What does it mean to be a woman in business?

Happy International Women’s Day to all you beautiful ladies out there!!

There’s so much to celebrate today and it’s all about us! YAY!

I really wanted to celebrate today with some serious girl power and get a real insight into what it’s really like to be a woman in business. So, what better way to do that than by asking girl bosses themselves, whether they have their own business or smashing it in their industry!

When I sat down to write my list of who to get in touch with I realised how many amazing women in business I know and how amazing and inspiring they all are!

So, I got in touch with as many as I could and asked two simple questions, and I got some incredible answers.

What does it mean to be a woman in business?

What would be your advice be to women in business be or to those thinking of starting their own business?
I really think you will all find this a super interesting read, be inspired, empowered and be proud to be in an amazing community of women who all support each other. Whether you are thinking of starting your own journey, you are on your journey or you simply love the meaning of girl power this is for you!
Sit tight, i’ts a long blog but my god its worth it! Enjoy xx
 
Sharon Cleasby
Founder and Stylist of Independent Boutique; RUNWAY.
Inspired the New York City Rock Collections of the 1970s.
Being a woman in business gives me the confidence & self belief that I can achieve the unachievable…
I love my business, I love my product.
It is that love that I keep strong!
Starting a business is one thing, keeping it going is another matter entirely.
Self belief is key, if you do not believe you will not succeed.
Always strive & push forward, remain humble & never be afraid to ask for help.
A successful business is not a sprint it’s a marathon…
Gillian Thomson-Woolley
Managing Director, AKA North and Scotland.
Named one of Manchesters Most Inspirational Women

For me, being a woman in business is extremely exciting. As a Managing Director with a global advertising agency, I have the pleasure of working with an amazing team of extremely talented people on some of the biggest entertainment brands in the world. Every day brings new challenges and I’m very lucky to be inspired and empowered by an amazing group of women, from my group CEO, to my wife, mum and sister, who support me and give me the strength to constantly strive to achieve more.

Whether you want to start your own business or progress within your current career, always follow your heart and go for it. I believe its better to have tried and things not work out than not to try at all. Be brave, challenge yourself and ultimately you will reap the rewards.

 

Sarah Thomson-Woolley
Executive Producer
The Great British Bake Off, The Great Pottery Throwdown, Take Me Out, Over the Rainbow.

When I started my career I’m so grateful to have worked with some really amazing, strong female bosses, and I try to carry that standard through my own career. I know now as a woman you can be a respected manager, and decision maker. You can be creative, warm and funny and above all, you can be hugely successful.
My advice is to always be yourself, it’s hard to keep up and act, and remember we are all a unique brand, so use it! Don’t be afraid of how others behave around you, or scared by their goals. Make your own goals and go for it. Be confident in your decisions, speak up with ideas but listen too. Earn respect don’t expect it.

 

Laura McGregor
Founder of Little Black Book.
 Luxury Women’s Online Fashion Boutique with handpicked luxurious and up and coming fashion brands/designers from around the world so you don’t need to. 

www.mylittlebb.co.uk @mylittlebbuk

It may sound cliche but empowered. I love that I’m part of a ‘girl gang’ where increasingly more women are making their entrepreneurial dreams a reality. I’m all for supporting other women in business and feel really lucky and fulfilled about being in charge of my own destiny  along with a lot of other amazing tough ladies.
My advice would be that you need to go into it with an open mind. Things are not always going to go to plan but it’s only through making mistakes that you will learn what works and what doesn’t. Also being resilient, authentic and most of all having a passion for what you do will give you the strength to make your business a success.

Kim Lumsdon
Make Up Artist to the stars, stage and film.
@kimlumsdon

When Kim asked me to answer these questions, I laughed because I didn’t really see myself as a woman working on my own business, but then thinking about it, I am.
I’m self employed, I go out and find my own work, and the way I’m perceived in that job could get me more work or less.
Being a woman in business means that I have the freedom to pick my jobs, hours and days. No two days are the same, which I love. I’m constantly meeting new and exciting people and visiting new places and locations. Everyday you are proving your worth, but it’s completely worth it, and extremely rewarding.
I’m great at giving advise, and sometimes I struggle to take it myself. But my advice would be to be confident in who you are and what you are passionate about, that will shine through in whatever you do. Whether you are serving coffee or the head of a company, you’ll always remember the person that was passionate and enjoyed what they were doing. Making yourself rememberable in a positive way is great for future opportunities. Also be prepared to not only be doing your ‘job’ but to be your own accountant, advertising, PR researcher and all round everything!

Mary-Cait Bristow-
Founder and Designer @ Black Widow Clothing
A 1960’s Rock n’ Roll inspired clothing with a tailored twist

www.blackwidowclothing.co.uk @blackwidowclothing

To be a woman in business it’s important to know who you are and what you stand for. In today’s world we have so many more opportunities than we did 100 years ago so I’m forever grateful and it’s important not to waste our potential. In the modern world that we live in today I feel it’s more important now than ever to strive and reach our goals. I’m so happy and proud to say I have my own business at 27, and I encourage all other woman to take a risk and just take that step. Get yourself organised and write your business goals down and create a plan that will help get you to where you want to be… stop procrastinating!!!

 

Penny Silver-Founder of Blossom Wellbeing.
Outstanding Holistic Therapist 2017,Reiki Master, EFT Practitioner, Mindful Meditation, Lover Of Essential Oils.
www.penelopesilver.co.uk @blossomwellbeingcheshire

Being a woman in business means to me being in total control of my own life and taking it wherever I want it to go.
I am in control of my own diary which means I can work my schedule around the children creating a more balanced mummy/work life and as a result the children and I are much happier and have a better relationship.
I am now offering coaching to women thinking of setting up their own business and through their first year of trading.
I decided to do this from my own experience; it’s really important to work on your mindset, delete the naysayers and take massive action, this isn’t always possible on your own. I found I could get so far, but needed a mentor to stretch me and push me that little bit further or I would have played small or given up but for I had started.
One of the mistakes I made was having too general an audience. One of the biggest pieces of work you can is working out who your ideal customer is; once you have tour target audience, creating content gets a whole lot easier.
Look after yourself. My favourite saying is
“If you don’t look after your mind body and soul where are you going to live”. Self care is so important, if you are not on your a-game you are not going to be able to serve your audience to the best of your ability.
Schedule in self care as part of your daily routine.

Camilla Dunn
Founder and Designer @ Milly Toots.
Handmade accessories & clothing for little people. Mummy of 4 little explorers.
@millytoots

I love having my own little business, my children are my motivation to push me to build up ‘Milly Toots’ and Lyla (my eldest age 8) is very proud of me when the orders come in which means alot. I think it’s important for my children to see I’m working hard to help fund days out, hobbies, etc to help to teach them the value of money and to appreciate my hard work.
I would say my advice is that if there’s something you’ve always wanted to do, then just go for it. I use my evenings for sewing orders so I don’t feel I’m missing out on any quality time with my 4 little ones.

Sophie Platt
Founder of The Platinum Skin Clinic.
GDC (reg) MEDICALLY & HARLEY ST TRAINED health care professional.
Luxury non-surgical cosmetic experience for men and women.
@theplatinumskinclinic

To be a woman in business means believing in yourself and trusting your instinct. There are people out there who will doubt you and your ability to succeed in the business world. Sometimes in order to be successful you have to work very hard on your mindset in the face of those who doubt you, this is the time to rise to the occasion and prove to not only those people, but to yourself what you are capable of.

My advice would be to focus on the need to work smarter, not harder and faster, it’s not just about the hours you put in but the importance of leaning into life in general and of taking advantage of the professional and personal opportunities which come along.

Sisters Megan & Siobhan Kilroe – Founders of Mesi Living
Bringing client’s creative visions to life.
Photography, Styling, Interior Design, Social Media Consultancy.

www.mesi-living.co.uk @mesi_living

As sisters we are very headstrong and our skills work well together. Working for ourselves has given us the freedom to make our own decisions and choose the direction in which we want to take the business. We work with so many female clients and we love the dynamics of pushing the boundaries with our photography and the work we do. I think it’s inspiring for young girls to see so many women at the forefront of many industries.
Our advice would be you’ll never know until you take the risk. If you have an idea that you think will work don’t be afraid to put it into motion.
 Fay Broad- Founder and Designer Fay Wong
@faywonguk

If I could sum up in one word what being a woman in business means to me, it would be FREEDOM. Freedom to decide what or who you want to be, freedom to explore your creativity, freedom to pursue you’re dreams and last but definitely not least…financial freedom! I absolutely love that I can make people happy, whilst being happy myself and still call it work!

My first piece of advice would be to “Never Give Up’. I know this sounds totally cliche, but if you do just that, you will always be making progress towards making your dreams come true. If something doesn’t seem right or work out  as you thought it would at first, develop that idea or product, be open to change, look around you for inspiration and push on! You will come up with the right solution sooner or later and you’ll be glad you kept on pushing!

My second most valuable piece of advice is to ask yourself if you are truly passionate about what you are doing or trying to do. On the hard days your passion will be your drive and this is so important. You should be excited about what you’re doing. When you’re an independent business you are you’re own brand ambassador and if your passion shines bright for what you’re doing then so will you’re product or service!…Find something you love and do that!

Sarah Colbon- Owner of Love Sofia
Luxury Handmade Children’s Clothing 0-6yrs. Designed by Mumma & Inspired by My Daughter Sofia 

www.lovesofia.co.uk @lovesofiashop

To me, being a Woman/Mum Boss is the Most rewarding and hardest thing I’ve ever done! I’m super passionate about being a girl boss and all women doing “their thing”.
Motherhood and entrepreneur-ship are similar to me in the sense of expecting the unexpected. You can prep and plan and read books and take classes but who really knows what is going to happen? Being a Mumma means I need to be ready for any strange thing that my daughter Sofia might do, while being an entrepreneur, running LOVE SOFIA means I have to be ready for what other people might do.

Starting LOVE SOFIA originally came from pure frustration combined with passion for finding beautifully made and quality fabric baby clothing for my sensitive bubbas skin. Whilst searching for a designs/styles I could never find, I started to design my own. The next thing I knew I was 3 months pregnant and started a business handmaking luxury baby clothes on Instagram and dressing celebrities babies with my outfits! I’ve grown my business organically and slowly – deliberately- but knowing that I can have balance. Bringing up a baby, being a wife and running a business is the most fulfilling experience but it’s not easy. I truly believe that surrounding yourself with a network of brilliant, enthusiastic like minded Woman/Mum bosses creates success. I wouldn’t be where I am right now if it wasn’t for them. I’m now in a world that I never trained for, never had years of experience but is sooooo perfect! I’m living my dream and I’m doing it not only for myself but for my new little family.

My tips:
You must have a good business idea, but you don’t have to come up with something entirely new, just something that’s better. I didn’t invent the handmade baby clothing business, I just created a business tailored to a market that wasn’t being catered for. There are enormous opportunities out there for mothers who want to start their own business. Just believe in yourself and let your passion do all the work!
I spent my childhood daydreaming about one day finding the strength and courage to do things my way, living my passion and creating an income doing it.
To succeed you have to believe in something with such a passion that it becomes a reality.

 

 

Lorna Bancroft
Heart FM Breakfast Presenter
@lornabancroft

Being a business woman allows me to feel independent and take control of my life. It gives me options that I may never of had. I have lots of friends who are strong, independent business women and we all support each other massively. It truly is a great feeling and provides me with a lot of freedom.
If you’re thinking of starting your own business I’d say get a solid plan in place and know exactly where you want it to be. Stay passionate and strong, believe in yourself and your dreams will come.

And there you have it! Some awesome women right there with some invaluable information!

Be yourself, have passion and go for it ladies!

 

Kim xx

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