Women in Business is something that we are immensely passionate about here at Powder Butterfly, and more specifically, entrepreneurial women who operate in the North East of England.
In this blog we are excited to share the profiles of businesswomen who we have had the pleasure in working with or have inspired Powder Butterfly over the years.
We are also delighted to have gained insight from two of the North East’s leading businesswomen, read on to hear about their success, how they got there, and what they would tell their younger selves.
Make it British – Katie Hills
Kate Hills is on a mission to help businesses find more customers to enable UK Manufacturing to thrive again. She set up Make It British in 2011 to pursue this passion and has not looked back!
Katie works closely with businesses who share her passion offering her expert advice and championing everything British. We have recently recorded a podcast with Katie, listen to ‘From Artist to Bespoke Gift Business’ here.
Powder Butterfly are proud Make it British members and all of our products are made right here in the UK. And you can listen to the recent podcast that we did for Make it British here.
Ann English is Creative Business Coach royalty here in the North East. Ann is the expert in overcoming obstacles and driving businesses forward and has helped to transform business ideas into reality for over 25 years, she even invented the Metrognomes!
Ann is often referred to as the ‘Mary Portas of the North’ due to her wealth of experience and skill I business coaching.
Ann has very kindly shared some of her experience with us, read on to find out what she would tell her younger self!
Trend Bible – Joanna Feeley
Another business which we are inspired by is Trend Bible, created by Joanna Feeley, a former trend consultant to Nokia and Tesco. Joanna is hugely respected in her industry and is regularly cited by the Independent, Radio 4, and The Financial Times!
Trend Bible are located in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and their passion is in helping businesses to predict the future of life at home, how it will impact their organisation, and the key to capitalising on that opportunity. They work with international clients and Joanna has built a business that is dynamic, exciting and in our opinion one to watch.
The Cambridge Satchel Company – Julie Deane
Although they are not based within the North East, The Cambridge Satchel Company is another start-up business which I cannot help but admire.
Their beautiful satchels are inspired by the British schoolbag from years gone by which have been reimagined into stunning satchels in a range of sizes and styles. What’s more all of their products are crafted here in the UK.
Julie Dean and her mother Freda started The Cambridge Satchel Company from their kitchen table with a budget of just £600, proving that with the right amount of determination and eye for a gap in the market, anything is possible.
We can’t help but be inspired by Julie Deane and The Cambridge Satchel company as it is so much like many small independent businesses run by women in the UK. And it gives us an example of a great idea being transformed into a successful business. And here at Powder Butterfly we love celebrating and championing independent business success.
Rosie Ramsey is an actress, presenter, Radio DJ, Live host, singer, Vlogger and Instagram star. Who is married to Chris Ramsey who is currently going great guns on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. We love that he is in the semi-final and wish him all the best for this weekend.
Rosie and Chris present the hugely popular podcast, Sh**ged Married Annoyed, Our favourite episode of the Sh**ged Married Annoyed podcast has to be Found a good Chew where Alexa puts Rosie through her paces. Have a listen if you don’t have a giggle we will be very surprised.
Rosie also co-hosted drive-time on Capital Radio North East, sharing her humorous anecdotes and wit with the North East public during their daily commute. Rosie shows you how it’s done on Instagram with her likeable, authentic and hilarious personality. Rosie also has a beautiful singing voice and she is an amazing performer. We can’t wait to see what Rosie does next she is so talented and such a great Mam to Chris and Rosie’s little by Robin.
Culture Vulture – Rachel Horton
Culture Vulture explores and celebrates everything great about culture from across the North East. The blog was created and is managed by the lovely and very ambitious, Rachel Horton, who has also personally contributed to this blog a little further down, so be sure to read on!
Culture Vulture supports and promotes local artists, events, creatives, festivals, and businesses to make sure everyone knows exactly what is going on in the North East and uncovering hidden gems along the way. Make sure you check out her blog.
She is also running an event in 2020 exploring blogging and influencing, and has recently announced Rosie Ramsey as one of her guest speakers. Interested in attending? Check it out here.
So, we were curious to find out what these amazing women tell their younger selves if they had the opportunity? We picked the brains of Ann English and Rachel Horton. This is what they had to say…
People always ask you from a young age “what do you want to be when you grow up?” As a young child we dream big with “Ballet Dancer,” “Astronaut,” or “Vet” all achievable goals.
However, ask a teenager the same question and they often feel lost without a clear focus, these dreams have died. They get stressed just thinking about it if they don’t have any idea what they would like to do.
My advice is don’t worry, because the job you will do, your dream job, may not have been invented yet!
For 25years I designed Christmas Displays and Santa’s Grottos for all of the major shopping centres in the UK. A few years earlier, when I was at Art College, The MetroCentre which was the first of its kind in the UK, hadn’t been built. I then went on to invent The Metrognomes – prior to that they didn’t exist.
In 2005 I founded my own business ‘Charlie’s Chocolate Factory’ when I wanted something different for my 40th Birthday party. I spotted a chocolate fountain on an American website and said to my husband “WOW, I’ve got to have one of those!” I’d never seen one in real life as they were very new to the UK, so we bought one, created an events company and became a ‘Chocolatier‘ being paid to go to other people’s parties.
I’ve since founded two specialist visual communications companies – Create Intrigue and The Visual Marketing Academy™. I‘ve developed the Vision Mapping process, creating VisionTrees™ and SignatureSystems™, and I also train SMEs on Visual Merchandising techniques which I’ve brought up to date with the digital era. Again, none of these things existed a few years ago.
I’ve had an amazing dream career; who knew I’d end up working for the Big 3 – Santa Claus, Willy Wonka and Mickey Mouse!
So my advice is this, if you don’t know what you want to be… don’t worry. That is a brilliant and exciting place to start. Your life will evolve and your dream career will one day appear, as it may not have been invented… yet.
Rachel Horton, Owner of Culture Vulture
The Culture Vulture is a Northern cultural champion and creative adventurer – passionate about creative people and indie happenings in the region. SO much so, I’ve made a business out of it. As The Culture Vulture, I do everything from Marketing strategy development and implementation, PR, audience development, cultural programming, event management, project management, social media management, content creation…. and I led on my own projects and happenings too as The Culture Vulture.
The Culture Vulture started as an idea and it’s developed from the people and projects I’ve been involved in. It’s been a labour of love – a mega labour of love. I’ve carved out my own niche in the cultural sector and I get a buzz off giving a platform to those to champion themselves, especially those who don’t really have a platform but are hidden gems – doing mint things.
My future plans are all about growth in terms of project ambitions and client base – I’m trying to figure out if I want to keep it just me with freelance support around me or whether, I want to have a small team around me of employees.
I’ve just hosted a mental health event at the Thought Foundation for freelancers and self-employed. It was small but perfectly formed and it’s an area I’m super passionate about
developing and working on as an independent. That event proved to me that there is a traction there and I’m excited to be developing it into a project in 2020.
My next big event is on 6th February at Gosforth Civic Theatre – it’s called “Influencing in 2020” and is basically a social media “conference”. I started running these years ago, as I was sick of lush events happening down South and costing fortune – I’m all about the thriving and vibing North and keeping it mega accessible on ticket price.
I can’t reveal all my speakers just yet – but I’m interviewing Rosie Ramsey. Rosie is lush – has such a brilliant Insta account and podcast – so this year, i knew I just wanted her to come and chat about keeping it real on social!
She really proves my ethos of being your authentic self on social – imperfectly perfect and creating real connections with folks. She’s hilarious! I’ve also got The Slow Traveler speaking – who is also a local lass! Carolyn has got 223k followers on Instagram and her account is beaut. I first became aware of her when she faked a trip on social media to Disneyland Paris as her Sunderland University photography project – it went viral globally and was also an excellent nod to how “influencers” really “curate” their own truth! Check out the event and get tickets here
What advice would I give to my younger self?
Stop striving to be like everyone else and desperately trying to fit in…….have confidence to walk on your own path! And stop trying to be a version of yourself that your parents want – you will never match their conventional expectations and that’s ok. #takeawalkonthewildside
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