Inspirational Business Women’s Week
It’s National Business Women’s Week this week, so the team have put together their most inspirational women in business.
My inspirational Woman in Business is … Emma Bridgewater.
Emma Bridgewater founded the company back in 1985, after failing to find a cup and saucer for her mum’s birthday that she liked, so she decided to design and create her own, with the help of a local pottery. It was then that her entrepreneurial idea became a reality. Alongside her husband, Emma has grown the business for almost three decades, taking inspiration for her designs from her everyday life.
The Emma Bridgewater Factory is in Stoke-On –Trent, home of British pottery. Every mug, jug, teapot and plate is hand decorated and signed by the person who painted it, making each piece unique. It is now one of the largest employers of potters in the area.
My love for her bold, colourful, mismatched designs came about when I was introduced to the potteries. Stoke is my partners’ hometown and I was always intrigued as to who or what Emma Bridgewater was. He finally gave in one day, after constant nagging to find out, and took me to the factory, where I spent almost every weekend from then on browsing, buying and eating cake, in the factory’s quaint tea shop.
Over the years, I have invested a lot of time (and money!) planning my next EB purchases to add to my growing collection and now have two kitchen cupboards full and balancing just some of my many mugs!
Her story is an inspiration to me, not only because I am a great admirer of the products, but how her successful business and well-known brand all started with the want of the perfect present!
My inspirational woman is the super talented author J.K. Rowling. She sparked my imagination and creativity when she introduced me to the magical world of wizards and witches in the Harry Potter books. I didn’t start reading them until I was an adult, which is a big regret. I’m grateful to J.K Rowling for the impact her books had on my younger sister too who hadn’t even been born when the first book was released. My sister quickly developed a passion for reading and has read each of the books at least SIX times, and she’s now studying English Lit at university because of her love of books.
JK Rowling might be a famous billionaire now, but before she got her big break she was a single mother suffering from depression and had her book rejected several times. But she kept going and didn’t give up, so she’s shown determination and having the courage to follow your dreams really does pay off. And I find that very inspiring.
My Inspirational Women in business is……..Beatrix Potter.
As a child a grew up having the stories read to me and even visiting Beatrix Potter World in the Lake District, all the stories are lovely to read even as an adult now they can still make you smile. Beatrix was an ordinary woman who was very well educated but grew up isolated from other children, so she began to paint and draw all her pets, even the animals she came across on her travels to Scotland and The Lake District, she made amazing stories just from her imagination.
It’s only been in my adult life that I have got to know more about her, Beatrix’s Mother and Father families were both from the Manchester area which I never knew I always thought they were from London, it’s nice to know she’s from our amazing city. It still amazes me that she didn’t publish any books till she was in her 30’s which to a lot of people would think it seems very late but as a women who has grown up not really knowing what she wanted to do I completely see that eventually your talent or calling happens at some point you just have to wait for your time.
Now as a mum I love nothing more than reading the stories to my little girl, her Grandparents bought her a special edition of them all for her 1st Christmas which she will cherish forever, I can’t wait till she’s a bit older so I can take her to see where it all began, as it meant a lot to me as a child.
My Inspirational Women in business is……..Carol Kane.
With Boohoo recently announcing phenomenal interim results with revenue up 35%, achieving sales of £90.8million and 4.5m active customers, you can’t help but admire Carol Kane.
A designer who left her working-class home in the North East home at 18, she has become one of the most influential women in the North West.
Establishing an e-commerce fashion brand in 2006 was a brave move and to launch it onto the stock market in March 2014 was again courageous given very few e-commerce businesses were PLCs at the time.
Now employing more than 800 staff and one of the biggest employers in Burnley, Carol has created one of the North West’s most profitable businesses and helped revive textiles manufacturing in the UK.
My woman in business is simple. A scouser who connected with her audience from Granada Tv to the 2002 commonwealth games. The visionary and heartbeat of The Sharp Project and Space Studios. A role model for all young women and us fellas too. Susan Woodward OBE. Thank god you came to Manchester.
My inspirational woman in business is… Karren Brady.
You may know her as the face beside Lord Sugar on the TV show The Apprentice. Some may also know her as the ‘first lady of football’.
Karren Brady is one of the UK’s most successful businesswomen with a net worth of well over £100million. Her career has had some amazing achievements from the very start. At just 20 years old, she became a Director of Sports Newspapers Ltd. She was the first ever female Managing Director of the British Premier League, and also the youngest Managing director of a British PLC at the time. To have achievements like that is impressive, but to achieve them in such a male-dominated market is unbelievable. The fact she’s broke the mould with many things is what makes her stand out to me. Her career hasn’t slowed down even now, she’s gone onto numerous Executive board roles and excelled in politics, becoming the Small Business Advisor for the Government. None of this has gone unnoticed, as in 2014 she was awarded a CBE for services to Women in Business and since has been given the title of Baroness Brady of Knightsbridge. If Karren’s story isn’t an inspirational female story, then I don’t know what is!