Meet The Authors

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Check out our fantastic authors who have all shared their AMAZING business stories in the SAB’s “Little Book of Amazing Business Stories” that’s launching on 22nd November!

Book your free ticket and grab your copy of this truly incredible book at the launch on Wednesday 22nd November – 6-8pm at Village Workspace – join us for bubbles, book signings and amazing networking

Or get your copy online here

 

Clare Suttie Director, Atlas Translations Ltd – Translation expert helping companies communicate worldwide.

“I know a lot about translation, having worked in this wonderful industry since 1991. What kind of work do we do? Import, export, service, legal, websites, marketing, medical, contracts…. right down to the label in your knickers telling you how to wash them! Language is everywhere and if you don’t look to overseas markets you are missing out. And it’s not just the written word – interpreters will smooth the way at meetings, voice-overs can help with opening existing videos on your website to a whole new market. I have gone from having no staff to leading an in-house team, with 100s of freelancers working for Atlas on a regular basis. I have always been a communicator, with a background in sales (from anti-wrinkle cream to software). I really enjoy what I do, and I employ people who love languages and their jobs.”

 

 

Jenny Ford Author

“I write inspiring, uplifting books for adults and Magical story colouring books for children. My children’s books are in the process of being updated so they will be Dyslexia-friendly, they are for everyone but have been adapted for dyslexic children.  Available end of November 2017.  My books for adults are  available from Waterstones and Amazon. My new website and online shop coming soon.”

 

 

Cheryl Luzet – Wagada

“A degree in languages led Cheryl to a role managing digital projects in the travel industry. These were the early days of the web and she was keen to learn more about digital technologies so after 5 years of full-time work she took the decision to undertake a one year, full-time Masters’ in Electronic Publishing at City University in London.

Cheryl decided not to return to her career as a digital consultant in the education sector. Instead, and despite having no experience in running a business, Cheryl took a leap of faith and set up Wagada – a digital marketing agency in the heart of St Albans – to help companies get found on the web. At that time, it was a home-based SEO consultancy. She had strong ambitions for the company though, but never imagined that the business would grow so quickly.”

 

Sue Wybrow – Chief Legwarmer Wearer – Popdance World

“I never wanted a career, nor my own business, I simply wanted to earn some money and have a fab time. So how did someone who can’t dance (or thinks she can’t dance) end up running an international dance business and having the best time ever, doing what she absolutely loves? Check out my story in the SAB’s “Little Book of Amazing Business Stories” to find out – der, der, der!!!

 

 

 

 

 

Marian Murphy – Flourish With Social Media 

“Having had a career in marketing, business development & sales prior to taking a 7 year career break, back in 2012 I was trying to find a niche that I could dive into without being at a disadvantage compared to others. I knew ‘social media for business’ would be a revolution as it levelled the playing field for small, medium and large organisations. I was astounded at what businesses could do for themselves once they had the knowledge. This is the niche I created with my business, providing business clients with the social media know-how to connect with their prospective customers building up the ‘know, like, trust’ relationship.
Social media is such an exciting area to be working in and the best buzz I get is when my clients skip out the door excited at what they can do for their business. I love the empowerment they feel. For other clients they want to hand it over to me to manage so I get the best of both worlds. “

 

Aarti Parmar – AP Brand Communications

“I wholeheartedly believe that the strongest brands are built from truly understanding the business, and the people, behind them. I first discovered the importance of this concept when running a creative agency in Malaysia, which I did for 10 years, before returning to the UK to manage the marketing and brand communications for my family’s business. Overseeing the branding process from both agency and client-side gave me a unique perspective: that behind each brand are people, and it’s those people who form the real differentiator.

What I love the most about what I do is listening to people’s journeys, to know their story, personality and goals: the things that drive them to keep going. I consider this to be the heart and mind of a business. Everyone is so unique. I consider this to be the heart and mind of a business.”

 

 

Toula Mavridou-Messer & James Messer – The Sultans of Swag

“We are The Sultans of Swag™ and in 2006, we introduced the concept of the celebrity gift lounge and goodie bag to the UK.

Almost instantly, The Sultans of Swag™ were being sought out by high profile events like The BRIT Awards, Royal Variety Performance and British Comedy Awards to provide gifts to the biggest celebrity names in the world such as Madonna, Celine Dion, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Amy Winehouse, David Beckham, JK Rowling, Faye Dunaway and even to Royalty.
This year The Sultans of Swag™ are making celebrity-worthy gifts available to everyone from our own store: TheSultansofSwag.Etsy.com.
We believe in magic – it’s that simple. Life has never been run of the mill for us and hopefully never will be and The Sultans of Swag™ is our way of bringing that magic into your lives, so that you feel like the superstars that you are. With an ever growing library of images – all our own – we are creating the kinds of products that up until now were only ever dreamt of.”

 

 

Deborah Temple – DST Design

“Deborah Temple is a successful and highly recommended Interior Designer.  She retrained to pursue her creative routes and set up the consultancy DST Design Limited.  She is now reputed for helping residential home owners and commercial hospitality clients in all aspects of design from room schemes to extensive renovations.”

 

 

 

 

 

Kim Chalk – Sphere HR

“Kim has a professional interim career consulting to a broad cross-sector of industries, including banking, logistics and supply chain, retail, tech start-ups, CROs, and manufacturing.  Her experience covers HR generalist and data protection consultancy.  Specialising in translating complex legislation into practical operational context for SMEs, Kim guides business owners towards understand their legal obligations as employers and caretakers of personal data.  She covers best practice strategy planning and practical implementation in all elements of people management and GDPR compliance, and is an accredited HR and GDPR practitioner.”

 

 

Nicky Weisfeld – Valuing Minds

“Nicky is an Independent Educational Psychologist, assessing and working with children and young people aged 0 – 25, their parents or carers and their teachers to help them learn effectively and make progress at school or college. Combining her knowledge of how children learn and of special educational needs and disabilities, with experience gained as a psychologist in both the educational and commercial worlds, she aims to provide her clients with practical advice and support tailored to their needs. Nicky believes in adopting a client-friendly approach and aims to keep ‘psychobabble’ and jargon to a minimum in her work!”

 

 

Debbie Stewart – Time Out 4 Me

“My role as a Home-Start volunteer inspired me to set up TimeOut4Me because I know how difficult life can be these days and I worry about the pressure we are all facing. I strongly believe that a little bit of time out can have profound mental, emotional and physical benefits for us all.
I run and organise bespoke TimeOut4Me Make & Take Wellbeing Sessions –  especially popular as birthday/hen parties, family experience bonding days, team-building events, or even as part of wellbeing days or fund-raising events.
They are run as a Make & Take format in a fun and relaxed environment making lovely goodies to take away using only natural ingredients and no chemicals, while at the same time discussing topics affecting us all, such as managing stress, self-esteem, confidence, and happiness & gratitude. I gently lead the conversation, introducing tips and strategies that the participants take home. I incorporate lots of encouragement along the way, as well as some elements of meditation, visualisation, and gentle exercise. These sessions allow the group to enjoy time out, whilst learning to make a whole range of spa products. We’ll also teach some relaxation techniques, making this the perfect TimeOut4Me experience.” 

Danielle Durrant – The Cobbled Kitchen

“With on and off 20 years experience of secondary RS and PSHE teaching following a Theological and Religious Studies degree, I’ll always find teaching, learning and people fascinating.  Coupled with that a love of food and it’s role in cultures around the world, it was almost no surprise that I’d end up self-employed running The Cobbled Kitchen single handedly.  I simply wanted to help all those parents I came across daily who seemed to despair at the thought of “What shall I cook tonight?”  Bringing the fun and creativity back to the kitchen, developing client’s confidence to cook instinctively without recipes, and getting back to cooking from scratch without the stress, that’s me and The Cobbled Kitchen.”

Amanda Dilworth – Ruby and Freddies 

“Amanda runs a successful British designed and made baby gift brand which began when she made a nappy cake for her best friends baby shower. Ever since then the company has grown manufacturing her own garments and gifts. Running a business is ace….stressful(x a million) but ace!”

 

 

 

 

 

Ruth Farenga – Mindful Pathway

“I believe in helping people live happier and more balanced lives through research-based approaches in Mindfulness through my social enterprise, Mindful Pathway. Mindfulness is not a quick fix but an amazing pathway to embark on and we help people by using evidence-based courses backed by neuroscience. Through our network of teachers, we work with the public and consult with organisations about how they can support their staff be happier and more productive too.”

 

 

Gill Turton – lifeadmin

“Having spent over 10 years in a corporate environment as a Personal Assistant, Gill had experienced first hand what it meant to manage her own time as well as other people’s. Everyone is so busy these days, it’s increasingly hard to find a work-life balance. But she was determined to find the best formula, and once she had found it, she wanted to help others do the same. That’s why she started lifeadmin.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sally Shepherd – Eve and Adam Day Spa

“Coming from an entrepreneurial background I think it was inevitable I would end having my own business.  Twists and turns and some drammatic life changing events led me to set up my second business in 2004 with a 7 week old in toe..tricky!  I had trained formally in design which led to various different positions, including branding, but after a truly eye opening sabbatical in Australia I realised my vocation was in wellbeing and happiness and making people feel fabulous about themselves”

 

Susan Heaton-Wright – Executive Voice

“Having been a quiet schoolgirl; reluctant to speak in class, I went on to become an opera singer and now an international speaker; trainer of speaking and communications. I train individuals and teams to make an impact when they speak and communicate in a variety of business situations. What I love about my job is that I push my clients to make significant improvements in their communication skills, who suddenly become more visible and respected
within their organisations.”

 

 

 

 

 

Louise Murphy- Captain Tortue

“I love clothes – always have done!  So after 10 years working in petrol retailing (not high fashion!) and doing some local part-time jobs, I seized the opportunity to do something I would really enjoy and established my business as a Style Consultant for the French fashion brand, Captain Tortue.

 

I now have the best job in the world….creating chic outfits for my customers!  I love helping ladies who think they have nothing to wear, who dislike shopping, who can’t find anything to fit or don’t know what suits and then seeing them delighted with the outfits that they have chosen, with my help!  Having the flexibility to work around family life is such a bonus, but I get a real buzz from helping others look fabulous and feel great.”

 

 

Sarah Lomax – Holiday Inn Express

“As Sales Manager at the Holiday Inn Express St Albans I have been working in the role, since the hotel was a building site. My job was to have a vision and goal and to work hard in making sure this came alive. Now having been open for over a year we have seen our business flourish and I continue to adore my hotel, job and being part of this amazing business community. Check out my story (so far)…………”

 

 

 

 

 

 

James Sheehan – Director, Macpro Design & Print Ltd.

“Did I ever expect to be running my own business? Probably not! Do I love it? Absolutely! Some days are definitely more challenging than others but like I mention in the book – the rewards for running your own business are unparalleled.

Changes in the industry have given rise to new opportunities. Macpro Design & Print has grown from a one man band to a family business. It’s an amazing journey to be on and you can find out more about my story in The Little Book of Businesses….”

 

 

 

 

Nicky Packman – Forever Living

“After a long career in Office Management and HR in magazine publishing, I decided to give up the stressful corporate world and daily commute to concentrate on bringing up my two children.  After a few years I wanted to start earning money again, so I looked for an opportunity that was flexible enough to work around the kids from home.

That’s when my journey in the Health and Wellbeing industry as a Forever Living Business Owner began. Eight years on my business has grown not only  in the UK, but in several other countries around the world.   I love hearing how the products that I have recommended to my customers have benefitted them, and am passionate about helping others set up and grow their own Forever businesses from scratch.”

 

 

 

 

June Cory – My Mustard

“At the age of twelve I had a paper round, a shelf stacking job in International Stores and sold Avon cosmetics door to door; looking back I should have known I would run my own business someday. I attribute my success to hard work, a ready smile and surrounding myself with people with different skills but the same values.

Following my studies – Psychology, English & Theatre Arts – I accidentally fell into selling newspaper advertising space and not only did I love it, I was really rather good at it. After thousands of deadlines, hundreds of targets and a few awards I moved into management & training for industry names including Newsquest & Yell.com. After managing a specialist digital project team in 2006, I realised that the ability to target an audience, measure results & truly control spend would redefine the advertising world and swapped the ink in my veins for zeros and ones and started My Mustard.

I drink a lot of coffee and am attempting to set a new land speed record for talking…..”

 

 

Louise Brennan – Louise’s Antenatal Classes

“I’m a midwife delivering private antenatal classes for first time parents and those who already have children. I really enjoy working with couples to ensure that they are prepared (as much as they can be!) for the birth of their baby. I also offer postnatal support and birth reflections. My classes are held in the comfort of the couple’s own home and are informal and relaxed. I also work in the NHS so I get the best of all worlds; constantly gaining a large range of up-to-date expertise, working with women and their families and running my own business.”

 

 

Jenny Soppett-Smith – Digital Jen

“Jenny describes herself as a ‘creative geek hybrid’.  Having trained as a musician, she’s spent her working life in small businesses doing more than the job description ever said.   She discovered WordPress in 2009 and has been hooked on the internet and social media ever since.   She now mixes those experiences to provide business consultancy, website design and training to her clients through her DigitalJen business.  She’s happiest out with her camera taking photos of the natural world, has been a Guide leader for 24 years and drinks a lot of earl grey tea.”

 

Donna Nichol – Chloe James

“I absolutely believe that the way to be happy at work is to do something you love. I love fashion. I love design. And, it turns out, I love retail! After a career in the fashion industry as a buyer and brand director, I opened my shop, Chloe James Lifestyle, in 2010 and have never looked back.

My days are varied – buying, sales, admin, visual merchandising, accounts, website, social media – you name it I do it! I think the key to being a successful entrepreneur is to be adaptable and tenacious and, if you’re lucky enough to have boundless energy, it really helps! You can usually find me styling customers in this season’s fashion, solving present-buying dilemmas or remerchandising the shop – I love a bit of a move round!”

 

Jo Hailey – Striking Places

“If you were to look back over my life, it’s easy to spot the entrepreneurial traits I had even as a teenager.  I started a babysitting circle where I organised my friends into providing a babysitting service for local parents – that was in between school and photography which grew into a passion of mine.  I enjoyed setting up my own sandwich delivery business called Doorsteps in my twenties.

Running your own business requires a mix of different skills, and I wanted to learn more about book keeping so I took a course.  It turned out I was quite good at it and I ended up doing an accountancy degree and then worked as an accountant for Herts Uni!  It wasn’t long before I got back into my natural traits and I completed post graduate diploma in Entrepreneurship and Enterprise studies.  That inspired me to set up  Striking Places, which provides commercial photography for location based businesses, literally getting them on the map!  It turns out I’m quite good at this too, Google have made me a “Google Trusted Photographer”, and these days I spend my time earning a living from my passion of photography helping businesses get more customers.”

 

 

Melanie and Ian Wooding-Jones – Redbourn Auto Solutions

“Melanie and Ian bring a refreshing change to the motor industry. Both with extensive automotive and blue-chip backgrounds, their customers vehicles are in exceptional hands. Why? They are passionate about caring for their customers and their cars.

They have developed a winning formula: they are honest! Coupled with their level of professionalism, expertise and knowledge you would expect from a main dealer, they are unrivalled locally and continue to grow. “Building a business which is your passion, doesn’t feel like working… it’s a privilege.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christine Frith – Hour Hands

“After a number of successful years working for large organisations in marketing and business administration roles, I took time out from the corporate world to look after my three young boys and renovate our (very) old house. At this point, I realised the true value of a PA! So I persuaded my friend Liz to join me in launching Hour Hands – a PA and concierge service for business and home.

Clients come to us needing help with all manner of things, from small business bookkeeping and research projects to family party organisation and home decluttering. We take care of anything that they don’t have the time or the inclination to handle themselves, and it’s a real privilege to be able to use our hard-earned corporate skills to make other people’s lives easier. We’ve also welcomed some new team members, with a range of different skills, and so our services have developed accordingly. We now offer marketing packages for small businesses, as well as gift wrapping and personal shopping. Whatever our clients need, we’ll deliver!”

 

 

Eileen Morrison – Beautiful Bea

“Eileen is a passionate and knowledgable Ambassador for Tropic Skincare which she promotes and sells via her website www.beautifulbea.com. Her website is also a platform for her wonderfully written blogs and Vlogs about Skincare and other SAB members’ businesses.
Eileen began this business venture just over a year ago, when her daughter was 9 months old, when she was just returning to work as a police officer following maternity leave. She is now a month away from taking a career break from the police to pursue her website and Tropic dream.
Since joining Tropic she has also grown a team of 19 other like-minded ladies, become a manager and achieved the trip of a lifetime to Mauritius in February 2018! She can’t wait to see what the next part of her business journey has in store … safe to say she will be firmly in the driving seat and continuing to enjoy the ride!”

 

Catherine Batour

“Hi Im Catherine Batour and I’m a Make Up Artist and Beautician and I have a background in Fashion and Beauty. After 23 years of working in London for luxury corporate companies I took a leap of faith and decided to leave and retrain and start my own business! This complements my family life, however, I am probably working harder than I did previously as I have to wear many hats and I  juggle my business around my two children, who are my priority, with school drop off, pick up, after school activities, household chores, day to day beauty treatments for clients, photoshoots, make up workshops, marketing, accounting etc but it is so rewarding –  I love meeting and working with my clients helping them feel confident about their make up and their overall style and I have met some fantastic people and I am looking forward to a positive and exciting 2018!
I hope you enjoy reading this book and take inspiration from it!”

Adarsh Mehta – Let’s Talk Travel

“I am your Local Travel Agent and my company Lets Talk Travel will soon be celebrating our 3 year Anniversary. As they say, time flies when you are having fun, I really can’t believe where these 3 years have flown by. This career change has given me flexibility which gives me more time to spend with my family and in particular doing the school run with my kids. This truly gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction. 
 
Little bit about me, I am originally from Tanzania and have a degree in International Business. I always had that Entrepreneur Spirit in me. After spending over a decade in the Pharmaceutical World I was ready for a change. I have always liked to travel as this is one of the biggest industry in the world and who doesn’t like traveling? Hence I thought why not change “Passion into Profession”.  
 
In the last 3 years I have managed to travel over 10 different countries throughout the world with my family and on my own too. At Lets Talk Travel our ethos is “Customer Service, Customer Service and Customer Service”. “