The shortlist for this years BizMums Conference and Awards has been announced! Here are the shortlisted nominees :
Online Mum Sponsored by Rebekah Harriman.com
An award for a mum who has a high social media/web presence and uses this to support and inspire others.
Lindy Smith is a unique cake designer, who cherishes, inspires and empowers others to bake and decorate their own amazing cakes and cookies. Lindy’s Website www.lindyscakes.co.uk welcomes visitors to her inspiring world where they are free to browse and discover fresh and contemporary cake decoration ideas, purchase signed copies of her books or the equipment needed to create their own masterpieces or perhaps enrol on a hands on class. Lindy likes to surprised and delight her visitors so her site is full of colourful images of her cakes.
Short listed Nominee 2 : Tamara Baranova
Tamara works with entrepreneurs who are serious about raising their professional profile and attracting more opportunities for their business. The clients she works with don’t want to be marketing experts – they just want to know how to attract the right people to their website, get them to buy products and services, or attend their events and workshops. Online Marketing is perfect for small business owners as it’s low-cost, easily accessible, already packed with millions of potential customers. However it’s also easy to waste a lot of time and effort with Online Marketing tactics – hence it’s important to have a solid strategy in place before you get started. And Tamara helps her clients achieve just that. http://www.tamarabaranova.com
Danni is an online mum using Facebook as a platform to run Kick Start Fat Loss. Danni created a page that those on the diet and fitness regime could be members of and interact with each other. The documents on the site, photographs and enthusiasm of Danni meant it was really easy to get so much out of being part of the group. Danni leads it really well her website is easily navigated and linked to the Facebook group.
Alison offers client readings via Skype and phone (from Skype). Her clients are mainly on the west coast of America, so video conferencing and Paypal are vital. She then emails a recording of the live reading to her clients after the session. This makes it a completely on-line business.
Charity Mum Sponsored by Beauty by Sarah Hodnett
An award for a Mum who has made an exceptional impact towards supporting a cause or charity including not for profit organisations through fundraising, volunteering or other means of support.
Kerry has set up a local friendship group for fellow single parents, has done national newspaper and magazine interviews for the charity gingerbread and ran a 5k fun run raising funds for gingerbread with her 5yr old and baby in a buggy
Lesley volunteers for 8 Below Husky Rescue, the charity was started 18 months ago, primarily to improve the lives and welfare of sled dog breeds. As a charity she has built up links with other large charities such as Battersea Dogs Home, and supports them with the re homing of huskies in their care, and also by providing training for their staff and volunteers about husky welfare. She also works closely with police forces, social services, and homeless charities, to provide immediate support for families in crisis situations. These situations include house fires, eviction, domestic violence to name but a few. Lesley is on call 24/7 365 days a year, and often get calls to help with emergencies during the night. This is often to help women facing domestic violence, who have fled the home and aren’t allowed in hostels with their pets.
Carren began setting up Lagan’s Foundation following Lagan’s tragic death on the 26th April 2011 at just 15 weeks old. She had major heart defects and had to that point defied all the odds.Something Carren had never been told about before she had her. The days she had with Lagan after her surgery at home were extremely difficult and lonely. Carren became a nurse to her little girl 24/7. There was no help in the community. She was isolated and lonely and with no one to guide her she felt that loosing Lagan was inevitable! Not even the local hospital was trained enough to cope! She vowed that she should stop this happening to other parents in the future in the North West. What she didn’t know was she was not that alone and it was happening across the UK!!!!! 1 in 100 children are born with congenital heart defects and then others acquire heart issues through viruses suddenly. To put that in to daily figures, 12-15 babies every day are born with none curable heart conditions and 1 in ever 5 of those will not see their first birthday. Carren has acquired the support of Alder Hey Children’s hospital and designed the first program in the UK to train members of the public so they can support parents in their local areas across the UK to enable them to have a rest, spend time with a partner, attend baby groups or play with other children in the family who often get left out.
Nearly three years ago Louise’s daughter Beatrice, who was expected on Boxing Day arrived rather earlier on the 11th October and then spent 9 weeks in hospital being looked after by the doctors and nurses in the special care baby unit. When Louise learned about the Babygrow Appeal, to raise £3 million for a new neo-natal unit at the Countess of Chester Hospital it was easy for Louise to offer her help and join the fundraising committee at the hospital. Last December Louise and one of the other mums on the committee decided to hold a Christmas Carol Concert followed by a Christmas market. Over 100 guests came on the night and they raised over £1000. It was such a success that the date & venue is already set for 2014 and the aim is to at least double what they achieved in the first year. In May of this year Louise organised a ladies evening & fashion show which incorporated another of her roles as an independent consultant for Captain Tortue clothing. Over 70 ladies attended and the figure raised was over £2000.
In 2006 Nikki’s families life changed drastically when her brother, Sam, was diagnosed with a life limiting brain tumour. As such they were advised to take support from The Brain Tumour Charity and it’s support groups. In 2012 Nikki decided that she wanted to give back something to the charity that had supported her brother and family so much over the years. She pulled together a ladies night in aid of the charity in just 2 weeks and managed to raise over £900 for the charity. She has continued to support fundraisers and awareness events and in April this year she organised a fun day, bringing together over a dozen small businesses and again managed to raise another £700. To this date Nikki has raised in excess of £3000 and it is her aim to double that figure at the October event which has been named “an evening of entertainment in memory of Sam Walker”
Rachael set up PANDAS Foundation in August 2011 with her husband Stuart after suffering pre and postnatal depression after the birth of her son in February 2010. PANDAS has become the leading UK charity supporting individuals, their families and carers with pre(antenatal) and postnatal illnesses. They offer a variety of support services such as helpline open 365 days a year, email support, over 50 support groups across the UK and an online community.
Direct Selling Mum of the Year Sponsored by Jobs Working From Home
An award for a mum in the direct selling industry who is self employed but represents an independent company eg. Avon, Forever Living etc.
Victorias journey began just over 2 years ago sitting in her daughters carol service at school when she was asked how she was enjoying the cashback card and why she hadn’t become a distributor helping other people save money. In her two years, she qualified as a distributor and having gone through various emotions at the beginning of her journey with her business and personal life, the first year of her business was rather slow but being the person she is she never let it stop her building her business. She love’s saving people money and goes out of her way to ensure her customers are happy and some have even become close friends. She started to build a team of fabulous distributors who wanted to earn just some part time income, she quickly learnt to become a mentor with the company, and registered to be a company mentor she loves to help not only her team but anyone in the business who wants or needs help at anytime – even to the point where she will be messaging someone in the business at 1 am!
Claire has been in marketing for 11 years. 4 years ago she became self employed. It’s been a long and exciting road, but has taken a long time to cover the salary she used to earn. But the flexibility has been pretty good! It’s not all a bed of roses though. Her income can vary wildly, plus she’s paid for her time which only puts pressure on her to take more and more work, which means less time with her girls. The whole reason for being self employed in the first place. So 6 months ago, after 6 months for research, agonising and worrying if it was going to work, how she was going to look and whether her friends would laugh at her, she joined a company called Forever Living as a distributor. Fast forward and she has recently decided to put her all into her business. Claire’s team has doubled in the past month and she can see so much energy and potential in them. She work’s hard to support them, give them the confidence and tools they need to achieve their goals – big or small. She love’s seeing the results happen.
Short listed Nominee 3 : Lorraine Boyle
Lorraine loves the great quality and price of all the products she sells. She loves the uniqueness of some of the products. She accepts order via any means that is best for the customer, eg facebook, email, etc. Delivery is free within a 15 mile radius from her home and Lorraine delivers to any address that is given whether that is the customers home or work address.
Lorraine attends over 30 events every year and that number is growing every year. These events are craft fayres, fun days, school events, charity events and even a country home (Sandon Hall). Quite a few of these events are repeat events from previous years but also a few are new events. Some of the event organisers have contacted Lorraine asking her to attend their event. If Lorraine is unable to attend an event and it is a charity event she is more than happy to provide a raffle prize to help the organiser to raise the much needed funds that the charity needs. Also during June Lorraine gave 10% of her takings, from events and orders, and donated them to Together for Short Lives.
Emma started her Direct Selling Business with Forever Living Products in July 2012 with the hope of earning an extra £300 per month so that she could afford to pay the bills after she had made the transition into part-time work. She had made the decision to leave her full-time career in Therapeutic Care and Education so that she could have more time with her three beautiful step-daughters and so that they could enjoy experiences together as a family without having to be on-call or working long and exhausting hours. Two years ago she never would have believed where she would be now, the self-development she’s experienced, the accomplishments she’s had, or for a second been able to comprehend the number of people she has been able to help through her business along her journey so far. Last year her business moved through the marketing plan within Forever three times over two consecutive months. This gave her three promotions and three pay rises and was a huge turning point for her in her self-belief.
Award for Outstanding Personal Achievement Sponsored by The Dyslexic Dyslexia Consultant
An award for a mum who has made a significant effort in her own personal development, whether educational or physical by realising a great achievement, e.g. completed a sporting event (triathlon, marathon) or completed some form of formal education (degree, masters) or who has retrained in a completely new field and excelled.
When Denise was 19 she had a life changing accident when a minibus that she was a passenger in was hit at 117mph. After being resuscitated she had 9 years of treatment, having fractured her spine and wrecked her body from her head to her knees. Denise believe’s that her attitude to life has been a direct result of this accident..She is alive and has a body that works (mostly) so will make every second count! Denise started her business Evanji in 2002 and has trained in excess of 50 sugaring Practitioners and hundreds of other Therapists. They currently have over 40 sugaring Franchisees. A large number of their Practitioners are single parents and they are pleased to be able to help them grow a business…but more importantly grow their one self confidence and self esteem.
Short listed Nominee 2 : Samantha Heywood-Cox
After starting with the dream of owning a Toy Shop in May 2012 Sam has defied the odds and despite various medical conditions and un favourable circumstances is finally achieving her dreams. her hard work and determination has made this possible.
After working very hard for her PGCE at Chester, Neroli loved teaching but soon became overwhelmed with all the paperwork. She had headed into teaching to spend time with & help the children. She became very disillusioned and so after 5 years became an Education Welfare Officer…. it was during this time that her wish to become a Counsellor fully crystallised into being, it had always been there but she hadn’t been able to pin it down. She did some very basic Counselling Skills courses but alas her job would not release her to train more fully as she was in demand. After 5 years, she had a Baby Boy John…. Neroli never went back to her old job as she found her priorities had changed…. She became a WaterBabies Instructor, then a Little Gym Instructor, then she ran a Talking Tots Franchise locally….. all trying to fit work she enjoyed & felt passionately about around her little boy and his needs. Then John entered Proper full time school, she had been volunteering for The Samaritans and she decided it was now or never so she enrolled on my Counselling Course at Keele. During the course a lady came to talk to them and to cut a long story short Neroli was diagnosed with Dyspraxia and Mild Dyslexia. After a few confused tears, she got to grips with my diagnosis and realised that actually this explained an awful lot. In the end she did pass, with a Distinction no less 😉 and gained a Post Graduate Diploma in Counselling Psychotherapy… She continue’s to Volunteer at The Dove Service, it is her sincere hope to establish a high quality ethical private practice working with people of all ages to improve Mental Health Awareness and issues in the local area one client at a time…. She is also hoping to take her practice into local schools.
Sophia founded OneFitMama 4 years ago after the birth of her first son who was born with Group B strep and was extremely poorly. Like any new mum would she struggled to cope. This developed into postnatal depression which tore her family apart. As she struggled to be able to deal with her PND she attended counselling sessions and it was at one of these sessions that the idea for OneFitMama was born. The counsellor suggested that exercise would help her depression and that perhaps she should join a local class or gym. It was then that she decided that she wanted to help other mums in a way that wasn’t available to her. Fast forward a little and OneFitMama is the biggest postnatal exercise company in the midlands with four trainers and over 20 classes on their timetable. Running classes is only a part of what they do though. They also campaign tirelessly about postnatal depressions and how exercise can be as effective as prescriptions. They visit children’s centres and health centres for free telling mums how to exercise safely and how to notice the signs that they are suffering from PND. They also offer free 12 week course to mums who are suffering PND and are referred by their GP. Their campaigns are becoming so successful that the BBC recently ran a short feature about their classes. It’s hard to believe that out of Sophia’s darkest time came such a positive outcome, they have helped almost 2000 mums over the last 3 years and with more trainers joining them all the time the number can only grow. Now a mum to two beautiful boys Sophia run’s the business around the school runs and although she won’t forget her battle with PND she has definitely overcome it.
Five years ago, Kerrie was left with nothing when her husband announced he didn’t love her and wanted a divorce on their 17th wedding anniversary. He closed their bank accounts and left Kerrie with two young daughters, huge debts and a £300,000 mortgage. A stay-at-home mum, Kerrie hadn’t worked in 12 years and had no income of her own. She fell in to a deep depression with suicidal thoughts but after a year of tears and struggling to cope, she pulled herself together. Kerrie realised that only she could make changes for their future. Kerrie accessed the internet from the local library and taught herself the basics of running a business. Her personal therapy was painting and through this she developed her own brand of feathers art which is now her logo. She sold personal items and her own furniture to fund her business idea of buying and selling stock for interiors. Her turnover has steadily grown through online sales and from having her products regularly featured in interior design magazines. Her product range has expanded to include clothing and major retailers are considering her artwork. To further help with the bills, Kerrie enlisted friends to help convert her garage in to a romantic retreat. Turtledove Hideaway is an interior designer’s dream and regularly features in global travel magazines and national newspapers. Kerrie’s story is one of perseverance and tenacity. Once she found the courage, she discovered a world full of possibilities. She is determined to inspire others. Kerrie has not only battled against all odds in her personal life, but used the bad energy to create not one but 6 companies focussing her grief and upset on learning, progression and success, each little bit of success she achieved she celebrated, even if it was a post it not to her self saying you are doing ok. She now has now launched a clothing range her own label which sold £56,000 worth of clothes last year.
New Business Award Sponsored by J&PR
This award is open to any business run by a mum which launched after 1st September 2012.
Lingotot teaches languages to children from babies to 11 years in parent and toddler classes, nurseries and primary schools. The classes are interactive and fun, designed to introduce children to a new language in a friendly and relaxed environment. The teachers are fluent or native speakers with a true passion for language learning. They teach through familiar songs, games and stories which are all in the target language Their skill and expertise ensure everyone understands and can participate fully in the classes. Lingotot has parent and toddler classes running in Shrewsbury and Telford and hope to expand this to include Wem, Shifnal and Newport in the upcoming months. Lingotot works in numerous nurseries across North Shropshire as well as providing both curriculum classes and after school clubs to Primary Schools in Shrewsbury, Telford and the surrounding areas. Lingotot currently runs classes in French and Spanish but hope in the very near future to expand to offering Mandarin too. With the teaching of languages now being compulsory for all children from the age of 7 Lingotot will be looking to offer their expert teachers to more Primary Schools.
Walk Mill Botanics offers a range of handmade soaps and beauty products. But these aren’t any ordinary soap; they are the thinking woman’s soap. These are a range of products designed to aid well-being. Working mothers face a number of stresses, having to juggle many balls and need resilience to be able to cope with many demands – it can be stressful. Vicki remember’s the only place she could escape to when her children were little was the bathroom for a moment of peace & quiet. Hence the idea was born for her soaps; they help to create a moment of Bliss. 2012 saw the concept for the business emerge and by 2013 Vicki was well on the way to establishing this new business and product range. 2014 has been the year of testing the market & getting customer feedback and on 1st September the website goes live. Future Expansion will come through raising brand awareness and establishing a solid customer base, which is the immediate focus, then finding outlets which support Vicki’s philosophy and brand message around the botanical and well-being themes.
Michelle launched her business at the start of the summer, with a six week old baby in tow, to help female entrepreneurs smash their money blocks and make more money. She use’s kinesiology, energy shifting techniques in a completely unique way that allows her to work with women all over the world. She also created a way of working with a large group at the same time. Michelle made £26,000 in the first six weeks of her business! She is making money helping women make money. Michelle is now planning to grow the online group, she has an idea for another product and now has two US business partners and is planning a virtual event.
There aren’t enough country rentals for two in the area Kerrie was told by Unique Homestays holiday letting company. So Turtledove Hideaway was created from a disused Garage with no roof. Kerrie got a magazine on board to help fund converting the garage into a money making holiday let then got the magazine to feature it enlisted the top agent in the country to take it on 12 months later she has been featured in 15 national press articles including 4 worldwide. She has written and had published a book on how she did it and is embarking on a second hideaway converting the stables into another love nest for couples. She now employs two people to help her run it who are both mothers who were looking for part time work around there children, one has younger children so needs to be at school for three where as the other lady has older children so can work after 3 everyone is catered for. Last year takings were up by 130% for the first three months of this year, the word is out and there’s no stopping the bookings flooding in after being voted on George Clarke’s Shed of the year on channel 4.
Sling Swing is a unique business conceived and developed by Carly. Sling Swing classes offer mums a chance to take part in gentle exercise through easy to follow and catchy dance routines – what is unique is that the mums do these dance classes whilst carrying their babies and young children in slings. Carly has taken this class from concept to action! Since launching Sling Swing in August 2013 Carly has been running two very popular classes in Wolverhampton. She has done this alongside being a first time mum, working as a music teacher, doing her other class Music Mites, running a choir and volunteering for and now being Branch Coordinator for NCT Wolverhampton with a notable success for the NCT being to set up a sling library. On top of this Carly has set up Sling Swing as a franchise and how has a number of Sling Swing classes running across the country as well as having international enquiries to take Sling Swing global! Carly plans to continue to expand Sling Swing with approaching 20 franchises either already in action or planned spanning the length and breadth of the UK. Carly will continue to deliver classes herself at the original two venues.
Eden Lea was created to target a specific market segment where they had identified a gap in client service. Their immediate objective was to win 5 clients and develop a realistic turnover, growing to 20 clients and £700,000 in the next 5 years. It is great news that Eden Lea has exceeded all targets and are growing at an exponential rate. The team is growing and developing… now a team of 4 they are striving for ongoing success. They have also taken on an apprentice to share skills for a successful future.
In early 2014, Laura officially launched her own business, Slings for Parents, selling a range of high quality baby carriers to cater for all budgets and costs. Her business also offers consultations for her buyers, helping them find the right sling for them and showing them how to use it properly and comfortably for both parents and child. Many parents give up on babywearing early on when all they have known is the ‘high street’ brands that so many national companies sell and have no idea that there are alternatives, ones that are much better. Laura has filled that niche and with the addition of her consultations, is rapidly introducing parents across Shropshire to the wonders of babywearing! When she first launched Slings for Parents, Laura said she would be happy if she sold one sling a week. She is easily selling twice that and her business is only getting busier. She does have plans to eventually have her own shop space, possibly as part of a wider ‘hub’ for baby and child services in Shrewsbury
Creative Business Award Sponsored by All Words Matter
This award is the crafty creative mums among us. Have you created a new product or launched a new range? Is your product special in for some way or unique? Do you have a particular ‘niche’ which you appeal to? have you managed to achieve a creative challenge? This could be within any of the usual creative genres – literary, music, dance, arts, and crafts.
Julieann Beads was founded in 2005 originally selling just unique and distinctive glass bead fashion jewellery, hand created using the loveliest glass beads carefully sourced from the famous glass bead areas of the World. The fashion jewellery range also features limited edition and one off exclusive jewellery designs created using glass beads hand made by British glass artists (all of whom are women, many mothers themselves); though these do tend to sell before even making it on their website! Increasingly Julieann Beads were asked to design bridal jewellery too and so it was a natural business progression to add wedding jewellery and bridal hair accessories into their collections. Their bridal and glass bead jewellery is regularly featured in leading bridal, lifestyle and fashion magazines and is exhibited at numerous local, regional and national events such as The National Wedding Show and NEC Festive Gift Fair.
In 2003, at the age of 23, Laura-Louise started her business as a wedding photographer in Cumbria. A hobby turned business was the focus of her passion and it was her desire to offer a professional yet fun and friendly service to couples wanting to have their wedding photographed providing them with memories to last a lifetime.
The growth of the business was great and very fast, much faster than anticipated and Laura-Louise was excited to be a part of a business that had grown from conception. The Wedding season at the time ran from February/March to October which caused much frustration during the winter months so she made the bold decision in 2006 to relocate to Chester and develop a new brand; CaptureMy. She was blessed with a beautiful Daughter in 2007 whose arrival encouraged her to develop her baby portraiture photography skills. In a totally new direction she also trained as a ceramics “paint-a-pot” business owner and in 2013 it was then she began her mobile ceramics business; Cheshire Cat Crafts.
Gina has set up a successful graphic design business, specialising in branding, the Brand Blitz. This is a unique one day service during which business owners work face-to-face with Gina so that they work collaboratively create the logo and brand together. This enables them to get the entire branding for their business, along with all graphics, colours and fonts and stationery/printed items in one day for a fixed fee and in a way that allows them to influence all aspects of the process and get a brand that is truly right for them. Gina has set up and grown a successful business whilst also being the primary carer for two small children and doing a significant amount of voluntary work to support other mothers and families in her local community. She co-runs one weekly toddler group, is the secretary on the committee of another and she and one other local Mum are responsible for founding and running Shropshire’s first family peer-support group for LGBTQ families, Rainbow Families.
Lajina’s business Masala Magic is an authentic, original and versatile idea, it allows freedom when creating curries, the base flavours are there, in their own right, perfect for an everyday curry staple, but, should you fancy an extravagant restaurant style dish, with a few extras, you can create it in the comfort of your kitchen, with every confidence that the masala will work its’ magic, while you curry on! Lajina run’s the business in a professional manner, checking her business plan and cashflow on a regular basis and will even pay for assistance to ensure the information is accurate. The pot of spice has been laboratory tested for a shelf life and it has been confirmed that it is low in saturated fat, sugar, salt and gluten free. The local environmental health office has given Lajina a 5* star hygiene rating. Lajina has continued to invest in her business and has now gained the necessary skills to teach , first aid certificate and the food safety training. Lajina has had a steep learning curve as she has never worked in a professional kitchen and it has been so much fun, thinking outside of the box, gaining confidence and even going to London to stay in a hotel.
Patricia has always knitted and made some lovely outfits for her grandsons when they were born. She has always wanted to do more with her knitting and after semi-retiring decided to launch a business making knitted toys for babies and children – special gifts that make parents smile and that youngsters can have forever. But her daughter needed her to look after her children. Despite wanting to launch Bellini’s Box properly and spend her spare time doing something she could be really proud of Patricia agreed to spend every Monday with her two grandsons – and she still spends her one remaining day off working on amazing toys for others. But her biggest challenge has been entering a market that uses tools like social media and websites that she is not used to. At the age of 57 she has had to work hard to understand the systems and get used to facebook direct messages, as well as learning the basics of a new business. But she meets the challenges head on and is not afraid to ask when she needs help with something she has not come across before – she would rather get it right than try to do something she is not sure of.
Jenny’s business Blissful Baby Gifts Ltd offers a bespoke service designing and making ‘unique but useful’ handmade gifts and keepsakes with the concept of ‘keeping memories alive’ at the forefront of its objective. Blissful Baby Gifts Ltd is now a thriving web-based business which posts out to the UK and worldwide on a request basis. ! In the last 8 months, as well as relocating the business, awareness of it has been built up in the local area via social media, a regular stall at the popular and successful Humber Bridge Farmers Market; a loyalty card scheme has been developed and launched, the website has been rebuilt, YouTube and Instagram accounts opened and a professional embroidery service developed. In addition, New product lines have been developed and her business has recruited two new members of staff. As well as the on line store, products are displayed and sold via social enterprise in a bakery in North Wales.
Exceptional Service Award Sponsored by Love2Travel
This award is for the mum who makes an exceptional effort in her life or business to maintain a high level of service to her customers and is also supportive to other businesses.
Elaine set up her own business offering ‘whole of market’ financial advice (not tied or linked to any one company) on 1st August 2013, after being made redundant twice in three years from High Street Banks. She had previously held a senior management position at Lloyds Bank for a number of years, but after going back to giving advice in 2010, she remembered just how much she loved it! Being involved personally with clients and offering support and guidance to ensure their financial future is secured, gives Elaine a huge sense of satisfaction. And being able to do it on her terms, rather than an employers terms, means that she can truly do the right thing for her individual clients and ensure that her Ethics and morals are reflected in her actions and ongoing service to her clients. Elaine offers a very personalised service, being available to her clients whenever needed, and ensuring that she is reviewing their investments / retirement planning / protecting their families needs, on an ongoing basis – She is not the type of financial adviser who ‘sells a product’ and whom they never see again. She tell’s all of her clients that once they start their professional relationship they are ‘stuck with her’, which they seem to like!
In her cleaning and ironing business, Joanna gives excellent customer service and will bend over backwards to go the extra mile for customers. She provides excellent tips and advice via her popular Facebook page to help people overcome common household obstacles! She will do all she can to support other businesses, including helping friends setting up on their own and advising new cleaning businesses Jo deserves to win because she does so much for others. In spite of illness, some mobility issues and losing a close family member to cancer, she continues to be positive and generous with her time and support for others.
A year ago, Lisa lost employment, was worried about paying bills, scared that she couldn’t contribute to her family’s wellbeing, and didn’t know what was to happen. A year later to the day, the Solicitors Regulatory Authority has granted her the right to set up her own firm. The SRA is convinced that Lisa can build her business offering excellent legal services to the local community. Lisa is not your usual run of the mill solicitor. She doesn’t run up high bills for her clients – in fact she will often advise potential clients that they don’t even need a solicitor! She doesn’t put pressure on people to instruct a solicitor but lets them come to her in their own time. She wont let clients be dragged into the court process when it can be avoided. Lisa passionately believes that she can only provide a quality service for clients if she is helping them stay out of court and keep costs to a minimum. Lisa has a gift for helping people during what is often an emotionally traumatic time. Since she specialises in family law, her clients are usually struggling with a difficult family break up, divorce or struggling to see their children. Lisa is good at keeping people calm during difficult times and helping them find solutions to their problems whilst always helping them avoiding court proceedings whenever possible. She has trained in a new area of law called Collaborative Practice in which solicitors work together and sign a contract actually preventing court action. Not many other solicitors in the west midlands are willing or able to offer this service but Lisa loves being at the forefront of legal innovation.
Rhea’s business J&PR is all about their customers. They are the reason the business was set up. As a journalist on the Shropshire Star Rhea received lots of press releases from national businesses and big businesses saying how great they were, but the press releases from local businesses were few and far between. So she decided to change that by launching her own business and shouting about the great companies in Shropshire that were not shouting about themselves. Rhea’s journey as a businesswoman and a mum has been really tough but it is her determination to make sure a high level of service is maintained for each and every client that helped her overcome many of the obstacles she has faced. With her first child her labour ended in an emergency c-section and her little boy was rushed straight to the neonatal unit. Rhea’s emotions were high but her calm came finishing off the press releases for her clients using an ipad in her hospital bed. My son was fine and came to me on the ward a few days later and I was ready for him! One of her clients emailed a week later wishing her luck for the birth and couldn’t believe she had actually given birth and was back at home!
Leigh is dedicated to tayloring her product to fit her customers business model, ensuring that they are 100% happy with the product results. Her company’s products are creative and individual which in turn allows her customers to be individual in its approach to party bags , giving them a little bit of an edge – that they wouldn’t have without Leighs beautiful party bags. Leigh is very attentive, swiftly sorting out any problem’s. Leigh offers a service that is above and beyond what any other company would provide.
Emma firmly believes that whether she is dealing with a customer, a corporate client or a stockist she give’s them an excellent service, unknown to them often working to midnight to ensure the gift they have ordered is dispatched the next day. Her attention to detail in her babygifts along with the personal touch of replying to each email thanking them for choosing her gifts. She believe’s that she goes the extra mile with all her customers. She has built up excellent relationships with her stockists and one of her corporate clients now trusts her to send gifts to celebrities homes. Initially babygifts were sent direct to HQ in London, now they trust her enough to send gifts direct to their clients homes.
Joanna offer’s an exceptional service to her clients. She offer’s a flexible service. She has to offer a flexible service as she has two children to take care of and they both form part of her vision for her business. She wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for her children. Joanna offer’s a service whereby, as long as she meet’s client deadlines, which she always does, then she is able to be flexible in her working patterns. All Joanna’s clients understand how she work’s, she understand’s how they work, and they all have a fantastic professional relationship. Her services are personable, professional and confidential at all times and she enjoy’s supporting all businesses, however she has a passion for supporting other Mumpreneurs as she know’s how hard it is to juggle a business, look after the kids and take care of the home. Joanna know’s the hurdles that we all face and how hard it can be. But her determination has shown that it is possible and she is a good example of how hard work can pay off. She believe’s the testimonials on her website speak volumes.
Kelly established her company in April 2012. For 2.5 years she has worked hard from home, developing good customer relation skills and developing a reputation for being a reliable cake decorator. Kelly is proud that her business has flourished to the point that this September 2014 she has moved her business part time to the Shrewsbury indoor market.
In the 2.5 years in business she has never ever let a customer down, last winter she unfortunately had a home emergency and were temporarily rehoused due to a flood. Having a flood is not good at any time, but at this time she also had a very busy week with a lot of cake orders due to be completed. She refused to let her customers down, rather than potentially having to cancel orders last minute she borrowed a family oven, then transferred the cakes to her home and worked decorating them there with no electricity. It wasn’t ideal but she could not let them not have a cake for their celebration. They’d paid for a service, she had to deliver. Kelly feels so privileged that her customers value the exceptional service they receive enough to go on to recommend her to their friends and family, these recommendations are what have allowed her business to grow. Kelly’s customers even take the time to write her thank you cards, or send gifts. These small tokens of appreciation are what make her realise that she’s delivering a service they want.
Health & Beauty Mum of the Year Sponsored by BeYouNique Beauty Academy
An award for a mum in the Health & Beauty Industry who has excelled in the past 12 months.
Maja is a consultant for Arbonne, yet she has created a niche business by marketing her business as Makeup by Maja. She has set up a makeup bar in a salon in Whitchurch and she does a number of other things that allows her access to women needing makeup or skincare. Her goal is to grow her Arbonne team through helping them with their makeup application, thereby introducing them to her fab products and then introducing them to the business, if suitable. It’s a unique and successful way of connecting with women who are bombarded with network marketing opportunities. She makes it hands-on, practial, and fun! Maja takes her business mobile as well. She will help women with special occasion makeup, women who have changed their hair colour and hence need to adjust their makeup, advising brides on skincare who want glowing skin on their wedding day as well as their makeup applied for the big day. She’s also created an offshoot with a local photographer to provide teenage girls with a makeover party – complete with photos of the result. Maja is passionate about her business – and is her own best advertisement!
Carrie has an amazing range of skills from massage to nails to waxing and carries them out with great skill Her customer service is excellent, offering flexible appointments in people’s homes and going out of her way to be flexible to clients’ needs She achieved her qualifications at college around 2 very small boys and has expanded her business recently. Carrie is a single mom with two boys and one little girl on the way and couldn’t be happier showing her kids that if you want to work for yourself and are determined to succeed, you can achieve anything!
Eleanor provides her clients with both fantastic customer service and a wonderful holistic experience overall. She is very knowledgable and passionate about health and wellbeing and prides herself on meeting people’s individual needs through the therapies she offers. Eleanor is very experienced and is also committed to her professional development, building in her knowledge and practice at every opportunity. She has completed a Foundation Degree in Complementary Therapies, specialising in Clinical Reflexology and Clinical Aromatherapy and is a member of the Association of Reflexologists. When receiving a consultation or therapy from Eleanor, you receive a unique experience that is tailored to your individual needs. She makes you feel very comfortable and nothing is ever rushed. She is warm and welcoming and a truly special lady, both in the service she provides and the calming effect she brings into people’s lives.
Sarah always strives to do her best for clients. When she lived in Manchester she would drive back to shrewsbury just to see one of her elderly clients, that client just turned 102 and still has her regular facial! She put herself through a college course last year to become a teacher! This is not an easy task especially when running a business and bringing up a young boy on her own! Sarah’s salon is a calming environment, it’s not set up as an over the top glamourous salon but more a Asian inspired relaxing haven. She always goes that extra mile and you could never feel intimidated going in to the salon! Sarah is a hard working single mum, who set up her own salon nearly 3 years ago. It has gone from strength to strength and she has been able to give a chance to newly qualified beauticians who have benefited from her skills, expertise, teaching skills and costumer service practice.
Sam has created a brand new salon experience with the spa industry. Sam has created the brand with 15 years experience in the health and beauty sector. The Potting Shed Spa has won numerous national awards not only in the beauty industry but also non-industry awards. The Potting Shed Spa has been crowned the best in the country by Professional Beauty Awards, voted the UK’s most inspiring salon by industry peers. Awarded by Mumpreneur for best new start up that has achieved the most in the shortest amount of time, and in June 2014 won large salon of the year at the Babtac Awards. Breaking the boundaries of what a conventional salon should be – Modern Spa Magazine recently quoted the following “The Potting Shed Spa – now an iconic business model within the spa industry” Sam has demystified what a conventional spa/salon experience should be – all done with a sense of humour but running through the core, old school manners and exceptional training for her team. Sam is constantly striving to improve and never sits on her laurels, trend led and completely client focussed, she strives to provide an exceptional service, by under promising and over delivering.
Networking Mum of the Year Sponsored by The Success Coach
An Award for a mum in business who is a superb networker and uses her contacts to not only help in her own business but to also help others.
Susan has become well-known in the networking circles for her ability and willingness to help others make relevant connections to help them grow their business. She try’s to make the events she host’s a combination of fun and business, but most of all, a relaxed environment which people look forward to attending. Every time she host’s an event, attend’s an event, or has a one-to-one, her over-riding priority is to develop a real understanding of the person and then connect them with suitable contacts. Susan firmly believes in helping others – the more you give, the more you receive. Her reputation in business has developed a respect from her peers that she attribute’s to her commitment to helping others be a success. She truly love’s helping others!
In the last 8 months, in addition to relocating her business, building up awareness in the local area via social media, attending a regular stall at the popular and successful Humber Bridge Farmers Market; a loyalty card scheme has been developed and launched, the website has been rebuilt, YouTube and Instagram accounts opened and a professional embroidery service. Jenny has also set up East Yorkshire Biz Mums and started Hull Biz Mums alongside recruiting two hosts for surrounding areas. Her newly opened Face book Blissful Community group (whereby people can share crafting ideas, help and advice, wedding ideas, photos, support, information, activities etc) is thriving.
Short listed Nominee 3 : Jenny Osborne
For Jenny, connecting with someone means she is making herself available to answer their questions and helping to support them, they, in turn are available to help her. The fundamental principle of networking is helping someone else first. This is what builds reputation and good will. Networking helps her to develop as a professional. She also connects with other people that may have a need in the future that she can help with. Over time there are very few problems that can’t be sorted by talking about solutions, ideas, etc. Networking plays a crucial role within the company Jenny works for – Insurance is a notoriously feared subject as most people lack the understanding of what is required for them by law to operate their business – her friendly no jargon approach really helps to break down the barriers that people face and her friendly but professional character means that they are more likely to feel as ease consulting with her on a one to one basis than as a company as a whole – this is vitally important to the company we like to treat each business as an unique enterprise so we have a full understanding of how they operate and what their needs are – this helps us to convert more business than most other brokers and provides Jenny with a strong client base.
During the past year Joanna has developed in so many ways as a result of her networking experiences. Up until recently, she hosted the Shrewsbury Bizmums networking events twice per month. It was her first experience of any kind of networking event and her confidence grew as a result; her public speaking improved and her ‘elevator pitch’ was perfected. She then started to tackle the more ‘formal’ events and joined as a Shropshire Chamber of Commerce member. She then went cross County to Chester and attended the biggest networking event of her life – the Chester Business Network. This was a great experience and one which she was ready for. Joanna has found that her confidence and maturity has developed during the course and feels so passionate about it that she’d really like to help and support others in business and show that it really is worth the dedication, time and effort to perfect. She has proven to herself that developing relationships is key in the success of any business growth. Her client base has come a long way as a result and she is now reaping the benefits of word of mouth recommendations. Determination and patience has paid off. In fact she’s been told on more than one occasion that she’s been the only Virtual Assistant that people have come across at networking events!”
Not only does Diane network for her own business but she also use’s her networking to help other business owners and is always referring those she has built a relationship with to other business
owners or potential clients or joint venture partners. She also encourage’s the ladies in the Direct Sales Divas to do the same. Even where she is unable to directly refer, she uses her social media influence to promote other business owners freely as a way to support them. And also provide opportunities for joint venture /collaboration working through joint events she has led on social media. She follow’s up with those she meets through networking online or in person through making personal contact by phone or social media, again with the aim to build relationships.
Short listed Nominee 6 : Kirsty Smallman
Kirsty is the new client director so networking is the main part of her role within the company. But for Kirsty networking is more than just a marketing strategy for J&PR, it is her way of finding out more about the wonderful businesses in Shropshire and giving advice and tips to other businesses. She is always happiest when she returns from a networking group feeling like she has made a difference to a company – whether that be because they have signed up to allow us to help them as a PR company or because they had questions that Kirsty was able to answer for them. J&PR have never advertised so all clients come from networking, word of mouth and PR, with the majority coming from networking. Kirsty attends networking groups as a participant but also presents to networking groups in the county. The aim is to assist businesses with PR tips but also to tell members and visitors to the group about what J&PR can offer. Kirsty is a real talker and she loves the stage – Twitter always goes wild when she has been speaking to businesses at a networking event. All of this works towards a marketing strategy of getting the J&PR name talked about in Shropshire. Networking is a big part of Shropshire business and Kirsty is at the heart of it.
Young Mum of the Year Sponsored by Visit From the Stork
An award for a mum in business under the age of 25
Toni is a busy single mum who is working 3 jobs to be able to provided more of her baby boy. She started out working alongside my mum in her business (Wedding Daze and Tiaras) providing bespoke hand lade stationery and Tiaras now that business has expanded to included hire items and venue dressing. She started her business soon after she found out that she was pregnant after being told that there was a slim chance of ever being able to have kids, he’s her little miracle. She started off doing personalised baby gifts and Christmas items and have over the last 6 months expanded to included glittered items, handmade garters and other bridal items. She also work’s alongside her mum and auntie in their joint venture in which I work in the office as their administrator.
Becca became an ambassador for Tropic in March 2014 after wanting to have more time with her twins who are now 20 months old. The idea of having her own business and being able to choose her working days/hours appealed to her as she didn’t want to have to miss any important times with her children. She also felt passionate about selling skin care and make up that is cruelty-free, vegan and organic. They are products that she use’s herself so it was a no -brainer for her to start a Tropic business. She love’s being able to show women natural, ethical products! She has had an amazing first 6 months being self-employed, She still work’s part time in her other job but it has enabled her to be able to choose when she works and with Tropic mainly being evening pamper parties, she’s home to put Amelie and Esmé to bed most nights which is very important to her.
After being on maternity leave Natalie decided that going back to work wasn’t an option as being a mother of 2, she wanted to experience her children’s milestones first hand. Therefore on the 16th June 2014 she made a decision to set up her own business. She decided to join Forever Living, however was fully aware of the fact that there was a saturation of distributors already so decided to take a unique step with it. She made the choice of training and becoming a mobile beautician alongside Forever and incorporating the 2 together and Forever Beautiful was born. Since mid July she has now made it to supervisor within Forever and is on her way to Assistant Manager, she also has a team of 9 people. Her mobile beauty business is also booming with lash extensions and body wraps being the most popular. Her business is continuing to grow and whilst doing this she is consistently attending training to further her skills and best of all she does it all flexibly around her children.
Short listed Nominee 4 : Katie Jane Shone
Katie is a 24yr old mummy to a beautiful little girl Isabelle ( 5 months ) Katie had had a tough past but is wanting to provide a amazing future for her daughter. Her dedication to her daughter and her business are inspirational
She has been the number 1 recruiter in the UK for the month of August and this is only her 3 month in the business