Charlotte and Tomal: “We met in Varley Halls. Now we’re married with two children”
As part of our Brighton Effect campaign running throughout March and April, Charlotte and Tomal Syeda-Aguirre shared their story with us to show just how much meeting at university 12 years ago has impacted their lives both personally and professionally.
Here husband-and-wife team Charlotte and Tomal Syeda-Aguirre, of Soul Spaces, talk about their passion project, balancing family with work, and how their coincidental meeting at Brighton shaped their future in ways they couldn’t have imagined.
Q. How did your experience at Brighton bring you to where you are now personally or professionally?
Charlotte: Brighton opened so many doors for me, not just through the education I received but from the people I met. My course gave me the skills to understand how a business works and how to create effective marketing campaigns, which has helped me in all of my jobs since graduating.
I also met my husband Tomal (co-founder of Soul Spaces with fellow alumnus Joseph Gillam) at university. We met in Varley Halls and 12 years later we are married with two children aged 3 and 1-and-a-half years-old.
Tomal: I met my wife, my business partner and our first Soul Spaces’ hire at university!
Q. Tell us something you are proud of that you have achieved since graduating.
Charlotte: I have worked in marketing roles since graduating and covered lots of different areas within the ‘marketing’ remit, but something I am particularly proud of is creating the first Soul Spaces website to get them up and running whilst on maternity leave. This website took many nights of brainstorming, building and editing to get something that would showcase what the team are capable of and what they can offer to clients.
Tomal: Starting my own business is the biggest achievement of my professional career – it has given me a platform to enjoy working and I am excited by what we are building.
Q. Share a memory from your time at Brighton.
Charlotte: Where it all started: Varley Halls. This place created so many positive happy memories. It can be a nervous time, moving to a new place not knowing anyone but I made so many lifelong friends in Varley Halls including the Soul Spaces team Tomal, Joe and Nathan. Spending time at the Var Bar or even just in our flats we created so many belly-laugh memories.
Tomal: My first day will always be so memorable. Being nervous and scared walking into Balcombe, entering the communal kitchen to meet new people. It was on my first day I met Joe my business partner and Nathan our first hire. We instantly hit it off and have been friends ever since!
Q. What does success mean to you?
Charlotte: Doing something I love every day that still gives me the flexibility to bring up my two small children, which is exactly what Soul Spaces has allowed.
Tomal: Being happy, being proud of what I am doing and creating… enjoying going to work!
The Brighton Effect is not just one thing you can place a finger on, it’s the possibilities and exciting places our connections can take us to. We look forward to hearing how Soul Spaces progresses in 2023.