Celebrating International Women’s Day

This International Women’s Day, we’re proud to be supporting the #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign for The Prince’s Trust, one of our chosen Joules charities.

The campaign is focused on empowering young women to build their futures through employment, education, training or by starting their own business. Friends of Joules is home to many fantastic female entrepreneurs and business owners, so in celebration of this campaign we wanted to share their stories in the hope that they might inspire you too.

But before we share their stories…​ Did you know?

At the start of the pandemic, more than 78% of those who lost their jobs were women and two-thirds were between the ages of 18 and 34 according to PWC.*
60% of young women are fearful for their future due to the pandemic, with more than half saying that finding a job “now seems impossible”, according to Prince’s Trust research.*

We’re already proud supporters of The Prince’s Trust and in support of #ChangeAGirlsLife, we’ve added the option to donate to The Prince’s Trust after your Joules order.

Over International Women’s Day weekend (6–8th March), we’ll also be matching any customer donations made through joules.com. Together, the money we raise will help young women in the UK facing enormous challenges to turn their lives around and rebuild their confidence for a brighter future.

Meet Jo of Toasted Crumpet

Tell us a little bit about how Toasted Crumpet started.

After university I spent 12 years working as a Chartered accountant for one of the big accountancy firms in London. I absolutely loved working in the city, however running my own business was something that I always wanted to do. After painting a few pictures for friends whilst on maternity leave, I decided that it was the perfect time to start my own business. We create cards, stationery & giftware all inspired by our love of the British Countryside and are now a team of 12!

What has been your biggest hurdle?

Making the decision to leave the familiarity of my city-based role and all of the great people that I worked with has been by far the biggest hurdle for me. Most of that hurdle was in my own lack of self confidence and belief as to whether I could succeed in a new career after maternity. The feeling that I had “left it too late”. It won’t be easy, but it may be the most rewarding and satisfying thing you will ever do.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

To always trust your gut! It’s something that I rely on a huge amount now when making difficult business decisions. If something feels right, grab it with open arms and enjoy the ride. But if it doesn’t sit right with you, even if you cannot put it into words to explain why, then it’s ok to walk away.

Meet Helen of Tillyanna

Tell us a little bit about how Tillyanna started.

Tillyanna was established in 2012 when my children were both in school and I wanted the flexibility of combining both work and the school run. I have been very lucky to be able to scale the business so now we are a true family business with my husband, my two sisters, my niece and my sister-in-law all forming the Tillyanna team! We’ve also located back to the village where we grew up, a place that holds so many memories for us.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

There have been many hurdles but the biggest is probably juggling all of the jobs that need to be done within the business. In the early days, you need to do everything and then as you start to grow you have to decide which of these jobs to hand over to someone else, yet another hurdle to overcome!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would just remind myself that I have good instincts and to trust my gut feelings.  There are times when I haven’t done this and whilst it is always a good lesson for the future, I can get very annoyed with myself!

Meet Danielle of Ellie Ellie

Tell us a little bit about how Ellie Ellie started.

After completing a degree in Fashion Design at Kingston University specialising in childrenswear, I was unable to find a design role after graduation (we were in a recession) so set up my own girlswear shop. After 2 years not making a profit, I decided enough was enough and worked various other jobs. I ended up settling in Melbourne for a while and when I returned I looked for several design jobs and found nothing again (yep no one wanted to employ me!).

I started making jewellery and selling it online, and that’s where the Ellie Ellie story began.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

It’s a predictable answer but cashflow is always a constant hurdle. It was especially hard when I first started Ellie Ellie, I had no investment nor a penny to my name and my biggest revenue stream was with an online retailer where the payment terms for this was 3 weeks in arrears. Fast forward to 2021 and we of course have a lot more strategies in place to handle cash flow, but it still one of the most challenging parts to running a business.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your gut, it is always right. You can do anything you set your mind. Dyslexia is an ability NOT a disability.

EllieEllie New5 (1)

Meet Anna of Hands & Hearts

Tell us a little bit about how Hands & Hearts started.

Hands & Hearts is a family business run by Alex and Anna Ebdon from our home studio in Ealing, West London. Alex studied art at college, before establishing a career into the advertising world, and Anna worked in creative teams in television and advertising also. Both of us found that working in the corporate environment didn’t do enough to satisfy our creative ambitions and we wanted to start something where we could let our creativity roam free. Hands & Hearts allows us to pour this creativity together, whilst making the business work for us as a family. Lockdown in 2020 saw our 9 year old daughter, Molly, join the business too!

What has been your biggest hurdle?

The biggest hurdles for me have been time and guilt. When you run your own business, everything falls in your lap. Orders, packing, creating new products, marketing, PR, Social Media… the list goes on, and there is just you to do it. Since starting Hands & Hearts I’ve always been very conscious of the time I carve out for my daughter, Molly. We have “our time” that we spend together every day, and I always take that time and try to be there for her.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The advice that I would give to my younger self would definitely be to be kinder to myself, and to try and understand that there are many paths in life. Not all of them will take you directly to where you need to be, but they will all help you to understand who you are.

Meet Emma of Adventure Boy

Tell us a little bit about how Adventure Boy started.

I am a Mum to two boys and a former teacher, and, along with my husband, a designer, we created Adventure Boy really as a result of our own adventurous little boys. We wanted to develop a range of clothes that celebrated an adventure spirit, and a love of nature and of the outdoors. The idea was clothing that we would love to dress our own boys in, that would be all be designed in the spirit of adventure.

What has been your biggest hurdle?

As a working Mum, perhaps the greatest hurdle has been juggling my time and meeting the demands of all of those things.  It’s not easy when you work alone or have other pressing matters at hand (like small children!) I think you very much learn as you go, take all the inspiration and advice you can from other women and men in business in similar situations, and remember to celebrate the small wins.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I wish I’d known more about the practical sides of establishing and running a business. Advice to my younger self would definitely centre around absorbing all the knowledge you can about the financial and practical sides of entrepreneurship. Knowing your numbers is so key. Set in combination with that though, would be a big sign on the wall that shouted at me every day to “do what you love”. As I keep telling myself daily, “just do you”, it’s your one defining factor.

adventure boy profile (1)

Would you like to offer your support to The Prince’s Trust and to find out more about their #ChangeAGirlsLife campaign? Take a peek at their website for more information and to read about some of their fantastic work.

Don’t forget, you can also add a donation to The Prince’s Trust to your Joules order.

*Fact 1: Women and youngsters lose most jobs in crisis | Business | The Times

*Fact 2: These statistics are from Prince’s Trust reports Young People in Lockdown and the Aspiration Gap.

No Comments

Post a Comment