Este sitio web tiene ciertas restriucciones de navegación. Le recomendamos utilizar buscadores como: Edge, Chrome, Safari o Firefox.

Entrega gratis & Personalización de regalos


Tu carrito está vacío

Continúa comprando

International Women’s Month Blog - Stories from Inspiring Small Business Women

Join us in a conversation with seven fantastic and inspiring women where they share their stories and discuss the meaning of success.

From left to right:

Top row: Sarah Turner, Yen Wei Goo, Laura Zabo
Middle row: Rachel Sheila Kan, Cheryl Lumley
Bottom row: Ailsa Renk, Rachel Mason

Yen Wei Goo

"Hi, I'm Yen, the founder of Paguro Upcycle, a small company trying to bring a positive environmental and societal impact." When discussing her 9 years of running the business, Yen says, "I could not have done it without the support of our amazing artisans and makers, 60% of which are women and working mums who make incredible creations with their hands." Grateful for the journey of changing career paths in her 30s, Yen also shows deep appreciation for "all our consumers who have supported this wild dream of mine."

What does "success" mean?

"Success for me is something when you look back in your life, you not regretting doing it. And something that motivates you to keep going."

Sarah Turner

"Hi, I'm Sarah Turner and I'm an eco-artist and designer. I upcycle waste materials into shiny new things." Sarah describes plastic bottles, drinks cans and circuit boards as her "main material and I transform these into lighting, sculptures, artworks, jewellery and gifts." Sarah discovered her business idea while working part-time in a coffee shop during her time at university. When noticing the amount of waste going straight to landfill, Sarah started creating and incorporating her crafts into her degree. "I've always loved making things ever since I can remember so it didn't feel like it was work, just something I loved to do. I still make things every day, I feel very lucky that I get to do something I love so much for a living."

What would you say are your top 3 highlights of your life so far, and why?

"My first two would of course have to be my two beautiful children. I have a one-year-old and four-year-old who are incredible and amaze me each and every day. Career wise I have been very lucky to have a few wonderful moments. Early on in my career I created lighting and sculptures for the Olympic Park for the London 2012 Olympics. I was able to visit to the Olympic Park numerous times and it felt great to be part of something so prestigious and the atmosphere in the park was always amazing. More recently last year I sold my work at Glastonbury Festival, I brought my partner, Mum, and kids. We do this each year, and it was the first festival since the pandemic cancelled the previous two. We had an amazing time and I remember feeling so lucky that I got to share these moments with my family." 

What does "success" mean?

"True success to me in my career means that you LOVE what you do. It does not feel like work, and you enjoy every day. I know I am very lucky to be able to earn my living doing this. Every day is different for me and there are some awesome moments. Of course there are stressful moments too but overall I am so grateful I can do this."

What do you think is the biggest issue women of your age are facing today?

"Often it's the issue of trying to juggle a career with having children. Feeling like if you don't spend enough time/effort at work you are failing there but then also failing as a parent if you don't spend enough time with your kids. You just can't win. The cost of childcare also simply rules a lot of women out of the work force altogether. I have several friends who would like to work but it's not worth it after you pay nursery fees. It's like a countdown till they are 3 where you can get some hours free childcare."

What's your best piece of advice for anyone starting out/changing career paths?

"DO IT! I started this business in 2008 at the start of the recession. I figured that I probably wouldn't get the job of my dreams at that point in time so I thought I would just try this and see what would happen. I never dreamed that I would still be doing this 15 years later! So many people have side hustles these days which turn into their full-time work. My advice in that instance is if you would like your side hustle to turn into a full-time business then treat it like a proper business from the outset. Charge correctly for your time/products, present a professional presence online and in person. When people ask about it speak proudly about it, don't downplay it as something you just do in your spare time. It's your passion, you've worked hard and you should be proud of it."

Laura Zabo

Laura is also incredibly innovative and creative, using her business to create statement necklaces and earrings, belts from repurposed bike tyres and sometimes even sandals from car tyres. She explains, "I adore upcycling scrap tyre rubber into jewellery and other fashion accessories. Since my childhood I am very fascinated by seeing artists creating artwork from waste." Laura found her career calling 8 years ago when living in Tanzania, she says, "I found some brightly painted car tyre sandals at the local Maasai market and I immediately fell in love with this idea. It’s so smart, useful and completely could resolve a huge problem around the globe. We could reduce the tyre waste and the production of plastic shoe soles."

What would you say are your top 3 highlights of your life so far, and why?

"I just love upcycling and it’s my karmic calling. Previously I have never had a job for more than 3 years, and upcycling really gives me the meaning of life.

Two years ago I decided to read/listen to books all the time.  When I craft, walk, exercise and sometimes even while I sleep. Since then, I read about 150 books and this choice is a game changer. I feel that I became a different person and I enjoy my path more and more. Seeing and feeling all these changes my hunger for books even more than before and I cannot describe how much it means to me. 

Since my early years I knew that I would live abroad and my home country Hungary wasn’t “enough” for me. I left my home when I was 18, as soon as I received my ID card and could start working abroad. Since then, I have lived in 6 countries and many more to come. Moving into different countries is such an intense experience. You learn a new language, lifestyle, and everything is different than your habits. And I just love it so much. " 

What does "success" mean?

"We first have to reach emotional success because if you are happy and enjoy achievements, every day will be a successful day . Only when you reach this moment is it worth planning financial and business success, because it takes so much hard work but if you don’t enjoy the ride, you won’t enjoy either when you reach your goals. So the whole process and work will be useless. Admire every day, every little success, grow step by step, read a lot of books to evolve your mind and know clearly what you want from life. If you live like this, you will be successful even without a massive house or bank account. If you are happy every morning when you wake up, it’s already more success than many others who build only wealth but not awareness."

What do you think is the biggest issue women of your age are facing today?

"Media completely takes ownership over our lives, and families. People have stopped living and creating but just watching the tv and social media. We learned how to follow celebs and rules instead of creating our own ones. The fact that people stopped using their own mind and creativity is the biggest challenge of this age. "

What's your best piece of advice for anyone starting out/changing career paths?

"I believe that you cannot grow without new knowledge. At the beginning of your business or career you are full of energy and enthusiasm and this will bring you a certain level of success. But very probably after a while you will face unexpected obstacles, or you just have the feeling of being stuck and not moving forward anymore. This is the point when your knowledge about yourself, life, business, your profession is not enough anymore. So, make it easier from the beginning and learn something new EVERY day, read books, listen to audiobooks while you walk. Use every minute to learn and this will help you along the journey."

Rachel Sheila Kan

Rachel is the founder of Circular Earth and The Ecosystem Incubator. She is an Ecosystem Architect/Circular Fashion Consultant. Rachel formed her current career path because of "being in the fashion industry for decades and seeing the volume of the needless stuff that is created for being created sake rather than what we actually ‘need’." She noticed the fashion industry was on a "linear path and that the system doesn’t support as of yet regenerative futures" and knew there was a "better way or indeed infinite ways that we could start to do business smarter". Rachel set about finding and applying these smarter solutions, explaining that when "my mother passed away, it was the catalyst for me to jump into that new future over time – for the past 7 years I have taught myself, met amazing people in the sustainable, circular and regenerative space who have given their time to me."

What would you say are your top 3 highlights of your life so far, and why?

"Losing my job was the best thing, I had to let go of that lifebelt and really start applying myself in the creation of our business and collaborative.

My mother passing was a regenerative moment, knowing that as one passes a new moment for regrowth begins.

The Ontological journey that I have been on for the past 7 years and all the great people who have stood with me on that and in the pragmatic creation of business." 

What does "success" mean?

"I feel we need to re-define this – success in the ‘business as usual’ world usually means monetary … Success to me means co-creating the thrive-ability in the now for more people in collaboration and continuing to create so that we can have a possibility of life on earth for future generations. True wealth is that possibility, not one of fancy cars or mansions."

What do you think is the biggest issue women of your age are facing today?

"I am 43 but I do not feel it and I certainly do not identify to a box of age, and I don’t see that anyone needs to. We are who we are being – the great Vivienne Westwood was to me ageless. I would like to channel that rather than being stuck to a group.  Challenges are only the ones that we create for ourselves – there is nothing stopping us other than our own limiting beliefs.  

I think there’s a major overarching challenge in economics and to lessen that fear overall will be a boom to creativity of our future generations, which is why I focus on new economic paths and creations overall."

What's your best piece of advice for anyone starting out/changing career paths?

"To be in constant curiosity, to know that learning is never over and you will never ‘know’ everything... to get started and to keep on being in a place of wanting to learn and apply in an agile way.  That in sustainability that there are many silos of thought, and that any information is never complete or whole, we must look at it out of isolation and in relation to its interlocking parts."

Cheryl Lumley

"I’m Cheryl and I’m co-owner of Copper Blue Creative, a small graphic design consultancy." Cheryl owns the business with her husband as both are graphic designers. Explaining the choice of remaining a small Newcastle upon Tyne business, Cheryl says, "We made the decision to remain a business of two to keep the integrity of our roles as designers and we like working directly with clients." She explains that taking on staff changes the dynamics and remaining small helps preserve the personable relationship they have with clients. "We have some very nice corporate clients who are quite happy with a bacon sandwich and a cuppa during meetings in our home office. The downside is we must fulfil every role within the business including account handling, accounts, HR and tea makers!" Before starting Copper Blue, Cheryl and her husband found juggling jobs tricky as they wanted to spend more time with their young son, she says, "working for ourselves gave us that flexibility."

What would you say are your top 3 highlights of your life so far, and why?

"Family - As well as making it to 20 years married this year, the biggest highlight has to be having my son. He’s a teenager now and it’s like seeing life again though fresh eyes. 

Travel - Nine school exchange visits gave me the travel bug and looking back, it inspired so much creative inspiration in the art and architecture of different countries, from Florence and Copenhagen to Moscow and Prague. Staying with families and not speaking their language gave me confidence among strangers from a young age. 

Being my own boss - Having a creative skill in life that allowed me to be my own boss, giving me the flexibility to control my own time. I never missed a school pick up or sports day and that has been huge for me."

What does "success" mean?

"Success means different things at different stages in your life. When you’re younger it’s more material things, like jobs, a home, relationships, and holidays. And that’s perfectly ok.  As I get older, I realize that, for me, it’s more about family and friends, happiness, staying healthy, and sharing joy with others regularly. Sometimes the material things get in the way of that and we need to remind ourselves that life is short and we need to focus on the good stuff more."

What do you think is the biggest issue women of your age are facing today?

"There’s general pressure to have it all, family, career, relationships, fitness, and social media exaggerates all of that. But as far as my work goes, there’s a real fear that people won’t want to hire older creatives- they want young, fresh ideas and assume we are all out of them, when, in reality, I think we just get more creative, with more years of inspiration behind us.

We’re of a generation where mental health was a taboo issue, in my first job I was told to not give stress as a reason to be off sick as it would look bad on my record. These days there is so much help out there and it’s important for women my age to embrace the help and talk about it."

What's your best piece of advice for anyone starting out/changing career paths?

"My best advice would be to understand that any job or career path is open to change. We are allowed to change our minds and paths along the way. Do what makes you happy. If you are lucky enough to have a job that you enjoy, it won’t feel like work."

Ailsa Renk

Ailsa has recently launched her new business, Ulu Stories. "Ulu Stories is a digital storytelling agency, with a focus on Influencer Marketing. We help make authentic and powerful partnerships between brands and Social Creatives with the power to tell their story to a greater audience. We also offer Copywriting services and UGC campaign management." Having been in the Influencer Marketing industry since she was a teenager, Ailsa explored different work experience avenues for school when she stumbled across blogging. "It’s been a love story ever since!" Ailsa has worked for agencies across the UK and Australia for several years, and "finally bit the bullet to start my own at the start of this year. I love the idea of creating a work-setup I enjoy and that allows me total freedom in my life." 

What would you say are your top 3 highlights of your life so far, and why?

"Firstly, cringe but the people in it. I have always been SO fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends. They’re the biggest highlight of my life. (Also my cat Poppy).

Travel - I am also hugely grateful to various circumstances and to myself for creating a life filled with travel and adventure. These are the experiences that make me feel most alive, so I prioritise them within all my choices. I’ve seen a lot of the world, but there’s still SO much more to see! 

University - unfortunately a lot of people have a negative experience at uni. Mine was fab! I landed amazing housemates who became my best-friends immediately. My course was absolutely fascinating and I loved listening to the wonders of my lecturer’s brains. My first time living in a big city (Birmingham) was an exciting one… albeit with vile housing. And I did really well, so came out of it with a degree that opens doors."

What does "success" mean?

"Great question - it totally means something different to everyone! I’ve touched on this already, but my main priority is to be happy. Success = happiness. Naturally you have low moments, but I want my default state to be more than content, but happy. For me, that means to have freedom, financial stability, an amazing community and plenty of adventures. " 

What do you think is the biggest issue women of your age are facing today?

"This is so hard, there are several things. One being medical uncertainty - there’s an inequality in the level of knowledge surrounding male and female health, I feel. But I’d say the biggest issue I recognise in myself and women around me is trying to find a balance of energy. ‘Masculine energy’ is driven, powerful, aggressive, logical - ‘feminine energy’ is creative, nurturing, gentle, emotional. Everybody has both energies within them - everyone needs both energies for balance. But in a world where women still need to work twice as hard as men and where we’re gaining incredible independence that generations before us were denied, the masculine energy can end up dominating too much. The result is burnout and I know wayyyyy too many women suffering burnout. I think we need to reach a point where there’s space for women to engage both their masculine and feminine energies in optimised balance and still be allowed the success men have had for so long."

 What's your best piece of advice for anyone starting out/changing career paths?

"Oh gosh - I’m not sure I’m best placed to give this, because mine could well still fail haha! I can say that I made sure I had a solid safety net of savings before I made the leap. I also went into it with my typically Capricorn, realist attitude: this might not work, and that’s fine. I have a plan B (get a job working for someone else again). "

Rachel Mason

Rachel is the founder of Our Remedy, a wellness brand aimed at supporting women’s health. Our Remedy is a "CBD brand with a difference, focused on period problems and with a person behind it who understands." Rachel started her company after struggles with her own, personal health journey. "I struggled with infertility, menopause and having a hysterectomy all at a very young age. I wanted to support others going through similar situations with natural remedies and sharing stories." Rachel is incredibly passionate about the environment, with Our Remedy being "the first and only CBD company in the UK to offer plastic free re-fills."

What would you say are your top 3 highlights of your life so far, and why?

"Firstly, it has to be having my son. It really is true what they say that they do become your world and you really do feel like you found the meaning of life. 

Secondly, it would be getting a first at university. I was so set on finishing university with a first and I did it and I was very proud of that. 

Finally, it has to be the fact that I have overcome a lot of health struggles with, in my opinion, a very positive attitude, despite the seriousness of it all."

What does "success" mean?

"It sounds so corny, but the older I get the more I realise that success is purely being happy in the moment. It is not anything material. It is friends, family and the ability to be present."

What do you think is the biggest issue women of your age are facing today?

 "It’s the ‘have it all’ mentality. We are the first generation of people that were raised by women that held down a full-time job alongside raising a family (the mother role was still very traditional) so I think lots of women think that that is what they need to do as well.

It is actually incredibly hard to do everything and we shouldn’t put pressure on ourselves. We should ask for help when we need it, particularly from partners when it comes to childcare. I think women should be able to have their career if that’s what they want and be able to have a family. "

What's your best piece of advice for anyone starting out/changing career paths?

 "Get as much work experience as you can, even if it is unpaid. It is so valuable to gain."

By Elise Waters

Comentarios (0)

Deja un comentario