Photographer: Cleo Leather | Location: Locke's
Hair: Damian Philpott | Makeup: Gabi Zych
Words by Lucy Sanderson
Writing about inspirational people who are just like you and me is something that supersedes the fascination with some modern-day ‘Insta-heroes’. Real women who make things happen, who are self-starters that get right in the arena and bust a gut to get what they want, where they want, how they want. Chantelle Mundy is one such woman and we were thrilled that certain divine timing was afoot when we finally got round to meeting to do this interview. This home-girl is doing things on a global scale.
Like most people her age, Chantelle is a dab hand on social media, she is also very popular, amassing a following of almost 16k on Instagram and chatting on her stories to a vast audience on a daily basis. Unlike most people her age though, her social media output is far from what makes Chantelle popular, or successful. It’s more of a by-product of her actual life, which at only 23 years is shaping up to be exactly what she intends it to be; full of experiences, positivity, resilience, growth and happiness. I mean, we all intend to make that our goal, but it’s true what’s said about getting back what you put in. Chantelle’s a prime example of the saying, ‘she decided she could, so she did’…
From La Moye Primary School to Le Quennevais and then Hautlieu, the former Miss Jersey loved her final school and found it full of opportunities. Being somewhat of a creative, Hautlieu provided a place to thrive. In her teens, Chantelle wanted to be a model and her ambition was to appear on the cover of a magazine; now that’s one thing off her list! As we chatted over dreams and goals, Chantelle said, “My younger self would be ecstatic about this!”
Chantelle’s vibe makes her a delight to be around… Our interview started over breakfast and coffees at Locke's, one of her favourite places to work and chill in town. It ended a few weeks later at the same place, after lots of chat and genuine candour, plus more chatter fuelled by Locke's coffee and cake.
From school to her early life at home, Chantelle grew up to embrace a challenge and her inspiration from family is a great motivator. “My dad runs a really successful business, which he built from scratch, he’s my business mentor and hero.” Chantelle’s mum worked as a teaching assistant until she retired and her older brother, Matthew works for RBC, “We’re so totally different, with chalk and cheese careers and interests, but it works.” Chantelle is close with her family and undoubtedly, the sturdy foundation at home enabled her to be the determined and enterprising young woman that she continues to be.
“I adore my parents, they’re inspirational, incredible people and I have a huge family living up north. My dad is from Oldham in Manchester and was a twin of three sets of twins so I have loads of cousins! My mum is my absolute best friend. I take all of my wild ideas to her and she always encourages me to go for it, even if it’s as mad as wanting to enter Miss World!”
Setting off for Canada at only nineteen, Chantelle went to study Film Production in Vancouver for a year intensive, learning everything from scriptwriting to filming and editing, production and cinematography. “It was super intense and I would study every day and most weekends for three months and then get one week off, and this was the routine for one year; three months intensive work, rewarded with one week off, and so on… Three classes a day, three hours each. It was incredible and I made some amazing friends and some work I’m really proud of. I think the Film Production course is rated the best in the world.”
Gritty determination and hard work win again, and Chantelle used the experience and qualifications to propel herself toward a freelance career. Maplerock Studios is Chantelle’s day job. She films for an array of clients locally and off-island and loves what she does.
Interestingly, the girl who wanted to be in front of the camera is fantastic in her role behind the lens too. Capturing moments, making memories and telling stories is Chantelle’s passion. Working for herself and being incredibly busy with charity work is something that requires a lot of discipline and motivation. Ensuring balance and good mental health is a priority that Chantelle not only embraces for herself but weaves into her charitable projects. She’s a self-starter, that’s for sure.
“There is always more to learn, there are always things on the to-do list, and you’ll always want to be better and do better, however your health isn’t guaranteed in life. So you’ve got to take care of yourself.”
In fact, it’s all about better mental health and resilience for Chantelle and she practices what she preaches too. “I spent a lot of my teen years worrying about the way I look, how thin I was and whether or not I was pretty enough. I was told at film school by one of my lecturers (she was this strong go-get it woman) who I really looked up to that, “It doesn’t matter the way you look but that you have talent. That talent won’t count for anything unless you put that on the table before anything else. Looks can come second." It’s true, and I’ll keep battling my fluctuating self-esteem but I’m learning to take my time and my talent and figure out what I can contribute to this world, that’s what’s actually important. I don’t care that I’m not a size 6 as long as I’m healthy!”
After co-founding local charity, ‘Thrive’ which is a hub for other mental health charities, Chantelle is working on a new goal with The Resilience Development Company, a local non-profit that provides resilience training amongst many other hugely important services to the island. “In my eyes, this is the answer; the key to helping others with their mental health and by teaching resilience skills, we can instil knowledge and understanding within our own minds - powerful enough to restructure our society’s entire perspective of mental health. I mostly want to educate people about how you can help somebody who is feeling suicidal, what you can say, helpful language, actions you can take…” Chantelle is devoted to her role in helping bring the matter of better mental health to the forefront of Jersey’s wellness agenda.
As if managing her own business and working with life-changing charities wasn’t enough, Chantelle’s next big adventure is taking on the world: Miss World, to be exact.
Chantelle is now working to bring the Miss World competition to Jersey and if she wins, then quite literally, she’ll have the whole world in her hands.
The Miss World Organization owns and manages the annual Miss World Finals, a competition that has grown into one of the world's biggest. Since its launch in 1951, the Miss World organisation has raised more than £250 million for charities. Miss World is franchised in more than 100 countries. The Beauty with a Purpose program is a registered charity and a non-profit organisation associated with Miss World created by Julia Morley. It raises money and participates in humanitarian projects across the world. Hundreds of millions of pounds have been raised and donated to local and international organisations to aid disadvantaged children the world over.
"A huge part of the Miss World competition is the 'Beauty with a Purpose' round. It awards the contestant with the most relevant and important charity project in her nation. If I was fortunate enough to get as far as being about to compete in Miss World, then winning this part of the competition would be the goal. To be rewarded with the help of the Beauty with a Purpose organisation, would mean them coming over and assisting us with putting mental health at the forefront. They could change things for the island in an incredible way."