WiRE Ambassadors


Our WiRE Ambassadors come from diverse backgrounds and sectors and have made a significant contribution in supporting WiRE and women in business. They are often past Network Leaders or Inspirational women running rural enterprises;  committed to supporting their fellow entrepreneurs. They are united in the belief that Women starting and growing small and micro businesses in rural locations and market towns make a significant contribution to their community and boost the local economy.

About WiRE Ambassadors:

  • Powerful and active advocates of rural, small and micro businesses
  • Promote the excellence, spirit and diversity of women in rural enterprises
  • Highlight women in rural enterprise across all sectors and in all their networking activities
  • Are themselves female role models who inspire and inform emerging women in rural enterprise
  • Identify opportunities; political, promotional and financial which potentially benefit WiRE and the membership
  • Champions of change, they are the voice that brings this growing group of businesses to the fore

Julie Deane O.B.E. – Founder and CEO of The Cambridge Satchel CompanyJDeane

Julie Deane and her mother Freda started The Cambridge Satchel Company in 2008 at their kitchen table in Cambridge with a budget of only £600 and one goal – to make enough money to send Julie’s children to a better school. The company was an instant hit, with the bags featuring in Italian Vogue in its first year. Soon the world’s top fashion bloggers and celebrities were spotted carrying satchels and many high profile collaborations followed, including with Vivienne Westwood. In 2012 Julie’s story inspired the team at Google and she starred in the Chrome TV ad series ‘The Web Is What You Make Of It’, receiving over six million views.

In 2013 Julie was invited to Buckingham Palace to collect The Queen’s Award for International Trade and in 2014  was awarded an OBE for her services to entrepreneurship. Julie is Entrepreneur in residence at The British Library and is committed to supporting and encouraging other women in business.


Barbara Steadman – Love Our Shops UK (Shropshire)

Barbara Steadman lives in Shropshire and runs shopping directory Love Our Shops UK, a place to find independent online shops. Barbara began her shopping directory when she realised how barbaradifficult it was to find independent shops on the internet. She knew they were out there but finding them proved impossible.

Barbara is a massive supporter of shopping independent and believes we should all not only think about what we buy but also where we buy it from. In 2019 she began her campaign I Pledge Indie (#ipledgeindie) encouraging everyone to shop independent every single day for all their shopping needs. Whether that be in your local high street or at independents online, both contribute to their local communities and economies.

Barbara ran the North Shropshire WiRE networking group for over 4 years and is a big fan and advocate of WiRE and the many benefits it gives women in business. Barbara has this to say “I have been a member of WiRE since my daughter was born in 2008. It was at that time I began my first business Another Gorgeous Day, an online shop selling gifts with words and quotes on them. WiRE gave me so much training and support, I would not have known where to start without them. I have developed some amazing friendships because of WiRE, I have learnt so much, had some brilliant PR and I have even travelled to Sweden because of WiRE.”

Barbara was a Finance Director and left the corporate role when she wanted to make sure she was home for her children and also to pursue her life-long dream of running her own business. She is always extolling the benefits of WiRE and how much it has given her in her business journey. Barbara also volunteered a great deal of her time running a thriving WiRE network meeting in Oswestry, North Shropshire. She is a true ambassador of WiRE and continues to support others in business via her wonderful shopping directory.  Visit Love Our Shops UK


Sandra Garlick MBEWEB-Sandra-Garlick-6423-200x300

Sandra helps women in business to power up their personal brand and become inspirational role models.

Sandra is the Founder and Director of the Woman Who Achieves Awards and the Woman Who Inspires Network,  running and series of women in business networking events and annual Awards. Sandra sits on the FSB’s Women in Enterprise Taskforce and has published “I Am A Woman Who” featuring inspirational stories from women in business role models. Sandra is also a regular contributor to the WiRE Knowledgebase.

Sandra has extensive speaking and interviewing experience and regularly speaks throughout the UK (including our own WiRE National Conference at HAU) and beyond. Sandra now mentors others to help them use speaking to grow their business and their personal brand. Basically, Sandra helps women in business share their story, grow their business and become the ‘go to’ person in their niche.

I love shoes, holidays and a cold glass of Prosecco. When I’m not working, I can be found keeping fit walking my dog, planning one of my Italian getaways or watching my local football and rugby teams.­


Claire McFadden – Full Square (Leicester & Rutland)

Claire has over 30 years experience of working in the sales promotion industry with a passion for print. Her sales career began in promoting children’s toys and selling cars before settling to the role of account manager for a promotional gift importer and she has been helping corporate clients to find creative ways to promote their business ever since. In 2005 she made a number of major life changes which led to the formation of Full Square and a move to the countryside. Starting a new business to suit a lifestyle choice is a decision that many WiRE members will relate to and Claire is always happy to share her experiences for the benefit of others who are starting out.
The most important part of the work that Claire does has always been in the relationships she has forged along the way and still works with clients now that she met over 25 years ago. She credits her ability to start her own business to the support of key clients and friends and has always been mindful of the need to network. People are the main part of any business, even when you work alone, and Claire is an advocate of putting the customer first. Networking has always been behind the success of Full Square, in developing both client and supplier relationships and starting a WiRE network for Leicestershire and Rutland was a very natural step. “Starting the network for Leicestershire and Rutland was one of the best things I ever did and, as ever, it was a collaboration, I could not have done it half as well without the support of Jane Batty and Megan Allen, the original team. Our very first meeting, in the snow of February 2016, was at Oakham Castle and saw over 40 ladies present, largely thanks to the PR activities of Megan and that Jane and I invited everyone we knew – which is essentially what you need to do to make a network grow. We still continue to find interesting locations for our meetings, this helps to support local rural businesses, and it keeps things interesting, as well as providing the chance for every member to host.”
After five years in post Claire has now handed over the reins of the Leicestershire and Rutland region but continues to be a key member of the group and  hopes to inspire others to become Network Leaders in her new role as Ambassador.

Lisa Davies – Get the Edge (Lincolnshire)Lisa

With more than 20 years of experience in the mind, body, spirit industry, Lisa Davies is a multi award-winning coach, author and therapist – who continues to be a highly prolific and influential figure in the spiritual community.

Combining her passion for helping others with her incredibly warm, relatable and down-to-earth personality, she has won some of the most highly acclaimed accolades in the industry – and was named Therapist/Practitioner of the Year in the 2014 APCTC Awards.

Lisa has also been nominated for an array of other prestigious awards – and was shortlisted for the highly prestigious Women Inspiring Women Award for two years in a row (2012 and 2013), awarded most influential businesses woman in Lincolnshire in 2016 and was also nominated for the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.

Contributing to a range of the country’s best-known publications – including, Kindred Spirit magazine, Om Yoga and Soul & Spirit magazine – Lisa published her first book, Get a Life, in 2012, and is currently the Director of Get the Edge (a community of inspirational coaches, trainers and staff development specialists.)

The Get the Edge community – which is devoted to encouraging an authentic, heartfelt approach to leadership – has helped some of the world’s leading brands (including Mercedes Benz and Suzuki) maximise their sales, success and visibility. Encouraging companies to revolutionise their business strategies, it uses a range of ground-breaking techniques – including training sessions in the woodlands and inspiring leadership retreats – to help businesses ‘get the edge’.

Having handed over the reins to network leader of Nottinghamshire WiRE, she is delighted to become an Ambassador for WiRE nationally.


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Sue Hall – Maid2Clean (Suffolk)

Sue Hall launched the South Suffolk branch of WiRE in late 2010, just 9 months after starting her own business.  Realising the value of WiRE both to herself and other local businesswomen, she networked tirelessly to promote us for over 7 years before stepping down as Network Leader at the end of 2017.

During this time, aside from providing regular networking events, informative and inspirational speakers, and supporting the members as Network Leader, Sue has also:

  • raised over £10,000 for local charities
  • engaged with Suffolk New College to bring local businesses in, enhancing the Business Students’ curriculum
  • represented and spoken on behalf of WiRE at a United Nations Conference in New York
  • represented WiRE and spoken at a Financial Mail women’s event in London
  • represented WiRE as a speaker at University of Suffolk event to promote International Women’s Day
  • worked with a local artist rejuvenating the Ipswich town waterfront, ensuring WiRE supported the work with a mural panel painted by the WiRE members
  • provided guidance to new network leaders

Sue has always been passionate about WiRE.  But old Network Leaders never get put out to pasture!  They become Business Ambassadors for WiRE and we are proud to say that Sue was our very first.  Raising awareness, attracting new members, supporting the local branch and extolling the virtues of Business Partner membership to suitable organisations, Sue continues to fly the WiRE flag.