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The First Tradeswomen-Focused Magazine in the UK




One of the UK’s Top Barristers

and former First Lady

‘Progress not Perfection’ TV Presenter and Designer

“Having the right mentor can help you build confidence”

“I love this project as it breaks down the myths of addiction”

How to overcome


Laura Tenison, founder of JoJo Maman Bébé The leading independent mother and baby boutique brand in the UK


is a magic



cal season

Meet the inspiring women who made this edition possible. Our Autumn Cover Queen

Abstract Portraiture & Figurative Artist

Entrepreneur & Cookery Author


Furniture D


Civil Engineer

Designer & Maker


Surface Pattern Designer

TV Presenter


Young Budding Engineer


Photographer & Model

Meet the women who made this edition possible. Helping you to be a better version of yoursel f.

Our Contributors Esther Stanhope BBC Producer An experienced “Live” BBC Producer, Esther has worked with Hollywood stars and ‘Big’ personalities (like Madonna, Alistair Campbell and Richard Branson), and knows the formula to getting the best performance out of artists. She now uses her 20 years of broadcasting expertise to help professionals from Deloitte, Barclays, HSBC, global law firms and the House of Commons to ooze charisma; boost their confidence, and pitch business proposals ‘with personality’ in order to win.

For smart inventive women Founder & Editor-in-Chief Janet Kirlew PA to the Editor-in-Chief Aimee Smith

Connect: | @estherstanhope1

Wellbeing and Beauty Editor Elizabeth Rae Marketing Manager Primrose Archer Your Story Team Monica Jones ©Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. This magazine may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the written permission of the publishers. Materials submitted for publication are sent at the owner’s risk and do not reflect the opinion of this publication. Any views expressed within the publication by individual authors are not necessarily the views of the publisher. Whilst care has been taken to ensure that articles published and the content of advertising are accurate, neither Women in Trade Magazine nor its agents accept any liability for loss or damage. Although Women in Trade Magazine has endeavoured to ensure that all information inside the magazine is correct, details and prices may be subject to change.

Michelle Gyimah HR Consultant With over 10 years’ experience of working on equality issues in the workplace, Michelle worked for the Equality and Human Rights Commission for 8 years before going freelance in 2014. There she specialised in writing guidance for employers and delivering training seminars on equal pay and pregnancy and maternity discrimination. She holds a Masters in Human Rights from The University of Manchester. Connect: | @equalitypays

Gordana Biernat Inspirational Speaker Talking about consciousness, creativity, leadership, art, reality and time; Gordana is a mentor who assists those seeking self-development and a greater sense of being through intellectual and spiritual inquiry. Gordana holds an M.A. in Art History & Art Sciences, Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Communication and Media. Connect: | @MyPowertalk

Keri Allan Journalist

Keri is a freelance journalist and editor who’s worked in sectors as varied as engineering and videogames through to special effects and education. Always up for a new challenge, in recent years she expanded into the world of blogging and currently co-edits travel and lifestyle blog Ladies what…travel. Here you’ll find her writing about everything from her love of South East Asia to undertaking a global afternoon tea challenge. Connect: | @Keri_Allan

6 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

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Editor’s Letter

The cycle of change It’s okay to have moments of doubt as long as you learn how to deal with them quickly. Left to fester, doubt can influence every facet of your life. I for one no longer resist doubt as I feel it comes with an important message. Doubt pushes you forward. It nudges and encourages you to check whether you really believe in what you are doing; which is why it is sometimes a good idea to have a conversation with doubt. When doubt says: “Why are you doing this? This is a waste of time?” You tell it: “I am doing this to live the type of life that I want, and to help others to do the same.” The trick is not to wallow, but accept that you may need to take stock of things; that you might need to re-adjust and weed out the rubbish. By recognising this within yourself, you can let go of those things that are truly and honestly worn out, and move on. This issue is all about becoming comfortable with the cycle of change and learning how to: let go; embrace who you are; love your imperfections, as well as handling copycats and starting a business that you love. I am incredibly excited and honoured to feature on our autumn cover, our former First Lady, CBE and QC, and self-professed technology addict Cherie Blair! A firm believer that: “A cup of camomile tea can improve the outlook of any situation.” (Page 22) We feature Surface Pattern Designer, Kate Thorburn and Bespoke Furniture Maker, Jane Crisp. We delve into the abstract creations of artist Daniela Raytchev, as she explores addiction with TV Presenter and Designer, Gok Wan. Other notable features include Born to Engineer - Born to Rise, featuring Young budding Engineer Nina Parsons and Civil Engineer Joanna Kennedy, and we speak to Laura Tenison MBE, founder of JoJo Maman Bébé, a leading retailer of nursery products, baby and maternity clothes. Laura turned an idea she had from her hospital bed 15 years ago into a multi-million pound business. Don’t forget - whilst preparing for the colder months; make sure you take the time to enjoy the magical, spectacular show of all those gorgeous autumn colours! Take a break and let yourself be dazzled! We feature some awe-inspiring autumnal walks on page 72. Enjoy!


Janet Kirlew Editor-in-Chief

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 9


Story: Cherie



Edition 2015


Queens of Industry



Autumn Facts. According to Swedish researchers, women lose more hair in autumn.


COVER STORY: CHERIE BLAIR “Having the right mentor can help you build confidence, create networks and improve yourself in ways you may not have realised were possible.”


Laura Tenison, Founder of JoJo Maman Bébé: People and the planet are more important than profit.


British Female Designers Rock, featuring: Surface Pattern Designer, Kate Thorburn & Bespoke Furniture Designer and Maker, Jane Crisp.


The UK’s most beautiful Autumnal Walks. Keri Allan takes us through some awe-inspiring walks.

10 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015


‘Progress not Perfection’ - A true look into the heart of Addiction, featuring Abstract Portraiture and Figurative Artist Daniela Raytchev; TV Presenter and Designer, Gok Wan and Comedian Jeff Leach, all addressing stigmas that surround addictions.


Inside this issue...



Autumnal Walks

Careers 86

Born to Engineer - Born to Rise, featuring Young budding Engineer Nina Parsons and Civil Engineer Joanna Kennedy. “Engineering is perfect for the expansion of innovative, creative and entrepreneurial minds.”

TV Presenter & Designer, Gok Wan

Look the Part 62

Feel good, look the part - OWN your business meeting with Luxury Brand, Next. Workwear designed with YOU in mind.

Business 16

Join the ride, Britain’s entrepreneurs take flight: 3 Entrepreneurs share their

Self 30

best business start-up advice.


Why you should embrace maternity returners: Michelle Gyimah tells us why this has huge financial and emotional implications on UK businesses.

Charisma. Are you born with it? Or can it be learned? Esther Stanhope shows us how to ooze charisma.


In my quiet space. Our Editor-in-Chief talks to us about those annoying little things that deplete our energy.

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 11

Inside this issue...

Self 58

Copycats. Imitation, Adulation or



Irritation - How to deal with a copycat!


Overcoming the destructive power of fear. Are you losing yourself to fear?


Perfect Imperfections. “Many of us walk this Earth with the persistent feeling of being incomplete.” By Inspirational

Speaker, Gordana Biernat.


Love me, Love me not. The power of self-belief. “To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.”


Autumn mind body BOOSTS: A combination of great reads, exercise and nutritious food to give you an awesome boost this autumn.

9 90

Editor’s Letter




12 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015


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Did You Know?

Autumn Facts There is something magical about autumn. Yes, it may spell the end of summer, but look a little deeper and it is a season filled with colour, activity and hidden depths. Take the transcending colour of leaves as they change from rich greens to reds, oranges, yellows and browns. Whilst these colour changes may be a result of falls in chlorophyll and sunlight; to many they see it as a sign of letting go of the old and preparing for the new. The truth is – there is a lot more to autumn than meets the eye. Take the following interesting autumnal facts:

Fact 1 According to Swedish researchers, women lose more hair in autumn as a result of our hair cells responding to seasonal changes. During the summer, we hold onto more of our hair

14 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

to protect our scalps from the sun; however when autumn descends, we lose much of this additional growth.

Fact 2 Between 4-5% of the population is believed to be affected by Autumnal depression, where reductions in exposure to sunlight can prompt feelings of fatigue, stress and loss of interest. Fortunately, installing light boxes (desk lamps and wall fixtures) and undergoing light therapy can all Lumie Arabica (RRP £99.95) is a help you to combat light box for effective SAD these feelings of treatment that’s ideal for use at home. depression.

Your Comments & Letters STAR LETTER

INSPIRED ON HER JOURNEY Hi Janet! I had a browse of your magazine and have downloaded the ISSUU app to read more. You're inspiring me on my journey! I have always supported other entrepreneurs on their path to accomplishing their business goals, and have cherished the lessons that came along with these experiences. However, I found myself having moments of self-doubt, once I decided to start my own business. As a mother, a wife and a woman I wondered: "How could I possibly have it all?" So I began searching for other women who seem to 'have it all', and that's when I found Women in Trade Magazine. I was thrilled to discover such a vast array of confident women sharing their stories. Thank you for this wonderful publication, and to your effervescent array of contributors for helping to empower other women. Because of them, I know I can do it too!

STYLISH ONLINE PUBLICATION Ching-He Huang @chinghehaung

Big thanks to @womenintradeuk for featuring me in their summer edition. A really stylish online publication #eatclean


Yours Sincerely, Bridgette Abtar, CEO of Nouveau Nubien We want to hear about your life and any positive experiences from reading Women in Trade Magazine. Your letter, comment or tweet could appear here next time! E:

Favourite Summer Tweets SO PROUD

Gordon Ramsay @gordonramsay “@womenintradeuk: Kim Woodward, appointed as First Female Head Chef at Gordon Ramsay Group’s Savoy Grill. So proud.”


Penny Power OBE @pennypower @womenintradeuk: Supper idea for a magazine.


Katie Vale @katiejaynevale @womenintradeuk: Wow! Your magazine looks great. Where can you buy it?

THEME: SUNSET. At sunset I love to go into the sea, to play with it, and let the waves make around my body, a dress of salt water and foam like a mermaid. I took this picture on 28th July 2013, I like it a lot! Thank you for choosing my picture. Nana Solana, Granada

Win a spot in our winter edition. Calling all talented photographers to showcase their photography in our winter edition. To enter this competition, simply submit your photography and the inspiration behind it by 10th October and send it to: Winners will be notified before we publish end of November. Good Luck!

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 15

Join the ride, Britain‟s entrepreneurs take flight Business 3 Entrepreneurs share their best business start-up advice.


t feels like there’s a buzz; the business landscape is changing, and people are looking to their own talents, doing what they love and turning that into a living more than ever before. Last year, according to the UK Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, small businesses exceeded five million for the first time ever, accounting for almost 50% of all private sector employment in the UK. From mini-mobile coffee bars to apps that make our lives easier, the UK is becoming a hot-bed of exciting, new and driven talent seeking to fulfil their own personal dreams. Entrepreneurs are the antithesis of the 20th Century’s corporate dominance. Multinational conglomerates rose to provide jobs en-masse, but vacuous, soulless working environments, dealing with people you wouldn’t choose to, the stress of climbing the career ladder and striving to exceed expectations, have all taken their toll on Britain’s workers. When it comes to productivity, it’s proven that the way to increase

output and, as a result, the bottom line of any business is for people to be engaged, happy, have an inherent enthusiasm and desire to succeed, and love what they do.

“The UK is becoming a hot -bed of exciting, new and driven talent seeking to fulfil their own personal dreams.”

The University of Warwick’s Economics Department says that happiness makes people 12% more productive in the workplace. Meanwhile, leading social media companies, which have invested in making their employees happy, have seen productivity jump to almost 40%. To add to just being plain happy in your work, the UK is one of the best places to start up a business in the world.

The British Government has recognised the potential of entrepreneurism and has created a range of initiatives and resources that you can tap into under its ‘Great’ Britain campaign, celebrating everything British. Whether you want to investigate how your finances will work, if you need initial investment, or even if it’s just to learn about how to convert your idea into a real business proposition.

Check out these resources:, or give the helpline a call on 0300 456 3565. The internet at large provides a wealth of information, perhaps sometimes too much. Just by doing a Google search you’ll find a myriad of sites that offer advice, possible partners, ideas, and stories of other people who have gone through the same experience. The best of the bunch include:, and

Annabel, Meryl and Lily share their 16 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

success stories

Mumpreneurs rule

Annabel Karmel, MBE

One of the most successful up and coming entrepreneurial talents is mums. Mumpreneur author, Annabel Karmel, is the UK’s No.1 children’s cookery writer. Her success was not borne out of an exciting idea, but instead she turned tragedy into a life-changing idea that would help her and other parents around the world to be a better mum. Annabel lost her new born baby to a viral infection and even though it wasn’t nutrition-related, she wanted to give her next child nothing but the best possible start in life. It was with that impetus that Annabel developed and wrote a meal planner for babies and toddlers. Twenty years later, Annabel has published 40 books, selling more than four million copies worldwide. She said: “It takes real confidence to return to work by starting-up a business after having children – and self-belief is absolutely vital in order to succeed. Confidence is just as important as competence – if not more so. The more you believe in yourself and in your chances of succeeding, the more likely you are to do just that. Of course, we all have doubts from time to time – the danger is if those doubts spiral out of control, creating unnecessary anxiety and negative self-limiting beliefs. These can prevent us from doing something that we really want to do (and, deep down, know that we can do).” For more information about Annabel’s new book, Mumpreneur, go to:

Imbibery the juice vibe Founders of Imbibery, Meryl Zises and Lily Rogath started their coldpressed juice business just a year ago, and are already seeing certain success. When asked about what they could share with others about starting a business, Meryl and Lily said: "First and foremost you have to absolutely positively love your product or service - whatever it is you're going into, you must be passionate about it whole heartedly. It's also important to understand you need to be involved in every component of your business. One thing we believe has attributed to our success is our openness - we have completely open hearts and open minds, which means when an opportunity presents itself: say yes.

Meryl Zises and Lily Rogath To check out Imbibery’s products and business approach, go to:

Don't worry about implementation. You will figure it out. To this end, be open to collaboration. With a start-up there will be so many seemingly big moments, and it feels like everything is contingent on one thing happening or not happening. This is absolutely not the case and you cannot sweat the small stuff. Pretty much everything is small stuff. Finally, if you're going to have a partner, make sure he/she is the best in every which way. You will be spending ALL your time with this person. We can't advise how to assess this - we just knew in our guts and are very fortunate to have each other."

Top tips for



Top tips for

budding Entrepreneurs Ideas are everything: no

matter how small your idea is, now is the time to see if you can turn it into a business. Jot your idea down and start to scope out how it might work and what the steps are to make it a reality.

Know your market: if you have an idea then that’s half the battle, but now you need to start thinking about who your potential customers will be. Do they need your product or service? Who are they? And how will you reach them?

Get on the net: chances are that no matter what your idea is, you’ll need it to be online. Talk to tech-savvy people you or your friends and family might know about the best approach for your idea. You’ll need to consider anything from a basic website to social media and mobile marketing.

Research, research, research: you might think that someone else must have already thought of your idea, but the only way you’ll know is to get researching. Even if they have, that doesn’t stop you from putting your own spin on it. You might come across a countless number of excuses to give up before you’ve even gotten started, but the more informed you are, the more chance you’ll have to live the dream.

Don’t stop at the first hurdle: like so many entrepreneurs before you, if they had given up in the early days then the business world would be far less diverse and exciting than it is today!


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If you do choose to make the GATE8 luggage range a gift for a loved one, you can add additional extras to make the present the complete package such as the GATE8 Packers Set which is a premium, simple and stress free packing and organisation kit which will help even the busiest business man or woman get their laptop, files and clothes together in the most efficient way ensuring that you arrive ready to go. Further tweaks to the luggage involving personalised additions with a Monogramme service onto the bag and even corporate Logo branding for clients are available at an additional small cost. GATE8 also offers a range of exclusive carryon cabin bags designed for women – both for personal and business use.


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Cherie Blair, CBE and QC, and a self-professed technology addict, talks to us about why she started her Foundation for women, and how the influence of a strong female upbringing inspired her to help her fellow women.

“Having the right mentor can help you build confidence, create networks and improve yourself in ways you may not have realised were possible.� By Janet Kirlew

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 23

One of the UK’s top barristers; wife to the most successful Labour Prime Minister in recent history; a self-professed technology addict; and Hillary Clinton is among her mentors. Cherie Blair, CBE and QC, says that it is the influence of a strong female upbringing that inspired her to help her fellow women and ensure they have just as many opportunities as she did.

Even the male candidate admitted I was better suited for the job.” While this was incredibly frustrating and unfair, it was the law firm that missed out in the end, since the man left the company and went into politics. He also became Cherie Blair’s husband! When looking at the next generation of barristers, Cherie Blair says that times are changing. Her daughter has recently finished her legal studies and over half of her classmates were women. Women are also making up more than half of all judges under 40. “However, it’s the more senior and executive levels that struggle to retain the same level of equality, in the legal sector and the majority of others as well.”

On the other side of the Atlantic, a fellow barrister and now Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton is among Cherie Blair’s mentors. “When I first moved in to 10 Downing Street, I was overwhelmed with the amount of responsibilities and tasks that I was expected to take on t’s no surprise that Cherie Blair as wife of the Prime Minister, alongside has a passion for female being a full-time mother and barrister. empowerment. Brought up in Hillary had a wealth of experience and Liverpool by her mother and wisdom to share and really helped me find grandmother after her father my feet. Many years later, she continues to left when she was still very be a source of support and encouragement. young, it was this influence of When I set up the Cherie Blair Foundation The Cherie Blair two very strong women that shaped for Women, Hillary was also there for me, Foundation for Women has every aspect of her success and personal so far helped over 118,000 supporting our work.” women in more than 80 life. Cherie Blair inherently knew the Mentoring Women in Business, Enterprise countries. importance of self-sufficiency and Development and Mobile Technology form independence, particularly as a woman. the three central programmes of the Cherie Today, women do twoShe says it was their sheer resilience and thirds of the world’s work, Blair Foundation for Women. The idea of the unconditional support that drove her and yet earn only one-tenth Foundation was inspired by Cherie’s belief and confidence in herself. of the profits. experiences in Downing Street, where she In 1970 the UK’s first Equal Pay Act was had the opportunity to meet women from Women account for 70% passed providing equal pay for equal many different backgrounds, from all over of the world’s poor. work. Yet, it was during this decade that the world. “One of the things that struck me Cherie Blair first encountered unfair the most was that there were so many Spending $1 on treatment in the workplace. She says, “It improving women’s access strong and determined women who wanted was common for firms to say that they to work and create better lives for to economic opportunities didn’t take women, and often the ones themselves and their families, but they faced yields about $7 in health, that did would only accept a few.” In her education, and povertya number of legal and cultural barriers that alleviation benefits. final stage of training at a law firm she prevented them from developing their came up against competition for a job business ideas. I realised that, with the right with a young man. “Even though I performed better and support, these women could rise to success, and with had scored better in my studies, it became clear that that, reinvest their incomes back into their families and they were going to pick the man for the permanent job. communities.”



AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 25


Mobile Technology Cherie with Stephanie, President of the Village Savings and Loan Association (VLSA) in the Rulindo district of Rwanda. The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is working with the VLSA as a part of its project in partnership with Accenture and CARE International to support 15,000 women with business skills training, mentoring and access to finance.

Cherie visits Gloria, founder of Glo Creations a textile company in Kigali, Rwanda. Gloria (pictured top right) is a mentee in the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Programme.

In Nigeria, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women has partnered with Visa and Youth for Technology, to provide 2,500 women entrepreneurs with the opportunity to become agents in the retail network of First Bank Nigeria, a leading financial services provider in the country. The women agents will, in turn, provide Nigerians living in rural and underserved areas with branchless banking and mobile financial services.


Reinvestment in the next generation One of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s agricultural cooperative projects in India has introduced a mobile application to help transform the way local business women manage their stock orders and sales. One woman, Shantaben, has seen a threefold increase in sales as a result of the new system; she is investing her extra income into a savings account and using it to pay her grandson’s school fees.

Cherie speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative, where she has spoken every year since 2010 on gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship. 26 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

“It is vital to include men when we are working to empower women”


he Foundation’s mentoring programme uses an innovative online tool to match women entrepreneurs in developing and emerging markets with mentors around the world – both men and women. Cherie explains, “Having the right mentor can help you to build confidence, create networks and improve yourself in ways you may not have realised were possible. Time and time again we hear success stories of women who have overcome the barriers they face in their business with the help of their mentors.” Over 20% of the Foundation’s mentors are men. “I think I always knew this, but I’m now more certain than ever that it is vital to include men when we are working to empower women. As the mother of three sons, I know that while many women may suffer from discrimination from men, there are actually a lot of men out there who are incredibly supportive of us and want to see us succeed. It’s important that we acknowledge their efforts and encourage their ongoing support. As our reach expands, I would like to see the number of male mentors grow as well.” When it comes to juggling being a mother, wife, barrister and business woman, Cherie Blair has found flexible working and technology to be her saviours. “As a barrister I'm self-employed, so everything I do is on a project basis. I do this case and then another case, which allows me to mix and match. The Foundation has a fantastic CEO and team of 25 employees who carry out our important work. Meanwhile Tony has also been a great support – even when he was Prime Minister he would take the time to put the kids to bed. Having support like this in your life is always important.” Living without technology is unthinkable to Cherie Blair, whether it’s her phone, iPad or laptop. “I think technology is one of the most important tools we have today, both for education and economic growth, and it also plays a vital role in empowering women. Computers and the internet allowed me to raise my children and work full-time – I could work from home and be with my family. I know that for many other

women who need to multi-task, technology is their greatest friend.” Technology is allowing the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women to reach women on a much larger scale and break down barriers that prevent them from entering the labour market. “The internet can be used to create cross-border connections, linking women with mentors from around the world, and enabling access to new markets. Mobile phones can give women vital access to banking services.” According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report it will take another 80 years for women to achieve gender parity within the economy. “I don’t think we can wait that long. I’m hoping that through work such as that of the Foundation, we can reach this goal a lot sooner. Women should be equal to men – in earning power, in opportunities and in human rights.” The world economy is missing out on billions of pounds, because women are paid less than men and have fewer opportunities to fully participate in their societies. Imagine how the world would flourish if that 50% of the population had better access to financial services, higher salaries, improved healthcare and more opportunities to benefit from higher education. Women also tend to reinvest around 90% of their income in their own families. What better place to spend it, than in the next generation. In her down time, Cherie Blair disconnects from the outside world by reading or having a cup of chamomile tea. “I am an avid reader. My greatest love is fiction but my tastes are wide, from thrillers to romance, from British writers to translations of books by authors from Scandinavia to Japan, I love a good story well told. I also firmly believe that a cup of camomile tea can improve the outlook of any situation.” ______________________________________________ The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women is always looking for new mentors, if you are interested in applying or to find out more visit:

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 27

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30 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

Tracey Edmonds is an American television personality, model and businesswoman and is a host on the television show Extra. Tracey oozes charisma and is a perfect example of a naturally charismatic person. “I dont allow negative people into my life. I think when you feel good spiritually and you are at peace, that’s where beauty really starts.”


Are you born with it? Or can it be learned? Self BBC television producer, Esther Stanhope shows us how to ooze charisma. She believes that we all possess the energy to attract and influence people but for some, it requires work.


f you had to put your finger on it - how would you describe ‘charisma’? What would be its defining features?

According to experts, charisma is an energy that attracts and influences people. They are drawn to you like a beacon of hope, as you inspire feelings of elevation and motivation. It is a characteristic seen in most great leaders. Think about all the people (alive or dead) that make you feel something, you’d quickly realise that each and every one of them has charisma! I know that I’ve been doing that – searching for the formula to charisma.

In fact, for the last 20 years, all of my time as a live studio producer at the BBC - working with top talent from around the world and witnessing interviews with Hollywood’s finest - has given me ample opportunities to figure out what charisma is, and it’s actually a dirty little secret. Most people think charisma is something you’re born and blessed with; that it takes no work and comes effortlessly. The truth is vastly different, as most people aren’t naturally charismatic. Even politicians and stars; those who you think radiate and ooze confidence in front of the camera – most likely started out stammering, blushing and fumbling.

So here’s the good news….you can learn to be charismatic. Hurrah! Just look at David and Victoria Beckham. Both of them in their early years were awkward, camera shy and full of ‘ums’ and ‘errs’. Neither could be described as exuding charisma, as they weren’t used to the spotlight or media attention, and often crumbled in interviews or avoided them altogether. Having had years of practice, four children, selfdiscovery and coaching; David Beckham has become a real showman.

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“You have to love yourself and give yourself permission to feel a little bit fabulous”

He does everything right for someone classed as charismatic. He tells stories; gives something away of himself, and is effortlessly confident and warm, with twinkling smiley eyes. If he can achieve this, then there’s hope for you too. You too can be 'charismatic' if you want to be.


hen I work with my clients - who are business leaders in global organisations - this is one of the first things I teach them. I show them how to ‘spot’ charisma in others because the moment you recognise this, you can discover how to radiate charisma yourself.

Recognising charisma Who do you think has charisma the wow-factor? The sparkle? The inspiration? If you were to search the celebrity market, who would you pick? How about: Joanna Lumley, Sue Perkins or Nicola Sturgeon? All of the above have certain attributes in common, and it’s not just a BIG personality (although that does help if you want to emit charisma!). True charisma is a part of you – both in and out of the spotlight. Not everyone gets that. The truth is, there are a number of qualities that can make you ‘charismatic’: confidence, character,

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energy, humour, great stories, good eye contact, physical presence, fame, a great voice, warmth, enthusiasm, passion, personality, a smiley face…the list goes on. Yet there is one thing that is guaranteed to boost your charisma. The most important thing, that you’ll need to engage any sized audience.

themselves in you – they feel connected somehow.

Charisma is ….when ...wait for it…

How will you know if you’ve got it?

"You love the audience a little bit more than yourself" According to charisma guru and author, Nikki Owen, the definition of charisma is: “having the ability to capture peoples’ hearts and minds when you are being your authentic self” and it is an opinion that I greatly agree with, having witnessed it over the course of my career. Most importantly, it is something that CAN be learnt. Coming from the BBC, one of the core values I acquired early on, was that the audience desires must outweigh the needs of the producer or (shock horror) the presenter! If people don’t think you’re being your true self, then they won’t trust you. I think charisma is also when people can see a little bit of

You have to love yourself and give yourself permission to feel a little bit fabulous. This is a great sensation, because when you feel fantastic, it’s time to add the most important ingredient… your audience a little bit more.

People will come and pay you compliments, and smile at you a lot! It’s wonderful when that happens. You will be able to lead your team and galvanise the troops because they will feel loved, appreciated, and compelled to follow you. So the next time you need to stand up and give a powerful speech to your team - in the boardroom or at an industry event - remember these simple rules: put your audience first; give them attention and what they need; engage them and make them feel special, and shower them with joy and wisdom. Do that and they will love you back. Just always remember to love yourself too! And that’s charisma – confidence, energy and humour - and I bet you have buckets of it!

A better you is emerging. Stay positive.

Laura Tenison MBE is the founder of JoJo Maman Bébé, a leading retailer of nursery products, baby and maternity clothes. For Laura Tenison “people and the planet” are more important than profit. It’s quite a statement from someone who turned an idea she had from her hospital bed 15 years ago into a multi-million pound business.



f you’re a mum, you’ve probably heard of or brought clothes from, JoJo Maman Bébé. Laura’s company is one of the UK’s fastest growing small businesses and is about to break into the US market. The children’s clothes sector is monopolised by big, high-street brands such as Mothercare, George at Asda and Tesco, but Laura still saw an opportunity in her idea of a kid’s clothing line with a French twist.

Laura’s childhood was spent living abroad and in Wales, and after her studies set up her own boutique clothing business in Northern France. Later, she began to look for a new adventure and organised for the business to be sold so that she could move back to the UK. However, a near fatal car crash in the midst of the move meant she was laid-up in a hospital bed for weeks. Laura had 20 broken bones, but her hospital stay turned to her advantage when she noticed the patient in the next bed was trying to buy clothes for her two children via mail order. Laura reviewed the selection, she said: “I was not impressed by the

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offering and decided that the British needed French nautical style clothing, which looked sweet, but was ultimately practical and affordable.” Having sold her business in France, Laura’s start-up capital was £50,000 plus a bank loan. Laura said: “I thought I had a vast fortune, but how little I knew! It was a miracle to get the funding from the bank - they had all turned me down for my first venture.” The start-up fund was a relatively small amount to put together her first collection, do a photo-shoot, print a catalogue, get the marketing plan off the ground, and fund cash flow requirements. Laura says that for about the first five years she was scrimping and saving at every opportunity.

Laura used minimum resources, which also benefited the environment, but was out of necessity more than anything else. She says that it was hard at the beginning, but a great lesson running a company with a frugal outlook. That sentiment has remained at the core of the business to this day. JoJo Maman Bébé puts people and the planet before profit. Laura says that it is difficult given the confines of a commercially viable business, but it is possible, “Our flagship environmental project is called ‘From a Mother to Another’ where customers are encouraged to gift their unwanted and outgrown baby clothing to other parents in need.” In the run-up to Mother's Day each year the team redistribute around 50,000 items of clothing to parents in

need through Barnardo's family centres, “We like good old fashioned common sense; it’s how we do business at JoJo,” Laura said. Before launching JoJo Maman Bébé, Laura learnt a lot from her first business, as well as a second property business which she continues to run today. Laura believes that, “being a retailer is about so much more than fashion having a thorough knowledge of property and building work has really helped me.” She says that business is all about people, “Finding the right people to do jobs you are not qualified for is essential. I now employ around 700 people, many of whom are better than I am at specific areas.” Laura was doing everything herself when she first started off given that funds were so tight, “When we did finally

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get professionals into the business life got a lot easier.” Laura keeps an eye on every aspect of her business and says that she’s pretty obsessed with attention to detail, “I think that far too many people are slap dash in business, and inefficiencies waste money. Whether

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it’s the inside neck finishing on a tshirt or the layout of a store - I like to make sure we do everything to the best of our ability and this means investing time and money.” When things don’t go right, Laura finds a solution saying that this is one of her best characteristics and the

reason she has never given up even in the face of mass-market competition, “I'm eternally optimistic and I won’t take no for an answer. I love solving problems and if I can be useful to people it makes me happy.” A lack of work ethic is one of her biggest bugbears and she can’t

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understand people who down tools at home time when there’s an emergency or tight deadline. While JoJo Maman Bébé doesn’t encourage working late, Laura believes that it is a team effort and if one person walks, the whole team is let down. Laura believes that when leading a business, power can be negative, she says: “I would never exert power to influence or command. I try to lead by example, working alongside my teams. I don’t expect anyone to work as hard as I do; but I only want to work with people who respect what we are all trying to achieve, not because I have the power to hire and fire.” The ups and downs of owning a business come with the territory and Laura admits she has felt like giving up many times, “The worst time for us was during the credit crunch when

we had trouble all round, plus sales dropped off a cliff. But we pulled together and my amazing and loving team helped us get through it.” For Laura and her team the future is exciting. They are about to launch a new division of the business in the US offering the same level of service as they do in the UK, so a franchise or license agreement wasn’t an option. “So far we have opened our own distribution centre and will launch an American catalogue and website.” On top of that, Laura feels the ongoing pressure of remaining the leading independent mother and baby boutique brand in the UK, whilst continuing to open about six stores a year. This is particularly poignant as the larger brands continue to offer affordable children’s clothes on a mass scale.

If there’s anything Laura could change it’s to have more hours in the day. Eighteen hour days aren’t unusual and she says: “I really don’t have enough time to get through all my work, charity, friends, children and dog commitments. So if I could make the days longer that would be fantastic.” In her personal time, Laura values the benefits of just being outside: “I cycle everywhere and have dogs to walk early in the mornings and late at night. We have an office garden where the teams can hold meetings if they want to. The weather is a great leveller - we all feel the rain on our faces and the wind in our hair.”

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Autumns mind body BOOSTS Research shows that in order to live a great, healthy, happy and interesting life, we need to focus on looking after our mind, body and spirit. Try these amazing boosts!


WHOLE OF YOU: Meditation

Image Credit: Richard Hewitt

Look after your heart, feed your bones this is what tomatoes do. Rich in vitamin C, they reduce the risk of heart disease whilst vitamin K helps to clot your blood and maintain strong bones. Research shows, that tomatoes can slow the rate of growth and kill some cancer cells. So if you are not a lover of the humble tomato, show it some love today, by adding it to your salads.

BOOKS TO BALANCE THE WHOLE The Power of Meditation: A 28-day programme for real happiness by Sharon Salzberg

OF YOU: How to succeed

£12.99, Hay House UK, available on Amazon and

Meditation helps us defuse stress, experience greater tranquillity, find a sense of wholeness, strengthen our relationships and face our fears. The Power of Meditation is the most effective, approachable guide to this transformative technique beginning with the simplest breathing and sitting techniques.


WHOLE OF YOU: Business Playing Big : A Practical Guide for Brilliant Women Like You by Tara Mohr £8.99, available on

Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier $23.00, available on

Playing Big is a ground-breaking book that gives every woman the practical skills they need to find their voice, their vision and to make things happen. It isn’t just for business women. Instead, it offers tools to help every woman play bigger. This book will help provide real practical tools to help women quiet self-doubt.

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Rework shows you a better, faster, easier way to succeed in business. Read it and you'll know why plans are actually harmful, why you don't need outside investors, and why you're better off ignoring the competition. The truth is, you need less than you think. Rework is the perfect playbook for anyone who’s ever dreamed of doing it on their own.



veryone loves a good page-turner. The kind of book that manages to suck you in from the very first sentence; engulf you in mind-blowing plots and twists, and refuses to let you go until you reach the last page. Where else can you free your imagination; become your favourite heroes/heroines and escape the everyday boredom and stresses of life? Nowhere! Did you know that reading can also improve your health? It can! And here are three amazing reasons why:


. Reading keeps your mind young – According to Rush University Medical centre, reading can take years off your mind, slowing your rate of cognitive decline by 32%. Just like any other muscle in your body, your brain needs cognitive stimulation in order to stay healthy, and reading can do just that. In fact, activities such as reading, chess and puzzles have all been positively recognised for their ability to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s and dementia.


. Reading can alleviate stress – researchers have found that snuggling down with a good book after a long day, can dampen down the release of stress-related hormones such as cortisol. In a study conducted by Weight Watchers, participants who chose to read for a few minutes after partaking in anxiety inducing activities, all experienced a 67% drop in stress levels. A considerable fall compared to those who listened to music or played video games.


. Reading can promote tranquillity – alongside helping you to relax, the topics you choose to read can also influence health conditions. Reading spiritual texts for instance is believed to lower your blood pressure and encourage feelings of calm; whilst self-help books can assist readers with mood disorders and mild mental illnesses. Reading can essentially alter your mood as well as the internal activity of your body.


OF YOU: Making a difference The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

£9.99, widely available in bookshops or available to order on

In this brilliant and original book, Malcolm Gladwell explains and analyses the 'tipping point', that magic moment when ideas, trends and social behaviour cross a threshold, tip and spread like wildfire. Taking a look behind the surface of many familiar occurrences in our everyday world, Gladwell explains the fascinating social dynamics that cause rapid change.

ENERGISE YOUR MIND AND BODY: Yoga Yoga is great for building muscle strength; correcting our posture and without a doubt, ideal for relieving stress. It promotes the flow of life force energy ‘Chi’, allowing our bodies to heal, as this wonderful energy flows through us. Image credit : New Look Pink Yoga Sports Drinks Bottle £6.99

Image credit : New Look Pink Yoga Mat £9.99

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 39

Why you should embrace

Maternity Returners Every year over 60,000 women lose their jobs due to pregnancy discrimination. Michelle Gyimah tells us why this has huge financial and emotional implications, not only for women but also for UK businesses. Photographer : Christopher Welsh


he stereotype of maternity leave being ‘an expensive and inconvenient employment’ is not only misleading but also extremely short-sighted. So if you are a business owner - how can you save money and boost profits by welcoming maternity returners back into the workplace?

Business costs of pregnancy and maternity discrimination As highlighted by the Pregnant then Screwed campaign, annually over 60,000 women are dismissed by

their employers due to becoming pregnant. This usually occurs following the announcement of their pregnancy; during their maternity leave or shortly after their return to work. And as you can imagine, such a decision can cause considerable financial losses to your business:

Tribunal costs As this is classified as unlawful discrimination, your staff member can take you to an employment tribunal. If you are served tribunal papers, you will need to: pay for legal representation (unless you

decide to represent yourself, which is extremely stressful and time consuming); take time out to prepare for several pre-tribunal meetings, and organise your legal bundle of evidence. All of this costs money and will ultimately take time away from running your business. Similarly, when all of these hours and expenses are added together; it’s easy to see how defending just one tribunal claim can cost your business thousands of pounds, before you even go to court. After the tribunal, should you lose your case, there are a number of AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 41

fees that you may be required to pay: Any money your (ex) employee has lost because of the discrimination. A personal injury cost (injury to feelings), such as stress or depression. Aggravated damages - this is compensation the tribunal can order an employer to pay if they've behaved in a particularly malicious or insulting manner. This could either be during the period when the prejudice took place, or when the employer was Photographer: CĂŠline Moutarde defending the tribunal claim. Interest on all the above payments.


s you can see, dismissing maternity leavers’ is an incredibly risky gamble for employers to take, as employment tribunals will delve into your business practices and hold you accountable for everything.

Re-hiring costs Oxford Economics has revealed that it costs nearly ÂŁ30k to replace one member of staff. These expenses are calculated by reviewing the lost output as well as the overheads of recruiting new staff and the time

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spent bringing them up to speed. It takes on average 6 months for new employees to complete training and during that timeframe you will have paid wages, NI contributions, training costs and pension contributions. The actual amount will vary from sector to sector and business to business, but the number of outgoings that are required for hiring new workers remains the same for all businesses.

industries, but there is always a price. Many women establish themselves as a valuable staff member over many years before needing to take time off for maternity. During that period, employers will have invested time, money and training as part of their personal development; to help build up their careers and by default improve business productivity. In turn, business contacts will have been established over the years, and depending on the industry sector, certain staff may have their own specific accounts/ clients that they deal with, and therefore will have acquired valuable skills in managing them. One downside of firing pregnant/ maternity leave staff is that in one go you lose all of that investment and knowledge. There are both shortterm and long-term consequences from making this decision, namely the breakdown of client relationships; the loss of business opportunities due to the new recruit, or clients leaving simply because the sacked member of staff is no longer there.

Losing business knowledge

How can keeping pregnant staff and maternity returners increase your profit margins?

The cost of losing an experienced team member will differ across

By keeping maternity returners in your employment, you can eliminate

the risk and cost of defending expensive sex/maternity discrimination employment tribunals. You can save money by making sure you retain all their years of industry knowledge and expertise acquired during their employment. This ensures money and business productivity stays within your organisation and isn’t going to your competitors. Vodafone for example, has recognised the link between making profits, reducing losses and keeping maternity returners. The principle is the same for all businesses, regardless of their size or sector. By keeping your staff, you allow them to develop their existing business experience, giving potential to increased business productivity – a fete that would be much harder to attain (in terms of speed) if you hired a replacement and had to start from scratch. In an increasingly media savvy world, people can access information about companies very easily. This means, if you were to become the subject of a maternity discrimination tribunal, it could have a negative impact on your reputation, as well as adversely affect your businesses ability to attract and retain the best employees.

All of these methods for saving money, actually translates into your business being able to make bigger profits. The costs of defending employment tribunals can vary wildly, and can also very quickly spiral out of control. By focusing on keeping maternity returners, you can retain control of your business finances, and concentrate on maximising business productivity and your profit margins. All staff can bring valuable assets to your business and having a baby doesn’t change that. Yes, you may need to adapt their working timetable to fit around their new responsibilities, but, ultimately, it’s a small business investment that will pay off massively in the long run.

Useful Links: Maternity Action http:// pregnancy-discrimination-at-work-2/#more -%27 Citizens Advice – Employment Tribunals – working out compensation for discrimination HR Review

Reputational damage could also affect customer opinion and ultimately your businesses commercial success. exchange/news/market-news/marketnews-detail/12272251.html

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Proudly made in the UK




Featuring‌ Kate Thorburn, Surface Pattern Designer


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Thorburn Surface Pattern Designer




I have always loved drawing since I can remember and couldn't honestly imagine doing anything else.

British Female Designers Rock | Company: What Kate Loves Founder: Kate Thorburn Trade & Business: Surface Pattern Designer Location: Yorkshire


From Blue Peter Badges to Surface Pattern Ceramics – The Rise of the Imagination

From Childhood Dreams to Business Aspirations

K Not many of us give power to the images that inspire us as a child, but as Yorkshire surface pattern designer Kate Thorburn’s range clearly shows - even the simplest of designs can stay with you forever. At six years old, Kate was a passionate drawer, winning a Blue Peter badge for her drawing of a butterfly garden. Now 30 years later, these same images are still a source of inspiration for her work.

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ate has certainly come a long way from her favourite childhood drawings. Having completed her MA in Ceramic Design at Staffordshire University in 2007; in the last 8 years Kate has built her own collection of personally designed greeting cards and gift-wraps, and has now recently launched a range of surface patterned creamware ceramics, entitled: “What Kate Loves.” “Surface pattern designing felt like a natural progression for me as I wanted to gain commercial experience. I knew I wanted to draw for a living so I just applied this skill and learnt how to repeat patterns.” And there is no denying the mesmerizing quality that her ceramic designs have to offer. Created originally from sketches inspired from photographs, mood boards, nature and illustrated guides; Kate has utilised the unique properties that surface pattern designing is able to provide, and has

created vintage inspired pieces that also have a clean and contemporary edge. In truth, her journey is quite diverse starting with a toolkit that is rather surprising to the average outsider. Inks, calligraphy dip-nib pens and sticks all play an intricate role in her creation of interesting lines and repetitive patterns. Yet it doesn’t stop there. Once designed, her sketches are transferred over onto the computer where she combines her handdrawings with digital techniques to make timeless, beautiful and unforgettable pieces of the highest quality. “I aim to create the cherished objects of the future… I’d love for my pieces to be as precious and meaningful for others as they are for me, and to become treasures that the owners will cherish for years to come.”

Whilst all of Kate’s ceramics are proudly made in Stoke-on-Trent; her inspirations are clearly derived from her travels and love of mothernature. From patina on stone walls to the textures of old wood, leaves and wild flowers; Kate has combined her love of art with her desire to explore, to harness the undisturbed beauty of the Yorkshire Dales, Scottish Highlands and British countryside, and transform them into forms that everyone can access. Namely all your favourite kitchenware pieces! Kate admits that it can be hard juggling her time between managing her business and crafting new designs, as she always has so many ideas she wants to create. However, we feel she has easily met this challenge, given her ambitions to launch a range of textiles and stationary to compliment her existing work.

If anything, her work process is incredibly detailed and precise: “With ceramics, every new product needs to be thought about carefully as there are different challenges with each type. With tableware for example, the function of the piece is important – is it going to be decorative or will it be used every day? Either way, it needs to have longevity. Then there are considerations with designs, particularly with placement limitations. All ceramics have certain boundaries that dictate the design, so I have to make sure the positioning is right and works on the curve.” Either way, Kate is paving a brighter future not only for herself, but for the local manufacturing companies she supports. Committed to promoting the heritage and traditions of this industry, her work is sure to inspire other surface pattern designers to follow suit.

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Jane Crisp

Bespoke Furniture Designer Maker

British Female Designers Rock | Company: Jane Crisp Bespoke Furniture Designer Maker Founder: Jane Crisp Trade & Business: Furniture Designer Maker Location: Cambridgeshire, UK


‘Steaming’ Her Way to Creative Design & Furniture Success For furniture designer Jane Crisp, her journey from budding student to business entrepreneur has been a rapid one.

I rm nature’s -bent Ash vessels fo am ste of tch ba all My sm e practical e inspiration for thes carriers or trugs. Th s on my aw dr Norfolk reeds & objects comes from ritage & low he al loc nnections with co l na rso pe ive at cre tech processes.

n just a few short years she has gone from graduating with a first class BA (Hons) in Furniture: Design & Craft from Buckinghamshire New University (2013), to opening her own workshop and recently becoming a lucky participant on the Crafts Council Hothouse 5 program. Through this amazing 6 month program, Jane and 38 other curated makers have been able to learn all aspects of running a creative business using only proven holistic approaches. This is incredibly new for Jane whose passion for working with wood has vastly grown since her childhood days of recycling broken fence shards. Now Jane can be found harnessing the intricately detailed boat building technique of steam-bending,

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where she is able to manipulate copper and oak to create beautifully bespoke baskets, vessels and internal furnishings that will lead you into a world of design that is both mesmerizing and unique. Going Back to Basics Jane’s love of crafts may have started in her youth with a few simple window boxes, but it wasn’t until she moved onto a boat in Norfolk in 2004 that she recognised her calling as a furniture designer: “This kind of low impact living requires inventiveness and creativity and inspired my campaign style furniture designs. Taking things back to basics sparked the respect I have for traditional and evolutionary craft and the link that has to domesticity.” Like all budding entrepreneurs, Jane knew she would need more than her thirst for design to enable her to start a business. With that in mind, she quickly acquired a part time job to broaden her general skills; secured funding to purchase a basic tool kit and enrolled at the College of West Anglia on a Furniture Making and Production Course. Here she built her most cherished piece - a round form that split into two revealing five pivoting draws with a bookcase wrapped around the front. And it is certainly a piece to be proud of, as she was presented with the Medal for Excellence (City & Guilds) in 2010 at Buckingham Palace by Prince Philip himself! Now safely tucked away at Hale Fen in Cambridgeshire after completing her degree at Buckinghamshire New University, Jane has created her own private workshop to launch her business. A workshop where she has taken her belief in Shakers philosophy and natural forms, and has used them to create custom-made upholstered stools, trugs (steam-bent baskets and displays), bare stools and knitted chairs.

Climbing the Business Ladder Jane is not afraid to reveal the many pressures faced by small businesses when first starting out, especially from suppliers who are not always accommodating. Unwilling to set up accounts or handle smaller orders, she has born witness to those who use an individual’s needs to make sales to overprice their services: “There are lots of pushy people selling advertising spaces; galleries who will only deal with new designers and those who overprice shows targeting new businesses. This sort of practice almost prays on the inexperienced that desperately need sales. I know people who have had real difficulties because of this kind of pressure.” However, given her successes in the last 2 years, Jane has easily taken this all in her stride. From entering competitions to getting free exhibition space, she is proof that with a little forethought, planning and strategic thinking, it is possible to beat the odds: “I have done demos at shows in return for selling space; have set up my website and built my social media. I have even managed to get some magazine coverage leading to sales.” Jane feels one of the main reasons for her success stems from the connections she has established with other artisans. Whilst exhibiting at the Bovey Tracey Contemporary Crafts Fair, her gifts of bangles and copies of Craft & Design Magazine (which featured her work on the cover) to others in her industry, led to connections with Anna Collette Hunt and many others who sent her gifts in return: “It was totally genuine and the response really touched

me, but it turned out to be good advertising.” When Jane is not strolling through the fields near her home, working on solutions to design problems; she can easily be found expanding her range. Whilst still driven by her initial values, Jane hopes to move away from functional pieces and broaden her sculptural collection. Jane Crisp – we wish you good luck!

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Self & Spirituality

In my QUIET SPACE Our editor-in-chief, Janet Kirlew talks to us about the annoying little things that zap our energy on a daily basis. Photographer : Roni River

"So very annoying!" I heard someone say, whilst sitting next to me at a meeting. They looked highly aggravated and flung their phone onto the table.


ecognise the scenario? We are presented with it every day, but did you know - that everything that annoys you has a potential threat to your energy? It’s true. As a matter of fact, when I sat down to write this piece, I too succumbed and allowed annoyances to distract me. Switching on my laptop, I became preoccupied by something for nearly an hour, which lead me to getting my screw driver out – yes, I am a bit of a handywoman when it comes to DIY. And the distraction? I had noticed a screw had come loose on one of my windows, and wondered

how it had happened. Whilst tightening the screw, I began to get anxious about the fact that my window frame was wobbly and questioned whether someone had been fooling around with it. For a few minutes I sat there, allowing my mind to take control and publish images of various scenarios over why the screw was loose…I laughed at myself; yet I didn’t stop. I soon began texting my friend about the whole situation, only to find myself exhausted, so I deleted the text and phoned her instead thinking it would be quicker. The end result - this simple thing of a loose screw (which I later found out was always loose due to the builders missing it), took away at least 1 hour of my day. And to top it off, I felt a little drained from worrying about it - it’s crazy! Another example of the impact small frustrations can have on your energy, is the story of Martin.

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He lived in an area where he had no control over the space designated for waste disposal. The zone was on a footpath running alongside his 5 bedroomed house, which meant passers-by could throw rubbish. Everyday, there would always be some litter lying around close to his front door, and as much as he tried to ignore and pretend that it didn’t bother him, it did. It played on his mind, and had a deep and profound effect to the point where he was angry. It produced a cycle of more rubbish and mind control. His energy weakened the more he focused on the waste, to the point where every empty crisp packet and bottle of beer became his enemy. It was sucking his life force.


artin began to realise that although he could not change this situation at present - what if he reversed this energy drain by picking up the rubbish himself? Would that make him a fool? Would they continue to dump waste? He decided to put an end to this by disposing and cleaning up the rubbish himself, and this simple action left him feeling empowered and happier as the litter could no longer get to him. With time he started to notice that the rubbish dumping stopped. His proactive deed had sent a clear message to the secret dumpers of his 'end game’ and

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that he wouldn’t put up with it. And the result? His original annoyance shifted back to the dumpers, who obviously did not like the feeling it produced, causing them to discontinue.

Take your power back Whatever is annoying you today don't ignore it, meet it head on, face to face and you will always be a winner. When you operate from your power place - the part of you that tingles inside with warm positive energy; that warm sensation you get when you are on the right road - this enables you to become a silent dismantler of peoples’ energy. This means, there is no need for anger or confrontation. All YOU need to be concerned with is getting your power back and raising your energy levels. When you have a good supply of life force energy; the empty food packet and beer bottle will no longer bother you. When you wonder why after a few days your energy levels are low - track back to everything you did over a two-day period. I usually do this and think to myself: “I mediated, I did my affirmations. I kept positive thoughts, I ate healthy and I

drank lots of herbal tea. I stood on my head in a yoga class and ran for 30 minutes. Surely these things increase energy? So why am I feeling this way?” You may be fit and healthy, but it is these little annoying things that can siphon off our energy, so pay attention to them.

Task Some things to help you get rid of the annoying little things.


Make a list of all the small things that you feel don’t matter to you – dropped litter; loose household fixings; refusing to put the lid down, arrive at meetings on time or switch off unused electrical appliances - and begin to eliminate them from your life.


With every issue, take a moment to come up with a proactive course of action that will enable you to take back control of your thoughts and ultimately your energy. Once they’re gone from your life, you’ll quickly notice a difference in your energy levels.

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Copycats. Imitation, Adulation or Irritation – how to cope with a copycat! Self When people copy you, it is a sign. It is proof that you are doing something spectacular and are clearly a leader within your industry. Many copycats choose to follow the example of others, due to insecurities, low self-esteem or, in extreme cases, have severe mental health disorders/conditions. Photographer : Vicki Heger


e are led to believe, consciously and subconsciously, that as an individual we are unique. We have our own name, DNA and little quirks that nobody can take away from us. Amongst all sorts of other habits and obscure birth marks, there are also ones we might wish to keep a secret! So what happens when someone else tries to take your identity away from you? Whether it’s a friend or family member who’s constantly ripping

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery‟, but when it comes down to someone infringing on your selfexpression, it can feel more like the destruction of your existence.

off your style; a class mate who always seems to look at your work when creating their own, or even a rival business who seems to copy your every move; we can probably all agree that there’s nothing more annoying than a copycat. As the well-known saying goes: ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, but when it comes down to someone infringing on your selfexpression, it can feel more like the destruction of your existence. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure we’ve all looked towards magazines or the TV to imitate the latest summer trends or the next ‘must have’ hairstyle – but it’s not exactly the same thing as say, your

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“It‟s hard being so great” best friend running out to buy the same shoes you’ve just purchased, or getting their hair cut, coloured and styled in the same way. When this kind of copycatting is taken to the extreme, it can often lead to a spiral of frustration and competition, where your most exasperating thoughts are: “Will people believe me if I say something?” Or “Am I just imagining it?”

THE PERSONAL COPYCATS “I have a friend who always copies me.” – This line alone may sound unbelievable and quite childish to those around us, especially if you’re a 35 year old professional entrepreneur with the desire to stand out. We often feel that we should be flattered about someone imitating our every move, but there’s only so much you can take. If you’re suffering from the effects of a chronic copycat, here’s a few tips on how to deal with it: Understand why it’s boiling your blood – We all value our individuality and if someone else is trying to be your clone, it’s perfectly natural to feel threatened. So take a moment to understand that your feelings are normal and that you’re most likely not losing the plot. This will help to keep you sane!

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Bite that tongue! – If it’s only bothering you on the odd occasion, you can learn to bite your tongue. Copycats are not all necessarily evil people; they just can’t think on their own sometimes and choose to copy others to feel less vacant and emotionally empty. I’m certain we all look up to someone in our lives, so it’s not entirely a bad thing. However, if it’s really bugging you, speak to them about it in a way that’s subtle but effective – like taking them shopping for a new outfit of your choice. Find something else to do – This can be hard because you know deep down that it was originally your style or how you liked to lead your life, but sometimes you just have to move on. This can often be for the best, especially if you are a trendsetter, because your clone is indirectly forcing you to greater heights! This is particularly beneficial when it comes to the business copycat.

THE BUSINESS COPYCATS Being copied on a personal level is pretty similar to being copied in a business sense.

You’re a trendsetter; you’re full of ideas and you’re on your way to being the next Arianna Huffington. So what happens when someone tries to steal your ideas and is on their way to becoming your biggest competitor? The business world is extremely competitive, and the struggle to be unique is even harder. In my experience there’s always going to be someone who’s watching you.

Take the following scenario: You’ve got a great eye for design; you’ve got the thinking of an inventor and the brain of a business entrepreneur. After years of hesitation, you’ve created something that is attracting customers and you’re finally establishing a personality for your brand. But all is not rosy as there’s someone who’s always imitating everything you do. The key is to never become complacent with a product or service that you have created, because more often than not it can always be improved, and will be developed by someone else if you lose concentration. Even so, having someone rip off your business ideas is more frustrating than when your chocolate hob knob melts away into your tea, leaving a pile of mush at the bottom. Dealing with this is

often a lot harder than drinking the tea without getting the soggy biscuit in your mouth.

Here are top 3 things I do after getting mad for a few minutes: Realise that everything we know, we have learned from someone else – It’s a rarity that anything is completely original. So when I think about how I have learned from others and applied their principles to my own business; it helps to give grace to those doing the same.

Remember the mistakes you’ve made, they are now copying – When you are copied it’s usually where you have been; not where you are going. So let them copy you because if you are pushing your business forwards and looking to the future, then it really doesn’t matter.

Whichever way you choose to deal with your copycat, remember that there will always be new things for you to find; insights to have and of course, admirers to emulate you. It’s hard being so great!

Never bad mouth – Even if you’re mad, don’t start talking bad about the other company. There’s no need to burn bridges and it can often cause more harm to yourself than them.

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Feel Good, Look the Part – OWN Your Business Meeting!

Next Blouse and Sleeveless Sweater: £28.00 We all like to make a strong and lasting impression in the workplace beyond our ability to do the job. You want to exude confidence; professionalism and the certainty that your boss has made the right choice. Imagine walking into the office in clean-cut, perfectly aligned clothing that suits your body shape flawlessly. Who could say no to a business proposal or idea when you’re dressed to the nines and are equipped with the newest specs? No one.

Image Credits : Next

Luckily you can achieve it all affordably.

Next Slouch Trousers: £28.00

Next’s collection of workwear is designed with YOU in mind; combining well-tailored pieces with luxurious materials to ensure you stay warm and snug during those cool autumnal months, whilst looking and feeling incredible. Shirts, sweaters, skirts, trousers or shoes… filling your wardrobe with fashionably tailored items has never been easier.

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Image Credits : Next


Overcoming the destructive power of fear. Self Fear is a normal part of life. It is what prevents you from standing on the edge of a high roof top. It is what makes you cautious. Yet the more power you give to these fears, the more they will control you. Photographer : Sheri Kowalski


here are various forms of fear and it is natural to experience them. After all, haven’t we all screeched at the sight of spiders, or struggled to fall asleep after watching the latest horror film? Of course! Whilst these particular fears are common to everyone, not all fears are straightforward. Yes, they may start out for example as a simple thought or feeling of ‘being trapped’; however over time this fear can escalate and grow to be so powerful that it outwardly manifests itself as illness, anxiety, panic attacks, stress and ultimately loss of energy.

“You’d be surprised by how often our belief systems let us down, and how often fear is at the root of our actions and thoughts”

These can be the worst forms of fear; as at a subconscious level they are working to break you down and deplete a part of you that no one should have access to – your life force.

Are You Losing Yourself to Fear? Like I mentioned above, fear is a normal part of life. It is what prevents you from standing on the edge of a high roof top. It is what makes you cautious. Yet the more power you give to these fears, the more they will control you. Once you open the doors to one fear, more can follow, especially if you refuse to deal with them.

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Following the path of fear


he truth is, if you let it, fear has the potential to drain and scatter your energies; cause loss of direction, and with time, make it difficult for you to cope with even the most basic of daily chores. Eventually, everything you have internalised – every negative thought, feeling or emotion - will manifest itself into reality, causing you to become your own block, whilst preventing you from pursuing your dreams. All can become hard, and leave you wondering what you are doing wrong. Why can’t you make friends? Why is it so difficult to connect and find love? Why is my business now struggling?

and rarely tarred with negativity or self-doubt but if you were to take a closer look, you’d be surprised by how often our belief systems let us down, and more worryingly, how often fear is at the root of our actions and thoughts.

of loss is preceded by attachments that fundamentally help to frame your sense of identity. The people and objects we care for, are in many ways extensions of ourselves, so to lose them is to lose a part of our identity. The greater the attachment, the greater your sense of anticipated loss will be, thus amplifying your fear.

“The truth is, if you let it, fear has the potential to drain and scatter your energies; cause loss of direction, and with time, make it difficult for you to cope”

Choose to keep all these frustrations locked inside, and you’ll become what fear intended - you’ll become your own saboteur; unable to hold onto relationships and always wondering why everything you do never works. Fear feeds fear, and only YOU have the power to change it.

Stepping Back into the Light We all like to think that our perceptions of ourselves are positive

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Take the following most common forms of fear. How many can you see within yourself? Fear of Pain – pain hurts, plain and simple. At times it can be excruciating, as it is our body’s way of protecting us from damage. Yet not all pain is physical; it can be psychological too. Stress and tension are all forms of psychological pain that can be as equally unbearable as cuts and falls. Fear of Loss – the idea of losing everything you have worked hard for – relationships or physical objects – is a frightening prospect, as this sense

Fear of Non-gain – we all have hopes and desires for the future; goals that we wish to attain. So the thought of not being able to gain the things you’ve planned for can be incredibly painful and frightening. Philosophers believe ‘achieving our goals is affected by our ability to control the world around us.’ If you are unable to meet these goals, this loss of control can leave you feeling threatened. With time it can drive you towards anticipated loss, where your desires are immediately dampened by thoughts of not being able to achieve them. Fear of Extinction – your identity is closely linked to your sense of meaning and self-worth. When events happen to reduce these feelings, your sense of personal meaning can diminish and become damaged, steering you toward fears of rejection, emptiness, loneliness and ultimately the fear of personal extinction, e.g. loss of identity. Fear of Uncertainty – research suggests we have two key needs – a

sense of identity and a sense of control. To lose them (particularly control) can lead to uncertainty and the lasting belief that you are unable to achieve your goals. In turn, it can come with the realisation that you don’t always have the power to change the world around you or alter how others behave. You are left feeling adrift and lost. Then there is the additional fear of being influenced by others who don’t always have your best interests at heart. Who use persuasion to take your control, get their way and leave you feeling powerless.

my life. Everything I do becomes a huge success. I have the power within me to succeed in everything I do. Today I will make good things happen.

Fear of Failure – the key to learning control is being able to manage the effects of your emotions and acquiring the skills to attain your goals. To think you might fail in achieving all this can be scary, especially if you can’t keep your feelings in check. From worrying about doing things you’ll later regret, to believing that you lack talent and will make silly mistakes, to fearing the criticism of others – all can heighten notions of failure.

you have successfully made peace with this fear and feel better; return to your list, pick out the next one and start the process again from Step 1.

Any of these sound familiar? You are not alone. Simply incorporate the following 5 steps into your daily routine, and you can change your personal belief system.

Step 1: Write down all the things that are driving you crazy. Examples: I feel trapped. I doubt my abilities. No matter how small or

Step 4: Repeat this statement at least 20 times every day. Whilst this might seem crazy, these positive affirmations will lead to notably progressive changes in the way you see yourself; the things around you and the way you think.

Step 5: Once you feel like

ridiculous they may feel to you, jot them all down, as even the smallest fears can grow given the chance.

Step 2: Take your list and prioritise them, starting with the strongest. The key to succeeding here is ensuring that you don’t become overwhelmed.

Step 3: Underneath each fear write a positive statement. Pick words that will resonate, and that feel true, honest and strong. Remove your selfdoubt, add belief to your words and focus solely on the positive. Example: Nothing ever works. Positive statement: Everything I do works out perfectly. I am in control of

Now I won’t lie. There will be bad days, where you’ll want to throw your list away and give into your fears; however with patience you can succeed. Simply remember, there are no quick fixes when it comes to dealing with your emotions and mending the damages done to your soul, spirit and mind. These fears took years to wear you down, and will equally take time to dispel.

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Pain causes cracks allowing the light to shine in deeper than before.

Allow it

to do it’s work.


Image credits : Oasis

The UK’s

most beautiful

Autumnal Walks Wellbeing The UK countryside is a stunning place to explore during any season, but autumn holds a special place in my heart. The leaves burst into a dazzling display of reds and golds, and there’s something truly magical about that moment when you grab your winter coat, wrap yourself in a scarf and get back to nature. There are some amazing sights to see, so here’s a taster of some of the UK’s most awe-inspiring autumn walks.

By Keri Allan Photographers : Andrew Butler | Megan Taylor| Stephen Robson | Chris Lacey | Mark Bolton

Westonbirt, Gloucestershire


Westonbirt, Gloucestershire The National Arboretum at Westonbirt has two seasonal trails that shouldn’t be missed. The Silk Wood is a must see. Comprising of an ancient semi-natural woodland, it is home to an impressive collection of national Japanese maples, famed for their spectacular autumn colour. Then there’s the Old Arboretum. A different landscape, it’s renowned for its Acer glade. In autumn, the 200 acres produce a rainbow of colour, offering a magnificent show for walkers.

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The New Forest National Park, Hampshire


The New Forest National Park, Hampshire What’s not to love about the New Forest? Every time I visit, I feel as though I’m entering another world thanks to its wonderful woods, rolling plains and of course, the roaming ponies!

Here’s an insider tip from Ordinance Survey data collector Gary Tull: “The northern part of the forest is always quieter than the south part but just as beautiful. My Grandad once introduced me to a walk that starts at Eyeworth Pond, where you can feed the mallard ducks, Canada geese and other waterfowl. From here we’d head northeast, where we would come to the Irons Well. This spring is coloured red by iron salts and was once used by a gunpowder factory nearby.”

Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire


Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal, Yorkshire This World Heritage Site provides a stunning man-made contrast to the natural wonder of an autumnal wilderness. Here you can take in amazing views across the 12th Century Abbey ruins and the landscaped Georgian water garden; plus explore the circular path through the ancient trees. It’s also home to a deer park, where you’ll find sika, red and fallow deer. Image: National Trust | Chris Lacey

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Connect with nature and have some fun walking

in the UK

Glendurgan Garden, Cornwall Thanks to its mild climate and sheltered valley, Glendurgan comes into its own during the autumn months. At this time of year, the garden is full of blooming flowers from the southern hemisphere, and the leaves of the giant rhubarb and banana plants make you feel as if you’re entering a remote and exotic jungle! If you’re up for a challenge, you can try out the cherry laurel maze; however, my favourite aspect of Glendurgan is walking along its beach and taking in that fragrant sea air!

Gle The Cairngorms National Park, Scotland


The Cairngorms National Park, Scotland Home to the TV show Outlander, the Cairngorms can’t help but evoke a feeling of fantasy. I mean come on - it even has a ‘Glen of Fairies!’ One of National Geographic Traveller Magazine’s Top 20 Places to Visit, its woodland trails and sprawling paths look like something that could have been lifted from many a fantasy novel. I’m actually surprised that it hasn’t been used as a setting for Game of Thrones yet! The park is surrounded by imposing mountains and is home to the beautiful Loch Callater, as well as the Falls of Bruar. Image: Andrew Butler

Mount Stewart, County Down


Mount Stewart, County Down Mount Stewart’s lake walk is a fantastic way to enjoy the trees and shrubs in their seasonal coats of red and gold, whilst reflected in the still water of the lake. Plus animal lovers will get a kick out of Bradley’s woodland, which is a great place to spot red squirrels, one of Northern Ireland’s most iconic native mammals.

Image: National Trust | Megan Taylor

endurgan Garden, Cornwall

Image: Stephen Robson

The Wye Valley


The Wye Valley, straddling the border of England & Wales Symonds Yat Rock is a fabulous place to visit during autumn, offering spectacular views across the River Wye and into the forest beyond. From here, there’s a circular walk that includes a steep valley; ambling alongside a river; little waterfalls; a ramble across a 1950’s suspension bridge and when it’s running - during weekends and the school holidays - a trip on a traditional hand ferry. What an adventure!

Powis Garden & Castle


Powis Castle & Gardens, Wales Standing strong on its hilltop home; the imposing red walls of this medieval fortress creates a very dramatic autumnal setting for the gardens, which at this time of year becomes a riot of reds, yellows, burnt oranges and golds.

Image: National Trust | Mark Bolton

“It’s a joy to experience the transformation to such rich autumn colour,” says head gardener David Swanton. “We have trees and plants from all over the world, so at almost any time from September to November, you’re likely to find autumnal colour somewhere around the gardens.”

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Self & Spirituality

Powertalk with Gordana Biernat

Perfect Imperfections Finding your inner goddess Part 3 Photographer : Vicki Heger


Many of us walk this Earth with the persistent feeling of being incomplete. It's almost as though we lack the vital part of ourselves responsible for maintaining our happiness and wellbeing.

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f only we could find this missing piece of the jigsaw. Then and only then, would we be happy in ourselves; feel fulfilled and accomplished, and most importantly, be capable of experiencing the joys of who we truly are. Our "puzzle" would be complete, and in turn, we would be content. So we keep on looking - lifetime after lifetime. Never, not even for a short amount of time, do we stop and consider this: What if this "lack" we have been conditioned to believe is a defect and shortage in ourselves, is actually an advantage and essential part of being human? What if this "incompleteness" is really just an "opening" to something initially perfect and absolute? What if this

opening; this "crack" in our perception of ourselves, is actually an opportunity, a chance given to us, so we can stay OPEN to new experiences and knowledge? I mean, if you were complete - that is whole, full, closed, finished and done - then, what would be the purpose of exploring this physical life? Why would you be here? You are not here to suffer from being "imperfect" and "incomplete". You are here to ENJOY all your perfect imperfections. You are here to expand ‘All That Is’ with your explorations into time and space. So, take a moment to consider being incomplete, as something that is good for you, as it means you are OPEN to change and OPEN to

new experiences. You are under constant construction. We all are, so embrace it.

Leonard Cohen once said: "There is a crack in everything. That's how the light comes in." Cherish your longing for wholeness, for it is the driving force in your LIFE.” Enjoy your perfect imperfections and let the light come in!


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Image Credit : Next


Image credits : Oasis

„Progress not Perfection‟ – A true look into the heart of Addiction.


riginally from Slovakia, artist Daniela Raytchev is no stranger to the impact addiction can have on your mental and physical well-being. Having struggled with bulimia herself for eight years, she hopes to now use her artistic skills to help raise awareness about addictions and more importantly disperse former stigmas. All too often addictions are portrayed with negativity and prejudice, that’s why Daniela has harnessed her natural creativity and fascination with people, experiences, emotions, internal conflict and the evolution of self; to portray these conditions in a positive and more light hearted way: “There is too much art dwelling into the darkest moments of despair. I want people to see that it’s an illness that you can deal with, as well as create more empathy and understanding from those who don’t have it.”

Daniela Raytchev, an Abstract Portraiture and Figurative Artist

In turn, she wants audiences to understand that there are effective ways to deal with addiction. Whether you’re controlled by alcohol, gambling or food – her art collection is a clear demonstration that light does exist at the end of the tunnel and with love, support, and increased honesty, self-reflection and awareness; you can overcome the odds. With the tremendous support she’s received not only from eating disorder charity Beat, but top celebrities – Gok Wan, Kirsty Featherstone and Jeff Leach – Daniela is well on her way to making a difference to the world’s perceptions of addiction.

Jeff Leach “Art is the only thing that truly gives me freedom from the darkness that riddles my mind. It seemed right to support an artistic exploration into that darkness.” – Jeff Leach, Comedian, Sex addiction.

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I love this project as it breaks down the myths of addiction. To learn about oneself is not a job, it’s a right. – Gok Wan, Presenter/Designer, Food.

Honing her craft Growing up in Slovakia; limited toy choices opened the doors to a love of art that has stayed with Daniela to this very day. For hours, she would find herself captivated by art, its various techniques, colour and form; creating masterpieces on her walls and still-life figures. So it is unsurprising that Daniela went on to obtain a foundation degree in Art and Design at Central St Martins, before studying fashion. You could say art is in her blood. Yet it is the personal challenges in her life, namely Bulimia that altered Daniela’s priorities and how she wanted to continue her life. It started her on a beautiful journey of self-discovery and re-ignited her passion for painting. Now an art curator at Debut Contemporary Gallery, Daniela has access to such platforms and mediums, that she can effectively explore her interest in people (and the impact prejudices have on their well-being) and translate them into the very pieces you see today.

Tony Kelly “I am delighted to be a part of this worthy cause and I hope my story can help inspire people to realise that you can overcome ADDICTIONS and come out the other side.” – Tony Kelly (Former professional Footballer, Gambling.)

The sensitive nature of Daniela’s work has resulted in mass attention, most importantly from registered UK charity Beat. Dedicated to supporting anyone dealing with eating disorders or difficulties with food, weight and shape, they have offered Daniela the position of being their selected Artist for 2015.

Gok Wan

‘Progress not Perfection’ All too acquainted with the powerful effects addiction can have on your life; Daniela has dedicated the last year to creating masterful abstract pieces that not only explore the way addiction influences the mind, but dismantles previous stigmas. Given her collaborations with top celebrities, we are confident that the depth of her work won’t go unnoticed; as she has examined a spectrum of addictions from drugs to food to less conventional ones of shopping: “I interviewed people over a period of 23 sittings where they shared their journey with me; from childhood and active addiction, to where they are at the moment. After having done enough background work, sketches and studies; I created abstract portraits which captured a little bit of their past and their present state of mind.” As Daniela explains, the goal of this project is about sharing the state of mind addictions can give you, and how it is not a willing choice. Addiction is an illness, and it is with incredible strength of character, support and recognising your vulnerability, that you can grow and achieve a healthier state of mind.

Kirsty Featherstone “I support the charity because I see a unity amongst those suffering from addiction. Regardless of the substance or personal trajectory, society as a whole has a responsibility towards the most vulnerable. Any visibility and awareness that can bring about a societal change wherein people actually start to care for and relate to those fighting addiction, can only be for the better.” – Kirsty Featherstone, Bulimia.

Daniela’s solo exhibition ‘Progress not Perfection’ will be on display at Debut Contemporary Gallery from 15th October 2015. Good luck, Daniela – we wish you all the best.

“I was amazed and touched by all the inspirational stories I heard and how much some people can change.”

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Love me, Love me not: The power of self-belief Self Many of us find it difficult to embrace who we are. This can be a great starting place, as no matter where you currently find yourself on your path; moving forwards towards a point where you like what you see in the mirror can enable you to form strong, longer-lasting relationships. Photographer : Fitz Crittle | Model : Candace Willis

“To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” (Thich Nhat Hanh).


s simple as this may sound, the reality is many of us find it hard to love ourselves and embrace who we are. We live in a world fuelled by images of what is considered beautiful and worthy of admiration. A time where self-esteem has become a foreign entity, that we walk through our lives unconsciously admiring digitally edited, socially constructed and impractical images. We arrive home, only to switch on the television; flick

We are all born different, with diverse strengths and weaknesses. We achieve success and fail at different rates.

through the latest tweets or trends, and flood our minds with even more ideas of ‘perfection’ and ‘beauty.’ At some point during all of this, we become unsatisfied with what we see in the mirror. Alternatively, you may claim that the media has no influence on you; that you know these images are unrealistic and false. Instead your attention turns to those around you that you consider better than yourself. You wonder why your friend at work is slimmer than you, even though she’s already eaten five custard creams, a jam doughnut and a bacon sandwich all before 10am. She must have good genes and a fast metabolism, right? You could go on and on about what is beautiful, and why your friend at work has better genetics - but what good does this actually do? Nothing.

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“There is no doubt that self-love is a key ingredient to happiness” Learning to love ourselves A recent study by the Be Real campaign revealed that more than 10 million British women feel ‘depressed’ over their looks; a condition that can affect everything from your relationships to your exercise regimes to your job interviews. This astonishing figure is proof of how much it can control our lives, and how important it is to learn how to love ourselves!

ourselves, how can we expect other people to love us?

Here are four key truths that can help you on your journey to self-love and appreciation:

In simple terms, if you want to attract a healthy, loving partner, you first need to become a strong individual, by loving yourself and embracing who you are. This does not mean that you have to achieve the same imagined level of perfection portrayed in the media. However, it does suggest that the kind of energy you give off, has everything to do with the type of person you attract, that’s why, you must embrace the imperfections you see in the mirror the bump on the bridge of your nose or the extra few pounds that you never seem to lose – in order to start loving yourself, as there is no doubt that selflove is a key ingredient to happiness. It is at the very core of your well-being, joy, self-empowerment and ability to appreciate the kind of life that you want.

Stop comparing yourself to others we are all born different, with diverse strengths and weaknesses. We achieve success and fail at different rates. So why waste your time scrutinising your appearance in the mirror and comparing yourself to others? Be less judgemental - by not loving yourself, you may start to point out problems in other people. This not only has a negative effect on your selfworth, but other people will sense this too. So follow the advice of John Watson: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” You will never be able to please everyone - you won’t like everyone you meet and in turn they won’t always like you. For instance, you and your nosey neighbour may mutually dislike each other following repetitive unpleasant encounters - yet this is perfectly natural and fine! You can’t win them all. Remember - “You, yourself as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” (Gautama Buddha). If we can’t learn to love

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Attracting love into our lives According to author Dr. Margaret Paul: ‘We attract people at our common level of woundedness – which is our common level of self-abandonment, as well as our common level of emotional health – which is our common level of selfacceptance.’

So look back at the four key truths, and start embracing who you are. If you believe in yourself, others will too!

brand); however you’re now struggling to express just how great your business is. One of the most prominent areas where self-belief plays a role, is in our professional lives. If you are going to succeed in business, you have to have faith in yourself. If you don’t believe, then the chances are you will miss out on opportunities and prevent yourself from getting to where you want to be. After all, how can you expect others to trust in your business, if you have no confidence in yourself?

Here are three steps to building self-confidence within your business: Planning and preparation is key - think about what you’ve achieved so far. What strengths do you possess? Where do you see yourself in the future? Where do your passions lie? It’s always easy to find self-confidence when we find comfort in the things that we do. Goals and targets keep you on track to success - building up your knowledge; setting yourself some goals, and accepting failures along the way, can help to keep your mind focused.

Self-belief in business This same thinking can also be applied to those who have ventured or are trying to make it into the business world.

Let your passion shine through - show passion in what you’re doing. It makes an incredible difference when you achieve self-love, self-belief and confidence. You will notice that people treat you differently. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you; respect you and take notice of you more.

Take the following scenario: You’ve had the confidence and passion to take what you love and turn it into a business (whether it’s baking awesome cakes or launching your own clothing

Of course there is no quick fix to the problems you might be facing or the self-confidence you may be lacking, but starting along the path to self-belief is just the first step! Give it a try.

If you expect a positive outcome, a positive outcome you shall have


Born to Engineer - Born to Rise What springs to mind when you think engineering? Engine parts? Construction plans? Structural designs? Not very enticing right? Wrong. Engineering is perfect for the expansion of innovative, creative and entrepreneurial minds.

Nina Parsons Image Credit : The ERA Foundation

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Nina Parsons Image Credit : The ERA Foundation

No matter whether your interests lie in healthcare or sports, engineering can offer such a breadth of career opportunities, that you’ll be spoilt for choice. We venture into the world of top female engineers: Nina Parsons and Joanna Kennedy.

Nina’s Story


ina may have only just finished her second year studying Automotive Engineering at Oxford Brookes University, but she has come a long way from her days doodling as a child. Not only has she secured an industrial placement with a Formula 1 team – every car fanatics dream - she is currently a key player in Duckrabbit’s ‘Born to Engineer’ campaign; a series of films that have been sponsored by the ERA Foundation.

“The idea behind the films is to inspire young people to become engineers by increasing awareness and showcasing other people’s passion for engineering. The films cover a diverse and varied breadth of inspirational people and their careers. From biomedical engineers making ground-breaking discoveries, to students and entrepreneurs just starting out on their engineering adventure; the films convey just how varied, exciting and rewarding the field can be!” And for Nina it has certainly proven to be a rewarding role, especially as it has allowed her to expand her passion for theoretical and hands-on engineering. Unlike many careers that can become stale and stilted with time; engineering is a profession that is always evolving and allows you to develop and broaden your skill set long after university has finished, and enables you to dabble across specialisms. Nina admits, as a woman, the negative imagery painted by the press about

engineering can make entering this field a daunting prospect. Strongly regarded as a male dominated role; the perception that engineering is dirty, hands on and requires a strong arm, has isolated many women from pursuing this career. As Nina explains: “It takes a certain type of woman to actively enter a career where they know they’re likely to be treated differently because they aren’t male. However, I don’t think there is anything fundamentally wrong with the engineering industry itself, but society.” In fact, Nina feels the problem with diversity and equality in the workplace lies within wider society, namely the creation of women only schemes. Whilst beneficial for kick-starting your career in male governed roles, such schemes aren’t helping the equality matter as they are creating further barriers for women to conquer: “The knowledge that an engineer has been hired due to being the best woman as opposed to the best engineer is something every woman on these schemes is forced to overcome.”

AUTUMN 2015 Women in Trade 87

But this is all set to change… Thanks to government inspired schemes such as the ‘Born to Engineer’ campaign, not only are they working to overcome such obstacles surrounding equality; their long term goal is to ensure that the next generation recognises the true potential of engineering. And given the career successes of many of Nina’s friends, who have joined various Motorsport teams upon completing university; we imagine creating role models in the youth of today will be no difficult task.

Joanna’s Story


oanna is proof that with a little hard work and determination, you can beat the odds and excel in any given career. Forced to deal with oppressive policies that saw her receiving her P45 when she had her first child; Joanna has defied the odds of her youth and has risen in the ranks to now Dr Joanna Kennedy, OBE FREng FICE manage construction projects worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Similar to Nina, Joanna is deeply involved in the ‘Born to Engineer’ campaign, offering potential students an entrepreneurial slant to this career path: “These are fantastic short films that each feature a young or mid-career engineer, showing their passion, enthusiasm, innovative thinking and motivation to be an engineer and the positive impact of what they do. The idea is to inspire other young people – if they can succeed so can I – and so far these films have been very well received in schools.” In turn, Joanna hopes these films will offer students the chance to break preconceptions of engineering being boring and just for boys, and instead showcase the diversity of this field and the positive impact pioneering ideas can have on the development of cancer treatment technology and kitchen fire suppression systems. “As a profession we need to get positive messages out and profile excellent role models. The key is to attract more young people, girls and boys, into the profession and keep them in a rewarding engineering career.” Alongside promoting the current advantages of engineering; Joanna is also keenly interested in encouraging more girls to study maths and physics. Through broadening their scientific knowledge, she feels they will be more open to considering careers beyond medicine, and may even follow a path towards engineering.

Overcoming the Odds

An occupational journey that is no longer so daunting, thanks to changes in career break policies and movements by Wise Campaign. Now, no woman will ever have to go through what Joanna experienced when she first started a family. Instead you can confidently balance your career aspirations against family life, without consequence to your livelihood.

Despite gaining a first-class honours degree in Engineering from Oxford University; Joanna faced much scepticism when she first started out, as being an engineer in the 1970s was a rarity.

More importantly, you can now become part of breathtaking and iconic engineering structures such as the Sydney Opera House, and join the ranks of Jane Wernick, designer of the London Eye!

Regarded with cynicism and surprise when supervising works on construction sites, she quickly had to prove herself by standing firm and showcasing her knowledge. Yet given the numerous successes of her 45 year engineering career, she has certainly beat those odds.

For that reason, Nina and Joanna, we congratulate you – for your inspiring stories, and for your drive, passion and commitment. There is no doubt that you were both born to engineer.

From her childhood fascination with maths and physics to becoming Director of Arup and their project management programme; engineering has offered Joanna a creative way to use her technical skills and make a positive difference to the way people live as well as improve their quality of life.

88 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

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Trade & Business Directory


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Genevive’s Boutique, Designer Wedding Outfits …………………………………………..……Hampshire, UK 07775 661191 E: W:


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90 Women in Trade AUTUMN 2015

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