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Community work

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We’ve been working in the North East for over a decade now and from the very beginning we knew that the time will come to reciprocate back to the community all the goodness we’ve received while living in this incredible region! It’s not just the history and stunning landscapes that define this unique place on the map. It’s the unity, strength and kindness of people living here. The people of North East is what makes this region a truly spectacular place to live.

There are truly inspiring stories behind the faces of people we pass on the streets, all too often completely unnoticed. There’s not enough appreciation nor attention given for this amazing culture of sturdy character, aspiration and hard work, and we’d love to bring this aspect of the community a little closer to you while utilising what we know best. Photography. Stories of incredible people – North East UK

 

Apr

12

Create Talent LTD – Start-up Story

This is probably not your typical start-up success story but here goes….

I decided to start my first business in August 2016 following a career in Education which whilst I enjoyed it I found myself increasingly frustrated at the lack of autonomy I had. The organisation went into a period of restructure and redundancies, so the timing felt right to finally make the leap.

I had always wanted to start and run my own business but had never really had the opportunity or a good enough idea to make it happen. 

 

 

Due to the changing education landscape at the time, particularly around apprenticeships the timing was ideal to offer an impartial service to both businesses and education providers to set up or improve apprenticeship programmes.

Initially I had no idea if I could really do it, if the business concept would work in a sustainable way. However, I was pleasantly surprised. The original concept grew rapidly, and the business evolved to offer many different services alongside an expanding team.

However, what inevitably comes with the kind of growth we experienced at such a rapid pace were growing pains. And we had several of them as the business grew and expanded.

During this time Steph and I had been going through fertility treatment in order to have our first child. Honestly, I think people around us thought we were crazy embarking on starting a new business and planning to have a baby at the same time, but for us it felt right.

 

 

No one prepares you for the emotions you will go through during this process and challenges you will face. We had faced 6 unsuccessful attempts of IUI and had to move onto IVF which still took two attempts until Steph finally fell pregnant with Sophia. This spanned a period of two years involving a lot of hard work, expense and by far the hardest emotional roller coaster we had ever been through as a couple. At times we had faced complete devastation and were almost ready to give up but knew we had to keep going to complete our family.

 

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Apr

09

A story of Mimi’s Edit ...and a very busy business mum!

We’ve recently had an opportunity to talk with an incredibly inspiring woman. A mother of two little people and an owner of Mimi’s Edit. Her story is quite unique and may become an example for many other mums out there.

Can you tell me a few words about your business, please? 

Mimi’s edit is a brand that brings together a hand picked selection of stylish clothing and accessories. I personally choose everything myself and only have it as part of the Mimi’s edit collection if I would wear it myself. Mimi’s edit aims to be versatile, affordable and stylish.

 

 

What inspired you to start your own company? 

I’ve always had an interest in fashion and retail. I have worked in the fashion industry for brands such as Selfridges, Louis Vuitton and Karen Miller. I know what excellent customer service looks like and this is a key element of Mimi’s edit ethos. A few changes in our personal circumstances meant I had to leave my job as a secondary school food and nutrition teacher to look after my son. He had been diagnosed with leukemia at 3 and 1/2 years old and it tore our world apart. It was a tough and trying time for us as a family but we stuck together and with help and support we are making it through. My son is an inspiration to me. About a year after the initial diagnosis I sat with my husband and we decided it was time to make a change and I explained I wanted to start my own business. Hand curating and collection of gorgeous clothes and accessories. My husband was so supportive. We started thinking of an action plan, website domains and looking up fashion designers. 
 

 

What are the pros and cons of running your own business

It’s amazing being my own boss-I decide my hours, which pieces will make up the collection and I get to go to amazing fashion shows to choose the next seasons pieces. I get to play dress up everyday and choose what I want to keep from the collections as well as being able to showcase the versatility of our pieces. Through the power of social media I have connected with some fabulous women and fashionistas! It is however tough being the sole person behind all of the cogs that operate Mimi’s Edit. I sometimes occasionally second guess myself and don’t really have anyone to ‘bounce ideas’ around with if I was working in a larger organisation. It can be a little isolating too as I work from home. But I also get to drop my children off at school and be there at pick up, I can be there for my son whenever he needs me, be there at all his appointments and spend time with Mia who is only 2. 

These days will not last forever I’m lucky I get to do this. 

 

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Mar

23

Rebecca's incredible story - Kalma Baby North East

 

If you had asked me 8 years ago where I would be today, I would never have said 4 kids and a growing business involving baby yoga! My boys have always been the inspiration behind the many ideas of Kalma baby and it’s services and my first born Tyler being born prematurely was the initial driving force. Tyler was born in 2010 and only a few weeks after I lost my dad to cancer. 

 

 

To say it was some of the darkest days of my life is probably an understatement. But it was also the light at the end of my tunnel. Yoga has always played a part in my life and I can honestly say it was part of a saviour for me at the time of having preemie baby and loosing my dad. I could have crashed burned and not rose but instead I turned my depression into something which spurred me into creating a business which helped other babies and brought the community together. I trained in baby yoga back in 2010 and having just worked at a lifestyle business whilst I raised Tyler and fell pregnant with my second Jenson I then decided it was time to grow it. Kalma Baby launched in 2014 just after the birth of my third boy Maxwell and it grew enormously. What started in south Tyneside spread to other parts of the North East and we grew with teachers too. In 2016 our franchise model launched and to date we have a team of 18 with three teachers too. 

 

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Mar

22

Karen Guthrie - a woman behind the Dinkies Swim School in Boldon

Hello, my name is Karen. I'm a Business owner, Swim Guru, chatterbox and a housewife to my husband and two gorgeous girls.

My journey into becoming a business owner started upon reflection on my own experience with teaching my little girls to swim. I myself, swam from a very young age and I wanted my children to be confident around water. From seeing their shocked faces when I first put them under the water, to watching them confidently jump into the pool at such a young age on summer holidays is absolutely amazing. 

 

For years I had toyed with the idea of setting up my own swim school, but the thought of quitting my full time job and setting up my own business was too daunting. It took a lot of business planning and creative talks with my husband, but we eventually we managed to come up with some exciting and revolutionary ideas and Dinkies was born!

When I started, my hope was to have 4 hours a week worth of lessons full by the end of year one, which would be 72 swimmers. I currently have 228 swimmers with 14 hours of teaching, 2 members of staff and a franchisee ready to go!

 

 

Working from home, keeping my business booming and trying to feed and entertain my children all at once is sometimes very difficult and tiring. But the great thing about working for yourself is, you can work the hours that suit you! 

I try my best to switch off from the business for a few hours during the day to ensure my children are still getting the attention they need. In most cases, this means I sit for an hour or two on an evening trying to respond to everything I have missed during the day or simply catching up on admin and paper work. I have to admit, the majority of the creative side of the business for the marketing comes from my husband. He works away from home a lot with his work, however he always manages to find time to think of new adverts and new ideas for our social media pages and our website!

 

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