Get the best of CF straight to your inbox.

Subscribe, sit back, and let your mind travel.

CF Enfants

How She Does It: Sophia Chikovani, Founder Of Code8 Beauty

In our How She Does It column, we speak to inspirational mothers about work-life balance, their favourite travel destinations, travelling with children, and how they really do it all.

For mums on the go, a fuss-free, high-performance and long-lasting make-up brand is the on-the-go handbag essential you really need. With the philosophy of beauty simplified, we speak to founder of Code 8 Beauty Sophia Chikovani about her life and her brand. A very busy mother of 3, she the tells us about the importance of time for yourself, living in the everyday, and the restaurant she would take a plane for (with or without her kids). 

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am the Owner and Creative Director of makeup brand Code8, which launched four years ago. For the last 10 years my family and I have lived in London with our 3 children, aged 21, 16 and 7. Before this we lived in Georgia, where both my husband and I are originally from.

What’s your working life like?

I started working when I was 19, juggling university and a job, always wanting to mix studying with hands-on experience from a young age. I founded an interior design company in 2001 as design and architecture had always fascinated me; both continue to play an important role in my life today (I could spend hours looking at décor options for our houses!) I then entered the world of cosmetics in 2017, going onto launch Code8 in 2019.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Code8 Beauty (@code8beauty)

What inspires you in your career?

Challenges and small success moments. Without this, it is hard to stay motivated and grow as a person. I thrive on challenges and the effort and hard work that it takes to overcome them, whether personal or work-related.

Which three items help you juggle everything?

My mobile phone, for sure, but I could not survive without a comfy pair of shoes and my notebook.

If you could give your past self one piece of advice about being a working mother, what would it be? 

Be forgiving with oneself. Find a good balance. It is hard but make sure you spread your attention in a way that makes you happy. Divide your hours as well as the energy you have to give. My business is my 4th child, it needs love, care, and attention as much as my real kids. My children truly understand that I am a working mum and they appreciate what it takes to build a brand, they are very supportive and proud of me which means the world.

Have your career goals and aspirations altered since becoming a working mum?

When my first child was born, I was 25 and I launched my interior design company in the same year; my family and career were literally growing together. It just happened this way and – luckily – it was and remains a rather smooth interaction, the two always interweaving naturally. My career goals and aspirations were shaped by being a working mum from the very start, everything happened simultaneously, and I had to take up the challenge. Looking back, I would say I didn’t overthink things – I didn’t have the time to – which was for the best!

If you had the power to change one thing for working mothers, what would you change? 

Reduce the number of emails coming from schools! With 3 kids in 3 different schools, it means an overwhelming amount of admin, letters, and emails on top of those I dealt with day-to-day at work.

If you have a day to yourself, what do you do?

I find the most satisfaction in living everyday as a ‘day to myself’, whether alone, with my family or at the office. If alone, it completely depends on my mood but anything from shopping to sitting at home and reading books or watching a TV series; it is always dictated by how I feel on the day. I am not a fan of planning in advance, I like to live – literally – in the moment.

Heading ‘out out’ – where is your favourite spot?

I am not one for fancy places, but I love exquisite food. Depending on our mood, it can be anywhere from Los Mochis in London, a great Peruvian-Japanese fusion restaurant (I have my go-to order, Ceviche and Lobster Tacos) to Il Riccio or Aurora in Capri, their spaghetti vongole is worth travelling for.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Sophia Chikovani (@sophiachikovani)

Tell us about the best holiday you’ve taken with your children.

I love my children, but holidays are primarily for myself to have some rest. Even my husband is lucky to get invited! Of those that I have been on with them, during lockdown we were fortunate enough to have a boat which we sailed around Capri and The Amalfi Coast. Even though everything was deserted, it was an incredible experience and one we truly cherished as a family.

Favourite hotel with or without children? 

Especially since the renovation, Hotel Costes in Paris but also the foyer at the Four Seasons in Florence.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Hôtel Costes (@hotelcostes)

Top tips for London with children. 

This is a rather complicated task for us as my kids are in very different phases of their lives at present, but my youngest one is obsessed with London’s Natural History Museum and The National Gallery (I used to take her to the “magic carpet” storytelling on Sunday mornings).

Travel essentials with kids?

Our phones – not only does it allow us to keep ourselves preoccupied whilst we travel but we can also capture beautiful moments together once we arrive. I should also add fashionable sneakers; we all seem to share a passion for New Balance, Adidas Gazelles and Autry.

Your own travel essentials?

My skincare, lots of shoe options (I’m the type of person that has a bag dedicated to just them!) and sunglasses.

How do you think travel benefits your child? 

Travels benefits everyone, no matter your age. Exploring new places and cultures and discovering their cuisine, nature, and lifestyle gives them a broader knowledge of the world and how others live, and teaches them the importance of accepting different habits, beliefs and ways of living.

Travel essentials with kids?

Magic water colouring books, suncream, hat, iPad and snacks… all the snacks.

Dream family holiday destination and why?

Peru. Due to Mario Vargas – my absolute favourite living writer. The way he describes Peru in his novels makes me want to jump on a plane right this second. In my head I can already envision Lima, Mira Flores, Cusco, the list goes on. It is a dream to take the Belmond Hiram Bingham train from Cusco through the Sacred Valley up to the entrance of Machu Picchu.

Italy, however, is my all-time number one travel destination in the world. No matter the season or city. My favourite city is Florence – I have been before but would love to return again as a family.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Code8 Beauty (@code8beauty)

The best advice you would give to other mothers?   

Be patient and try to not let stress overwhelm you. When you stress, it shows and affects both your work and your family. It is not always easy, but we should try to balance work and family life as much as possible, leaning into each as and when necessary. It is healthier for your children as well; seeing their mum happy and full of energy will motivate and balance them. Also take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about doing something like going on holiday without them. Most mothers would never even dream of doing something like this, but I assure you the benefits it has upon your return make it more than worth it!

How do you do it? 

Just do it. Go with the flow. I had to and it actually turned out to be a rather successful “no strategy = strategy”.

We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site. 

You May Also Like

Any Questions or Tips to add?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *