This International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017, we bring you some inspirational advice from women in business, highlight some female-owned and run brands that are flourishing and suggest a couple of ways to celebrate the general brilliance of women…
International Women’s Day 2017
Get inspired: The Women’s Space
The Mayfair Collective, in partnership with Mount Street retailers, are launching the ‘Women’s Space’ from 8-15 March in celebration of International Women’s Day. The women-only co-working space is designed to celebrate and facilitate women of achievement, and will also be an events space with a schedule of daily talks and events for members to attend.
Women on the roster include Jo Malone, presenter June Sarpong, model Leomie Anderson, influencer Susie Bubble and hoteliers Irene and Irene and Lydia Forte. Get tickets for The Women’s Space here.
Female inspiration: how to build a business
Speaking at an International Women’s Day event at Searcys, Knightsbridge, Lyndsey Simpson, Co-Owner of The Curve Group, shared her experiences of being an entrepreneur and building a business from a few hundred thousand to £15m+ turnover.
Here are some of Lyndsey’s pearls of wisdom on building a brand:
‘The most important thing to get right, from the very beginning, to scale up a business, is culture. It starts from the top but for it to be successful, you need to allow your team to have fun with it and evolve it so that it becomes your personality.
‘Taking pride and ensuring consistency in your brand will set you apart. Teach everyone as they join you that they are the brand police, not marketing or PR and they have accountability for ensuring that every brand interaction they see and hear, be that an email, document or even the way you answer the phone, is spot on, every time.
‘Growing a business requires funding and support. Love your bank. Bring them into your business every month, see them as an extension to your own finance team and on the journey with you.’
Also pictured above (centre) is Mother Pukka (Anna Whitehouse), a blogger on the campaign trail to promote flexible working for all parents.
‘The words ‘flexible working’ have been tacked to parents. Life is messy and whether you’re a (single) mum, dad, carer or someone who just needs Friday mornings off to slap some paint on a canvas, flexible working is about getting the best from each individual – ‘individual’ here is key. The one rule for everyone has to go – salaries and skills aren’t the same across the board, and how you work shouldn’t be either.’ – Anna Whitehouse
Getting ahead in a man’s world
You don’t find many senior female bar managers & sommeliers in London’s top restaurants, however Anna Sebastian, Bar Manager at The Savoy’s Beaufort Bar is making her mark in this male-dominated world.
Anna has some words of wisdom for women trying to make their mark in a man’s world…
‘For me, it really is anyone’s industry. It’s about making it your own and owning it, male or female. It’s about making sure you have a clear message about what you believe it and what you are trying to achieve from a drinks menu to the delivering outstanding service and hospitality.’
‘Sure, maybe there aren’t as many females working in the bar world as men, however that doesn’t mean women aren’t as good if not better. I see it as an advantage to make people listen and to take notice of what you are doing. Like with anything if you have a clear enough message or belief, whoever you are you have the opportunity to make people listen, working somewhere like The Savoy for the last seven years has given me an amazing platform to not only work with some amazing people (male and female) but it has given me the opportunity to (I hope) make a difference in a small way. We’re not saving lives by any means but we have the chance to create a memory for someone when they come to the Beaufort Bar.’
Helping women stay connected
Peanut is a new app to help mums meet other like-minded mothers in their area. Dubbed ‘tinder for mums’, their tagline is ‘meet as mamas, connect as women’. Founded by Michelle Kennedy, former deputy-CEO at Badoo and part of the Bumble launch, it could save new mums hours of awkward coffee mornings to meet their perfect parenting pals. We’ll let model and mother Portia Freeman tell you more…
Girl boss: the female-run businesses going from strength to strength
This International Women’s Day, we highlight a couple of the female-founded Great British Brands making waves in 2017.
Annoushka Ducas MBE, founder of British jewellery companies Links of London and Annoushka
‘Having studied at the Sorbonne, travelled the world and spent time in Hong Kong and the Philippines, Annoushka discovered her flair and passion for jewellery design when her mother asked her to come up with a gift idea for the clients of her fish business, which included Le Gavroche. Inspired by her surroundings, Annoushka designed a pair of fish cufflinks. Twenty-five years later, Annoushka continues to be influenced by nature and her environment. She believes that there should be no boundaries to wearing diamonds with jeans, and that each item should be meaningful as well as elegant, an expression of one’s identity.’ Find out more about Annoushka here.
Deirdre Dyson, of Deirdre Dyson carpet designs
When artist Deirdre Dyson was looking for a contemporary carpet for her home and couldn’t find one, she decided to design her own and have it made. Having trained in fine art, graphic design and illustration, Deirdre found that she loved designing the carpet and was subsequently invited back by the carpet supplier to create a whole collection. As she discovered: ‘The challenges are the same as painting but using a different medium’.
Working on the collections, Deirdre learnt about the techniques of hand-knotting and hand-tufting and discovered the magical effects these techniques could achieve. Deirdre later became a partner, before taking over the business in 2000, transforming the company by focusing on contemporary designs, customer relations and ultimately the finest quality product. Find out more about Deidre Dyson here.
Nina Campbell is one of the country’s most influential interior designers. Beginning her design career at the age of 19, Nina worked as an assistant to John Fowler at the prestigious Sibyl Colefax & John Fowler Company. Her natural talent was quickly apparent and she became known for her unmistakably rich colour palette, which caught the eye of club owner, Mark Birley. He asked her to redecorate his famous Annabel’s private members’ club, which marked the beginning of a lasting relationship. They joined forces once again in 1970, when they opened Campbell & Birley, a shop in London specialising in ‘unashamed luxury’. Here, Nina introduced her signature ‘hearts’ design, a motif that is still available on a range of bone china today. Find out more about Nina Campbell here.
Advice for young women
On March 8th at 11.30am, MyKindaFuture is celebrating International Women’s Day by offering all students the opportunity to speak to successful women from a range of industries. You can ask questions about career paths, working life, company culture and their advice for women applying for roles in their companies. Find out more at www.mykindafuture.com/Events.
The ultimate indulgence
After something a little self-indulgent this IWD? La Perla and Hotel Plaza Athénée’s ‘Pure Silk Experience’ launches this International Women’s Day, just in case you deserve a good treat.
This bespoke package provides guests with elegant and feminine gifts including an ivory silk satin negligee, perfume and an arrangement of flowers, plus a bottle of rosé champagne and a 100ml bottle of La Perla Collection perfume by Maison La Perla. Rates from €1,200 in a Deluxe room.
Find out more about what’s happening this International Women’s Day at www.internationalwomensday.com.