Happy International Women’s Day from Room Forty Afternoon Tea! This year’s focus is on ‘purposeful collaboration to help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.’
But how does this translate in Warrington and is it actually possible to collaborate and succeed in the current economic climate, with Brexit and uncertainty looming on the horizon, or is everyone watching their own back?
How much are we prepared to promote others, and risk our customers placing their order with the person we’re working with rather than us, and is it a risk worth taking?
My own experience with Room Forty is that of a fabulous collaborative culture in existence in Warrington. I can’t count the number of people, male and female who have given me advice, support and encouragement for no benefit to themselves, just to help a green shoot grow and flourish.
The generosity of strangers as I took my first nervous steps into networking has been enormously encouraging, and boosted my confidence to explore and begin collaborating with businesses to help them grow too.
It is with this rather gung-ho and positive, ‘let’s share the opportunities’ that I take all my business opportunities, and I’m delighted that in response several businesses have asked me to be involved in their projects, or have recommended Room Forty to their friends and customers, and the snowball effect is incredible.
One such business, is Sewing Bee Sanctuary, who approached me following my Artisan Feel Good Fayre in Lymm in December. Rebecca loved the Room Forty concept and is passionate about teaching people to learn to sew. We got together for a cup of tea and, within an hour had planned a fantastic craft-ernoon tea on 2 April (11am, 1pm and 3pm) l, where guests will enjoy a two hour sewing lesson, taking their fully lined home made bag home, followed by afternoon tea with bubbles!
What followed next was an introduction by Rebecca to Barbara at her gorgeous new shop in Lymm, Laurel House Interiors and Gifts. With three heads now collaborating we were all fired up for how sharing our businesses together could benefit all of us and the village of Lymm, keeping footfall strong. The open evening last week where we all showed our businesses was a great success and we hope to repeat it again in the coming months.
And so it goes on, and there’s so many more women that have encouraged me to #beboldforchange; from the friends who call on a Tuesday (the day when I generally feel overwhelmed!) to those that spark new ideas and share their talents.
My next collaboration will be amazing, and really fits with International Women’s Day! Kirsty James from Colony Networking approached me to help launch her first female run, female led network for, you guessed it, women only, Colony Women. It’s not that I don’t think that mixed networking is great – I do, and I have made a lot of new male and female connections and friends through it. But because this network will focus solely on women, it hosts inspirational speakers who aim to inspire, motivate and propel women in business with great key note speakers such as Jo Howarth from the Happiness Club. My involvement? Well, Kirsty is planning a creative and interactive twist on each of the events. The first is called tea with a twist, so there’s your hint!
Tea with a Twist will take place on the afternoon of 30 March at The Base, opposite central station. Tickets are available from www.colonynetworking.co.uk
Having the courage to be bold, open up, share, support and encourage fellow women in business has been empowering. I’ll certainly be continuing to #BeBoldForChange and champion collaboration and the rewards and friendship it brings.
How will you #BeBoldForChange today?