Leading ladies of Dorset - 2017 (part 2)

PUBLISHED: 10:03 08 March 2017 | UPDATED: 14:28 08 March 2017

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sergey Khakimullin

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 1

Nicky King - Eastbury Hotel

17 years ago my husband & I decided to look for a guest house but we soon found that a 15 bedroom hotel would cost us the same as a 5 bedroom guest house. We are now the proud owners of a beautiful 23 bedroom hotel in the most stunning county in the country & the best town in the county.

What is the secret of your success? - Having a great team around me, not only the husband & wife team that I have with Paul & I have, but the partnership of all the staff at both the Eastbury & the Three Wishes. Hospitality is a business wholly reliant on people, their personalities, willingness to work hard & commitment to their jobs. They are willing to change, try new things & improve what we offer despite some of them having been at the hotel as long as I have. It can be very easy to become very defensive when presented with suggestions however I think I’m good at listening, keen to try new things & have a desire to exceed customer expectations.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I’m not sure I have really & I’m sure that the children would say that I was not around more than I was around. I have been trying recently to take more time away from the business but find that I have to physically be away from Sherborne to properly relax despite having my own front door some distance away from the hotel. Having been at the Eastbury for 17 years it is getting easier now & I’m being more disciplined with myself, albeit a little too late for the children who are leading their own lives now.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - The committed artisan producers in Dorset who are passionate about what they do, their products and the county in which they live. I also love to see what other small hoteliers are doing & find chains like the pig chain of hotels fascinating - what makes these businesses so successful & what can we borrow from them to help improve our business? You can never afford to stand still in this business otherwise you get left behind!

Long Street, Sherborne, DT9 3BY 01935 813131 www.theeastburyhotel.co.uk

Mia Dellicompagni - Francesco Group Poole Academy

What is the secret of your success? - I became a hairdresser from working within the family business. From an early age I was a Saturday girl and loved the whole atmosphere of working within a salon. I think if you love what you do, success will follow. Education and continuing to learn and grow is also a huge reason for my success. Two ears, one mouth as my dad taught me. Learn from the best, keep learning and never think you know it all!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Being part of a family business is great as you are able to see and work with family members, however, it’s difficult when it comes to important work decisions, as you need to have a boundary between your professional and personal lives. Its also important when you go home to have family time, without discussion of business - relaxation goes a long way and will recharge your batteries! It makes for better business.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My dad, Frank, the founder of Francesco Group, has always been my inspiration; he is a highly motivated and inspirational man. His enthusiasm for hairdressing and his business acumen is something I aspire to have. What he achieves for our industry is inspirational at every level. My team around me also are a constant source of inspiration, without a team to bounce off inspiration wouldn’t happen!

102 High Street, Poole, BH15 1DB 01202 674395 www.francescogroup.co.uk/salons/pooleacademy

Jackie Phillipson - Route PR

Jackie, co-founder of ROUTEpr, has been working in PR, marketing and events for more than 25 years- it’s in her blood! She brings creativity, connections, problem solving to projects, supported with the knowledge, know-how and can-do attitude that has led to the successes of many household names and brands.

What is the secret of your success? - I believe the secret to our success is giving our clients great connections, supporting them with valued advice helping them grow and develop as a business. We love a challenge. We work hard and I am passionate about what we do and believe that success comes come the passion and drive you put into the projects so we can reach the goals we set, as we have done in our own business.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Richard, my business partner is also my husband and we are supported by a great team. We work well together and we work hard. We are professional, but we also like to add a sprinkling of fun into the mix. When we switch off it’s with great friends and family, spending time at home, or in the garden, we make the most of the beaches, parks and forests on our doorstep- sometimes we even spent a night or two away! It’s important to make the most of your downtime and get quality time to yourself, as well as with the ones you love.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My parents inspired me to work hard and to go for it, they both ran their own successful businesses. I admire Robert Braithwaite CBE Founder of Sunseeker International for his passion, loyalty and integrity, Margaret Thatcher for helping women realise their dreams - we could run a business, be successful and own our own homes and be a wife and mother. Last but not least the wonderful and talented Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.

Burnside Studio, 2 Stour Close, Wimborne BH21 7LU 01202 896698 www.routepr.agency

Dr Rachel Milestone - Leweston School

I began working at Leweston School in 2012 as a singing teacher before becoming Director of Music in 2016

What is the secret of your success? - Any success I have had is down to my passion for what I do. I love to sing, I love to perform, and I also love to teach. I am passionate about music making a difference in people’s lives. Whether that is the child at school with learning difficulties or parental issues, whose inclusion in music gives them a sense of achievement and self-worth, or whether that is the adult in the People’s Choir, Yeovil I conduct whose only night out is the choir rehearsal, or whose only means of escape is to sing.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - With my husband away with the Navy during the week and with 2 small children plus a job with varying hours it is a never-ending challenge. If the children didn’t attend Leweston Nursery and Junior Department then I couldn’t do it. However, with them being at the same school as me I get to see them during the day and it makes the separation easier. I enjoy our relaxing weeks taking the children and the dog for a walk to the park, or just cuddling up together in front of a Disney film, we all need that time to slow down and be together.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My family are a constant source of inspiration. My husband is a never-ending foundation of support and my children are amazing little people. I feel a great responsibility to ensure that they reach their full potential in life, as I do with the pupils at Leweston. I never cease to be amazed by their talent and intelligence. I want to offer them the best teaching and the greatest musical opportunities that are within my power. I want them to feel included - to be part of the musical family at Leweston. They don’t have to be an amazing musician to do that; they just need to be given the confidence to give it a go. My tagline at work is ‘Music is a team sport’. That is my inspiration.

Sherborne, DT9 6EN 01963 211010 www.leweston.co.uk

Margaret Balfour - Margaret Balfour Beauty Centre

Margaret Balfour Beauty Centre, Swan Yard, Sherborne, established in 1979, is an award-winning Clarins Gold Salon. This is a highly acclaimed award, given only to the top professional Clarins salons in the country. We offer a full range of general beauty treatments, IPL which is often referred to as laser; advanced electrolysis, and age-defying treatments.

What is the secret of your success? - I think there are a number of reasons we are successful. I am a Beauty Therapist and have worked in the beauty profession for over forty years including teaching Beauty Therapy. This means I know how to ensure my therapists are trained to the highest standard. Also, I am very confident when deciding which treatments and products to retail; unless I am convinced they really do work, we will not offer them. My wonderful staff are all highly qualified and experienced, working together as a great team, ensuring we always give the most professional treatments and advice. I think my hard work has played a part in our success. The business is always at the forefront of my mind and I am still very passionate about it. I really can’t see any reason why this will not continue for many years.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - My work life balance is now perfect. I work some full days in the salon but often my wonderful staff run it as a team, although I do call into the salon most days,. We start the week with a staff meeting and I have regular catch up meetings with the girls. Modern technology means that I can always be contacted.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - There is no single person who inspires me. It is more a combination of my clients, my loyal staff and my relationship with Clams. I love walking into Swan Yard and seeing my name over the business; it still gives me a thrill. I just feel very fortunate that I have a career I really enjoy and it has been successful.

Swan Yard, Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3AX 01935 816177 www.margaretbalfour.co.uk

Jane Hopkins - Bellissima Lingerie

Started Bellissima in Sherborne in 1999, my background was nursing, specifically reconstructive surgery, and community midwifery. I really enjoy changing women’s shapes with correctly fitting undergarments, and seeing them looking fantastic in their clothes. Which improves posture and gives them confidence.

What is the secret of your success? - It is an accumulation of factors, not least working with great products, which are consistently made by professional, experienced corsetry companies. Additionally I have years of experience fitting bras, with relevant anatomical knowledge of breast issues, and specific requirements such issues bring with them.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - That is easy as I love what I do, my job in Bellissima is really rewarding, in a beautiful environment, with amazing products and exceptionally lovely customers. My team of assistants at Bellissima are kind, committed and efficient, which allows me the chance to relax when not in Bellissima. When I am not at work I spend time at home doing things that I enjoy, I enjoy cooking healthy food, being outside and getting plenty of sleep.

Who inspires you most either in work or at home? - I find inspiration at work from the many people I meet through my job. My faith inspires me morally. Ultimately I am inspired by my family, my parents, my sons and especially my husband, who has always worked so hard, has a real vision for the future, gives superb advice and is really conscientious and kind. I bounce all of my ideas off of him, so I am very lucky to have such support. We have relocated in Sherborne & are now next to Waitrose.

17 Cheap Street, Sherborne, DT9 3PU 01963 440896 www.bellissimalingerie.com

Alicia Jeffrey - Sling Studio

I started the Sling Studio in 2012, inspired by my own experience of carrying my daughter Mariel in a sling, my love for textiles and British manufacturing. Like many new mums, I found the early days of motherhood both joyful and overwhelming. When a friend showed me how to wear my beautiful new baby in a sling, I found that I could keep her snuggled close, but regain the physical freedom to carry on doing the things I loved. Ever since then, slings have played an essential part in my parenting. Having spent my childhood in Yorkshire I was, from a young age, aware of our country’s wonderful mills and heritage in producing the finest textiles. The decline in the British textile industry caused me to believe passionately in ‘made in Britain’, and that is why I took the decision that all of our products should be manufactured in the United Kingdom.

What is the secret of your success? - “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” This to me is the definition of success. Networking plays a really key role, it’s amazing what letting your secret out can lead to. I have also taken on company specific advisers through DORMEN mentoring and SWMAS, they have kept me going through those tough early years.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - My daughter was 9 months old when I began the business so the company has had to grow around being flexible to her needs. I believe Flexibility in the work place is key to future business success as it results in happy staff and business owners! I also reward myself with holidays and weekends away where we literally switch off (phones etc.) from work.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - The other women in my family! They are superhuman at multi-tasking, high achievers and still manage to fit in family and time for themselves.

Poole, BH14 8HA 07794 340063 www.slingstudio.com

Zanne St John Marchmont - Savvy Financial Planning

Savvy Financial Planning an Independent Financial Planning company was set up in 2009 to put the needs of clients first and to provide a true ongoing service. Zanne has however been in the industry for over 25 years developing expertise in Investment Management, Inheritance Tax planning and paying for Care. She is a Dementia Friend Champion and an Accredited Member of the Society of Later Life Advisers (SOLLA).

What is the secret of your success? - Hard work, if you want something you have to put the effort in. Also not giving up when something doesn’t produce results immediately. The team is a vital component for success. Rachel, my co director is brilliant. She and I have different skills which complement each other and it is great to have someone to share the highs and the occasional low with. The rest of the team work incredibly hard and it’s essential that they know how much they are appreciated.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - It got easier as my children grew up but being organised is essential. To be able to keep in touch with the office and clients when I am out and about, reduces the stress that I may be missing something important. These days, because I enjoy what I do so much, it hardly feels like work.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Other people, it amazes me what some people have overcome to get to where they are. Clients inspire me to learn and develop the business. When someone comes to see me for the first time, feeling worried about financial matters. At the end of our Discovery Process they realise that the issue is sorted and the relief on their face is lovely. Often a client will say how much they appreciate the care we take of them and their money - that certainly makes me feel good.

Hinton Business Park, Tarrant Hinton, Blandford Forum, DT11 8JF 01258 830425 www.savvyfp.co.uk

Jo Burchell - Freelance Fine Artist

Jo is a sculptor and has a studio at home. Working in steel, copper and occasionally still barbed wire, she takes a line for a walk in the air, “drawing” animals and now people.

What is the secret of your success? - Success is a tricky word when it is applied to art. To make a career out of creativity you need to stay true to yourself and make the work you enjoy, don’t try to please the crowd. It’s evident in your work if your heart is not in it. Success is turning what you do best, what you love doing, into your life.

How do you achieve a work life balance? - An energetic family, 4 dogs and a job, dictate that each day is carefully organised and tightly spliced together. After the school run I walk and train the dogs on the hill (me time) its space to think, it’s where I solve work issues and plan my studio hours. I then have an intensive studio session (work time) before decamping to children again (family) in truth I wish I had more studio time but it will come back, the kids are only small once!

Who inspires you most in work or at home? - I have always loved Elizabeth Frink and Alberto Giacometti, but what really fires me up is the landscape where I live. I feel connected, grounded and full of images every day I walk. Watching the kid’s race about the hills and woods is a window into the vigour of life; its distillation is what I try to sculpt.

Where do you see your work going in the future? - Working on a smaller scale I am adding wax to the wire, with the aim of moving towards bronzes. The challenge will be to keep them fluid and linear, qualities which I love!

07970 382156 jo@joburchell.com www.joburchell.com

Polly Greenway - DOMVS

DOMVS is Polly’s brainchild. Having been a main board director of a large independent estate agent for the previous 19 years, Polly opened DOMVS in 2005. With over 30 years in the property business, Polly is utterly focused on providing an outstanding level of service, with the client firmly at the centre.

What is the secret to your success? - Hard work is the simple answer, and is the reason DOMVS exists. I always say to new employees when they first start with us, forget about ‘selling’ and just concentrate on ‘caring’. If the culture within a company is right, you attract the right people, and without the right people you cannot be successful. The ‘DOMVS family’ may sound trite, but its how I view the people we work with.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - My friends often say I’m driven, but I just think I’m lucky. When you find a job that genuinely makes you feel excited about going to work in the morning that, to me, doesn’t feel like work. I’m very conscious, however, that family and friends are important, and so, equally, is keeping fit! I try to ensure I make time for everyone at weekends, and my very bouncy whippet keeps me on my toes.

Who inspires you the most, either in work or at home? - I think, generally, its people who haven’t had a great start in life, who, with sheer grit and determination, create successful, fulfilling lives, and take time to inspire and mentor others around them. I once had a client, who’s retired now, but had come from very humble beginnings and been badly bullied. Despite this, he created his own company employing many others, and never stopped encouraging people along the way. You never know who you’re going to meet in this business; that’s one of the things I enjoy most, and I’m proud to say some of my closest friends were once people for whom I sold houses.

15 High West Street, Dorchester, DT1 1UW 01305 757300 www.domvs.co.uk

Daphne Roddis - Dodge Interiors Ltd

Daphne Roddis 49 years old, Owner of Dodge Interiors, Sherborne. As Managing Director, my role is quite diverse from visiting clients, trade shows and suppliers and looking after the staff and business interests.

What is the secret of your success? - Following my purchase of Dodge Interiors 6 years ago at the beginning of April, perseverance of our standards has been paramount. My team and I try to ensure that we have a great level of care and knowledge within our individual areas. Keeping up with trends, design and interior designs can be a very time consuming activity, this cannot be underestimated. Without this constantly changing arena, it would be a very boring world.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Both working in and managing the business places high time demands on me. With a supportive husband ensuring I take time for myself, I have just returned to cycling. This not only gives me fresh air, exercise and a release from a tape measure and laptop, but clear thinking time to reflect on what we have achieved and where we want to go next.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Inspiration for me comes from a number of areas, not necessarily an individual. It could be from travel, an image on a TV program or nature. Also seeing new designs from the differing fabric houses create intrigue in how we can work with them as projects develop. These all create thoughts of how could I incorporate this within my work style or design. To develop and succeed must be the greatest motivation.

28 Cheap Street, Sherbome, DT9 3QD 01935 818150 www.dodgeinteriors.com

Nina Bartlett - Grove Arms

I am 31 years old & from Ludwell, Shaftesbury where I live with my fiancé & best friend Buddy the black Labrador. I am the owner of The Grove Arms a traditional country pub with bedrooms & the winner of The Dorset Tourism Award 2016 for The Best Dog Business 2016.

What is the secret of your success? - I knew The Grove could be something special for me with an injection of hard work. 3 years on I have made it work by listening to our locals & guests & coupling that with my love of dogs & offering them a safe haven to enjoy as well by being dog friendly throughout. The ability to listen to their market is often missed by business owners but without listening how can you possibly tailor your product to meet their needs? My passion for hospitality & own self belief are also strong attributes with hard work sprinkled on top of course!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Working for myself does allow certain freedoms in that I am able to work in activities I enjoy around my rota with the team. However when you have a project such as your own business every day is working towards your own goal/achievement so it is not viewed as work as such. I cannot imagine attending an office role again, why not make your work time a significant part of your life balance because to be successful you will spend the majority of your young adult life doing just that “working”.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My Father always taught me that if I wanted anything out of life I would have to work hard for it, reminding me money does not grow on trees, although at points in my youth I was convinced it would! The Grove Arms is the community hub for Ludwell & the surrounding areas where customers can get a quality hearty meal at a reasonable price. It is these people who motivate me daily & to be able to provide such a service is a privilege.

High Street, Ludwell, Shaftesbury, SP7 9ND 01747 828811 www.grovearms-ludwell.co.uk

Linda Anousta - Anousta Products

I created Anousta Products in 1999. I was an ex nursing sister, a practising Aromatherapist, Beautician and mum! I became aware that toxic, and disruptive chemicals were being placed in skincare. My daughter was hospitalized with eczema and I was desperate to help her. So began a journey of discovery that led me to produce a skincare range and help everyone, especially those with skin/health problems.

What is the secret of your success? - Listening and lots of hard work! We make amazing natural skincare that really works and gives great results quickly! We buy beautiful quality ingredients and purest essential oils and while it is expensive, it pays off with people commenting on how good their skin. Also, If you really listen to someone, you hear what the real issue is underlying the customers skin. Behind every skin “problem” there is a story. Therefore, we listen so that we can help them.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I didn’t! I burnt and crashed and became ill. I learnt a huge amount and then used my knowledge to help others. I had to study a lot to get back to good health and it cost a fortune so now I have a better understanding about work life balance. I sing in a choir, swim, love the sauna and do Tai Chi twice a week. I cycle in the summer and adore visiting the coast.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Anyone who follows their dream and makes it work inspires me. Whether you follow your bliss and are rich or poor but really happy it is just the best you can ask for. I admire the successful business people who make it all work and run big business or many businesses. I am inspired by those who are sick but don’t give up. I admire Gandhi for his peaceful power, Richard Branson for all his business achievements and Mother Teresa for her tireless work.

The Barn, Pamphill Dairy, Pamphill, Wimborne, BH21 4ED 01202 886189 www.anousta.co.uk

Jayne Urquhart-Sims - Sunbeams Day Nursery

Jayne relocated to Portland in 2012 to take on Sunbeams and make a lifestyle change from city living in London. Previously an Advertising Executive, Jayne moved into childcare after the birth of her son Byron, and taught both of her children at pre-school level. With over thirty years of experience behind her, she is now lucky to have her two beautiful grandson’s attend her nursery.

What is the secret of your success? - I believe that the secret to being successful is finding work that you love. I’m passionate about providing a positive start for children; giving them strong foundations and the confidence they need to thrive at school. Many of our children start with us as babies, and it is very rewarding seeing them progress through the various stages of their development. Its an inspiring place to work, and I think that’s why I’m still doing it!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Finding work/life balance was my main motivation for moving to Dorset and having my own business again.

Being able to work from home, and have flexibility in the hours that you work is huge. The location of the nursery is beautiful, being surrounded by the fields and the ocean makes me feel happy and at peace. I love walking with my dogs; we go out walking every day, no matter what the weather is doing!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My children have always been my biggest inspiration. They inspired me to change direction, and enabled me to find a rewarding career and create my own little community wherever I have been. I’m now so lucky to have my beautiful grandsons at the nursery with me, it’s wonderful to watch them grow and change right in front of my eyes. Giving them the best possible start in life is my biggest inspiration now.

2 Compass Terrace, Southwell Business Park, Portland, DT5 2NP 01305 823111 www.sunbeamsportland.co.uk

Jane Adkins - A Head for PR Ltd

Jane Adkins, owner and director of “boutique” public relations business A Head for PR, based in Sherborne and working with businesses across the South West.

What is the secret of your success? - I lived and worked as a journalist in London for 10 years and this really helps me when it comes to approaching the media and selling in a good story whether to a national newspaper or a local radio station. My clients like the fact that I really understand how the media works. Also my business model is different - I’m home office-based so I can keep overheads low and pass cost savings to my clients.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - When I started my business eight years ago I struggled to maintain a true work/life balance as I wanted to deliver a premium service from day one. It felt like I needed 10 of me! Now with a team of first class associates, electronic distribution of news releases, monitoring and media alert services, I use my time to do what I like doing best - meeting people and using PR to help them achieve their business goals.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - The second female Prime Minister in my lifetime gives me inspiration that women can rise to the top, despite all the obstacles. Women in business, mumpreneurs -all those women out there who dreamed of starting up their own business and are now doing it and making a success of it, you’re my inspiration: you need to shout out your success and I can help with a special package for business start-ups. Please get in touch!

Copper Beeches, 42 Granville Way, Sherborne, DT9 4AS 01935 813114 www.aheadforpr.co.uk

Pip Woods - Rockley

Originally from a financial background, Pip joined the Rockley team in 2003 and took over as Managing Director in 2014. Pip maintains a focused voice of the company for all customers from school groups and individuals to advanced education trainees but is often seen on the water in her roles as RYA Coach Assessor and RYA Centre Inspector.

What is the secret of your success? - I love what I do and where I live and having an incredible team around me makes for a fantastic work environment. We are a very close-knit team and there is a lot I can take from the support and encouragement that my team offers me. It is important to me to have a positive can-do attitude, to make sure I am as approachable as possible and I believe in not being afraid to have an opinion.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I’m not sure that I do! Being active and outdoors are a huge part of my life and crucial to my well-being. Being able to go for a run or a cycle allows me the time to process the day and come up with new ideas. I enjoy having a fitness goal or physical challenge to aim towards each year; for 2017 I am taking part in a 450 mile/five day cycle for charity.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I am inspired by Chrissie Wellington MBE, four-time Ironman Triathlon World Champion, her training ethos and life philosophy are great motivation. Having played sport competitively all my life it is instinctive to me to carry that through my work life. My mum has and will always be a huge inspiration to me as she has always believed in me and encouraged me to be the very best I can be.

13 Parkstone Road, Poole, BH15 2NN 01202 677 272 www.rockley.org

Traci-Jane Evans - DCM Tyres (Wessex) Limited

DCM Tyres is a local family run independent specialist, providing a wide range of car, van and 4x4 tyres to suit all driving styles and budgets. Two out of our three branches are fully equip service centres with Shaftesbury branch being able to carry out Class 4 MOTs, clearly we aren’t just about tyres we can also provide state of the art wheel alignment, brakes, batteries, alloy wheels and custom stainless steel exhausts.

What is the secret of your success? - Hard work, very long hours and being supported by an amazing team. I run DCM Tyres alongside my business partners; my husband Dave, and our eldest son Charlie who is always there to motivate and encourage me when it seems like 24 hours in a day are just not enough. I hope I do the same for him!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - This has until most recently, always been a very difficult thing for me to achieve. When DCM Tyres was founded in 2009, I was pregnant with baby number eight and the other seven children, ranging from 21 down to 2 years, all still lived at home. There was never enough time to run the business from my office at home, to give the children the time and attention I wanted to give them and also have time for myself, so as every mum will understand, time for myself just didn’t exist! Our ‘baby’ is now six and in school so I have just started working in the office at one of our depots instead of from home. I have found that for myself, separating work from home was vitally important. My evenings and weekends can now be spent giving the children my undivided attention.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My children, each and every one of them, for their own individuality, sense of humour and unconditional love and support.

Unit 4, Longmead, Shaftesbury, SP7 8PL 01747 851654 www.dcmtyres.co.uk

Nicki Else - Something Else Fishy

Owner of Award winning Fish & Chip and Seafood Takeaway & Restaurant, Something Else Fishy alongside her husband Martyn.

What is the secret to your success? - I don’t have any real secret to being successful; I put it down to lots of hard work, determination and the love of what we do. I do believe that we have achieved the right recipe to success. Great quality products, fantastic service and a fabulous team to support us. When we first bought the Fish & Chip shop neither of us had an idea how to run a ‘chippy’, although we had lots of fish experience behind us from our fishmonger business, Seafood’s of Stalbridge, we both had so much to learn and that’s exactly what we did.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - With the business not being your usual 9-5 hours we have to work very hard to make sure that our two daughters never feel that they miss out on quality family time. We are very lucky to have fantastic parents who live near by and support us with this. As for myself and Martyn, working together and living together can sometimes be a bit of a challenge but we make sure we have time out together and most importantly laugh together - or sometimes at each other!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I am very lucky to have many strong women in my life who I look to for guidance and strength when needed, my mother for her strong, caring nature and her determination to never give up, my mother-in-law for her resilience as a business woman and balancing work & family life and lastly my daughters, they inspire me every day to get up, keep fighting for what I want and to always smile while doing it! My husband is also on my list for inspiration, he’s my best friend and has an amazing take on life, he encourages me and pushes me to do everything I can to get the best out of life for us as a family.

1 High Street, Milborne Port, Sherborne, DT9 5DG 01963 250225 www.somethingelsefishy.co.uk

Rachael James - Symonds & Sampson

Rachael heads up the expanding lettings department of Chartered Surveyors Symonds & Sampson. With 12 offices from Axminster in the west to Wimborne & Salisbury in the east Symonds & Sampson have been offering estate agency, letting, valuation, surveying & professional property advice for over 150 years. The firm has recently been recognised as the leading independent property auctioneer in the south west for the 12th year running.

What is the secret to your success? - I am lucky to have a team of fabulous & hardworking ladies behind me. They are all trained in residential landlord & tenant law & tackle a difficult job with compassion & integrity. My fellow partners are very supportive of the department & I do not feel isolated even though I am the only woman on the board. Listening is the key to any sales person’s success. We listen to our client’s requirements & needs, & match like-minded tenants to their properties.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - It can be difficult at times I have to admit. The key is to manage the stress levels, you have to learn to shut off. I find exercise helps relieve stress & is a recipe for a good night’s sleep. It doesn’t always work though, it’s a bit tough at 4/5 am in the morning. The shipping forecast, & tweet of the day on Radio 4 normally do the trick! And also “Always have something to look forward to!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I read a book called Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg. A very driven, inspirational lady who is now the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook & has three children. I will certainly need to implement her advice & adopt her mind-set as over the next few years a lot of my key members of staff will probably want to start a family. A different, more flexible attitude is required for the future to enable more women to succeed in the work place & be able to bring up a family.

7 Market Place, Blandford, DT11 7AH 01258 458473 www.symondsandsampson.co.uk

Belinda Iyavoo - Tree Tops Residential Care Home

What is the secret of your success? - I have always believed in what I do. We are living in a world where more people find themselves working in roles that could be considered ‘always on this includes me. The care we give is 24/7. A carer must always be positive as any negativity can be transferred to the residents which in turn will not help in creating a happy, blessed and homely environment.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I have two wonderful boys (1 daughter in law and my first grandson); my two sons have given us enormous amounts of support over the 11 years I’ve been at Tree Tops. Caring is an all encompassing vocation and often family can sometimes feel neglected. But as Tree Tops is my home we have tried to avoid this happening with residents and staff becoming part of our extended family.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My residents inspire me the most, I love to chat with my residents and they enjoy passing on the wealth of knowledge they have gained throughout their lives. The laughter and good time they share, the hardships some have endured make me realise how fortunate we are and they inspire me to face each new challenge that comes along.

Overton, Timber Hill, Lyme Regis, DT7 3HQ 01297 443821 www.treetopsresidentialcarehome.co.uk

Charlotte Lilley - Solicitor Rutters

Established for longer than any other firm in North Dorset, Rutters has been using its extensive experience to get results for both its individual and business clients for 180 years. Rutters adopts a personal approach with strong support and advice along with an ability to focus on solutions and not problems! Charlotte works within the property and commercial departments with knowledge of all the usual residential and conveyancing matters plus business transactions, public houses and agriculture.

What is the secret of your success? - A combination of dedication, ambition and making the most of every opportunity! By being selective about the companies I work for I am able to remain passionate about the job I do and my role within the business. It is also important not to underestimate the importance of a strong and supportive team as this job can be very isolating and stressful without the support of good colleagues.

How do you achieve a good work/life balance? - I have the ability to separate work from home which is a really important skill to hone to manage a good work/life balance. At home, we like to keep active and I set myself goals to aim for so I am not tempted to deviate from dedicating the time to working out; last year I cycled London to Brighton for charity and this year I am training for a triathlon.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Once a week I am a Brown Owl at a local Brownie Unit and the girls are an inspiration, they inspire me to do my best to set a good example of what they can achieve when they are older. It is important to me that they realise that with a bit of support they can achieve more than they imagined. At work, I am inspired by those that can maintain a clear desk and a cool head.

2 Bimport, Shaftesbury, SP7 8AY 01747 852377 www.rutterslaw.co.uk

Latest from the Dorset