International Women’s Day 2017: The businesswomen who inspire me to #BeBoldForChange

By Danielle Owen-Jones, director of Bloomin’ Creative.

Today is International Women’s Day. A day that celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. The theme for this year’s event is #BeBoldForChange, which asks us women to take bold action.

You can vote for what you’re going to do here. Today, I have chosen to celebrate women’s achievements.

Having only started my business last year, Bloomin’ Creative is still in its early days, but it’s an incredibly exciting time. We’re growing rapidly as we welcome more clients to the Bloomin’ Creative family and expand and develop our PR service offering.

Of course, it’s only natural in business that there are ups and downs. But thankfully, I do feel very lucky to say that the ups have absolutely outweighed the (so far, minimal) downs. Although I don’t doubt there are challenges ahead as the business grows, I can honestly say, hand on heart, that I feel confident enough to deal with any issues that come my way. Why? Well, there’s no denying a great deal of it is down to having an amazing support network of my husband and business partner, and my family and friends.

But there’s another reason why I feel confident as a young businesswoman, and that’s because of a number of phenomenal business role models who I find truly inspirational.

The first is Karren Brady. Ever since I read her book ‘Strong Woman’ on the train to work, I knew I was never going to be satisfied with working 9-5 to put money in someone else’s pocket. I knew then that one day, I was going to run my own business. It was quite the unexpected wake-up call on an average dark and dreary Monday morning commute. But that book, and Karren’s philosophy and attitude to business without a doubt changed my life.

Karren Brady – Copyright Griffiths Photographers

The second is J.K. Rowling. Although perhaps not a ‘businesswoman’ in the traditional sense, she created one of the biggest brands in the world after writing stories in a coffee shop while she was a single mum struggling to make ends meet. Now she has one of the top-earning literary franchises of all time, with movies, theme parks, spin-offs and more merchandise than you can shake a stick (or a wand) at.

J. K. Rowling – © 2010 Daniel Ogren Photography

When you say ‘Jo Malone’ you might think of luxurious scented candles, packed to perfection with the instantly recognisable black and white branding. What you might not know is that Jo Malone grew up in a council house and left school at 15 to look after her mother who had suffered a stroke. Jo is also severely dyslexic and struggled at school. After moving to London and dabbling with various jobs, she opened her first shop in 1994 and was picked up by Bergdorf Goodman in New York. She later sold her brand to Estée Lauder in 1999 for undisclosed millions.

Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish founded Not On The High Street from their kitchen table. Some of my favourite business stories are those that began from a kitchen table or a spare room as I can totally relate, considering I’m in that boat at the moment (but looking for offices this year – exciting!) Holly and Sophie built the company from the ground up and it was their passion for crafts and giving small businesses a voice and a platform that steered them towards creating the multi-million pound brand it is today.

There are also a number of businesswomen I’m lucky enough to know personally and really admire. They include: Jackie Harris (Brightspark Marketing), Anna Bell (Cross Bay Marketing), Laura Wildman (Pretty Pinkies), Zoe Dawes (The Quirky Traveller), Cat Rumney (Creative Branch), Renata Strange (The Crossing Point Café), Clare Malley (Clare Malley Photography), Kelly Gilmour-Grassam (Making You Content), Ann Davies (Biz Wiz), Natalie Hailey and Laura Thornley (Hot Content), Vix and Lou (Bough to Beauty Bespoke).

(To name just a few!)

So, this International Women’s Day, I’m pledging to #BeBoldForChange and celebrate women’s achievements in any way I can. Whether that’s simply being a personal cheerleader for my family and friends, collaborating on future projects with like-minded businesswomen, or networking to meet even more amazing talented ladies who are flying the flag for women everywhere.

Will you join me and #BeBoldForChange?

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