Who is Esther?
your Questions and my Answers
Q 1. ESTHER, WHO ARE YOU?
A. Here is the short version. I am The Brave Branding and Business Queen! The founder of the Brave Branding Movement that started with me writing The Wonderfully Weird Woman's Manual and has grown into an international movement of amazing action-taking female entrepreneurs who are Brave, vulnerable, smart, sensitive
I'm also a Business Soul Whisperer, a Business Doula - my clients words - the founder of the Brave Branding and business programs, a business strategist, a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt and friend.
Every brave woman is different. In my case I'm an introverted catalyst, a loud-mouthed introvert. A Highly Sensitive Person who happens to be a very intuitive empath. A multi-racial woman of color. A buyer of way-too-many art supplies and books, a quick-witted, very smart creator, and very often the Odd-One-Out. Yay to all the Black Sheep! We are often the ones who bring change, insight and transformation.
I am a personal brand, marketing, communication and design Expert, an Art Historian, Certified Transformational Coach and Counselor who lives and works on an old farm in the North of the Netherlands.
I’ve got a 27 + year corporate track record in the field of International Culture, Arts & Design and as consultant and manager with Big Brands like KLM, ING Banking and the Red Cross and small idealistic brands.
I know the online business world like the back of my hand and I'm sort of a new media freak - I can make websites and code with my eyes closed.
I love opera with bad endings, hot jasmin tea… and art (with a passion!) chocolate, books, drawing, red lipstick, long philosophic talks, laughter attacks and shoes.
Q. WHO ARE YOUR CLIENTS?
A. My clients are business owners from over 67 different countries. They live all over the globe, in big cities and tiny villages, at the sea, in the mountains . . .
. . . and they are amazing.
They are brave entrepreneurs. Being fully authentic is very important to them. They desire build their business on their own terms!
Many are entrepreneurs with established business, making multiple 100K figures and changing the world every day. Some are just starting out. Some are well-known, many will be well-known.
Their businesses are growing because THEY are growing. The magic mix of self-worth, consistent action, showing up, connection is They connect to their soul clients, or because they are leading a tribe that grows day by day.
My clients long to co-create big changes, or to take a small step towards big change. To go from feeling stuck, indecisive and perfectionistic to that wonderful state of flow and ease, where it feels like they are the ones who are in control. Or to step into that very important next level.
While remaining fully aligned to their brave personality and their Soul's Purpose.
They are smart - really smart - sensitive, and have a gazillion ideas, passions and interests.
Somehow they decided to come home to their Soul. They said “Enough is enough, I need change in order to move forward. Real Change.”
That took guts. And heaps of self-love. If you want to meet them come over to the Brave Business Academy!
Read some of their recommendations here.
Q. WHO ARE THE BRAVE TEAM MEMBERS?
A. When you work with Esther you are going to meet *at least* these amazing people
You will meet Martina Brueggemann who will take care of you in the Brave Business Academy. She is the one who leads the accountability circles and will answer all your questions.
Martina is an amazing highly-trained and experienced health coach who brings health back into the lives of busy entrepreneurs and worked international as a Manager of Super Large Online and Offline Projects
You will also meet Rik Hoving (he's the one who does the customer service, so if you start working with us, you most definitely will receive emails from him)
Rik is the leading expert on custom cars (google him!), graphic designer and a high-end photoshop wizard - he also happens to be Esther's husband!
Q. WHAS YOUR LIFE AND BUSINESS PATH A PROVERBIAL BED OF ROSES?
A. No. it was not.
Though I’m very happy, content, and successful my life has not always been sunshine and pink candy. The black of depression ruled my life for 10 long years. 10 Years without clarity, happiness or purpose. And mostly 10 years without any self-worth and self-love.
But the good thing is that this dark period generously provided me with all the compassion and love I need to really help others - who lack self-love and self-compassion to step in their own beautiful light.
In 2014 I left the partnership at a prestigious consultancy I was in. One day I just got up and left. Because it suffocated me to not fully be ME. In that process I lost all my money and clients and had to rebuilt my business from the ground.
Though I was happy to have taken that decision (never having to fight over a business that I didn't love was bliss) it took me a very long time to really make it.
Do you know why? I had no support.
Getting the right support changed my business within months from invisible to clients from all over the world. It's probably one of the best decisions I have ever taken (the best decision was getting married to that introverted guy who supported me all the way and us becoming parents).
Q. WHAT ARE YOUR ACCOMPLISHMENTS?
Q. What did you study and what kind of work have you done?
EDUCATION + TRAINING 1987- 2020
* I always work with several business coaches
Trust me, you can't build your business without a coach who sees you, understands you and can take you to your next level.
*MoMA new York
Art & Activity Strategies for Engaging with Art
* Penn State University
Creativity, Innovation & Change
* Coaching In Culture, the Netherlands
* Academy for Coaching & Councelling
Certified Transformational Coach & Counselor
* Universitas Andalas (Padang, Indonesia) and University of Leiden
Indonesian Language and Culture
* University of Amsterdam
MA Art History
MA Communication Science
* ARTEZ Institute of the Arts
Q. WHERE DID YOU WORK?
THIS IS MY WORK EXPERIENCE
(at least some of it...)
* Member of the Board of Directors for Amsterdam Libraries
Books, media, communication and being in charge (what's not to like!)
* Dutch TV VPRO
Program Production in the Netherlands and Indonesia
* European Union & Dutch Institute for Design
International Project Communication (with Royal Academy of Arts London, Domus Academy Milano, Vienna, Amsterdam)
* Total Identity/Total Design Agency for Branding and Design
Content Management & Communication for Brands like ING Banking, Fortis Banking, Dutch Ministeries, KLM and many more.
* International Art Gate Foundation
Organizer and curator International Art Exhibitions in the Netherlands, Australia, and Indonesia.
* dECharon consultancy & communication / groot Hart communicatie Identity I Design I Branding
I am an entrepreneur since 2002. My clients were City Councils of Amsterdam, Haarlem and Utrecht, Dutch Design Institute, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Pastoe furniture, New Media Institute, Community Institutes,
Art Council, Dutch Architecture Fund, GreenWish, Red Cross, Rabobank, Liesbeth van der Pol Architects and many more ...
* Esther de Charon de Saint Germain, Soul Whisperer + Brave Branding & Business Queen
Read the more complete list on Linkedin
Q. WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Q. Where have you lived? Where do live now?
A. I have lived in Yogyakarta and Padang Indonesia, The Hague, and Arnhem and for over 25 years in the centre of Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Since 2009 I live in a tiny village in the rural part of the Netherlands, in the province of Drenthe. (near the largest Hunebed of Europe!) It is a village of 129, mainly farmers families who have lived here for many generations.
Q. WHO ARE YOUR LOVED ONES?
A. I am married to Rik Hoving, who is a custom car historian, designer, and the author of books and a huge amount of research on custom cars (and a Brave! Team member). We have an 15 year old son called Abe (which is not short for Abraham but a Frisian name that is pronounced something like ‘Ahbu’)
Don’t get me started on explaining how much I love Rik and Abe, because it will take up all the space on my website.
Anyway, there are always animals around and right now we 'have' two cats, called Leeloo Dallas Multipass and Marie who - very cat like - both treats us like servants. We live and work in an old farm in the middle of the farm fields.
We (try to) grow our own organic vegetables. And since we LOVE city life, travel all the time to cities like London, Paris, Antwerp, Amsterdam, Berlin (yes mostly by train - because we also try to live as environmental friendly as possible with a vegan lifestyle.)
Q. IS YOUR NAME REALLY DE CHARON DE SAINT GERMAIN?
A. Yes, that's my real name.
About 5 centiliter of ‘real Dutch blood’ runs through my veins. My father is from Indonesia, he was born in the time when Indonesia was a Dutch colony called the “Dutch Indies”. Meaning we are ‘Indo’s’.
After the Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve in 1572 the French Huguenot family de Charon de Saint Germain fled from France to the Netherlands. From there they traveled to the former Dutch Indies.
Pretty soon my great grandmother (this part of the story depends on whom tells the story) had an affair with an Indonesian prince (or maybe he was a gardener). Out of wedlock she got a beautiful brown skinned multi-racial baby. And that’s where I come from.
My mother is half Swiss, and I was brought up with the idea that everybody on this earth is first a human being, then a cosmopolite and only than an inhabitant of a country.