I love to celebrate inspirational women on International Womens Day so I thought I’d share a few of the awesome women I know about what they do and what women inspire them. Theres so many women I’ve met, connected to on social media, listened to, watched, both in my personal life and in my tommy and lottie business journey. I believe women should support one another, help promote one another as there is real empowerment in that.
International Womens Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. IWD has been around since the early 1900’s and significant change has taken place since as worldwide, people come together to celebrate womens achievements or rally for womens equality.
Discovery Art Class – Jessie Carr (my sister)
Hi I’m Jessie Carr, I’m a practising artist and owner/founder of Discovery Art Class. I devise and run art classes online, and in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.
I set up my business as I realised there was a demand for shorter, more focused courses to fit with busy lifestyles, with an emphasis on explaining techniques and media. I use the breadth of my knowledge to impart skills at all levels, helping others realise their creativity- when you witness that for the first time its the most rewarding thing!
I strongly believe artistic endeavours have a positive impact on wellbeing, I try and create a relaxed environment where creativity can flow, with the added support of tutor guidance. One of the things I get told over and over again is that painting is so engrossing, that students think about nothing else – which is good for the soul, if only for a few hours!
I admire many female artists and designers, but one of the most influential, and enduring would be Georgia O’Keefe.
An American artist best known for her magnified paintings of flowers, skulls bones and the landscapes of New Mexico. She is widely regarded as a pioneer of 20th century Modern Art, starting with abstract drawing in 1916, and focusing on composition and design, which was very forward thinking and courageous for the time. Something that is summed up in her many quotes – quite a formidable woman!
I love the strength and design quality of her paintings, but also the breadth of influences, distilling the forms and use of rich colour in almost a semi abstract style with the New Mexico landscapes, to the well observed skulls, and the beauty of her magnified flowers.
Quote from Georgia O’Keefe “I feel there is something unexplored about woman that only woman can explore.”
Wolf & Bee – Lizzy Kyriacou
I‘m Lizzy and I started Wolf & Bee 18 months ago after being encouraged, cajoled, inspired and advised by two inspirational women, Nat Aubry, my dear friend and photographer, and the extraordinarily big hearted Kate Buchanan, a textile artist and creative teacher. They gave me the push to ‘just go for it…what’s the worst that can happen’?!
At the moment I’m working mainly in needle felt, moving with the seasons and currently making Spring and Easter themed decorations and garlands, alongside my ongoing pet portraits that keep me busy, also painting and illustrating whenever I can.
Women I’ve been especially inspired by have to be the women that brought me up. My mum, who become a nurse at St George’s Hospital in London and also travelled the world in the 1960’s as an air hostess, she has the best stories! Also, my two grandmothers, both strong, loving, capable women who helped me feel secure and encouraged in everything I did. These women, and a multitude of others who influenced me in my childhood, taught me to keep going and always find the ability to love and laugh.
About Communications – Katie Sogorski
I work with small businesses to create marketing plans that talk to their target audience. I also work with established small and medium sized e-commerce businesses to run Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest ads. website www.aboutcommunications.co.uk
I can’t choose just one as so many women (dead and alive!) inspire me for different reasons: Liz Smith: Her episode of Desert Island Discs is inspiring. She didn’t find success as an actress until she was in her 50s. It reminded me that no career is ever permanent, and it’s never too late to pursue something new. She wanted it, she went for it – when she was ready. Robin Arzon: Robin lifts me up. Literally! After a Peloton class with her you’re bouncing round feeling like you can take on the world. She encourages women to find their voice and to be who they are with no apologies. In a recent class she said ‘it doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger’. One adage that isn’t limited to exercise.
Blissfully Organised – Tracy Ross
Tracy Ross is a Professional Organiser. She set up Blissfully Organised 11 years ago to support clients to simplify their lives by simplifying their home organisation. Tracy offers both in-home (UK only) and Virtual organising services. Tracy has a FREE Facebook community Becoming Blissfully Organised and will be hosting a Spring Clearing Virtual Retreat from the 22-26 March 21. My clients inspire me everyday as they embrace change to achieve their organisational goals.
The woman who continually inspires me is Michelle Obama. I love her honesty, her values and how she is continually learning and growing.
Beevive – Faye Whitley
I am the co-founder of Beevive, which I run from my studio in Devon. I am on a mission to raise awareness for the importance of bees and positively contribute towards the future of our planet. When I’m not buzzing around the studio I enjoy many walks along the beach and countryside with (Bee Revival Kit Inventor) Jake and our fur baby Leo, admiring how beautiful our world is.
What women inspire me? Wow where do I start! Most of the women in my life that inspire me are close-by. They are my dearest friends and family who cheerlead me along the way and encourage my ambitious ideas! I’m also inspired and influenced by the women-led business communities online. It’s an encouraging and positive space to be and their passion keeps me driving forward.
GNGR Bees – Nathalia Grisard
I am the founder and director of an honest activewear brand called GNGR Bees, where I work with social enterprises and charities around the world in order to bring a solution to the problem we have with consumption and waste today. I love helping communities, being involved in events and actively changing the world around me to a better, inspiring place.
Some of the women that inspire me are:
Gisele Bunchen, Ocean Ramsey & Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim
Donna Herts Social – Donna Anderton
I specialise in Instagram and I am the owner of Donna Herts Social supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Being a mum changed my outlook on life -and prompted a new career direction. I’ve had over 22 years experience in fashion retail management so I have a real passion and expertise in fashion industry businesses.
I work directly with businesses to either solely manage their account, do it jointly or train them to level up. I also support with visuals for branding and strategy audits to ensure they are professional and focused.
I am a huge small businesses supporter & I recently ran two big competitions for families in Hertfordshire, collecting over 37 prizes from independent businesses.
This year I celebrate my 1st year and I am nicknamed the DIVA Dynamic Instagram Virtual Assistant and known for my love of fashion, pink, leopard print and chocolate. I am also a sun lover and not a winter person.
An inspirational woman is hard to answer but I admire my Nan a lot and we have a fantastic bond and speak daily. I also love Coco Chanel.
CHARLIE & CHESCA – Charlotte and Francesca
Charlie & Chesca is a British jewellery brand whose mission is to create beautiful stylish everyday pieces to make you feel fabulous through that extra bit of sparkle. Something that started off as two great friends and jewellery addicts, with a shared obsession for designing and making stacking bracelets and rings for themselves, then turned into a passionate business partnership as a result of the demand for their beautiful handmade designs from colleagues, friends, family, and indeed passing strangers!
We really love what we do and are extremely lucky to have created a small business that we are passionate about and proud of. Making the decision to start this on our own was a scary prospect but ‘you never know till you try’. We have met so many wonderful female business owners, stylists, bloggers to name a few over the last 14 months and their support has been truly amazing. Thank you.
Our inspirational women:
Francesca (aka Chesca)
A woman that has always inspired me and continues to do so is my life, is my Nan. Whatever life threw at her, she stood tall and strong and faced anything head on. Her smile, love, caring nature and honesty will be with me always.
Charlotte (aka Charlie)
A woman that inspires me every day is my amazing Mum. Strong, talented and hardworking, she has always been there for me, inspiring me, caring for me and encouraging me. She has taught me to always be myself, to always keep going no matter what happens and has shown me that there is absolutely nothing you can’t do if you have the will and the determination.
I’m Jen, a lettering artist who runs modern calligraphy workshops and designs hand-lettered maps of your most loved places.
I love to support local, and am constantly inspired by the amazing women-run small businesses on my doorstep. There are so many! You of course, Nicky @Dizzy Bee, Laura @lauraslittleapothecary, Jane @franklydecor and Shelly @missshellydesigns have not only inspired me but supported me and my business during this past crazy year!
Jayne Reah Executive Coaching
I’m an executive and business coach. I help people progress, re-design and relaunch their careers. As a former female leader, myself I’m incredibly passionate about supporting women in leadership. I also enjoy working with female entrepreneurs to help them develop their vision and purpose, build their personal brand, and grow a profitable business.
There are so many amazing women I admire. The former First lady Michelle Obama, definitely takes the crown as the world’s most admired woman and role model. I also have to mention Marie Curie who was the first woman to receive a Nobel prize as my children’s school house is named after her.
Hello Ruth – Ruth Wallington
Hello, I am Ruth owner of Hello Ruth and I create bespoke words, maps and origami pieces from customer’s photographs.
I take great pleasure in creating high quality photo prints featuring your special photo memories. I have a wide range of anniversary gifts, birthday presents, family mementos and wedding gifts. I also offer handmade alternative origami greeting cards. I fold unique origami keepsakes and cards for every occasion, some contain a hidden photo for that extra special personal surprise! I offer a friendly, fast, personal service so do get in touch and say “Hello Ruth”.
Adele from Nutmeg Wall Art inspires me. Not only does she run an incredibly successful family business, she supports and encourages others around her. She is clever, kind, humble, fun and an all round wonderful person. She doesn’t shout about her success, she quietly and brilliantly grows her business. I definitely aspire to me more Adele!
Miss Shelly Designs – Michelle Frostick
I am a designer/maker. I create bespoke artwork, decorations, and greetings cards from my little studio in Hertfordshire.
The women I admire the most are my Mum and Nan. My Mum was a single parent for most of my life and my Nan was like my third parent. She always supported my Mum and helped to bring us up. They are both so caring and have spent most of their lives putting others first.
CM Jewellery Designs – Sara Jacobs
I’m a mum of 2 boys and I own a jewellery brand called Cmjewellerydesigns, we are also ear stylists to our customers.
I have always found my inspiration from my mum, after seeing her working so hard in her family life this always helped me achieve my goals. I am also hugely inspired by all the hard working mums out there growing there businesses and bringing up families, they are true warriors.
Milo + James – Anna Howard-Macdonald
I’m the co-founder of Milo + James, a natural, organic and handmade skincare company based in St Albans. We focus on the natural ingredients used in the products, ensuring that each ingredient is carefully chosen for its skin loving and wellbeing benefits and none of the products contain SLSs, parabens, mineral oils or palm oils. The products are made by hand in our studio in St Albans in small batches for maximum freshness and are all cruelty free.
A woman that inspires me in my life is Jacinda Ardern. As the Prime Minister of New Zealand, she has a leadership style that is refreshing and inspirational, she has shown that it is possible to have a high flying career and a family, and her management and navigation of the pandemic in New Zealand has been impressive.
Karoline Mileham – Candy Queen Designs
I’m Candy Queen Karoline, the creator and maker of Animaltastic Furniture Knobs and the Decorative Light Switches of your children’s dreams! I take the mundane and make it magnificent by adding the Candy Queen twist. The perfect finishing touch for your newly decorated room, with hundreds of designs available there’s something for everyone!
Inspirational women –
As someone who LOVES business building and making and creating more than anything else the women who inspire me most are some of my fellow women business owners.
It’s a hard choice to make as there are three people who not only inspire me but actually help me, Every single week. There’s Leona Baker of Indie Roller (which I’m a member of) who started her first business the same time as mine and now helps small creative businesses grow in the best and brightest possible way, Everyday and there’s Zoe Pocock of Muck and Brass, the upcycling Queen who gives away her knowledge freely, helps inspire other small creative businesses each week and taught me how to professionally upcycle furniture in 2018.
However, my number one inspiration day after day, week after week, year after year since I first met her in 2003 (when I attended the Craft Fair she was putting on) is Holly Tucker MBE, founder of Notonthehighstreet.com and Holly.co. She has helped my business grow enormously, she’s a cheerleader in my pocket on Instagram, her podcast is my daily company when i make, her infectious energy and enthusiasm knows no bounds, she helped me through the pandemic with her online Friday Tea Parties and her wealth of free daily online knowledge that she shares is absolutely invaluable. She’s my number 1 inspirational woman of all time, she has inspired me continually for 17 years and I already know she’ll inspire me for the next 17.
Here’s to Creative Women who ROCK the work!
Audrey Montet – Montet Designs
I’m a Community Artist and I specialise in mosaic making and painted murals called Montet Designs. My passion is working with people young and old from all different communities be it a school, a housing estate, community centre or youth setting. Together we design, create and make art which can be enjoyed and celebrated by all.
There are many public figures who have inspired me throughout my years in business, but the women who touch me the most are those that I’m blessed to have in my life and who inspire me on a daily basis. Their passion, their dedication, empathy and compassion continues to inspire me. This includes my amazing mum and mother-in-law, and some very dear friends who are completely rocking it in their businesses as well as their home life and who I’ve drawn guidance and support from.
Nicky Halloran – Dizzy Bee Kitchen
My name is Nicky I own a small Granola business- called Dizzy Bee Kitchen– we make freshly toasted granolas high on nuts and seeds low on sugar and bad fats. I have always loved making baking creating. Trained as a chef and worked as an NVQ assessor in catering. My Mum had a café when I was a kid and totally inspired my love of food and friends. She built a supportive community as well as somewhere people ate wholesome home cooked food.
I love the women in my life, family and friends and they all have so many skills talents passions and quiet strengths they inspire me every day. Its so hard to pick just one … so I have plumped for a woman in the public eye- Jacinda Ardern- an leader who is astute, authentic, calm in a crisis , and isn’t afraid to admit her vulnerabilities.
Happy International WOMENS Day!
Katie Seidler – Hello Haus
I’m an interior designer based in St Albans offering online services nationwide and on site locally. My passion is for creating calm and balanced interiors for my clients using Japanese and Scandinavian principles. I aim to design timeless homes that become a sanctuary to switch off in. My website www.hellohaus.co.uk
My mum always inspires me. She raised me alone all my life, is the hardest worker I know, generous and kind and to this day my biggest supporter.
Natalie Lacon – Lacon Design
“I’m a brand and web designer and work with small businesses to help define and design their unique visual identity, website and social media assets.
The businesses I work with are typically women led, ethically minded, creative and following their passion. They also want to give something back whether that’s supporting charitable causes through their businesses, or supporting peoples health and wellbeing. My website www.lacondesign.co.uk
It’s hard to name just one inspiring woman, as I know so many! So I’ll stick to a virtual inspiration – Marie Forleo – I’m a bit late to the party but I’ve recently discovered her podcast.
Laura Dannan – Lauras Little Apothecary
When I’m not looking after the family & making bespoke aromatic potions I make candles with my friend Dominique (Heartwood Candle Co) and enjoy playing the drums, guitar and writing songs to relax .
So many women inspire me including a Lot of my mum friends that have to juggle raising a family with running a business. But if I’d have to say one person it would be my mum. Sadly she suffers with Alzheimer’s now but she has always taught me you don’t have to confirm; it’s fine to follow your own path, and more importantly chase those dreams because you can do anything you set your mind to.
Claudia & Coco – Rock ur Style
Sarah Pascaru – Social Jooce
I’m a Social Media Consultant. I help businesses reach new audiences and grow their social media presence with the right strategies to maximise growth and profitability. I do this by offering tailored social media strategies, consultancy and bespoke training. My website is here www.socialjooce.com
Businesses usually come to me for help when they struggle with productivity, spending too much time on social media without getting the results or they need to improve their current process and need the guidance and support to achieve their social media goals.
There are so many inspirational women out there. Here’s a few that I look up to: Michelle Obama, Meghan Markle, Greta Thunberg and Jacinda Ardern (NZ PM). I find them all inspiring for different reasons but mainly standing up for what they believe in. They’ve all different backgrounds and yet they are all making a big difference!
Eliza Lau Johnston – Twenty Outfits
twenty_outfits sources and rebrands preloved and vintage clothes, for the busy woman who wants to be stylish, sustainable and individual. Eliza hosts styling and fashion events as a platform for women to get together to be inspired, chat and support each other. She lovingly sources clothes and edits the pieces reflecting her own style combined with what women would like to wear for all occasions. twenty_outfits also offers a personal consultation service for a style makeover or for a specific event.
Starting your own business does require passion, so I strongly believe it’s got to be something you love to do. Engaging and bouncing off ideas with other self-starters is important too so regular meet up with like minded businesses is useful and inspiring. Also regular visits to art galleries, forward thinking retail shops such as Dover Street Market, walking around London, checking out design, architecture etc, kick starts the creative juices.
The pandemic has thrown a massive curve ball at humankind and women, have particularly been affected. And especially to working mothers. This past year has been such a rollercoaster and the juggling of homeschooling, working from home, maintaining the house, working on relationships and trying to keep mental health positive, have been crazy intense. It has been so heartwarming to see so many women come together and support each other through this incredibly tough year. There were so many breakdowns, tears, and anger but balanced with laughter, doorstep gifts and lots and lots of walks. So for me, all women are an inspiration.
“A girl should be two things: Who and what she wants.” –Coco Chanel