Cindy Charles, realtor, producer, mother, and wife chats about seeing dreams come true, the importance of celebrating, and her journey towards creating
the much needed talk show - Sister Talk.
Photo by Candice Pantin
Tell us a bit about yourself and your journey into real estate.
I am a woman who loves to make my own rules. Entrepreneurship was a great way to do so. After a bit of trial and error in other fields, I discovered that real estate was the perfect middle ground between entrepreneurship and the 9 to 5 world. You’re very independent but you still have access to the structure and support of an office or team. Becoming a mom had a lot to do with my decision to go into real estate as well. I felt like it would give me the time and financial flexibility to be the kind of mom I wanted to be. Being a mom actually influences just about all my business decisions, including the shows I create.
Share some details about your show, Sister Talk, and the inspiration fueling it. What can viewers expect?
Sister Talk is a talk show where people can find real, unscripted, authentic conversations. It’s definitely not about being politically correct! The idea was simply to let the cameras be a fly on the wall during a girls' night. So, like any girls' night, there’s a lot of laughter; we jump from one topic to another. There might be a little bit of male bashing here and there, but it’s all in good fun. The second season coming up is a bit lighter and spicier than Season 1. The questions are chosen at random and it just happened that this season has more relationship questions.
My personal goal for Sister Talk is to showcase a
diverse group of professional black women in a positive light. I created the show with the intention of pitching it to TV networks, as I did with my first talk show, Couch Talk. I felt like diversity is something that is still lacking in Canadian media and I wanted to show people something different from the stereotypical portrayal of black women in television.
What obstacles did you face while producing the show and how did you manage to overcome them?
Similar to most entrepreneurial ventures, the hardest part is always funding. The other thing I find challenging is when you’re one person wearing several hats managing all the moving parts of a production; it can be quite difficult to please everyone. In terms of overcoming these obstacles…well, it is an ongoing process. In terms of funding, I back my production personally and then work on recouping my costs through donations, sponsors and investors. Filming is the easy part, the business side of it is the part that will test your patience.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business as an entrepreneur?
Real estate in general has been a blessing. My only regret is not starting sooner. Every time my clients go to the notary, especially first-time buyers, I feel a sense of accomplishment. Those days, I always have a glass of champagne at home to celebrate. It's also why I give a bottle of champagne to all of my buyers after they close a deal; it’s not easy completing your first investment. As an entrepreneur, whenever I have an idea and I see it come to life, I find it really satisfying because a lot of people talk about their dreams but very few actually take any actions towards making them come true.
As a producer, a big moment was when my first show, Couch Talk, was picked up and produced by Bell Media TV network. Seeing an idea on the television screen that used to just be in my head really opened my eyes to the possibilities.
Define success in your own words and share a major factor that keeps you focused.
Success to me is simply loving what you do and being able to make a living out of it. What keeps me motivated is myself and my daughters. I didn’t have the easiest childhood so thriving despite that is quite fulfilling. Like Beyoncé says, “the best revenge is your paper”...lol. My daughters keep me focused because I want to provide the best for them. I want them to be inspired to reach for the stars.