanding of my situation as a mother and business owner. The nature of the industry, also means it’s not just 9am-5pm anymore and whilst I am generally not available between the hours of 5pm – 7pm (the witching hour when I’m feeding and bathing two small children), my clients know that if they need to speak to me at 10pm at night, they can get me on the phone.


On her business...

I was never the person that wanted to have my own business – it wasn’t really a driving factor for me but then when I had a baby, I realised I still wanted to work and I wanted the flexibility to be able to do both, and also be a mother. I generally don’t work on Fridays so that I can enjoy the day with my children. There’s that saying that says, “Chose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” which I think is something that resonates with me since starting my consultancy. I am really passionate about the people and brands I work with, and I’m lucky enough to love what I do.


On keeping a routine...

With my first child, Anaïs, I have been super strict with a routine and we still have a routine now at 20 months old. Since having Raphaël, we have to be more flexible, such is the nature of having a 19 month old and an eight week old. We tend to go with the flow a bit more; more sleeps in prams and in the car than I did with Anaïs, but we make sure he is in bed every night at 7pm. Both kids are down at 7pm and it’s something I am quite strict about. Raphaël usually does a dream feed at 10.30pm and then he is generally waking only once in the night which is pretty fantastic for an eight week old! I got my amazing midwife and sleep specialist, Jane Surgenor in when Raphaël was six weeks old, and she has helped set us up with a routine, which fits in around the demands of a toddler. I’m all about getting help from an expert, if it means we get more sleep at night!

Before I had Raphaël, I used to worry about how I would manage with two young babies. What I’ve realised is that you have to take each day and each moment as it comes… sometimes the afternoons with dinner and bathing, work like clockwork and everyone is happy, fed and washed. Other nights, it’s chaos… toddler tantrums, baby crying, mummy crying and it all falls apart. But then I remember that tomorrow is a new day, and hopefully it will be better than the last.


On motherhood...

It’s the most rewarding and most challenging thing in the world and I feel so blessed that I have two wonderful, healthy children. My priorities have changed since becoming a mother and my family is everything to me – I try and not sweat the small stuff. I love the simple things like watching my daughter delight in seeing the animals at the Zoo or chasing the waves at the beach. And when she throws her arms around me and gives me a cuddle or when my son smiled at me for the first time recently, it makes my heart melt.


On the safety of her children...

As a mother, I never stop worrying – my mum used to say to me prior to becoming a mother, “You’ll understand when you are a mother” and now I definitely do! Safety is of paramount importance, particularly when we are driving. I love the new Maxi-Cosi Moda convertible car seat as it has Air Protect Side Impact Protection which is the only infant car seat which has this specification. The Maxi-Cosi Moda also has the added bonus of using ‘cool baby’ wicking fabric which is essential with the hot Australian summers; and is also super stylish. My daughter used to have a habit of pulling the straps down on car seats, but since using the Maxi-Cosi Moda, she is happy in her car seat as it’s so comfortable and also the safest seat on the market. She’s able to stay in this seat until she’s four years old.


On miscarriage...

I suffered several miscarriages before conceiving Anaïs through IVF. It was the most challenging and heartbreaking time in my life and something that I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I count myself lucky that we were finally blessed with two beautiful children – we really are very fortunate that we were able to create a family as there are so many other people who are struggling with this.  Miscarriages and infertility can be such a lonely and confusing time – it’s not something that is talked about. I’ve always been open about it as when it happened to me, people would whisper that they had experienced it too and I couldn’t understand why is there so much shame around this, and why it’s not talked about.


Anaïs wears printebebe dungarees, $75, and top, $45


On going through IVF...

Given what I’d been through with the miscarriages, IVF was weirdly, a relief… I felt relieved that this was now in someone else’s hands and that there was a doctor and team of scientists managing this and who were going to assist me in bringing a baby in to the world. It was incredibly emotional, I was hormonal and not myself – I was also carrying extra weight so I wasn’t feeling great about myself but I was focused on the end goal of having a baby. For someone who was scared of needles prior to IVF, I found the daily needles to be quite therapeutic (as strange as that sounds). I visualised that every time I had to inject myself, I was getting closer and closer holding my baby in my arms. Raphaël was conceived naturally, but given my history with miscarriages, I was put on IVF drugs until I was 20 weeks. I think I held my breath for nine months as I didn’t quite trust that the natural pregnancy would work out. The relief when I held him for the first time was beyond words.


On her approach to health and wellbeing...

I have always been someone who exercised and I recently just got back to the gym post giving birth. It’s my time out from work and the babies and I love how it makes me feel, physically and mentally. I go to Flow Athletic in Paddington which has a mix of yoga, spin and TRX, and a great community vibe! Being a mum with limited time, it’s the perfect gym for me as it’s a short walk away with a multitude of classes at any time of the day. I also regularly see a naturopath, Kate O’Flynn, who I have been seeing now for about nine years. I am a big believer in wellness and the powers of naturopathy – it keeps me balanced when I’m juggling a busy lifestyle, managing a business and a family.


On raising bi-lingual children...

My husband, Nicolas, is French and his family don’t speak any English so it’s really important that our children are raised French speaking. Nicolas is amazing – he only speaks to the children in French and he is so patient with Anaïs and loves teaching her words. Anaïs is only just starting to talk and say a few words – she knows all the animals in French and English. She seems to understand French just as well as English, if not better and she watches Peppa Pig in French. It’s so cute! I hope our children realise how lucky they are when they grow up to have the gift of two languages.


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