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 and equality.
Here are just a few inspirational women I’ve met 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.
Stephanie – Chef Naturelle
“I am Stéphanie, a holistic chef and a true believer that food can bring happiness! I have always been obsessed with food which is partly due to my upbringing in the South-West of France by my mum, a chef by trade and in a culture which is all about bringing people together to enjoy the art of good food. Over the years, I naturally turned towards a more conscious way of cooking and eating and I specialise in wholefood plant-based cooking, inspired by the seasons and the healing benefits of food. I founded Chef Naturelle to share this love and I am on a mission to help people reconnect with food. Chef Naturelle’s offerings include cooking classes and workshops, retreat and private catering, personal chef services and talks all designed to educate, empower and inspire people to cook and eat creative, vibrant and nutrient-rich dishes which bring a slice of joy into their lives!
Many women inspire me in my life, my mum first and foremost along with my friends, family members, teachers, women I haven’t met but the one that I would like to mention today is Olia Hercules. The way she is fighting for her country, her people, her culture and using her voice and strength is truly inspiring. “
Sarah – Plant Rescuer
It’s common practice at supermarkets, garages, DIY shops and garden centres to throw out plants when they finish flowering or begin to show signs of stress. It was seeing this happen at a local DIY shop that started by obsession with rescuing plants before they got thrown away. The sight of healthy plants being binned deeply saddened me and from this a need to rescue as many plants as possible from the same fate was born.
My aim in starting @theplantrescuer was to document the recovery of plants I rescue and encourage others to do the same. This year I wrote a book about how to care for and rescue your houseplants. The Plant Rescuer – The Book Your Houseplants Want You To Read (published by Bloomsbury 28th April 2022) Available to pre order here : PLANTBOOK
I have so many exciting plans for 2022, my book launch, an exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, a Guardian Masterclass and I’ve recently started the Plant Rescue Box initiative. A scheme which encourages plant retailers to add the plants they would have thrown away to a box which can then be bought for a discounted price. There are 8 retailers in the UK and the US. I’d love this to go global and see plant rescue boxes available everywhere. Throwing plants away because they don’t look perfect is shameful, wasteful and ridiculous!
I’m extremely lucky to have many inspirational women in my life, I’m surrounded by inspiring women, including yourself Katie! Any Women who has overcome adversity, cares for animals and the environment, works for a charity, helps the elderly or just has a positive outlook on life is an inspiration to me. I know far too many amazing women to list them all!
Eliza – 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.
Jessie (my sister) – Discovery Art Class
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.”
Nat Aubry Photography
I am a documentary and lifestyle photographer based in Hertfordshire. I work with clients locally as well as travel in the UK for shooting events and places. I mainly work with creatives and in the fields of food, interiors and travel. I aim at creating natural and authentic imagery to tell my clients’ story.
I have been blessed to have been inspired by women through my career, either in the City or in photography, I still go wild swimming with my former boss in the City, who helped transition from my corporate position to freelancing. I am forever grateful to my fellow female creatives, who have to listen to my stories and help me process my next steps. There are many photographers who inspire me, but Annie Leibovitz and especially her earlier work for Rolling Stones has shaped the way I view photography and probably my work as a photographer.
Alex – Luxe Leopard Lifestyle
Hi I’m Alex, I’m a Personal Stylist with 17 years experience in the Fashion Industry. I help busy professional women and mums who feel they’re stuck in a style rut. To adopt a more sustainable and individualised approach to fashion. So that they can look and feel good about their style choices, as opposed to ‘just like everyone else’.
I’ve created a proven blueprint – my ‘Sustainable Signature Style Solution’ program for getting women committed to creating their own signature style in alignment with their values, and sustainable results fast. Learn how your clothing, and the colours you wear, can transform the way you look and feel.
A woman that inspires me is Emmeline Stevens of The Image Cons Co, who trained me as a Personal Stylist and continues to be a mentor and influence in my career. She’s built an amazing community of Stylists who all support and encourage each other.
Robyn – Village Pop Up Shop & Market
“I organise & curate extra special in person makers markets and unique pop-up shops, celebrating small businesses & creatives. My business inspiration definitely comes from Holly Tucker, Nicki from Pedddle & Debs from Fabulous Places – I just love all their endless enthusiasm and everything they do. But my biggest inspiration will always be my Mom, who has run her own creative business in various shapes and sizes my whole life. And still today at 72 is the person I turn to to celebrate the highs and lows of running a small business myself.”
Lizzy – Wolf & Bee
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.
Katie – About Communications
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.
Tracy – Blissfully Organised
Tracy Ross is a Professional Organiser. She set up Blissfully Organised 12 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.
Becky – Gg bebe
My brand is Gg bébé and I make accessories for grown-ups and babies. I’m currently stocked in Ten Women Gallery, 2719 Main Street, Santa Monica, California and I’m in talks with another store in California about an exclusive collection. Otherwise, my website here www.ggbebe.com I also ship to the UK and Australia.
I recently came across Mary Seacole, when listening to a history podcast with my son. She was a British-Jamaican nurse and businesswoman who among many other things, set up the “British Hotel” behind the lines during the Crimean War. She was hugely determined and courageous in the face of many obstacles, putting herself in dangerous situations to help others. I was fascinated by her story – what a woman!!
Faye – Beevive
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.
Nathalia – GNGR Bees
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 Herts Social (named after myself, where I live & what I do) supports small businesses/entrepreneurs growing a Social Media presence and accelerating sales. I specialize with Instagram and video content.
My business enables me to connect with and help so many remarkable women who’s online needs vary with adapted packages and 1:1 training. My 5 year old daughter is the reason I strive for more and embraced relaunching a new career.
I’m successful because I am determined, honest and am supported by women.
Creating a sustainable future and inclusive world is important to us.
The most inspirational woman in my life is my Nan, Helen who’ll celebrate her 90th in April. Coco Chanel’s story, what she stood for and her iconic style inspire me daily.
Charlie & Chesca
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 leaders and business owners think, feel and perform at their best.
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.
To find out more about what I do visit me at www.jaynereah.com
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!
Michelle – Miss Shelly Designs
I am a designer/maker. I create bespoke artwork, decorations, and greetings cards from my little studio in Hertfordshire. I’m currently raising money for the Red Cross to help Ukraine and all profits will be donated from all sales of my sunflower print.
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.
Sara – CM Jewellery Designs
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.
Catalina – Saint Nails & Beauty
I’m Cat and I own Saint Nails + Beauty. I offer beauty treatments in St. Albans, with a focus on enhancing your natural beauty and some well deserved ‘me time’. All treatments are vegan and cruelty free; from bespoke nail art and gel manicures to HD brows and Elim medical grade pedicures (both coming soon!). I am passionate about providing not just a high quality treatment but making people feel good about themselves.
I also offer nail art parties that are perfect for tweens/teens and hen dos, and can be combined with a braid bar by the wonderful Annis of Braid Maidens!
I have met so many incredibly talented and inspiring women in St. Albans but I have to pick Annis as someone who has inspired me so much since meeting her. She is creating an amazing braid business here in Hertfordshire, teaching mums, children and even dads how to create stunning braids. She is brave, determined, radiates positivity and is one of the kindest people I know.
Audrey – 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 – 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!
Natalie – 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.
Lauras Little Apothecary
Hello I’m Laura, mum of two teen girls and Aromatherapist & founder of Laura’s Little Apothecary.
When I’m not looking after the family & making aromatic potions I love to play the guitar, drums and write songs.
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
I’m Claudia ! Just an ordinary girl at 47 making headbands with my beautiful goddess of a daughter Coco who is 15. We set up Rockurstyle with a love for creating fashion we can’t find anywhere! It’s a hobby we share together and lockdown plus a life changing life style enabled for this to kick off into our new small business. We have been crazy busy lately as our headbands are stocked at love local hub in Watford and Milton Keynes.
I’m a qualified teacher and fully trained musician been working in education for over 21 years. When my mum fell ill I was needed elsewhere and stopped teaching. Coco and I found quality time in creativity together and there is nothing nicer than the bond between a mama and a daughter. The rest is history.
Coco my baby girl inspires me daily with her confidence, enthusiasm and positivity for life. But I guess the real reason I’m a strong lady is due to the one who raised me, my dear mummy. Even after major heart surgery, 2 strokes and the trauma of nearly losing her, she today is fighting on and adapting to a new second shot of life without independence. Each day we are grateful, she teaches us positivity and the lesson to keep moving and activate the brain to keep learning and tackling challenges. My mum is a total inspiration with daily activities that we take for granted are so very challenging for her yet not a day goes by without her trying. She’s glamorous and clever, she is learning to dance again and play the ukulele via zoom! She smiles each day and teaches us sunshine daily.
My sister too the other woman in my life, a food nutritionist who also gave up work to help care for our mama. She teaches me daily silver clouds and together we keep plodding on! A very different life but one to be grateful for.
Sarah – Social Jooce
I’m Sarah Pascaru, social media strategist and founder of Social Jooce. I set up Social Jooce in 2018 to help service-based businesses thrive and grow on social media.
Many businesses struggle to use social media effectively to benefit their business and stand out in a crowded and competitive space. Getting the results from social media can feel like a huge challenge, consuming time and energy without giving enough in return. But did you know that 80% of purchasing decisions are influenced by social media?
I help businesses take control of their social media in a way that’s manageable and effective. I provide bespoke consultancy and training, which aims to increase both brand awareness and social presence.
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! I also find Ukrainian women who are fighting for their country very inspirational. I’ve seen so many on social media like chef Olia Hercules and Russian food creative Alissa Timoshkina who’s running the #CookForUkraine campaign.
Louise & Anna – Equipp
We’re Louise and Anna and we set up Equipp to help spread happiness and positivity. The extra P in our name represents our philosophy, which is to celebrate teenagers. We design greetings cards, boxed card gifts, cushions, time capsules, journals and other gifts that provide something physical, practical and thoughtful. Telling teens how wonderful they are and putting a daily smile on their faces is integral to everything we do and produce (oh, and we’re raising money for a fantastic teenage mental health charity along the way).
Anna and I are inspired by many famous women and often use quotes from icons such as Coco Chanel but also are inspired by a lesser unsung band of female business owners. Shell, of @miss_shell_designs, together with her mum and grandmother, is a perfect example – she’s currently hand sewing beautiful sunflower prints, donating the entire profit to the Ukraine.
We have both been inspired by our own mother’s and for Equipp, three amazing young women. Lotte Stringer @lottelilibet. Lotte is the sister of Hector, of @Hectorshere charity, who took his own life at eighteen. Her limitless contribution to suicide prevention and mental health education for young people, and her drive is astounding. @Izgrint and @emilyrogersxox, our own daughters. They have one major common denominator. They have mentored us,(NB, not the other way around!) through their teenage years and reached their early twenties with identity, drive and passion for their own paths. They have both supported the Equipp dream in ways that have exceeded any expectation we had and aside being unbelievably grateful and proud, they are our continued motivation.