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February / March Issue 1

TAKE ME READ ME KEEP ME

COMPLIMENTARY

brightwomanmagazine.com

PROFESSIONAL MAKEOVER HOW TO MAKE THE CHALLENGING TRANSITION FROM EMPLOYEE TO ENTREPRENEUR

WOMEN TRANSFORMING LEADERSHIP SAID BUSINESS SCHOOL, OXFORD UNIVERSITY

OXFORDSHIRE BEAUTY GUIDE FEEL AND LOOK YOUR BEST LOCALLY

Alex Longmore An unabated passion

Celebrity Fashion stylist and entrepreneur Alex Longmore on her persistent passion for fashion, launching UK Style School and helping young fashion entrepreneurs


Cover story

A stylish business:

Fashion Stylist

F

Alex Longmore

ashion entrepreneurs are known for their tenacity, but what makes the gorgeous Alex Longmore different is her easy charm, her sense of humour and a smile that never fails to accompany her. Alex is rather well known in UK’s fashionable circuit. She is one of the UK’s top fashion stylists with over 16 years experience in the British Fashion Industry. She has styled personalities such as Twiggy and Claudia Schiffer, Dannii Minogue, Jerry Hall, Sophie Ellis Bexter and Jemma Kidd (to name a few!) and has also opened her very own Style School.

Her work has been featured in all the top glossy’s from Vogue to OK and she was seen on TV in Tamara Ecclestone’s reality TV show ‘Billion Dollar Girl’ on channel 5, styling Tamara. Alex has also appeared on other shows including ITV’s Lorraine This Morning, Colleens Real Women, The Vanessa Show and Britain’s Next Top Model. But there is more to this stylish lady than fashion; she is a yoga-lover, adores animals, strongly believes about not using fur and is passionate about mentoring future generations. With such a burgeoning career, one would imagine that some

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of the passion for fashion must have simmered down but no; her passion is still burning and passion as they is contagious. Speaking to her, one comes out rather energised knowing that with determination and self-belief anything is possible. Interview by Dhanya Nair. Where did you spend your childhood and teenage days? I was brought up in Hertfordshire in the countryside outside London but went to boarding school in Oxfordshire. I spent most of my teenage years trawling the Kings Road in Chelsea and hanging out with friends.


Cover story How was it growing up and what attracted you to the world of fashion and style? My childhood was an idyllic one until my parents died when I was 16 years old. I was an only child so my life dramatically changed at a formative age and I went to live with my aunt and uncle and cousins. I had to grow up very quickly and at a young age was questioning life rather than living it to the full. I truly believe the experience has made me a stronger person and I have worked very hard to gain the perspective I now have on life. I always knew I wanted to work in fashion, my grandmother and mother were exceedingly stylish and I was surrounded by fashion from an early age. It was reading my Grandmother’s copy of Vogue when I realised that I wanted to become a Stylist, I am not so sure I knew what that was at the age of eight but never mind! I just loved the glossy pages and the world that it transported me to it. I was seduced by fashion I guess you could say.

icons and what they had I wanted. I remember when ripped jeans were a real trend and my Mother wouldn’t let me have any; there were a lot of tears! Any icons who shaped your thoughts and style? The person who shapes my thoughts the most is without a doubt Marianne Williamson, I take huge inspiration from her teaching and spiritual message. On the fashion front have a huge range from Grace Kelly, Kate Moss, Gwyneth Paltrow to Fearne Cotton. How has your style changed over the years? I have got more confident as I have matured. I guess I know what style and colours suits me now so I try to stick to that without trying to wear something that is fashionable that really won’t suit my shape. I also try to buy quality rather than quantity. And recently I’ve taken a stance against wearing fur.

Growing up who influenced your style?

You have over 15 years of experience in the fashion industry; you’ve been a brand ambassador for L’Oreal and you have worked with Britain’s Next Top Model. You have also collaborated with celebrities such as Zara Philips and Tamara Ecclestone. Is there any role or aspect of your work that you cherish the most and what would be the most daunting or challenging task?

I was a real 80’s child and St Elmo’s Fire was my favourite film so I took inspiration from Demi Moore and also Madonna in Desperately Seeking Susan. Being at Boarding school meant that my friends were often my

I’m lucky as my job varies so much, I enjoy every aspect of it and I love the variation that goes with styling work. I love presenting on TV about fashion, it’s scary when it’s live but I love it. But I equally love working with

How would you describe your personal style? Eclectic and chameleon. I change it all the time. I have to look the part and friends always joke when I turn up in the perfectly fitting outfit for an occasion. It’s part of the job!

private clients helping to sort out wardrobes and dressing celebrities for red carpet events or for magazine shoots. Working with major brands be it endorsing their products or working to strengthen their brands is something I love as well. From Mary Quant to Stella Mc Cartney, Britain has needless to say given this world many iconic designers. How do you think fashion and style scene has changed in Britain over the years? It has always been a bit rebellious with the likes of Westwood and Mc Queen in my generation but in previous times it’s been like that too, UK fashion is known to be edgy but I think that perception is changing with current talent taking the central fashion stage in a major way. It’s going way more feminine and the UK fashion scene has never been stronger. The Fashion Awards held this year is proof that London has fast become the Fashion capital of the world. How would you differentiate between style and fashion? Style is something that never changes. Fashion is something that comes and goes. Which strategy is best according to you: investing in some quality, yet expensive, staples or spend on a lot of cheaper items for a more diverse look? It totally depends on budget but I think for everyday dressing High Street works well, I encourage my clients to spend that bit extra for special occasions and eveningwear.

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Cover story

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Cover story Is there any fashion faux pas that makes you cringe? Wearing clothes that don’t fit properly and denim on denim is a definite no. Describe your working day. What do you to unwind? My working day totally differs from researching clothes, working on a shoot or preparing for a TV interview. I’m massively into anything holistic. Yoga is a big part of my life. I practice vinyassa flow at Jivamukti London with my incredible teacher Danai Kougiouli. I find it grounds me and helps me balance the craziness of fashion. Tell us more about Style School. What made you start this school? Style School came about because I was shocked that there was no way you could learn about the industry from professionals. Being a Stylist is like being a car mechanic, you have to know the nuts and bolts and the only way you learn that is from those that really know. I wanted to devise a course that was dedicated to teaching students exactly what is needed to get into the fashion industry. What would be your failsafe fashion piece for SS14? Anything from Stella Mc Cartney. Would you like to mentor young students or youngsters who want to have a career in fashion? I do, every graduate from Style School gets one to one mentoring with me and I often take my students on shoots. I

strongly believe in helping the future generation. What advice would you give to those who want to become fashion entrepreneurship? Also, do you think it is important to start young? Can the fashion industry be a bit ageist? I think it is important to get as much experience as possible; this is really the only way in. It helps you to find out what area you want to work in as it’s a huge industry. I don’t think fashion is ageist; anyone can do anything if they really put their mind to it. You have stated that you would never wear fur. Is there any cause you are passionate about? I am passionate about animals and it also stems from my yoga practice at Jivamukti. I don’t believe anyone or thing should be hurt just to help us look good. Plus I have a little kitten and when I got her I realized that Mavis fur was like wearing a fur coat and I thought how could I wear anything that I loved so much? It put it into perspective for me.

What are the essential skills if someone wants to get into styling? To be tenacious, organised, polite, have a sense of humour and not to take it too seriously, it’s not exactly like performing brain surgery. To know more about her work, you can check out her website: http://www.alexlongmore.co.uk. If you are interested in her Style School, you can check http://www.styleschool.co.uk/. You can also follow her on twitter: http://twitter.com/alexlongmore.

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Winter Escape

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Poprad

This stunning Slovakian city is the ideal destination for a spa break. Surrounded by the picturesque High Tatras mountain peaks, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the area, engage in some Winter sports or simply indulge yourself in the warmth of the spa. The Aquacity hotel spa has a collection of pristine outdoor thermal pools, so you can gaze at the stunning landscape whilst relaxing in the warm waters. Amongst their exciting treatments, they also offer cyro-therapy which is said to prolong life with its subzero temperatures.

5

Venice

With its narrow cobbled streets and intimate restaurants, visiting Venice in full tourist season usually results in being jostled by the crowd and queuing for ages for most attractions which can take away from the magic of the city. Winter in Venice is eerily beautiful, with low mists hanging over the canals, the low sun perfectly illuminating the skyline and a serene tranquility that comes with the time of year.

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Marrakech

Paris

Paris is wonderful any time of year, but most visitors opt for the romance of Spring or the heat of summer to make a trip. Paris is perfect in the winter, not only is it quieter, but there are plenty of museums and galleries to visit if the weather turns. Many of the finest exhibitions are shown during the winter months, so it is the ideal time to visit. For those interested in history, cafe-hopping in the city’s historical Latin Quarter or in Saint-Germain-des-Près would be a great way to spend part of a day. February/ March also sees the frenzied end of Paris’ annual winter sales which means it is a perfect time to take advantage of the city’s best shopping districts without the drama of crowd.

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Winter offers the most bearable temperatures in Marrakech, as from March it can get oppressively hot. Visit the souks, soak up some sunshine and enjoy avoiding the tourist rush as you mooch around decadent palaces, architectural sites and exotic gardens. It’s only 40 miles from the impressive Atlas Mountains, so you can combine your visit with a spot of skiing too.


Winter Escape

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8

Reykjavik

The tiny capital of Iceland offers exquisite landscapes, as well as historical features. It’s not the ideal shopping location, but there are plenty of exciting excursions to be made. Take a trip to see the astonishing Northern Lights, hike through the Lunar Landscapes, visit the breath-taking geysers, hit the ski slopes, and see the whales frolicking in the ocean. There are plenty of wonderful things to do and Reykjavik makes the perfect base to return to. It is especially picturesque during the winter months.

Budapest

As well as the amazing galleries, museums and the Mucsarnk palace of art there is plenty of opportunity for shopping including the lovely covered market. When it gets a bit chilly, you can warm up with a traditional Turkish bath, followed by a relaxing massage. There is so much to do in the city; classical music concerts, exquisite restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and plenty of sports activities too. It’s such a diverse city, and there really is something for everyone.

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Stockholm

The Swedish capital fuses cutting edge modern design with beautifully preserved historic architecture. There are a host of exceptional museums, a wonderful variety of restaurants, fabulous shops and a thriving nightlife. Although it is beautiful throughout the year, the addition of ice and snow during the winter months makes this vibrant city even more charming. Hammarby Backen’s terrian park is open for skiers, snowboarders and hikers until 10pm. There is a splendid view of the city from that height, which is beautifully illuminated by the twinkle of city lights.

So why not squeeze a long weekend break in over the next month or two? Explore a new city, soak up some culture and return home rejuvenated, revived and ready to take on spring and summer with fervour.

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Professional Makeover

From Employee

to Entrepreneur by Elizabeth Assaf

Australian/ Lebanese by birth, Elizabeth Assaf moved to the UK in 1995 to study an MA in television research at the University of Salford, Manchester. She subsequently met her future husband and current business partner, Nabil. During an eight year period she worked on various television programmes for many different companies. Elizabeth also started working on various property developments with her husband and discovered a passion for interior design. Mixing both her television career and interest in design, she started working on design and DIY shows like Property Ladder and Changing Rooms. This led to design work for private individuals and a real interest in product design. Working together, Elizabeth and Nabil designed their own door for one of their property developments, and following increased interest from potential customers and recognising a gap in the market, they launched Urban Front in 2005. As co-founder of Urban Front, Elizabeth concentrates on design, marketing and business development and likes to spend all her free time with her two young children. She tells us how to make the journey from an employee to entrepreneur. 34 Bright Woman February/March 2014


Professional Makeover

T

he first time I realised I wasn’t going to be getting a pay check at the end of the month was a bit of a shock! I felt totally worried and exhilarated at the same time. I held in my hands the ability to make my future and to seize the moment. There was only one niggle in the back of my mind telling me I was totally mad but it wasn’t going to stop me from trying. Essentially, leaving your job to start up on your own is all about faith in yourself and your abilities plus a whole lot of hard work and passion. Recently I heard a talk by James Caan, one of the very famous judges on Dragons Den and a serial entrepreneur. His advice is specific, if you want to be an entrepreneur you need five main qualities: the ability to diverse, a 24/7 work ethic, the ability to take risks, attract talent and constantly innovate, in addition to effectively managing your company. All of these points are essential to your ability to succeed but they also prove that it isn’t easy to be a successful entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs also need to have good long term vision and the ability to spot opportunities like exploiting overseas markets and collaborating instead of dictating within their companies. John Williams, of the Breakthrough Programme of Santander UK, says that ‘the single most important factor about being an entrepreneur is persistence’. I personally strongly agree with this, if anything all I’ve ever done since I started in my business is exactly that — kept on going and never given up. Nick Wheeler of Charles Tyrwhitt Shirts, who

I also heard speak of his 100 million pound business recently, specifically wanted to point out that it’s important to make mistakes and to still carry on. It’s about proving your concept when you first start and being ‘honest about your journey going forward’. Entrepreneurs know that running their business is like riding a rollercoaster — lots of ups and downs. But what about the practical side of becoming an entrepreneur? Julia Gash, of  Bag it Don’t Bin It, a company making eco re-usable bags in Leeds, who started her business a few years back has the following advice to those who want to make their first move from employee to entrepreneur, ‘Make sure you have a contingency in order to pay the bills at home be it through savings or some regular, small, other income is essential. I edged into it  — working part time for three months and then went on the Enterprise Allowance Scheme where I got £40 a week from the government. It fed and watered me for a year.’ Wise words from Julia. In my case, I was able to work as an interior designer part time as the business began to come in and reduce that side of my work as I went along concentrating solely on selling doors. It took three months to get the first sale and probably eight months before any money

came in to actually cover any costs. Julia also added that she was incredibly thrifty for a very long time! ‘I still tend to take a look in on yellow label food at supermarkets as I’m so conditioned to scrimping and saving for so many years. You can’t live an ascetic, martyred life forever however but it is important to accept that you may have to cut back on luxuries when you know that you won’t be making a profit in the early days.’ Persistence indeed. This is my ninth year in business and sometimes I want to go back to the times when I worked in television and could walk out of the office and forget about the day and all its ins and outs. Working for yourself, it really is impossible to do that. I literally dream about doors and wake up thinking of solutions to problems, new strategies and designs. Despite all this, I also can’t e v e r imagine working for anyone else ever again! There is a freedom to entrepreneurship you can never have as an employee. Hard work, determination and a belief in yourself is essential; however I’d like to end with wise words from James Caan who shared the following quote in his talk. ‘Observe the masses and do the opposite.’ Now that is advice for anyone wanting to succeed as an entrepreneur.

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CAREERS

Gender-bender:

Women in marketing

According to a recent study by specialist marketing recruiter EMR, men are twice more likely to reach the top marketing positions than females. This gnawing gender gap sends out a poor message about equality within the industry. But a handful of women are actively creating a conducive environment for women who want to emerge in marketing. Dhanya Nair catches up with Ade Onilude, Swarovski Sales Consultant and the founder of Women in Marketing (WIM) Awards to find out about the everevolving world of marketing and how women can make their mark. 38 Bright Woman February/March 2014


CAREERS

C

ould you tell us more about your early career and how you got into Marketing? I’ve had a multifaceted career.  As long as I can remember, I’ve been fascinated about people learning about different cultures, how we connect and engage, this has been reflected in my various roles in the fashion world, luxury retail, public sector and charity sector. We were taught the importance of education early on. My father emphasised on formal education while mother’s focus was social education. For my A levels; I wanted to get into Journalism, alas I didn’t get the required  grades and had to switch to the BTEC Higher National Diploma in Business Studies and Finance. The course gave me a holistic insight; marketing was one of my modules and I was hooked. I then went on to do the CAM diploma and the CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing)  former  advanced and Post grad Diploma- studying these marketing fundamentals has been an asset in my varied roles  from sales consultant, charity communications to marketing consultant role. What is the most challenging as well as the most enjoyable aspect of marketing? Marketing in the 21st century is a completely different landscape to when I started my journey in marketing in the late 20th Century. Today, the marketer needs to be equipped with skills to deal with the challenging landscape i.e. the impact of the global recession and emerging economies, social media, fragmentation of communication channels, impact of big data

and consumer empowerment. Change will be the norm and your ability to adapt will be crucial. These challenges also make marketing enjoyable. You are known to champion women in marketing? What made you start the Women-inMarketing (WIM) programme? After completing my CIM  studies I decided to become an active member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing by joining their Central London team. CIM regional teams are all volunteers, my day job as a sales consultant was not meeting my needs to connect with fellow marketers. After a year of observing events, I felt that they were male orientated this was in 2004, hence I decided to create an event for female marketers. The essence of WIM is to act as a forum to provide leadership for female marketers via an annual event which is held in March to coincide with International Women’s day and the annual awards held in November. Tell us more about the WIM awards? After six years of successful annual WIM event, I decided to create the WIM awards. The award aims to accelerate women’s potential to take senior leadership roles by celebrating those women who are making a difference in a profession that touches the public in millions of ways every day. The WIMs are not just a celebration of achievement; they also highlight  the skills, behaviours and expectations of modern leadership whilst providing inspirational role models for future generations. In 2012, we decided to include the company award; this award recog-

nises companies that are pro-active in promoting women to senior roles primarily in marketing. How do you think marketing has changed over the years especially in the wake of social media? Social media has already been around for more than five years. If your brand still doesn’t take social media seriously then it’s stuck in the past. Without social media the whole world can watch your failure to engage with customers. The web is a complete game-changer. The ways in which consumers and business buyers research, buy and communicate are completely different now.  The whole relationship between businesses and consumers is being transformed. Tomorrow’s brands will be designed and created by customers. Brands will be unable to survive without mass-approval, no matter how inspired their creators may be. What advice would you give to those who want to start a career in marketing? Get as much commercial experience as possible in different functions; this will give you a holistic view of any business. I would also recommend getting a professional marketing qualification. Join a professional membership body, marketing professional networks  or associations will give you the chance to network  with fellow marketers. Marketing  is continuously evolving due to digitalisation; you should be prepared for lifelong learning.

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START UP STORY

Hair Raising

Start Up Story

After working with one of Oxforshire’s best known destination for hair care—Popham Hairdressing— Tuc Le Rojas started the Just Gorgeous Hair in 2012. Ever since its inception, Tuc and her team has become a one-stop shop for all your hair needs. Tuc brings her 25 years of expertise and specialises in transforming natural-looking hair into red carpet worthy showstopper but what makes her extra special is that she keeps the individuality of the hair and the person intact. No wonder, Tuc is high up on the list of to-be brides, their friends and family. She takes all your mane concerns away and packs it with a glamorous punch. Our correspondent Emma Harpaul catches up with Tuc.

BW: You have about 25 years of experience. You are obviously quite passionate about what you do? T: Right, when it comes to hair I am very, very passionate about it. If I wasn’t passionate, I don’t think I would be in the industry for so long. BW: You started Just Gorgeous Hair a year ago. How has it been going? T: That’s right. Overwhelming really. I didn’t expect it to be so successful and to do some much in one year. I was just expecting to do some portfolios plus weddings. But, I’ve had so many different work coming through. There has also been lots of network building which also helps. So, it has been quite well. BW: So, what was it about now that made you think to start

out on your own? T: Well, I have been with the present owner of the place where I am working for, for about 10 years and I decided I am in a time of my life where I don’t want to work for anybody else. I am very established where I am. I’ve been here for a long time and I really wanted to do something creative. So, that’s why I created Just Gorgeous Hair to do freelance work, for weddings, for photo-shoots and media events. Just to do something a little bit different from the everyday clients that comes to us. BW: Ok, so you are also launching an online shop for hair accessories especially for the bridal market? T: Yes, for bridal. For mother of the bride, for bridal parties etc.

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I am very excited about that. It will be launched next year in January. BW: Tell us more about the range? T: Yeah basically, it has got all the traditional tiaras plus loads of vintage stuff like side head bands, the bird net veils and caps. I’ve tried to stock a whole range of products for everybody from brides to bridesmaids can have BW: And were you tempted to try all of them on? T: I’ve tried all of them because you have to see how it looks like when someone actually puts it on and of things I am going to be selling, I really love them all. I actually handpicked it with the owner that is the person who has made all these accessories. We have gone through and handpicked it ourselves. BW: It is quite interesting isn’t it about the owner of the accessories which is a mother-daughter business which I think is really nice as well?


START UP STORY T: The daughter is the brainchild of the business she has given it to her mother and her mother, who makes them. They work in harmony with each other and all of the components they use are of the highest standards. It is all bespoke and hand-made, so when a bride orders it takes about 3-4 weeks to be made. All the key components come from best places. For instance, the bird veil which is made like a head dress has different beads and details. The net itself is of fine quality; you can feel it by touching it. It is really high-quality fabric flown from Paris. They are beautiful when I did the bride’s and the mother’s hair using it; it worked beautifully with the whole thing matching the outfit, the shoes, and the accessories. BW: How many pieces did you have in the time for the collection? T: Sixty-two pieces, I think. Ranging from earrings, bracelets, tiaras, side bands, head bands, some vintage caps to flowers and nets. BW: You also did some cover ups for shoulders as well, isn’t it? T: It’s made of feather like a cape. You know lots of brides wear strapless dress and the capes are like a cover-up when you get to the Church or getting married in a religious place. It gives a bit of cover and also it is nice and cosy. It is all handmade as well and the embellishment can be made to order. BW: And what kind of price point things start out? Does it quite vary? T: It does vary. I think it’s accessible for instance earrings and some of the hair grips start from £45 pounds whilst the

caps which is the main collection which goes to about £590. So, it is quite a wide range and there’s something in there for everyone. BW: You said you have worked in a salon and now you’ve started out on your own. So what would you say are the advantages and the disadvantages? T: Obviously, when you work for yourself especially with something like what I am doing now, the biggest disadvantage is time. You don’t have adequate time. You’ve to allocate time for certain things you do and also booking some time out as well. I find that as a bit of a juggle. Good thing about working for youself and doing what I do is that I get to do creative things—things that I always wanted to do and to do something really different. It is not like being everyday in the salon, I love being in the salon talking to my clients, do their hair and do what I normally do. But when I do a photo shoot or a wedding it is completely different. You know with photo shoots, they want my inputs. When I go out and do a wedding, I am very specific to a client and their requirements. In the salon too I am very specific to the client’s needs but each job is very different and I quite like that variety.

BW: Is your job quite seasonal for instance for specific months you are booked for weddings .I can imagine there would be that crazy time of the year? T: I find that the whole traditional months for wedding are June, July and August. But since the last couple of years it has been extended from April to October. Those are the times that are quite busy. There are some years when from April to May I am quite booked. BW: Finally, if someone wants to start in the hair industry; what do you tell them is the best place? T: I would say look in the area for the best salons then approach them and go to work for them. If they do have an in-house training scheme, that’s even better. But I would say work in a salon rather than going to college because in college you don’t get the experience of facing a customer and customer service which is crucial and you can only get it in a salon.

BW: What keeps you inspired every day? T: With my work, the fashion industry, the catwalk or the glossy magazines, hair dressing icons like Vidal Sasson himself and Trevor Sorbie. These guys are like my icons when it comes to the industry but when it comes to everyday inspiration, I would say my four-year-old son gives me a lot of inspiration. February/March 2014 Bright

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Trend on

Flat Sandals

Your bruised, stiletto laden feet will surely jump with joy because flats are having a moment and are here for stay. And how do you dress your flats? Creativity is the key, wear it with anything from 70s flowing style dresses to skirts that stop just above the knee.

Shine On: Metallics

Metallics are having their moment and if fashion gurus like Marc Jacobs and Diane Von Furstenberg are to be believed metallics in every hue of the rainbow will keep you fashionably ahead this year (2014). Our pick is a shiny metallic dress that is cool enough to be hot.

Floral Dresses

Floral prints have been a perennial fashion favourite every spring and summer and this year it is once again blooming lovely. Update your floral wardrobe with large floral motifs and abstract floral prints as seen at Christopher Kane and Matthew Williamson.

TREN ON

Arm Candy: Pale bags

We’ve seen everything from prints to neon to rococo embellishments when it comes to bags but SS14 is all about basics. Pale bags, ranging from ivory to blush, should be your arm candy for this season. It is strictly business yet lady like, we think.

Lady Like Charm: Flowing skirts

SS14 is all about letting your lady-like charm speak for itself. Think flowing fabrics and comfort with a dollop of sophistication and femininity. Our must-have pick for this season is this off-white daisy organza skirt designed by Alice Temperley. Pair it with a crisp button down and court shoes for an androgynous with girly charm look.

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Spring pastels

Like floral, pastels have been a favourite for spring and summer. This year, up your pastel ante with art-inspired vivid gradients and bold geometric prints but for day wear keep it simple teaming your pastel with mannish pieces for an androgyny cool.


Trend on Beauty within: Inner me

Olfactory heaven: Petale Noir by Agent Provocateur

Here, at BW we know style goes with substance and we love products that care of both these needs. Every New Year we all promise ourselves to get fitter but soon lose steam. Inner Me’s energising capsule will give you that extra push and energy to balance life, work and the gym. Packed with vitamins and minerals like magnesium and chromium; the capsule will give you energy and reduce tiredness and fatigue helping you to get holistic beauty and fitness from inside.

Not exactly a new kid in the block but this now-classic number from the house of Agent Provocateur is enticingly bold yet feminine. With a delicious mix of lotus, hyacinth, mandarin orange and bergamot as top notes; rose, ylang-ylang, neroli, lilyof-the-valley and black currant blossom in its heart and base notes like leather, ginger, amber, tobacco leaf and benzoin. Petale Noir by Agent Provocateur is surely a red elixir of incandescent femininity. It is seduction in a bottle; a must have for the coming year.

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Perfect Arch: Eyebrows

The humble eyebrows became a huge sensation in 2013 thanks to Cara Delevinge. This year eyebrows will continue to be the biggest beauty accessory. While most of us cannot boast of naturally thick eye brows like Cara; with a little bit of help from eyebrow tools you can achieve the perfect arch. Our pick is Benefit’s brow pencils; with just few light strokes you can get an arch that begs to be raised and for night add a swipe of Benefit’s high brow glow for a teasing shimmer.

Something blue: Blue eyeshadow

Want to stand out from the crowd? Wear blue on your eyes. A blue toned eye shadow would be one of the most electrifying beauty trends this season. Rich, solid blue applied from your lash line to the crease is the easiest way to make a statement this season.

Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Champagne, Pink.

Keep cupid and your loved one happy this Valentine’s Day with a sparkling bubbly—the s Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Rosé (Pink) Champagne is a lively sparking rose wine with a bright, citrusy overtone to fruit-forward flavors of strawberry puree and black raspberry, showing accents of biscuit, walnut skin and gumdrop. This harmonious, fruity champagne comes with a silver-tinged salmon-pink hue and gives out a steady ribbon of fine bubbles.

Orange is the new Red

The quintessential red lipstick has been a beauty favourite for eons but for SS14 it is all about orange lips. Orange lipstick took the runway by storm at New York, London and Paris fashion week. Teamed with flawless dewy skin, pared down eyes and well-defined brows; orange on lips will keep you way ahead among the fashion pack.

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Woman 53


BEHIND THE BOOK

MIND YOUR

BUSINESS

Entrepreneurship is definitely a challenging task with sky-rocketing stakes perhaps that’s why many women are too hesitant to start their career in business. But business gurus vouch no career is perhaps as exciting and challenging. Dhanya Nair speaks to Helen Jameison, founder of human resources and training consultancy firm Jaluch and the author of My Business, My Success. The 48-year-old actively encourages women to take up entrepreneurship; she is also not afraid to challenge the status quo and gives her whole-hearted support to women who wants to carve a niche in the still male-dominated world of business. What attracted you to a career in HR? I went to the university to study a subject that no else had studied (Arabic studies); with no real idea for a career afterwards. I lived a year in Qatar and I’ve lived a year in Germany and I had done a four year degree so it took six years after school before I got a job I studied Arabic purely because I love learning languages and I could speak German, French, Spanish but I wanted to something different to University so I struck with what I was good at and chose to study Arabic. The reality was that those of us who had studied Arabic were offered pretty much any jobs by various corporates. Even though

it was recession during the early 80s; we were all approached for great jobs and great salaries and they offered me a job in various niches: PR, finance, marketing, HR and Sales. I said, “Let me try HR.” So, I sort of just landed in HR. How did you set up Jaluch? Jaluch was set up 11 years ago. I set up my first business—Quintox, HR consultancy -— 17 years ago because I had no job. The reason why many women set up businesses is because they can’t really find the right job for them. Jaluch was born in a similar way. I had no job as a result of losing it shortly after returning from maternity leave. I couldn’t find

76 Bright Woman February/March 2014

any part time work for someone with my skills, so I set up on my own with the intention of just working part time and being a sole trader – selling my employment law advisory service to local employers. When you first started out what were the challenges you faced? How have things changed for business women since then? The challenges were: viewing myself as a businesswomen rather than a mother who wanted to make a little bit of money. I had no business knowledge; that was a major challenge. I also had no financial training and those are key requirements


BEHIND THE BOOK you need when you are running a professional business. I had absolutely zero business networks. So, I had to start from scratch. In terms of people’s attitude towards women wanting to getting into business I would love to say yes but I don’t think it has changed as much as it should have changed. People are yet to come in terms with the fact that women can run a successful business. In the beginning of last year, a company did a survey among male UK directors of top 20 companies. The survey showed 12% of male directors stated that having more women on the board would be detrimental to business success. When I tweeted this, two very prominent men said you can easily double that to 24%. Such unconscious bias still exists. What advice would you give to women who want to launch their career in business and excel as business leaders? I will differentiate a bit here because lots of women want to start up a business but they have no vision of being a leader. They start out because they want to work on their own. It is phenomenal the number of women who start-up without a business plan. There’s a well-known saying in business, “If you fail to plan; you plan to fail.” If you’ve got no plan whatsoever then how would you know where you are headed? It is quite staggering that 31% of men and women start-up without any business plan. But when you look at female sole traders almost 70% don’t have any plan. If you’ve business plan you would treat it as a serious busi-

ness. And because they fail to plan sometimes they tend to make mistakes in the beginning. The other thing, many women want to set up their business on a shoestring budget. If you setup on a shoestring it re-affirms a view that this is nothing but a hobby. If you want to set up a serious business have a proper plan and a good budget. On the flipside, the reason why so few women’s’ businesses’ go bust is because they’ve grown organically i.e. by putting back the profits they make rather than by getting external financing. What made you write My business, my success? After taking myself and my business more seriously, I started networking with other women, travelling around the world and really introspecting about my approach. In 2011, I was appointed as a UK Female Entrepreneurship Ambassador, part of an EU scheme to encourage female entrepreneurship throughout Europe. So, I started delivering talks in universities and business groups to encourage women to start their businesses. As I started interacting with more women, I realised most of them have the same doubts which I had initially and that was holding them back. I also realised that some of problems and challenges women faced were the same. So, I started collecting stories and I finally wrote the book last year. I put down all the stories, the advice and the tips in a practical and chatty style. The book is full of personal stories. But how is this book different considering there are so many books on business?

It is also not a “celebrity business guide;” I did not write the book for alpha females. I wanted to write it for those women who have a little voice in their head that says, “I am not sure I can,” especially young women who are just starting out their careers and want to explore business. I’ve written this book for all those women so that they can make fewer mistakes than I did. A refreshingly honest, easy-to-read guide to starting up and running a business; My Business, My Success touches upon all the key areas any budding female entrepreneur will need to know if they want to succeed. Written in a chatty style, it simplifies the process of starting and growing a business with clearly defined steps and goals sans any heavy jargon or concepts. Helen strongly believes in shaking the status quo and wants more and more women to take up entrepreneurship. In this book she shares her experiences and also encourages women to think about the different challenges they could face. Helen also doesn’t shy away from tackling difficult subjects like tackling gender bias in board room but her upbeat, amusing style doesn’t weigh you down or comes across as didactic. The book is how women can recognise their unique gifts and play to their strengths to build a successful business.

February/March 2014 Bright

Woman 77

Bright Woman Magazine February/March 2014  
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