If you’re a woman running your own business, you’ll know that some days are harder than others, but each one is just as rewarding as the next.
Something I read on International Women’s Day made me think about what I wanted to achieve in the future. American author, Harriet Beecher Stowe once said “Women are the real architects of society”, and I think that right now, it’s more important than ever for us to use our voice.
As a woman in business, I’ve learnt to never underestimate myself and that time is my most valuable commodity. Eliminating what doesn’t help you evolve is essential to keeping yourself moving forward and growing.
When I started out I didn’t set out to become an entrepreneur. I’ve always been a keen doer, a problem solver and happy to take on any job required. I think entrepreneurs are really just those who can find solutions to any obstacle. They have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and that’s how I see myself. You just have to take it all in your stride. Our city is an exciting place to be right now; we’re surrounded by so many entrepreneurs, both men and women, who are all creating their visions.
As I started on my path to making my vision of Menagerie a reality, I truly began to understand the importance of surrounding myself with friends and family who I knew would be there to support me and cheer me on. Most of the people around me are all from different backgrounds and that’s what I think helps with all of our progression in each of our industries. We’re each influenced by each other and from things outside of our bubble, which is so important. I look alot towards America for development in hospitality, as well as the exotic roots of Ibiza and the South of France – for me these are leading the industry internationally. At the moment, I’m heavily influenced by fashion houses – their aesthetic, creative identity and marketing strategies. Applying techniques used in other industries and moulding it to fit our brand identity has proven successful for Menagerie.
As women, we have it harder in many senses to have our voices heard. However, we should not give in and listen to others opinions and we must always keep our dreams and goals in mind. I’m not for one second saying it’s easy, in fact it can be incredibly challenging. However, it’s when you work through these challenges that the rewards feel all that more deserving and fulfilling.
Some of you may know that earlier this year I contracted meningitis, and it was at this point I knew that it was vital I put myself first. I am so lucky that during the illness and throughout my recovery I have my trusty team at Menagerie. Having to take the time away to look after my health was one of the hardest things I had to do as an entrepreneur. However, despite this testing time I had every faith in my support network of friends, fellow girl bosses and knew that I could truly rely on to not only support me, but support Menagerie during my leave. I couldn’t have got through any of it without my partner Ben. I think it’s important that we also recognise behind every strong women is not only the other women in her life but also the men. In the early months of recovery, he cared for me every day and coordinated all my visits, fed me and did everything around the house. Ben supports me for who I am; he has his own thriving career but is always supporting me behind the scenes, allowing me to flourish.
These are the people who continue to inspire me to grow, both professionally and personally. Seeing how hard they work and how dedicated they are to what they do motivates me to do be the same as I continue in my recovery. International Friendship Day allowed me to reflect on those closest to me. My friends who never doubted my dreams and cheered me on all the way – my girl bosses continue to teach me how to strive for more and become better at what I do. Finally, my dedicated Menagerie team who work endlessly to ensure a good experience is given to all.
If I could offer any advice on achieving your dream, it’s to let go of any doubts. Whether it be that you think you’re too old, too young or just not experienced enough. Anyone who has ever become successful or achieved their dream have all started at the beginning. Every single one of us has the potential to go the distance. If you work hard and put in the time and dedication, I promise you that you will see the results you want.