Posted: 8th March 2017
Sarah was recently invited to take part in a series of headshots and a blog celebrating International Women’s Day by South Wales photgrapher Cary Smart of Cary Smart Photography. Cary explained networking, when you’re self-employed, is an important part of working life, and for some time now I’ve been a member of a couple of business networks. Not only do they help you to connect to other businesses that could be helpful to yours (and vice versa), but they also bring you into contact with other like-minded people, and provide those chats and discussions that you’d normally have at the coffee machine in the office which, when you work on your own, you do miss!
A couple of weeks ago, sitting in a meeting run by a South Wales women’s business network in a local restaurant, I was struck by the atmosphere in the room. The levels of positive energy, motivation and vibrancy in the air were almost tangible, and it was humbling to be a part of it. At one point during the meeting someone mentioned International Women’s Day, and I realised that I could mark the day by celebrating some of these women and their journeys in business.
And so I opened up the idea to my network of incredible women. I photographed ten of them and asked them all the same questions: what prompted you to start your business, what drives you, what has been your greatest challenge, and what do you love about what you do? Here are their stories…
“I set up my accommodation business in the Hebrides, Shore Cottage, because I saw a gap in the market! I had years of experience in the hospitality and catering industry and knew that with the right location I could create a really good business. I enjoyed hosting B&B guests for 5 years at my home before moving to Wales and switching to offering self-catering instead.
My e-commerce businesses were launched because I am passionate about eco products and was looking for an opportunity to work at home while my children were young.
I’ve been selling things since I was thirteen. I’m definitely an opportunist but I also like a challenge. Motherhood has been amazing and I knew I wanted to spend time with my daughters when they were little rather than have them in childcare but I also needed to keep my brain active, to keep learning and to do something other than just be a mum. I also want to be a role model to my daughters to show them that they can earn their own money and be independent and raise a family if they wish.
My biggest challenge was moving to Wales nearly ten years ago from my island home in Scotland. I was pregnant, newly married and hardly knew anyone. It was a lonely time. Juggling working from home and raising children has also had its moments and you can pretty much guarantee that if I have an important phone call then one of the children will shout loudly ‘Mum come and wipe my bum’ or some such delight!
I love social media most! I work from home but I love to chat to people, whether that is engaging online or face to face. I’m definitely a people person. I love supporting other women in business. I host two women’s networking groups – WiRE Women in Rural Enterprise meet on the third Monday of each month in Carmarthen and I also host an online networking event for Bizmums. In addition to this I host #WiREhour over on Twitter on a Tuesday evening.”
read the full blog post here