Meeting Womanthology female entrepreneurs
Welcome to issue 8. It’s been a busy old fortnight. I had the greatest pleasure of meeting up with some Womanthology Women for the first time this week. I always try to chat to our contributors on the phone or Skype, so we both get a sense of our common values and objectives before anything is written, but it is always something else to actually meet up in person.
I was fortunate enough to meet Julia Dobson, Founder of the Village England handbag brand, Amanda Thomson, Founder of Skinny Champagne; Sara Danesin Medio, Founder of Sara @St John’s dining club in York and Romy Gill, Founder of Romy’s Kitchen in Bristol. Separately, I also met Jane Duncan, RIBA Equality and Diversity Champion who runs her own architecture practice in Buckinghamshire.
I look forward to meeting more of our contributors in the future and will keep you posted.
Business with sparkling eyes
It is fascinating to hear people talk about the businesses they created. You always see a sparkle in their eyes as they share their journey with you. It’s like when someone introduces you to their partner or offspring. There is a sense of bursting pride and enduring love.
Without fail, there are tales of the highs and lows that come with any great love story. As with any new parent there are the hours (of the day and night) spent nurturing and caring. As with a new partner there is a glow of passion. There is a level of sacrifice that requires true love.
The entrepreneurs’ common bond
It’s a common bond that all entrepreneurs share. It’s hard to explain to someone else who hasn’t experienced it for themselves. Ask any entrepreneur what it’s like when friends and family ‘helpfully’ ask, “Why don’t you take a day off?” when you’re in the midst of a mounting stack of work that you don’t have the ability / inclination / resource to pass on to anyone else and that may actually cause your business fold if you neglect to complete it.
Starting a business is like gaining a new family member. It’s like having an extra person that you love and care for and have an overwhelming urge to protect and nurture no matter what.
Female entrepreneurs – a special breed
Female entrepreneurs are without a doubt a special breed. There’s grit and tenacity and spirit that you see in films. As I write and edit for hours on end I often imagine myself in a montage with an uplifting pop backing track playing. Except a film montage would last for a minute or so at most. In real life hard graft goes on for hours and hours.
But there are undoubtedly rewards, as with the smelly nappies and sleepless nights of parenthood, or otherwise no-one in their right mind would contemplate becoming an entrepreneur. They are certainly not in it for the money at the start.
I don’t have children, but when your business starts to achieve things and makes you proud it must be akin to when your little darling hands you a homemade birthday card made out of glitter encrusted cornflake boxes and your heart melts.
Grit and determination in spades
One of the things that Womanthology Women have in spades is grit and determination, whether they are entrepreneurs or are in broader professional life. This is part of the new wave of women who are authentic and don’t feel the need to be anything other than themselves, with no apologies.
Who you are is more than enough
Newsflash: Who you are is enough. More than enough. Who you are is plenty. Love the people, men and women, who understand this and take you or what and who you are. Authenticity is magnetic. People love to hear from other people who are following their dreams and dedicating themselves to doing what they love.
Womanthology women have worked out what it is that they want and they are going at it full speed. Hats off to you all.