Leading ladies of Dorset - 2017 (part 1)

PUBLISHED: 16:03 03 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:29 08 March 2017


To celebrate International Women’s Day in March, Dorset Magazine turns the spotlight on some of the county’s most influential business women

Click here to read part 2

Julie Cleaver - Popcorn Marketing

Julie Cleaver started Popcorn Marketing in 2005 following a very successful career at New Look retailers where she worked for 16 years and held the position of Marketing Director for the group.

What is the secret of your success? - I really enjoy new challenges, creating new business opportunities and exceeding expectations. At New Look I learnt quickly to adapt to an ever changing business landscape. I now work with medium to large organisations helping them with Brand management, PR and digital media. I enjoy working and I would much rather write a business article than bake a cake ! My family are incredibly supportive and they are the real secret to my success.

How do you achieve work/life balance? - I work from home in Chickerell, West Dorset.) try to work 4 days a week leaving a day for family and friends plus walks with my Springer Spaniel, Poppy. I ensure that I spend time with our daughter Ellie Rai who is 17 and organise get togethers with friends and family. In 2004 I set up in business with my husband, Mick. We now run 5 businesses from our home and it works really well for us.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - There have been many people who have inspired me over the years, but it has been a saying that has been my greatest inspiration “If you always do, What you always did, You will always get, What you always got” - work hard and not to be afraid of taking a few risks along the way. If you don’t go out there and make things happen, nobody else is going to do it for you!

19 North Square, Chickerell, Weymouth, DT3 4DX 01305 774629 www.popcornmarketing.co.uk

Charlotte Spracklen - Brewery Square

I have been enjoying my career with Brewery Square for just over two years. Having progressed from office administrator in 2014 to Centre Manager in 2015, I have enjoyed every step of my journey with both Brewery Square and Savills. Involved in every aspect of the development from Health and Safety, resident/ commercial liaison, to marketing and events, my role varies all the time and no two days are ever the same. From shops and restaurants to leisure and films our whole team here have strived to make the development a fun and exciting place to be.

What is the secret of your success? - The secret of my success is hard work and dedication as well as being blessed with an amazing opportunity from a very supportive team of people. I enjoy a challenge and I really love the career that I am working towards. I am extremely lucky to be in a position where I can work hard and enjoy what I do, which has helped me to succeed.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - My work is very important to me, and quite often I spend time at home thinking about work, or working. I believe that I have a good work-life balance which is achieved by setting aside time for the important things in life; family, health and happiness. I am lucky to be surrounded by so many wonderful people who help me to hold a steady balance between the two.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My biggest inspiration is my daughter, Imogen. Without her I wouldn’t be where I am today and I would not be the person that I have grown to be. She inspires me to do well in life, not just for myself, but for her. I am inspired by others who have a passion for their work and who work hard to succeed in life.

3 Copper Street, Dorchester, DT1 1GH 01305 267777 www.brewerysquare.com

Verna Haywood - La Vie Spa

Verna is a qualified therapist with over 20 years of experience in the spa industry and is the founder and owner of La Vie Spa.

What is the secret of your success? - I am passionate about spas, people and wellness! I believe a spa treatment should always be a wonderful experience, something luxurious and really special. I make sure each spa client enjoys sensations of bliss, well-being and contentedness and departs feeling they have been treated like princes or princesses. Clients should leave the spa extolling the virtues of their spa therapist and keen to return which is why we offer affordable monthly membership starting at £39.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - La Vie Spa offers me the freedom of being able to continue to care for my husband and to practice and deliver the holistic approach to spa therapy that I love. In February our new opening hours will be from Wednesday to Saturday, including two late evenings. In this way I can spend Sunday to Tuesday caring for family and the rest of the time looking after my clients.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - The people who really inspire me the most are my clients. Every client has a unique set of needs and I am able to use my knowledge and experience to put together the best treatment for them. Clients trust me because I know the industry. I hold a BSc (Hons) in International Spa Management and certificates in both ABTAC and IATA. It’s always best to pick a qualified therapist when you are looking for the right spa.

Compass Terrace, Southwell, Portland, DT5 2NA 01305 826000 www.laviespa.co.uk

Susan Hepburn - Agnes & Vera

Wife and mother of three grown up sons, Susan Hepburn is the owner of the colourful gift shop Agnes and Vera in the charming market town of Sturminster Newton. The shop celebrates its 10th Anniversary this November.

What is the secret of your success? - Easy! I have always been blessed with lovely loyal staff including my long-time manageress, Jo, who is also an excellent window dresser, and Hannah who handles Social Media for me alongside her shop responsibilities. Customers appreciate our wide range of carefully selected gifts and cards at affordable prices as well as the dedicated and attentive level of service offered by the staff.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - With a diary and good intentions] Although my business is a shop, I do have a lot of work behind the scenes which I try to contain within the 9-5 framework (I did say “try” but it is really difficult and I do have to catch up in the evenings fairly often). So, for me, it is important to book some free time during the week otherwise work can take over completely which is why, as a family, we appreciate time together on Sundays.

Who inspires you most either in work or at home? - My late father, a naval architect, was a great example of hard work and integrity. I have a brilliant group of friends who are always a great source of fun, inspiration and advice and they help to maintain the balance. Of course, it goes without saying that my family are a terrific support. As my husband and one of our sons also own their own businesses we have a mutual understanding of the work and commitment involved.

15 Market Place, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1AS 01258 475333 www.agnesandvera.com

Rhiannon Adkins - J Smith Woodwork Ltd

In her mid-twenties Rhiannon is a cabinet maker, Instagram guru and co-owner of bespoke, handmade kitchens and furniture business J Smith Woodwork.

What is the secret of your success? - As it’s just my partner Jamie and I we offer a more personal and thorough experience for our clients. They know it’s us from the first time they enquire through to the design, making and fitting of the project. We work with an organic material - no two bits of wood are the same - so we can make a beautiful wardrobe, table or kitchen that’s truly unique and will stand the test of time.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Luckily we’ve been able to create a business out of interests we both love so working doesn’t really feel like working. Our workshop is an old barn set deep in the countryside so whenever we feel the need to let the sawdust settle, we just have to step outside to explore the nearby woods and streams. Nature gives us the clarity we need to keep us motivated so we can continue to create.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - The older generation definitely influenced both Jamie and I. It’s something about their work ethos, hard work and also giving that personal touch to something. Jamie has the well-worn woodworking tools from his great, great grandfather and they’re perfectly balanced - something hard to achieve across all aspects of life. My grandfather taught me how to really listen and observe and that’s what I do when I visit a new client so I can design something just right for them.

Staffords Green, Corton Denham, Sherborne, DT9 4LY 01963 220147 www.jsmithwoodwork.co.uk

Sandy Jordan - Jordans Jewellers

As the owner of Jordans Jewellers, I specialise in Antique, Pm-Owned & New Jewellery. Although I have always had a love of antiques & jewellery, I have not always been in this industry. In fact I am quite a late starter. My background is very much in finance with 7 years as a financial adviser & then a further 16 years in banking. I left in 2008 and started my own Antique Fairs in Osmington & Wareham & then worked the Antique Fair circuit selling jewellery all across the country. It’s a fantastic industry to be in and I have made some great friends. In 2013 I decided to open my own shop in Dorchester which has grown from strength to strength.

What is the secret of your success? - Our catch phrase is ‘Jewellers with a Difference” & that’s exactly what we are. At Jordans you will find yourself amongst friends, where you can feel happy to browse, have a coffee, & try anything on, without any pressure. If we haven’t got the item you are looking for then I will always find it for you. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service but above all you will be made to feel comfortable & relaxed. Just the way it should be!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - There was a time that I didn’t! But now that I have had the shop for 4 years I can happily say that I have. I know how important it is to achieve this balance so I work hard for 5 days a week, have 1 day off with my husband where we generally get out & about & then I have 1 relaxing day that is all mine! This is when I get to recharge my batteries & remember to breathe!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I know it may sound corny, but the answer is my husband! I hope to goodness he doesn’t read this as I’ll never hear the end of it! He has always been there for me, works really hard & is so amazingly supportive. He would do anything for me & I wouldn’t be where I am today without his support.

1 Royal Mews, Princes Street, Dorchester, DT1 1RL 01305 250413 www.jordansjewellers.co.uk

Mary Arnal - St Mary’s Shaftesbury

What is the secret of your success? - Firstly, to make sure you surround yourself with people who complement your own skill set. If your team hold skills which support yours, it is a perfect match and everyone feels fulfilled. Secondly, success is founded on doing the little day to day things to the absolute best of your ability and if possible with genuine love. Its what I tell our girls: whatever you do, do it well and put real effort into it.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - The truth is, that work-life balance during term time is very difficult for Heads to achieve. However, to do the job properly, you must keep healthy and sane, so it is essential to plan time for family and friends, fun and exercise. You need to factor it in, not assume it will happen automatically. I try not to neglect spiritual growth either, an annual retreat to reflect and deepen my knowledge is also a must. Preferably in a beautiful setting!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - At school I take my inspiration from the girls. Their humour and exuberance is a huge lift every day. Young people radiate life, energy and positive thinking. At home I am reading the life of Mary Ward, our foundress hem at St Mary’s Shaftesbury. In the seventeenth century, she formed a community of intelligent girls and inspired them to learn and achieve during a time when women were usually were confined to the home with limited education. Her belief that girls can do anything they set their minds to reverberates through our school.

Donhead St Mary, Shaftesbury, SP7 9LP 01747 852416 www.stmarys.eu

Heidi Else - Else Event Catering, Hostaroast Else Family Butchers

I am 44, a full time Mum to Maizie 14 & Ruby 10 & recently married my best friend & soul mate Julian Else. 7 years ago I was brought into the whirlwind life of Hospitality & a High Street Butchers Shop in Stalbridge. Previously I worked from home for a Playground Inspection company, now I am making use of my Business Diploma & getting involved with a real family run business.

What is the secret of your success? - There is no secret! A business needs commitment, not only from me but the whole family; both our parents get involved. Julian’s parents who started Else Family Butchers 20 year ago still roll up their sleeves to help out. My parents too, had their own family Bakery so we have big shoes to fill & most importantly our children are so keen to be part of the action. What better way to show your kids the life skills needed to survive in this big wide world we live in. I see it as our job to make every event special whether it is Hog Roast, a 3 course sit down meal or someone coming into our shop.

How do you achieve that work life balance? - I am not so sure I do! Our shop is open 6 days a week & our catering businesses thrive and occupies us most weekends. We have a marvellous team of staff, friends & family who are always at hand; we create a happy working environment which is so important. We treat everyone the way we would like to be treated but are very much aware of our task ahead.

Who inspires you most either in work or at home? - I am very lucky to have several people that inspire me, my parents are always there to guide me & at nearly 45 I still like that ‘pat on the back’ to feel I am making them proud, my daughters who give the courage & strength to achieve the goals & my husband who is always encouraging me to be just one step ahead.

High Street, Stalbridge, DT10 2LH 01963 362276 www.elsefamilybutchers.com

Julia Macmillan - The Learning Quest Ltd

Established in 2001, The Learning Quest is a Training and Coaching consultancy working across the UK.

What is the secret of your success? - Passion; positivity and purpose! I absolutely love what I do and am passionate about helping individuals achieve their full potential whether it is one to one coaching; delivering bespoke training or helping a client develop their corporate values. I am always 100% positive; this was needed more than ever last year when I overcame the challenges of breast cancer! Appreciating what your purpose is and knowing what you want to achieve helps enormously, as does setting yourself goals to work towards.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Family and children always come first! Everyone has a different interpretation of their work/life balance. For me getting the balance right is about doing a variety of things and especially trying to make a difference! I absolutely love my work and I’m privileged to be a volunteer mentor for DorMen (Dorset Business Mentoring). I’m also an active Soroptimist (Soroptimist International of Bournemouth) helping women and children less fortunate, internationally, nationally and locally. If you are organised and focused and can prioritise your day and week its amazing what you can achieve!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I’m an avid reader both for work and pleasure and therefore frequently come across individuals who are inspirational. What I find most inspiring is their unwavering self-belief; how they have overcome health problems or specific situations that are forced upon them or their total dedication to a sport or cause. Being a Soroptimist I have come across so many amazing women in different countries that really are ‘making a difference’ and are inspirational!

www.thelearningquest.co.uk | www.dormen.org.uk | www.sigbi/org/Bournemouth

Katy Knott - Rustic Rose

‘I’m the kind of girl who listens to gangster rap on the way to the flower market’. My personality is a true Leo. I have always been very driven. My platform started at 19 when I established Rustic Rose a flower shop in Sturminster Newton. I am a wedding florist with a detailed eye for event styling and photo shoots. I am working on my new website because my business has continued to grow I have also evolved with it.

What is the secret of your success? - Only selling and creating what I like. I have stuck to my guns and built my own custom designed brand and not changing it on the views of others.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Small breaks, If I go away, even for a few hours I come back feeling refreshed and more productive at work. I have a few long-term friends who I know I can bounce off. I’m the pop in friend, wine, cocktails or tea followed by a light hearted catch up. Then I’m golden!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My parents have always inspired me with their work ethic, being able to diversify and continuing to always move forward. I have always been taken with positive go getters! Working with young adults always lightens my world. My younger brother’s quick one liners never fail to keep life real! When you can view life in the same way he does, it’s the smartest sense of humour.

Market Cross Sturminster Newton, DTIO 1AN 01258 475575 www.rusticrose.co.uk

Emma Costello - Costello Lettings

Property is my passion - it always has been. At 19 I bought my first flat in Alum Chine, Westbourne. A natural talent for business eventually led to me forming Costello Lettings, the company of which I am owner and director. The independent business is based in Blandford and over the last 15 years I have developed a business and personal property portfolio that covers the counties of Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

I genuinely believe it’s not just about letting a flat or a house but a home - a place for people to feel happy, safe and secure. My mission statement has always been “To do what I say I will do” and it works - with a great deal of my business relationships being built on recommendation.

What is the secret of my success? - Providing a face to face personal service. I always aim to treat others as I would wish to be treated myself and also believe its key to be kind and respectful to all.

How do you achieve a work life balance? - By knowing where to draw the line and putting the most important things first.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My family are massively encouraging and motivate me. Their support and belief in me is invaluable - they always listen.

How important is team work? - Its crucial to the success of the business. The loyalty of the hard working Costello team is integral to the business succeeding. The busy office, our trusty tradesman and valued clients are all essential parts of what makes the business thrive.

8 Tabernacle Walk, Blandford Forum, DT11 7DL 01258 455501 www.costelloproperties.com

Ceri Stephens - Battens Solicitors Ltd

Ceri Stephens is an experience property litigation solicitor and heads up the Property Dispute Resolution Team. Within that role, Ceri is able to utilise her experience and expertise in both property and litigation, and to deploy a great depth of understand on behalf of her clients. Ceri recently became a director within the firm. She became the eighth member of Batten’s Board of Directors and will be responsible for contributing to the firm’s ongoing business and development strategy.

What is the secret of your success? - Honestly, the only way that you can succeed is by having an excellent support network on whom you can place your absolute trust both at home and at the office. I seek to engender a teamwork and you need to work with your team as without one it matters not how hard you work or how much time you invest, of which there has been large amounts of both, you simply cannot succeed.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - It’s difficult. Obviously you need to have a good balance or work and life, but as a working parent, there is a tendency towards feeling guilty if you do too much of one at the expense of the other. It can therefore be tricky to strike that balance at all times. You need someone in work telling you to go home and someone at home telling you to go to work! As long as I get out in the fresh air with my friends and family, usually to watch a game of rugby, then my balance remains a positive one.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - This is the most difficult question. I try to go my own way and make my own decision on my own experiences without preconceptions and bias, so does any one person inspire me or do I strive to emanate ant one person? Probably not. Generally happy people with a positive outlook in life inspire me and strong people who have succeeded in the face of adversity.

Offices in: Dorchester, Sherbome, Weymouth & Yeovil 01305 250560 www.battens.co.uk

Rowena Hughes - Blandford Cambridge Weight Management

I’m Ro Hughes, Award Winning Consultant at Blandford Cambridge Weight Management Centre DT11 7DL and Director of FMG vehicle leasing in Poole.

I worked in a technically biased environment alongside engineers, military pilots and aircrew for a Helicopter Company for 36 years. Being a woman had novelty value which helped my rise through the ranks! In 2006 my diabetic husband of 29 years died. I found solace in my work and fast food. I have a negative memory of how I was treated when I bought my first car on my own. In 2011 I married my second husband and took early retirement.

What is the secret of your success? - The secret of my success in disparate environments is my pursuit of perfection, my passion and latterly, the growth in my self belief. Working for yourself you need self belief to build resilience and to make an effective contribution to your clients.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - After a spot of travelling, I struggled with the work home balance. I’m planning to try again in my seventies!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I’m inspired daily by my clients, once we reach a place of mutual appreciation, they fly, often outstripping their original expectations. I’m inspired by the work of professor Anthony Leeds, leading Cambridge’s contribution to worldwide clinical research on obesity related diseases such as Diabetes. I got involved in the vehicle sector to nurture a customer approach that works without preconceived ideas. At FMG leasing you will find a level of service that reflects this.

1 Tabernacle Walk, Blandford Forum, DT11 7DL 07585 447984 www.fmgleasing.com

Natalie Brian - Jigsaw Specialist Recruitment

After working with leading national and international recruitment businesses, Natalie Brian co-founded Jigsaw Specialist Recruitment in April 2016. She realised there was still a gap in the Dorset marketplace for a consultancy that could balance the needs of both large corporate organisations, and small and medium-sized enterprises. Jigsaw has gone on to establish itself as one of the region’s leading recruitment companies.

What is the secret of your success? - I believe my success in leading our business is down to humility, intuition and never allowing service to slip. I trust my instinct when it comes to important business decisions, and thus far it has not let me down. As our business continues to expand, it is paramount that the high standards we have delivered from the outset do not waiver, and that each customer feels as important as the next.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I divide my day up into bite-sized chunks in order to achieve everything I need to. I write a to-do list,

prioritising daily tasks and tracking my time, although I might also need to adapt quickly when the job demands it. And, as a busy mum-of-two, working smarter, not just harder, is essential in allowing me to dedicate time to my family as well as the business.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Having a happy, contented family is essentially what drives me. Seeing our children laugh and smile, knowing they rely on me, whilst growing in independence themselves. On a professional front, developing a business from scratch into a healthy, profitable venture in a short space of time has been an inspirational process. I also get inspiration from my husband; he works tirelessly for our family and always achieves great results.

Wimborne, BH21 1SX 01202 888343 www.jigsawspecialist.co.uk

Christina Joannides - The Orchid Hotel

What is the secret to you success? - Throughout my career I have worked within the Hospitality sector. It’s always reliant on a team working together and aspiring to deliver a great experience. I’ve always been keen on absolute transparency and honesty combined with the old ethic of treating people as you wish to be treated yourself. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to nurture great people in my business and this has resulted in long service and guests being remembered when they revisit.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - My family and business play important parts in my life. Planning is the key for me and by doing this effectively the balance sorts itself out. It’s also looking at how I can delegate in business and ensure my family have that special time together. Yes, I know, best laid plans can always slip and on the rare occasion when this happens I am lucky to have a great group of friends who can sometimes help.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Without question my Mother, Anna Joannides. She was Minister of Tourism in Cyprus before moving to England and starting up The Bridge House Hotel in Longham, being the first Pub to start the Carvery back in the 70’s! She had me Glass collecting at the age of 14 and has taught me everything I know about the Hospitality Industry. A true inspiration.

34 Gervis Road, Bournemouth, BH1 3DH 01202 551600 www.orchidhotel.co.uk

Verity J Griffiths BSc (Hons) MA VetMB GPCert (SAS) GPCert (EM&S) MRCVS - Southfield Veterinary Centre (SVC)

I qualified as a veterinary surgeon from Cambridge University in 1994 and after working in both Shropshire and Oxfordshire I joined SVC in 2002. I became a partner in 2007 and then became the sole owner in 2009 when SVC became a small animal practice.

What is the secret of your success? - Hard work and a good sense of humour! The fact that I am a pet owner myself allows me to understand and empathize with the worries that clients have when their pet is unwell and to also know the necessity of maintaining animal health and well-being. I am very fortunate to have an excellent team at SVC who work very hard together to offer the highest level of service to all our clients

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I am very fortunate to still love my work after 23 years as I love meeting people and their animals. My personal interests do cross into my working life as I regularly show and work my Hungarian Vizslak all over the country and I have bred a number of litters. My partner and I are also fortunate in owning a small boat in which we explore the Greek islands.

Who inspires you most either in work or at home? - I think my inspiration comes from my Father. He was a true gentle man, and was a calm, patient, hard working individual who taught me the value of a strong work ethic and how having a passion for what you do brings untold benefits. Also seeing the strong bond between so many individuals and their pets inspires me to provide the best service, which I myself would want for my beloved animals. Verity

South Walks, Dorchester, DT1 1DU www.southfieldvet.co.uk

Jennifer Tingay - Southbourne Brewing Limited

Jennifer has 18 years experience in the drinks industry. Her company Southbourne Ales has won a silver medal from the International Brewing Awards-since 1886 and Label of the Year. In 2015 she successfully Crowdfunded, raising 2149k to finance a brewery, bar and visitors centre in Bournemouth town centre, which opens this Easter. Jennifer is looking for new shareholders in a second round and is currently selling equity through Angels Den.

What is the secret of your success? - Self belief. You have to believe that you can and you have to believe that its possible. There are always people out there who like to tell you that you can’t and they should be avoided. I love the inspirational quote by Audrey Hepburn about the value of optimism “Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, I’m possible!”

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - With a five year old daughter this is a necessity. I start work very early to ensure that we have some time to play together after school. When its busy she enjoys helping me label or coming on deliveries. We make work into a game and a time to talk together. I also think it is important to have a hobby. I play the Euphonium in The Royal British Legion Band, Christchurch. Rehearsal night is an excellent time to unwind, de-stress and release any negative energy through the music; leaving me ready to face family and work life for another week.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My Dad, he always believed in himself and “had a go”. He didn’t worry about what people thought and did what he believed was right; not a bad philosophy in life. As a father he encouraged us to do the best we could, he would be proud that we tried, even if we didn’t succeed in our goals, as long as we came first!

41-43 Poole Hill, Bournemouth, BH2 5PW 07845 795 464 www.southbourneales.co.uk

Charlotte Starling - Velvet & Dash Interiors

Interior Designer Charlotte Starling of Velvet & Dash Interiors works on residential and commercial projects across Dorset and the South West. My recent projects include country houses, coastal homes and the refurbishment of the hugely popular Taste Brasserie in Dorchester. Currently, I’m very excited to be working on a revamp of The Eastbury Hotel in Sherborne. I also have an online shop of beautiful homeware, much of it made in Dorset.

What is the secret of your success? - I listen very carefully to my clients. I like to push boundaries and entice my clients to be braver than they think they are. If I can, I source locally. Adding a one-off like a hand painted lamp to a scheme adds so much personality. I get up very early to dream up schemes in peace! The internet - because it makes it possible to work from home in deepest Dorset and still know what’s going on in the world.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - To get any sort of balance you have to ruthlessly compartmentalise and prioritise. When you run your own business, its very hard to switch off, but I try not to answer emails or the phone at weekends - that is family time. I take my greyhounds Velvet & Dash for long walks to blow away the cobwebs and think about ideas.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I’ve always been a magazine junkie and have files stacked full of tear sheets of ideas and inspiration. I’m also addicted to Pinterest and Instagram. Wallpapers and fabrics are my passion - often a pattern is the starting point that I build a look around. I love natural beauty, so anything made by hand - ceramics, glass, art - I’m in awe of artists. My husband and children -they make me laugh!

The Old Rectory, Church Lane, Frampton, Dorchester, DT2 9NL 01300 320657 www.velvet-dash.com

Holly Eversden - House of Health & Beauty

Holly Eversden, founder and owner of House of Health and Beauty in Dorchester. Celebrating 20 years in business this year.

What is the secret of your success? - A mixture of loving what I do, an amazing team and lots of hard work! In our industry you always have to be forward thinking and keeping on top of how things are changing. We always keep to our ‘health and beauty’ philosophy and will only introduce into the salon, treatments and products that really work, not just following the latest beauty fad but focusing on looking after our clients with the best, most up to date treatments and products, carried out to the highest standards.

How do you achieve work/life balance? - When I opened the salon I spent the first 10 years working very long hours as a therapist and on running the business. All of my time and energy went into getting the salon established and successful. This meant that by the time I started my family, I was able to work less hours in the salon and be there as a Mum as well as running the business. It’s a juggling act, but I have the most amazing husband and team, getting the balance right is so important.

Who inspires you the most? - My lovely Dad who sadly passed away 12 years ago. He set up his own business from nothing, starting small and working very hard to achieve a very successful, respected business. I have always been very proud of him and learnt an awful lot about running a business from him. He believed in me and my business plan and was always incredibly supportive; I know he would be so proud that 20 years on House of Health and Beauty is still going strong!

4A Trinity Street, Dorchester, DT1 1TT 01305 257758 www.houseofhealthandbeauty.co.uk

Jenny Dwyer, BEd Hons (Cantab) - Sherborne Girls

Founded in 1899, Sherborne Girls has been at the forefront of girls’ education in Britain for over 100 years. Jenny joined Sherborne Girls as Headmistress in 2006.

What is the secret of your success? - I am passionate about girls’ education and am really lucky to have a job which I love. I want Sherborne Girls to be the best school it can be and that motivates me to work as hard as I can. I try to appear calm and in control, even if I don’t feel that inside, and I always try to tackle issues head on. I also have a very supportive husband who understands the demands of the job.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - In term time, because we are a full boarding school, work is the major part of my life: not just the day aspects but also supporting girls in concerts or plays in the evenings, watching sports matches at weekends and generally being a presence in the school. I try to take time out to go to the gym and walk my dog. My holidays are spent at our home in Norfolk where I love sailing with my husband and two sons.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I have always been inspired to manage work and a family by my mother whose mantra is that you get out of life what you put in. I am lucky to have worked for some amazing Heads and to work with a fantastic team who constantly inspire me. There are so many female role models, in business, science, medicine and the arts who come to talk at school and I take inspiration from them. But mainly, I never cease to be impressed by the talents, dedication and ambitions of our girls. I am constantly inspired by their achievements and hope that we at Sherborne Girls can give them experiences and opportunities so they can go on and have happy and fulfilled lives.

Bradford Road, Sherborne, DT9 3QN 01935 818208 www.sherborne.com

Wendy Harrington - Rectory Studios

CEO of Rectory Studios, Casting Director for Britrox TV and Positivity Coach for The Sue Stone Foundation.

What is the secret of your success? - Success for me has been more about maintaining positivity and never giving up. Despite facing devastating challenges, it has always been important for me to use these experiences to learn and to grow. I push myself out of my comfort zone, I’m not afraid to make mistakes and I’ve made a lot! I’m grateful for every experience because they’ve made me who I am today. I’m creating the life I’ve always dreamed of!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - My children are my priority and family and friends are as important to me as business, there must always be a balance otherwise it creates negativity something I believe you should never attract into your life. Quite often all of these can be combined in some way which creates a natural flow of positivity. We have family meetings once a week which gives everyone a voice whatever their age and it’s important that we all support one another.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I can honestly say that I am continually inspired. People I’ve met, and continue to meet, past relationships, my children. Sue Stone has been a great source of strength and inspiration to me as has my partner Paul Wookey. My Mum is and always will be my hero! Your mind is the most powerful tool you possess; your thoughts create your future so make sure they are positive ones and combine attitude with gratitude.

The Old Rectory, Church Lane, West Parley, BH22 8TR 07936 060774 www.rectorystudios.co.uk

Carolyn Thorpe - Francesco Group Ferndown

What is the secret of your success? - I’ve been a Francesco Group franchisee for 16 years and I believe the secret to success is to create a strong working team and maintain this by having a dedicated management team. I also believe investing in training is key. Keeping up to date with the latest trends and giving our clientele the highest standard of hairdressing and service has resulted in Francesco Group Ferndown building an incredible loyal clientele.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Achieving a work/life balance can be made possible by having good time management through strong day to day planning, organisation and delegating, which is also important. I find having a strong family and huge support from my partner also helps. It also goes back to having a great time and a solid structure to the business.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My Francesco Group team inspires me as they work above and beyond. Watching them grow, learn and develop means everything to me. We are such a close team. Work never seems like work and we all enjoy celebrating our success. I love the way you can see your team grow and develop. Young assistants come in timid and shy and seeing how their confidence develops through working with the team is a real inspiration.

48-50 Victoria Road, Ferndown, BH22 9HZ 01202 891373 www.francescogroup.co.uk/salons/ferndown

Diane Bantten - Acquit Debt Recovery

What is the secret of your success? - For me it is having a loving family, home and the means to take a holiday occasionally. I am fortunate that my husband Bob has always encouraged me to pursue my career - having qualified as a Lawyer in 1996 and worked as a Litigator for several “big hitters” for several years I decided to go it alone and we set up Acquit Debt Recovery in 2010 - our specialist subject commercial debt recovery. Almost 7 years later I am here to tell the tale! The secret to my success .. hard work, determination, perseverance and a supportive family.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Work life balance is sometimes hard to achieve. I try to ensure that I go to the gym 3 times a week and have taken up Pilates recently. I am an early riser - generally up at 05.00am - that ensures I can cram everything in! I recognise that to have a successful business you must be at your best - so I try to put myself first and take time to stop and smell the roses!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I have met many inspiring people some of whom I am proud to call my friends. I Chair for one of the WIBN Poole (Women in Business Network) meetings - some of the members are just starting out, have a young family and many demanding commitments - they are an inspiration just as much as the women who are well established with million pound plus turnovers!

What would be your tip if thinking of starting your own business? - Do your homework, know your market, prepare carefully and network like crazy!

1 Sovereign Business Park, 48 Willis Way, Poole, BH15 3TB 01202 432022 www.acquit.org.uk

Nikki Lewis - The Fontmell Clinic Motcombe Grange

Originally qualifying as a nurse I always had a keen interest in Care of the Elderly so bought land in Gillingham & built The Mellowes Nursing Home so named in memory of my mother. Soon after I brought The Malthouse Retirement home & developed it with extra rooms & 9 cottages for the independent elderly. This concept of independent living with reassurance was popular so I then, in partnership, developed & now manage Motcombe Grange which is a gracious bespoke retirement development of 30 apartments. The ethos is dignity, privacy, respect & integrity. My husband & I co-own The Fontmell Medical & Laser clinic offering a wide range of services from Private GP appointments to laser treatments, peels & injectables.

What is the secret of your success? - Success is in the eyes of the beholder & if I have improved quality of life and carried out my ethos of dignity, privacy, respect & integrity in every aspect of my life then I will count this as success.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I’ve been lucky to have my business’ close by so I have been able to mix my work life & home life. My most important work has been bringing up the children. Being slightly allergic to child care I did find some challenges along the way! Predominantly that constant feeling of guilt wherever you are! Loving sport has been a huge help.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My husband has been a great inspiration to me, always supportive & a constant companion. There was also a registrar I met whilst training as a nurse who looked at me & said ‘I don’t think you will stay in the NHS. I predict you will run your own business.’ It had quite an impact on me at 19. I have also found Michelle Obama completely inspirational. What a lady.

West Street, Fontmell Magna, Shaftesbury, SP7 OPS 01747 812718 www.fontmellclinic.co.uk

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