Parents in Business Magazine

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Dionne Thurland Founder of pocketbum

The how and why of letting go 5 Essential Ways to Use Scarcity to Increase Sales

The power of community in building a successful business 1


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4 CONFIDENCE IN ACTION Confidence is something that we all have control over

Parents in Business






Nadene Martin Format Services

Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani co-founder Little Tummy






The power of community in building a successful business

Roasted fall vegetable soup Renata Trebing



IN CONVERSATION Laura Crawford founder of Mama Bamboo

SALES 5 essential ways to use scarcity to increase sales





The how and why of letting go

Parents In Business directory members

Finding balance in our relationships

10 IN CONVERSATION Dionne Thurland founder of Pocketbum

15 BOOK REVIEW Shona Chambers reviews three books

Cover image photo credit Suzy-Lou Photo + Film

magazine is available in digital and print.



Emily Bal is a confidence coach and facilitator and helps successful people realise how extraordinary they are so they know they can take control, create balance and be happy. After 17 years in marketing and creative roles in the non-profit sector, she moved into coaching so she could work flexibly around her young family and because she firmly believes if a person is thriving and realising their potential everything else will follow. Her digital homes are and She lives in Ealing, West London with her husband and three children. *Photo credit Jo Mieszkowski

SHONA CHAMBERS, MARKETING CONSULTANT Shona Chambers is a Marketing Consultant and owner of Shona Chambers Marketing, a Marketing Agency based in Nunhead near Peckham. Specialising in helping Small Business Owners and Freelancers with their Marketing. *Photo credit Portrayed Photography

SAMANTHA FRANCIS, POSITIVE PARENTING AND RELATIONSHIP SPECIALIST Samantha Francis is an award-winning Positive Parenting and Relationship Specialist and number 1 best selling author. She has been working in this field for over 8 years and integrates her knowledge as a holistic therapist and Belief Clearing Practitioner. During this time, she has been recognised and praised by children and adolescent mental health practitioners and the bestselling author, David Walliams, along with being featured across the media including Channel 4 News and BBC News. She has contributed to magazines including Families magazine and is a regular contributor to parenting and wellbeing podcasts. Her work consists of one to one private sessions, group courses and products such as her anxiety books for children and newly released Inspire affirmation cards.

MELISSA GAUGE, FOUNDER OF SPAREMYTIME Melissa Gauge, the founder of SpareMyTime, focuses on creating practical solutions to small business stresses. She is on a mission to democratise high quality, affordable virtual assistance for entrepreneurs and small businesses, whilst championing truly sustainable, flexible careers for women. With over 20 years of executive experience in the City and having established her own successful Virtual Assistance company, she utilises her extensive knowledge to support small businesses in stepping up to the next level.

LEANNE SCOTT , LIFE COACH Leanne Scott is a life coach mother of 3. She helps mums move away from overwhelm to self-belief in their amazing-ness. She loves reading, drinking tea and eating cake. Founder of REAL Mums Facebook Community.

RENATA TREBING, FOUNDER OF NOURISH WITH RENATA AND RECIPE DEVELOPER Renata is a wife, mama, and foodie and loves delicious, healthy food. Renate loves creating good recipes that taste good. She is all about nourishing your body through amazing, healthy, and, most importantly, delicious food.

BHAVINI LAKHANI , GRAPHIC DESIGNER Bhavini is an independent graphic designer specialising in branding and design for print, and is a mum of 2. She’s based in Milton Keynes, with a client base that spans global brands such as Conti Espresso, Barclaycard and British Gas, as well as local businesses across the UK.

Do you like what we do? Why not become a guest contributor. Let’s collaborate contact Magazine designed by B81 Designs Disclaimer views expressed in the articles are those strictly of the authors. Every effort is made to ensure that all information given is correct but Parents in Biz limited accepts no liability for inaccuracies, errors or omissions that may occur or their consequences. This publication is copyright and may not be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publisher. Copyright includes (and not limited to) the content syndication of the RSS feed of this publication. The content and images used in any of the articles of this publication. The Parents in Business Magazine logo and any of its derivatives.


EDITOR’S WELCOME Welcome to the 11th issue of the Parents in Business Magazine. And just when we thought the chapter of homeschooling and running a business had come to an end here we go again. This issue is full of practical guidance from industry experts and inspirational stories from parent business owners, all to support you! We’ve all been told that community is key to a successful business, Melissa Gauge writes about the power of community in building a successful business. If you want to improve your selfconfidence Emily Bal a confidence coach and facilitator writes about confidence in action. Shona Chambers reviews the following books, Survival Skills for Freelancers, The Success Rebellion, and Michael Rosen Book of Play. We are shining the small business spotlight Nadene Martin, the owner of Format Services. We have inspirational interviews with Dionne Thurland, the founder of Pocketbum, Dionne created the no fuss and fastener-free baby grow.

We also interviewed Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani, a co-founder of Little Tummy, a paediatrician with more than 10 years of working experience in various healthcare systems. And Laura Crawford, the founder of Mama Bamboo. Mama Bamboo became the first UK Company to sell nappies that are made from organically and sustainably grown bamboo and the only company in the world whose nappies also include fully compostable linings and packaging. Whether you are thinking of starting a business or own a business, the Parents in Business Magazine offers the best advice to support you on your business journey.

Happy reading


Bridget Daley Editor

We are a Work for Good Partner and give a proportion of proceeds to charity.


Confidence in action Confidence is a funny thing. It’s a state of mind. A belief. A feeling. A conviction that you can you do whatever you focus on and that you’ll succeed. In psychology, the term self-esteem is used to describe a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. It’s how much you appreciate and like yourself. It is different to self-confidence. I heard a great definition on The Squiggly Careers podcast recently, which was ‘self-confidence is self-esteem in action.’ Confidence can be acquired and lost. It is admired in some and chastised in others. It is not all-encompassing, and you can be highly confident in one area and not in others. It is as unique as you are. I pitch myself as a confidence coach because so many people cite confidence as something they’d like a little bit more of. But there’s an assumption that it can be fixed in a one hour session that I can wave a magic wand or prescribe a secret formula. Alas, this just isn’t the case. However, if I told you that the single best thing you can do to improve your self-confidence, is as easy as reading the next sentence, would you do it? Of course, you would. And because you did, here it is. I can guarantee your confidence will grow if you take some action today on that thing you’ve been mulling over for months. Move that idea along that won’t go away but keeps getting deprioritised. Start the project that needs your attention, but you choose to never give it.


Things that positively impact our confidence are as follows: • Connection to our values • Ability to disarm our inner critic • Accepting failure as a crucial part of success • Engaging a growth mindset • Taking calculated risks, and, drum roll please… • Being in action Now is the time. Inhale deeply and take the first step, no matter how small. Just start. Do something. Anything! But how I hear you cry? Let me explain. Welcome to your mini project! Over the next 30 days, you’re going to embark on a four-step mini project to see how your idea works. It will validate your learning, minimise uncertainty and help you make a decision as to how to proceed. This concept comes from the Japanese term ‘Genchi Genbutsu’ which when translated means ‘Go see for yourself’. The term was coined by Taiichi Ono, the father of the Toyota production

system, and in his practice, it meant going down to the factory floor and testing out ideas in the real world rather than ruminating on the theory. The framework below can be applied to any business, whatever stage it is at. All you have to do is make the commitment and notice what you notice.

#1. BUILD Choose an idea then choose a small thing to do within that idea to test it out. This is your mini project. • Something that doesn’t take much effort or cost • Whatever you choose it has to make it clearer if your bigger idea is viable • It has to be in the real world • Make it fit around your current commitments • Something you can do in a short time frame – less than 30 days, one week for procrastinators.

#2. MEASURE - How are you going to measure the success?

#4. LEARN - What did you learn?

• Fulfilment metrics could

• Explore what didn’t work as much as what did

be resonance (does it give me energy?), competence (am I any good at it?) and sustainability (can I make a living from it?).

• Success in any area is positive. Success in all three is hitting the fulfilment sweet spot and telling you something.

#3. PLAN - Schedule it in and start • Give your mini project an end date • Tell someone who can hold you accountable • Write everything down and stay curious

have two new paying clients, and my fulfilment sweet spot was hit. I’m now proud to offer CV review and interview support as part of my offering.

• Did you enjoy yourself? • Do you pivot or persevere? • Is there a new mini project? This is how it worked for me. In September 2020, I wanted to explore if I could support people with their CVs. It felt aligned with my existing work, however, I had no idea if there was an appetite for it. I’d offer ten spots over the month and success would be filling those spots, some great testimonials and maybe a new client.

So, there you have it. Confidence is something that we all have control over. Susan Jeffers told us to ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. I say, ‘test it out’. It’s time to take some action. Your self-confidence will thank you. Emily Bal Confidence Coach *Photo credit Jo Mieszkowski

In the end, I had 15 wonderful conversations, I loved offering tangible and timely support, I


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Finding balance in our relationships Being a parent can be a tough job for many. We have so many roles and labels including mother, father, partner, sister, brother, daughter, son and so forth. So, when a woman decides to pursue a desire of having her own business and feeling more in control of her finances, it can mean adding another role and responsibility onto the plate they may already be juggling. So often, parents in business are looking for balance, a way of making sure they are pouring their love and energy into all areas of their lives, in particular, their relationships, however, this seems to be a major struggle


for many, especially those who are driven, ambitious and want success and freedom. It is difficult because when a parent feels they are succeeding in one area, they will often feel they are failing in another, especially quality parenting. The truth is, it does not have to be this way, I help many mums in particular, in business with this specific problem and though the following tips take practice, I promise you, once you get into the habit of it, you will find you regain a stronger sense of balance and understanding of your world and start to feel like you are succeeding in all areas.

Top tip number 1 et the diary out and plan (to the best of your ability) your week ahead from the weekend. Now, I am not talking about just planning appointments and the kid’s school events etc. I am talking about actually planning out a significant amount of time to work on business/work, time to spend with your partner, family or friends, time to have one to one time with the kids and most importantly, time for your own self-care and alone time. Now, this may seem a lot but let’s break this down, for example, On Monday, you could block out 4 hours to work on your business, 1 hour to play with the kids when they come home, 30 minutes for your self-care doing whatever you feel good doing and the evening spent with your partner. Often, we can find ourselves over working, thinking it will be more beneficial and make more money, but the truth is, it can lead to fatigue which leads to less energy for the kids, less energy for quality time with your partner or loved ones and you will start to feel depleted and not show up as your best self which will impact your business anyway. So, it is always good to limit the time spent working and allow yourself time to have fun and play without guilt!

Top tip number 2 Following on from play, I teach my clients to create a morning routine that consists of masculine and feminine practices (we all have masculine and feminine energy). It is so important as human beings that we can include fun, pleasure and joy in our daily routine. Feminine practices because, especially in business, it requires a lot of masculine energy and too much time spent in the masculine can lead to adrenaline spikes, general tiredness, poor health, and burn out. I see too many women, in particular, following this pathway, and it is not the best way to find balance as none of us are designed to be in our masculine all day every day. Start the day off with a feminine practice such as exercise, massage, quiet time or even a peaceful shower, and this will set your energy and day off in the right energetic space. The masculine practice, such as doing things in your business ideally should come after. By following these top tips as regularly as possible and sticking to it, you will find you spend less time feeling exhausted and burning out and more time doing the things you enjoy and connecting with the important people in your world as the best version of yourself.

After all, one of the biggest reasons parents go into business is to enhance their family and create a better and happier life for everyone, so to do that, we have to lead first and show up as the best versions of ourselves because our relationships and business are simply a reflection of us. Samantha Francis Positive Parenting and Relationship Specialist


In Conversation with

Dionne Thurland Founder of Pocketbum

Pocketbum, the no-fuss and fastener-free baby grow, was created, Dionne Thurland and inspired by the first Pocketbum Pioneer, her now 2-year-old daughter. The brand was built on the belief that it’s ok, as parents, to take the easy route. Fitness, travel and fashion are Dionne’s biggest passions. After an established fashion pre-baby career, it was a natural progression to start her own brand after having her daughter. She was ready to live life on her terms, whilst utilising the invaluable experience from her time spent working for big labels, Pocketbum was the answer. 10

If she can help alleviate some of the pain points that parents experience with changing their baby, to free up their time; she’ll be happy. For Dionne living her best life is travelling, working out and enjoying sociable activities with her daughter like toddler gymnastics and swimming; building memories with her little one. Tell us about your business journey. How did you get here? I’ve had an interesting pathway to starting Pocketbum, mainly via my career in fashion. The myriad of experiences to date have helped shape and prepare me for starting my own business. My career in fashion has taken me around the world and off on a tangent. I have lived in the UK, Trinidad and Tobago and Switzerland. Over the last decade and a half, I’ve worked in Visual Merchandising, Interior and Fashion styling, finally settling into Creative Production Manager roles. Bringing the creative vision to life for major fashion brands was a role I relished, however, the designer itch and desire to do my own thing was always there.

It was being raised by a Caribbean solo parent who instilled hard work, drive and tenacity that was the key to kick starting my career. Those were the days when you could get a number for an HR contact, personally send your CV to them whilst on the phone and literally pitch for an interview spot. That same fearlessness means that I will approach mums on the street to consider their babies for modelling opportunities and introduce Pocketbum to new mums at toddler groups. When I became a mum, I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of ‘stuff’ I felt expected to buy, yet amazed that amongst all the gizmos and gadgets, poppers were still the dominant fasteners for baby grows. Changing was a

chore, and it got more stressful the more my daughter started to wriggle about. Then there were the night-time changes that brought further challenges. New parenthood was wonderful but exhausting. It took a few years and the hard knocks of life to fully embrace my mantra ‘Be Brave’. Looking back through my career, I realised that I had to challenge gender preconceptions and find my voice as a woman, putting forward cases for budgets for new creative ideas for the brands I worked for. Having to interact with predominantly male directors helped to embolden me and instil confidence. This has been invaluable in helping me push Pocketbum to be the success I believe it can be.


When does Pocketbum launch? The first-ever Pocketbum baby grows launched December 2020 and are available for ages 0-12 months. Parents and gift givers can purchase online at Future plans are in the pipeline to expand the range up to 3 years old, and updates will be made on social media - @pocketbum on Instagram and Facebook. The 0-3 months Pocketbum baby grows also include integrated scratch mitts.

When did you get the idea for your business? I was always planning for this period of my life as a mum and transitioning into a new career. Initially, I thought the fitness industry would be my chosen field, and I trained to be an instructor. My career pre-baby was also in fashion, giving me direct and valuable experience in the industry. After my daughter was born, I soon realised that poppers at night or anytime were a faff and thought there ‘must be an easier way’. Ease and comfort are key for baby wear, add in a solution to help time-poor parents, and voila the seed was sown for Pocketbum. I recall parents who talked about having to pack clothes without poppers to grandparents who would struggle with them. Pocketbum was a way to help myself as a mum and other

parents. The whole process has helped me get my brain back into gear and get the creative juices flowing. The designer itch never went away, and after opting for the ‘safe’ corporate roles, I am finally stepping out, being brave and fulfilling my designer ambitions. The 21st Century provides so many opportunities to live ‘nine lives’. There’s no limit to one career path, and that’s what I love about being a modern woman

What’s been the biggest obstacle you’ve had to overcome? Lucky Things® is all about feeling confident and looking out for your career, business and wellbeing. I strongly believe you can’t have one wBeing brave and stepping out of my comfort zone! Taking the idea for Pocketbum forward and showing it to parents was a vulnerable moment. Now that the wheels are in motion, it’s been enjoyable so far. I’m relishing the challenges, particularly the creative ones like holding photoshoots in a pandemic.

The most difficult part is finding the time. I would love to just throw myself in and put the hours in, but balance is key. The current world crisis has been an unexpected obstacle yet has provided the impetus to get Pocketbum moving rather than putting a dampener on the launch. Covid-19 has put production on a go-slow, but it has brought me time to really focus on the mission and values of Pocketbum. I am choosing to be thankful for the time that it has given me to pause, which is rare in life.

How did you take your idea forward? Taking the idea forward started with a pen, paper and sewing machine. Once I had a viable concept and design, I researched and found industry-related trade shows to find manufacturing contacts. I came across female entrepreneur groups on Facebook, which again provided me with additional tips for my journey. Many of these resources have gone online and onto Zoom, so don’t let the world crisis stop you. Getting professional advice on brand strategies is also key. Bloc + Rose is all about word-of-mouth marketing, which is key for my product (mums recommend and talk a lot within their peer groups). Working with them helped me to formulate my key messages; vital for start-ups.


How do you manage your time between family and business? My husband is my biggest champion. I took his cue to ‘Be Brave’, shaking off the corporate mindset and taking the tentative steps to create Pocketbum and be an entrepreneur. My daughter is now two years old. I have passed the newborn aka ‘the blur’ stage, which especially for a first-time parent, is a real eye opener. It’s tough juggling everything as a parent, however having children provides the catalyst to embrace change, role model and build something that becomes an inspiration and legacy. I want my daughter to look at me and be proud of setting a goal and accomplishing it, in the same way, I want her to be happy, independent and accomplished in whatever makes her fulfilled when she’s older.


Who or what inspires you? Women who have risen from adversity and found their calling like Maya Angelou, who blessed the world with her powerful testimony and words. Turia Pitt, who is an amazing athlete who, following a tragic accident, become a beacon of light and hope as a global motivational speaker. I dislike camping yet I trekked the Inca trail and camped for three days, I find change scary and uncomfortable, yet I’ve moved countries various times – on reflection I take myself out of my comfort zone quite often. I’m inspired continually to develop and evolve; I am inspired to be inspiring. Image photo credit Suzy-Lou Photo + Film

Book Review

Survival Skills for Freelancers, Sarah Townsend I’d heard of Survival Skills for Freelancers in several of the Facebook groups I call home which made getting a review copy for Parents in Biz even more exciting. Sarah Townsend, the author, comes across as warm, funny, and intelligent on all of her social media, so I was not surprised to find the book is all of those things.

As I sat down to read on a grey Saturday morning where the rain threatened to never end, I thought, I’ll just read a few chapters whilst my kids are happily doing other things. Several hours later, I finished it. That gives you an idea of how well written and full of good content it really is. So what will Survival Skills for Freelancers give you? First, it gives a thorough idea of Sarah's own career. I found this useful because we all have a different freelance story.

A point that resonated for me was, what to call yourself. Some opt for self-employed, others freelancers, or maybe consultants. As someone who has experimented with all these titles, I did a lot of nodding at that.

If you are looking for a compassionate take on building up a company that will last, Sarah’s book delivers. Available to purchase on Amazon

I liked the fact that this book takes mental health for freelancers seriously. In fact, there is just as much on how to keep yourself well, body and soul, as there are tips on setting up a business and becoming profitable.


Book Review

The Success Rebellion, Ryan Jackson The Success Rebellion is written by someone who very clearly cares about the social mobility of others. Ryan Jackson speaks from the heart about his own early life experience. He raises a number of valid points on the way the current education system alienates children who don’t learn a certain way. Or who don’t have mentors acting in their interests.

He believes that children who come from lower-income families struggle to prioritise wealth building, and aspirational behaviour because they haven’t had the right life experience. This puts them at a disadvantage that needs correcting. Ryan himself acknowledges that he had low expectations of himself in early life. In particular, believing that being able to claim £40 per week in benefits at the age of 18 was the pinnacle of success.


For him, it took a chance helping hand from a friend of a friend that got him his first break. His book aims to give the same thing back to others. The Success Rebellion is structured into 8 sections, covering topics like self-governance, taking control of your own direction. Environment, making sure the place you put yourself is a good one. Discovering your path, realising that the past is gone, but the future is what we can control. The importance of vision, knowing what you want and how you will deliver it. Values, knowing what they are and how to identify the

right ones. Beliefs, getting rid of those that do not serve us. And the power of a plan, something I believe in myself. Ryan closes by giving some real insights into how he goal sets, and the exciting plans he has for his new development in Bali. There is real heart in this book, and it is good to know there is someone out there for children who need a role model. And maybe adults too who are uncertain of their path. Available to purchase on Amazon

Michael Rosen's Book of Play, Michael Rosen The Success Rebellion is written by someone who very clearly cares about the social mobility of others. Michael Rosen is a name that if you’ve lived in the UK for any length of time, you’ll have heard. He needs very little introduction as one of the best-loved figures in the world of children's literature, and former Children's laureate but to give a very brief recap he is the author of We’re Going On a Bear Hunt and has written so many other children's and adults books, to list them all would take up my entire word count. He is also a Professor of Children's Literature at Goldsmiths College. Michael Rosen’s Book of Play - Why Play Matters, and 101 Ways to Get More Of It In Your Life works along two levels. The first level provides a huge list of creative ideas to try as an adult alone or with children. There are fun illustrations for all of them. If all you did was pick this book up and try one of the activities today, you would have gained a lot of value in your life. I am very keen to try ice cube stacking, for example, that's very appealing to me!

The second is to provide the reader with a book that questions why something so essential as play, has been marginalised and made political. He covers the reasons why play is essential for every human being from young to old. Makes a strong case for putting play at the centre of our lives. Gives in-depth coverage of key figures in the world of education, and innovation and touches on anti-consumerism. At a time where nursery provisions are in jeopardy, free play in schools has been

downgraded, and negative mental health stories feature heavily in the news, thank goodness for people like Michael Rosen and his book putting forward the case for play. Available to purchase on Amazon Shona Chambers Marketing Consultant


SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT My name is Nadene and am the owner of Format Services. I offer administrative support to small business owners in London and beyond. My services have expanded through my time freelancing, and I love the variety that it brings me, covering all the tasks which business owners say they either hate or spend far too much time on. For me, stepping in and covering those tasks is what can propel a business forward. There are so many benefits to outsource, it can sometimes take a while to understand how, but I promise you that it is always worth it in the end. 18

I am a self-confessed organisation freak; I love nothing more than having all my ducks in a row! I am mum to two gorgeous teenage boys, my eldest is 19, and my youngest is 13. Born and raised in South-East London, love it here and don’t intend to change it.

What inspired you to start your business? I set up in 2017 whilst still working full-time. Imposter syndrome would rattle me every now and then making me believe that I belonged in a 9-5 role forever. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely always loved the 9-5, the client-facing roles and helping to build Companies with my skills. Jumping back to where it all began though, in 1998, I landed my first role as an Office Junior, this was supposed to be temporary as I didn’t choose to attend University. This was supposed to be a stop gap while I figured out exactly what I wanted to do. The rest they say is history.

My experience built up in various industries, including the NHS, Property and even education. Every job I went for, I ensured I had the right skillset for the job, and there would also be new skills/systems which I could pick up along the way. Each role came armed with more responsibility, more work and new challenges! The plus side about my work is that my skills are transferable to so many industries, so I can pick and choose where I wish to position myself. I chose to give freelancing a go because of my children. They have been my ‘why’ in all that I do. My eldest has ASD, Autistic Spectrum Disorder. I noticed that he was at a great school with amazing support, but what would happen once he left? I knew that he wanted to attend College, but what College was it going to be. I would spend hours trawling the internet for ‘the one’, and booking meetings/visits took up a lot of time, especially during the working day. Of course, my Manager was always sympathetic when I had to take time off. There was always something in the pit of my stomach feeling bad about not being present at work.

I was going to secure great clients. Ideally, I want to grow Format Services into a team of VA’s who can offer lots more to the public. I worked with one or two clients on an ad hoc basis while still working full-time, and once I was able to place my son somewhere, which could cater to his needs. I handed in my notice and went full-time with it. How scared was I? Scared but I knew in my heart, not only was I highly skilled in many areas, I knew I could work from home and be on hand for my children if/when they needed me. I ran the days; they no longer ran me!

As I say, my skills are transferrable, and I don’t want to put myself in a box missing some great opportunities. I really love what I do, and clients usually wish that they had not taken so long to take the leap and invest in a Virtual Assistant. As I say, ‘You never know what you need until you need it’. Nadene Martin Format Services *Photo credit Portrayed Photography

Tell us about your niche? When I began my journey, I did not have a niche and felt that I wanted to help everybody, my niche eventually found me. I offer support to Authors, international Coaches and Educators mainly, although I will never turn a client away if they do not fall under this umbrella. Diary Management/Email Management is one of the more popular services in which clients want. I encourage my clients to work smarter, not harder!

I sat down one evening and made a list of how I would make Format Services happen, everything from the services I could offer to how


The power of community in building a successful business We’ve all been told that community is key to a successful business. But why? Why in an age where we have little understanding of the true form of ‘community’ is it deemed an essential cornerstone to growth?

What is community? The meaning of ‘community’ has slowly eroded alongside the physical dominance of the institutions it once mirrored. Church groups, unions, schools; once dominant in our minds and lives, are increasingly finding themselves lower down the priority list, fighting for our limited time and attention. However, in their place has formed a different version of community. One that continues to grow exponentially with the ever-booming adoption and proliferation of smartphones. One that gets carried along on its journey by the ever-growing dominance of digital media.

And herein lies the point of our confusion. The constant mismatching of the word ‘community’ to digital audiences, followers and customers has created distraction and disorientation from its true meaning: ‘a matching of interests, values and beliefs with a proactive coming together to interact with one another.’

So how can this true sense of community help when building a successful business? Humans are sociable animals, craving a sense of belonging and meaning. When businesses are able to build a com mon

purpose for the brand, their employees and their customers, they build with it a stronger sense of loyalty and therefore, a more viable business model. They build a base of support that engages with their business and brand beyond their products. In an increasingly consumerist age where we are constantly bombarded with information, this is an intangible but hugely valuable and durable asset. The easiest explanation as to the strength of building a community is to look at the success of brands who know what they are doing: Airbnb, Starbucks, Disney … the list goes on. Each of these businesses has a brand that reaches further than their underlying products. A true demonstration of where small businesses can learn from our larger counterparts.

Here is why they do it Word of mouth network: Social advocacy gives huge value to a business; building a community of advocates that will champion a brand is a game changer. Community members become emotionally attached to your brand, extolling its virtues to colleagues and companions. Having highly engaged customers


and employees leads to a sense of communal direction and belonging. Something to feel proud of and build relationships around. We all know that promoting our businesses can feel uncomfortable, however, it is possible to find ease in this when you build an organic referral base to do the hard work for you Retention rates: A sense of belonging will extend the retention rates of customers and staff. Consumers today reflect the desire for a deeper understanding and connection with their purchases. They want to know more about who they are buying from. They want to be inspired and make conscious decisions in their purchasing. By fostering a more engaged consumer base, your customer loyalty will be high, in turn, meaning they are highly likely to come back and buy again. Feedback loops: By creating engaged communities, you also establish tighter feedback loops in terms of time and accuracy. When members engage with one another, you can learn from their conversations and implement positive change. You can receive quick and detailed feedback on products and services from an audience who knows and believes in your values. Your response has the potential to further garner goodwill and support amongst your community.

As a small business, how do I grow my community? Communities are built on trust and respect, so don’t expect to grow one quickly. However, here are some key steps to start on the right path: 1) Understand your Why: Why do you want to build a community? How will a community help you achieve your goals? What common beliefs do your business and your members share? Why are you coming together? All of these elements will inform how you approach building your community and what values will be integral in that process.

2) Research: a strong sense of community can be sparked by relatively few people. Identify who these key players are. Who are your most engaged users; who could you transform into members? Your starting point needs to be understanding who and where your key audience is and where to find them. As you progress with your business, this understanding of your target audience will deliver again and again as you build and hone your wider business message and positioning.

3) Engage: make it worth your community members’ while to engage with each other and your brand. Create online spaces for them to interact, create campaigns where they can show off their knowledge of your service or project, encourage them to engage with one another and with you. This is where you can foster a swell of social advocacy and credible conversation around your brand. 4) Expand: Encourage your community to expand by making it easy and valuable for your members to share with others and help it grow. Whether through incentives, high quality shareable content or triggering discussions, if you nurture your community others will want to join. Communities can be hard to establish but are immensely rewarding and worth the time to build. Start small and build up with time. Enjoy your members and what they have to say. Feel encouraged by their interactions and learn from their comments. Most importantly, believe in your community and enjoy their contributions. They are there because of you, after all. Melissa Gauge Founder of SpareMyTime


In Conversation with

Laura Crawford Founder of Mama Bamboo

Laura is a former management consultant who took a career break to have children. After having her second child, she realised she couldn’t find an eco-friendly, disposable nappy that was biodegradable, fitted well and was affordable. She tried all the products on the market, but nothing hit the mark, so she decided to develop her own – which resulted in Mama Bamboo eco-nappies and wipes.

Mama Bamboo became the first UK Company to sell nappies that are made from organically and sustainably grown bamboo and the only company in the world whose nappies also include fully compostable linings and packaging – meaning every element is compostable and biodegradable. Tell us about your business?

How did you get started in business?

Two years ago, having been less than thrilled with what was commercially available at the time, I had the mad idea to create my own nappy brand. I was horrified by the acceptance that plastic and chemicals causing painful nappy rash was ok and by the mind boggling facts that 3 billion single-use plastic nappies and 11 billion plastic wet wipes are thrown away every year in the UK alone. 90% of them are made of plastic and use chlorine as a standard ingredient.

I tried so many options with my own children and just couldn’t find what I wanted; I wanted a high quality, high performance nappy which didn’t cause nappy rash or leaks, but which was not made from plastic and chemicals. At the time it didn’t seem possible; cloth was very difficult and wasn’t absorbing enough for night times, the eco-disposables available were natural and green but leaked and felt stiff and papery, and the regular plastic versions had high absorption but caused nappy rash.

After a year of research, I created Mama Bamboo – bamboo fibre and corn starch nappies and wipes. These use less crude oil and chemicals in their manufacture, and we’re the only nappy company to use 100% home compostable packaging. Our wipes can decompose in home compost within 3 months, and our nappies can decompose up to 80% in industrial compost. These are not only kinder to the environment, but also to babies skin. Breathable, temperature regulating and naturally antibacterial they actually help reduce the chance of nappy rash.

I researched each element of nappies and looked for natural alternatives until I came across bamboo. Bamboo fibre has been used in China for many years because of its natural antibacterial, breathable and temperature regulating properties. It’s the ‘sustainable silk’ of China. I then set about finding alternatives to the liners and packaging and working with an Australian company, tested a corn starch bioplastic with excellent results. Unlike many bioplastics, this blown film is breathable so we can maintain an airflow around the babies bottom.

Once we’d got our design, we spent a long time selecting suppliers and conducting audits and checking certifications. For us, sustainable and ethical production is as important as the product itself. Recently Mama Bamboo has officially been certified as a B-Corp – joining the top few hundred most sustainable and ethical businesses globally.

How do your values show up in the work you do? Our values manifest in three ways:Sustainability: Our product is one of the most sustainable on the market today. Unlike many companies, we use 100% bamboo fibre in top and bottom covers. Several other ‘eco’ firms use just 15% plant-based covers. We are also the only company using compostable liners and packaging. And we offset our carbon emissions with a partnership with the Ugandan Bamboo Village which plants bamboo and supports local people to develop bamboo businesses.


Personal Service: Our service is personal and flexible. We are a small team of part-time working parents with young children. We really do understand the need for flexibility and support in the early days for parents. Jennie who heads up our Operations Team really goes out of her way to help out our customers on a one-to-one basis. It was Jennie’s brilliant idea in the early days of covid lockdown and stock shortages to implement a Subscription Guarantee. She carefully sets aside stock for subscription clients and will stop selling to new customers to protect our subscribers at any time. Community: In addition to running our business, we are campaigning with UCL to develop a fully circular economy for compostable products. At present only 22 UK councils accept nappy waste in a compost / recycle bin. The rest send it to landfill. These are 80-100% biobased products and should be sent to industrial composting, along with items such as vegware coffee cups,


biodegradable food trays and magazine wrappers. We also run the #thenappyrevolution campaign calling on DEFRA to impose stricter targets on councils to remove bio-products from landfill by 2025. Each year we are committed to donating 20% net profits to charitable causes. Last year we donated nappies and wipes to Home Start and Porch Box to help disadvantaged families.Fantastic in their area. Different parts of the business have different values.

What are some challenges you faced early on, and how did you overcome them? I personally am on a very steep learning curve. I was not an entrepreneur, product designer or marketer before I began Mama Bamboo. I was driven by passion, not expertise. Every day I face a new challenge and am fortunate to have built a team of trusted friends to support me. I realise early on that a wealth of experience was being overlooked

by the big corporations; parents wanting meaningful flexi work, so I actively set about recruiting from my baby-friendship circle. My co-directors are Jennie Potts, my friend of 20 years, and Nicola Wiggins, a friend I met during NCT classes. Our business coach is a school gate mum, and our social media consultant is a Digitial Mum. There’s a pool of talent around the playgroup or school gate. During this year, we have faced incredible challenges. Raw material price rises, bamboo shortages (non wovens are used for PPE), freight prices increasing and uncertainty at ports, etc. It’s been very tricky to keep it all going and not pass on cost increases. It’s also been tricky to manage the increased demand for subscriptions. It's wonderful that our business has grown during 2020, but it has been unpredictable at times.

How do you keep yourself motivated? At times this year, I have wanted to give up. It’s been harder than I ever imagined. But I’m surrounded by a supportive team, and I have my two little ones to push me on. My office walls are a mess of school drawings and scribbly notes from the kids. It’s their world I’m trying to protect.

etc., but in truth, it was a really difficult time. Looking forward, we are investigating options to join an HR co-operative to enable staff to have access to mental health support and wellbeing advice which you’d typically only find in bigger corporations.

What have been your proudest moments?

How do you manage your time between family and business? Officially we all work a fully flexible 20-30 hour week. No one is full time on our staff. We believe this allows parents to better manage their child care needs and work a meaningful job. Personally, I work only school time and try to leave work in the office (our old nursery box room) when I go to pick up the children from school. Being able to log on later using my phone and handle a few emails late at night once they’re gone to bed, usually means I can dedicate playtime to them and handle the workload without too much stress.

Last year we won the Mother&Baby gold award for “Best Performance Nappy Range”, beating all 3 Pampers ranges and all supermarket entries. We had purposely entered a non-eco specific category to prove that our nappies could outperform the plastic versions and you didn’t have to make a compromise on quality to go green. We became the first European nappy company to be certified as a B-Corp. Scoring well over the assessment threshold, we are officially one of the most sustainable and ethical businesses in the world.

Who or what inspires you? I’m inspired by the likes of Paul Lindley, CEO Ella’s Kitchen, and Laura Tenison, CEO JoJoMamanBebe. They both started their companies from the kitchen table because they wanted something better for their children and the planet. As their companies have grown, they’ve always kept in mind why they started and have not lost that drive to improve the world and support communities. Laura Bingham – we met through Mama Bamboo, she is one of our customers and often posts on Instagram about our nappies and wipes, however, it’s her personal achievements that are awe-inspiring. I regularly read her books to my 7-year-old daughter and use them to teach her about what is possible for brave, strong, fearless women like Laura. Rebecca is completely blown away by Laura’s adventures and often roleplays being Laura setting out on her own to conquer the world. Every little girl needs her books and dream.

The covid-lockdown, however, put immense pressure on all our staff. Managing to support confused and anxious children, complete home schooling and work a job, is simply too much to ask of anyone. We tried to be as flexible as possible; allowing each staff member to set their own times and minimising long video calls,


The how and why of letting go For some of us, 2020 may have turned our whole world upside down, for others of us, it may have been one of our best years to date. One thing, I am sure we can all agree on is: that 2020 is a year that we will not forget too easily. When you look back on 2020, what are the things you are the proudest of? What brings you the most joy when you think back on the year 2020? These are important questions and answers for us to be holding on to as we begin 2021. They are important questions and answers for us to treasure, to write down, to journal about and be thankful for. As we begin our journey into 2021, it is essential for us to remind ourselves of the things that got us through the year 2020. Our success stories of 2020. Our wins, our happiest days. To hold on to these things, to bring them forth into our minds on those days, we find it hard to believe in ourselves: will be of great benefit to us in 2021. Let us again look back on 2020.

What are the things you grieve over? Do you have any regrets about the past year? Is there anything you wished you had done differently?


Have a think and write what comes to mind down on paper.

What will holding on to those things add to our life?

Look at what you have written – how do the words on the page make you feel?

Let me tell you what holding on to regrets, past mistakes, what others have said, adds to our life;

Why do you feel this way?

Sadness, anxiety, unhelpful comparisons, envy, stress – to name just a few.

Look at the piece of paper: Can you do anything to change those things? If you can, may I suggest you go right ahead and do it. But what happens to the things we cannot change? The things you cannot do anything about. The mistakes we made in 2020. The regrets we have about what happened and did not happen. The things we do not have a time machine to go back and change the outcome of. The words that we spoke or heard others speaking that brought us shame. How will holding on to those things make us feel? Will it be beneficial to us to hold on to past mistakes, what others have said, regrets...

Nothing good will be added to our life, as a result of holding on. I want to suggest a different path:

LETTING GO. Let it go. Really, I mean it – let it go. No, I do not mean that song from that well know Disney film – although if it helps to sing it then go ahead, but make sure you sing those words ever so loudly to make it count. To let go of something simply means to stop holding something.

Imagine how it would feel to let go of what did not serve us well in 2020. Imagine how it would feel to let go of the anger we have held on to regarding what 2020 did not allow us to do.

Imagine how it would feel to let go. Look again at your piece of paper. Read each word slowly. As you read the words, imagine them coming off the page and leaving you taking with them the sadness, anxiety, stress, anger…

If you can safely do so – why not burn that piece of paper and visualise all the things it represents burning away. Let it go, let it all go. The things that are not yours to hold on to – let them go. The ‘I wish I could have…’ thoughts – let them go. The mistakes you made – let them go. Let it go, let it all go. Replace it all with a new narrative. A voice that is within you, a voice that knows that you can and are journeying into 2021 holding on to the joy, the wins of 2020. A voice that allows you to reflect and move forward from the things of 2020 that were not as they ought to have been. All the while reminding of you of when you need to let go. Let it all go. Leanne Scott, Life Coach


In Conversation with

Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patramani Co-Founder Little Tummy

Dr Sophie Niedermaier-Patraman is a paediatrician with more than 10 years’ working experience in various healthcare systems and has regularly guided parents on their weaning journeys. She is also a mother to a little girl and had the pleasure to enjoy the weaning journey first hand. In 2017, Sophie founded Little Tummy to make parents’ lives easier, and babies’ lives healthier. At Little Tummy, she ensures that every ingredient has a purpose and design all recipes to make them delicious and high in nutritional value.


Tell us about your journey. How did you get here? As a paediatrician, I always found it frustrating that I couldn’t recommend a suitable weaning product to my patients and their parents. Currently, available baby food is sterilised under extreme heat. This destroys the flavour of the ingredients but also most of the micronutrients. In addition, the pouches and jars are high in fruit sugar, which is detrimental to children’s health. A few years ago, cold-pressed baby food started to become a trend in the US. Together with my co-founder Nadine Hellmann, I decided to change the world of baby food in the UK as well and started Little Tummy. It was quite a leap from my clinical work to starting a business. It was a crash course in marketing, finance and operations, but I don’t regret a single moment.

Together with my co-founder, I raised a seed investment round in September 2018. This helped us to start negotiations with a manufacturer and bring my ideas from the kitchen to the factory. The first time our Little Tummy meals were sent out to our customers gave me goosebumps!

What are you’re biggest pain points that you have been dealing with in your business these days? One of the challenges we face is cutting through the noise of big corporates as a small brand. With a comparably small marketing budget on our hands, it can be difficult to speak up against the colourful and loud marketing of the big baby food brands. We feel parents are starting to see through these marketing bubbles and are longing for honest and trustworthy information. This is where Little Tummy comes in.

How do your values show up in the work you do? First and foremost, I am a paediatrician who is on a mission to support parents. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance to me that our message is honest and trustworthy. Our recipes are based on the current guidelines on weaning, as we use a variety of dark green vegetables and keep the sugar content as low as possible. Our communication on social media is based on advice I give to parents in my daily practice.

How did you move from idea to actual business? It all started with a big spreadsheet of ingredients and their nutritional value. I then combined them in a way that they could enhance each other but also create delicious meals. For example, I use red lentils as a plant-based source of protein and iron. I then add mango as its Vitamin C content helps with iron absorption. The combination of both ingredients gives a bright orange and children love the taste.


What would be your biggest piece of advice to parent business owners just starting in business from your own experience?

is ok to ask for help, it can only make you better at what you do.

Make sure you have a network to share your mental load with. Starting a business comes with a lot of responsibilities, and it helped me a lot to talk through them with like-minded entrepreneurs as well as my husband. I wouldn’t have been able to get where I am today without my support network. It

The honest answer is: Not always to my satisfaction. I wish the day had more hours to spend on both my business and my family. I try to keep our weekends as free as possible so I can focus on my daughter and my husband. It gives me the energy to focus on Little Tummy during the week.


How do you manage your time between family and business?

What was the last thing you did that made you really proud? It made me proud that we got through the first lockdown as a strong family and also as a strong team at work. Not being able to see each other, depending on video chats and working from home with a toddler in the house has been challenging. Constantly reassessing the situation and making sure we communicate openly about our challenges made us stronger together.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I love running, especially in new places. When I travel, I like to look up running routes to discover the sights of a new city or the surrounding area. Running helps me clear my thoughts, and it is the time when I can strategise best about my business. I recently bought a running buggy, so I can take my daughter with me on my discovery trips.

Who or what inspires you? My mother has always been a great inspiration for me. She started her own business with three young children. Looking back, there wasn’t a single second where I felt she wasn’t there when I needed her and the time she spent with us was always filled with love, joy and laughter. I hope I can be a similar role model to my own daughter.


Roasted Fall Vegetable Soup An easy and delicious way to enjoy all the Fall veggies! This Roasted Fall Veggie Soup is a comforting and healthy lunch for these cooler days!

Ingredients • 3 cups butternut squash, diced • 3 carrots, chopped into 2” sized pieces • 3 yellow squash, chopped into 2” rounds • 1 tbsp olive oil

Prep time Cook time 10 mins 20 mins

• 2 tsp salt • 1 tsp black pepper • 6 cups vegetable stock • 4 tbsp basil pesto

Total time 30 mins

Instructions 1. Preheat the oven to 425 deg F (220 deg C). 2. On a large baking sheet, place the butternut squash, carrots and yellow squash pieces. 3. Drizzle over the olive oil, salt and pepper, then toss together to coat all the ingredients. 4. Roast in a preheated oven for approx 15-20 mins, or till the vegetables are tender and the edges of the pieces are caramelized.

6. Carefully blend the veggies and stock together till super smooth and creamy. With hot liquids, be very very careful and remove the middle insert from the lid of the blender but cover that opening with a folded kitchen towel. This allows some of the steam to escape during blending. Also, be careful not to over fill the blender. You can purée the soup in batches. 7. To serve, pour the hot soup into a bowl and garnish with 1 tbsp of pesto drizzled on top.

5. Transfer the roasted vegetables carefully to a high speed blender or food processor. Pour in the vegetable stock. Renata’s 30 Minute Meal Prep course, is the key to banishing overwhelm, frustration and being stressed out about your meals. You'll see how easy it is to cook yummy food, save time and love eating healthy! Find out more here Renata Trebing Nourish with Renata



5 Essential Ways to Use Scarcity to Increase Sales You might have noticed by now that when there’s a limited quantity of something, people go absolutely crazy for it. Take the UK, and it’s toilet roll crisis - because there was a perceived shortage, people went insane trying to acquire as much as possible. A bit of scarcity isn’t a bad thing at all - in fact, it’s an effective sales tool if you learn to use it right. Let’s take a look at five proven ways that you can improve sales as a business owner by using scarcity as an effective tool.




Have you ever had a slow sales month and don’t know what to do to drive sales back up? Well, the solution can be to just create a limited time offer.

When it comes to using scarcity to make sales, you’ve definitely got to make sure that you focus on introducing sales which have a call to action. You’ll want to make sure that you put a considerable emphasis on getting people to do exactly what you need them to when it comes to making sales.

When it comes to providing scarcity, you can accomplish this easily by introducing seasonal offers into the equation. You’ll want to make sure that you look for the best possible ways to promote goods, and in a lot of cases, this involves making them seasonal.

By setting a timer on your offers and deals, you’re encouraging people to act quickly. Obviously, you’ll want to make sure that this gives them all the time that they need, but at the same time, it also means that they act soon. It helps you to drive up sales because customers believe that when the timer ends, so does the sale. This motivates a quicker purchase, which translates into more sales.

Naturally, the emphasis will be on promoting the fact that when these offers are gone, they’re gone until the season rolls back around. Having a winter or summer sale on products which are thematically appropriate will be a good idea. You’ll naturally want to push out the products that are viable that season - swimsuits in the summer, hats and scarves in the summer.

Limited Time Offers

If you post that a service or a product has a limited time offer before it’s gone for good, you’ll see that your sales will drive up and improve in a big way. It’s easy to check out how this works in principle by looking at any of the offers you’ve bought yourself. Not only do these offers drive up sales, but you’re also benefiting from the urgency and scarcity of the product.

Buy Now

Seasonal Offers

You’ll be able to push up your sales, shift off some of that inventory that you’ve got cluttering up the house (imagine


the space you’d generate!), and generally make sure that your business continues to be a profitable endeavour.


Low Stock Announcements The thing about scarcity that you need to understand is that when there is a perceived lack of an item, the value skyrockets. Think about old video games or merchandise from big corporations from years back. They go for a lot of cash because they’re not as easily accessible as they would have been in the time period. This same principle applies to the goods that you are attempting to sell. If you announce that you have a low-level start, then people will be more inclined to purchase the goods in the first place. This works out well for you because it means that you can get access to the type of sales that you’ve been searching for.



Limited Edition Goods You might be a little bit concerned that dealing in scarcity tactics means that you’re creating a false narrative for your customers. However, this isn’t true. If you want to try and create a better way of doing things that doesn’t involve creating any kind of false narrative or lying to customers, the best way to do this is to only have a limited number of goods in stock. If something is a limited edition, then the demand for it will go up quite a way. The best way to make sure that you have something that sells quickly is to make something limited. This can be a challenge if you're not sure how to promote something like this, but if you take the time to work it out, then you will see success in the long-term. People will be more interested in buying it if they think that there is a limited number of them, and because there aren’t as many, the overall value of each one is raised.

Final Thoughts So, in conclusion, using scarcity as a tool to promote sales is definitely a viable tactic as a business owner. There are a couple of different things that you should probably keep in mind if you are going to do this. Scarcity tactics definitely have a place in any marketing strategy, but they’re not always the right way forward. There are definitely many instances where you need to think about using different tactics to accomplish your goals, but this can be quite challenging. With all that being said, using scarcity to promote sales is a viable way of doing things. It can take a bit of time to make it work in exactly the way you want it to, but at the same time, it’s worth it. As a business owner, you need to make sure that you keep sales high. This is often quite a challenge and requires you to really think about what it is that you’re doing. However, if you take the time to explore all of the options that are on offer, you’ll find a winning formula. If you take the time to explore all of the options, success is something which will come quite naturally. Remember that you should spread scarcity tactics out a bit - you don’t want customers to become suspicious or unreceptive to them.


You can find these businesses and more on our online directory

Vee Roberts Insight2marketing

Shannon Reed Mockingbird Makes

Michelle Molyneux MJM Virtual Solutions

Insight2marketing is a Full-Service brand & Marketing agency led by Vee Roberts, an award-winning Brand & Marketing Coach.

Shannon of Mockingbird Makes, and I mindfully Make beautiful bespoke hand knitted crocheted or embroidered handicrafts, co-creating alongside my clients (partners, really). Mockingbird Makes have been called "sunshine in product form" that have a 'huge feel-good factor.'

Your everyday virtual admin solution providing personal assistant support to conquer general admin tasks, so consultants and small business can focus on growing their business.

What you'll find


Services offered Strategic Planning Campaign Design and Implementation Brand Development Web Design Leaflet Distribution

Handmade keyrings Handmade cardigans Handmade hats

Social Media Management and Event Services

Handmade sunshine products and more MockingbirdMakesCo


Services offered General administration Proofreading and editing Virtual personal assistant

Louise Worsley Worsley Training

Nadene Martin Format Services Limited

Bhavini Lakhani B81 Designs

Worsley Training is run by Louise Worsley, a professional teacher with an instinctive ability to make learning First Aid memorable and enjoyable. She has over fifteen years of hands-on First Aid experience, both as a global expedition leader and as a parent.

Format Services is a Virtual Assistant Company taking care of all of your administration needs. Offer various services which can support you to grow your business, and you can view them further in the Services section. There are many benefits of outsourcing your administration, and this is something that we can discuss further as every business is unique.

Bhavini, is a Milton Keynes-based graphic designer with a shed-load of passion and the experience to match. She loves working with clients of all shapes and sizes, from the likes of Barclaycard and British Gas to business-to-business start-ups.

Some of the courses offered Baby and Child First Aid Paediatric First Aid Mini Life-Savers (first aid for primary school children) Teen-Aiders (First aid for teenagers & secondary school children) Basic Life Support with Defibrillator First Aid Training So many other courses are on offer so be sure to check out the website. Notebooks and planners

Services offered Email Management Transcription Project management

Services offered Branding Marketing material design Business stationary design Advertising design

Venue Bookings And so much more be sure to check out Nadene's website