Wednesday 27 March 2013

2 Inspire Business Profile: Cezanne Poetess

Cezanne Poetess is a Self-taught Visual & Spoken Word Artist, and Author of the Self-help novel ‘Single, Spiritual...AND Sexual!’ which features her artwork and poetry. Her work is a creative expression of her spiritual journey. Cezanne exhibited her artwork and performed some of her poetry at the "Celebrating the creativity of women" Ladies day in March.


 Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

I typically wake up around 4am and after doing a short meditation, will start work, which will generally be writing.  I do a lot more writing than artwork!  By 11am I’m normally finished working, although if I’m doing online promotions, I’ll do it around lunchtime, evenings or weekends. My days vary greatly; sometimes I go to the park first thing in the morning before starting any work.  If I have meetings to attend, I’ll normally have them in the afternoon, and by 6pm my working day is normally complete, unless I’m out performing! (in which case, I’ll have a nap in the afternoon!)

What made you start the business and how did you get started?

I have a passion for ‘my people’, and wanted to create products that would have a positive effect on their psyche.  There are so many negative images out there, which cause us to think and act in ways contrary to our true nature.  My work is to re-mind us of who we are through my books, art and poetry.

I’ve been told that if I just target my products to Black people, I won’t make much money, but I have a strong conviction about who my target market is, and why I create my products.

It’s been a long uphill struggle; I wrote my first business plan in 2001 but I’m only just beginning to start trading!  I did the paintings between 2009/10, wrote and recorded the poetry between 2004/10, and wrote my Self-help novel ‘Single, Spiritual...AND Sexual!’ between 2010/12.  It was only during the process of writing the novel that I realised my artwork and poetry could be used to illustrate the story!  All my work is finally coming together!  (That’s the beauty of being led by the Spirit)

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

I would have to say publishing my first book.  That was such a great achievement for me as I have written numerous books before, but never published them!  I have yet to give it an ISBN number to make it official, but its available from Lulu as a paperback, and from Amazon as e-books.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

As with most small businesses, raising finance has been my biggest challenge.  But I have managed to publish my book with no capital, set up my websites for very little money, and most of the marketing and promotions I’ve done so far have been free.  Once I’m receiving regular income from the sales of my products, I’ll be able to take my business to the next level.

What are your future plans for the business?

My goal is to expand the range of inspirational Black greeting cards and prints using artwork and poetry from other ‘artisans’ of African descent (skilled craftspeople who make things by hand). I’m also starting a monthly Cultural Arts & Crafts Fair where we (the artisans) will be able to showcase our work, and which will be a one-stop-shop for the public to buy quality handmade African-inspired products.

I will also be performing my poetry and selling my products at various Events, for details visit:

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I’d probably go to University to study Business Management!  Being a creative person, that side of the business doesn’t interest me much.  Now ideally, I’d have a business partner who could deal that side of things so I can carry on doing what I do best – creating!

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

I decided to start my own business after the birth of my second son, as I wanted to work around them.  Once you have children, your priority is no longer with your boss, but your children.  Owning your own business gives you the flexibility to work hours that suits you, and you don’t have to ask anyone for time off to go see your child’s school play!

Many women are now putting off starting a family while building their ‘career’, only to realise that they may have left it too late. 

Being able to work from home should be every woman’s dream!

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

Do as much research on the industry as possible before starting your business; ideally, work for a business that is already set up doing what you want to do!  This way, you’ll gain valuable experience and avoid making costly mistakes.  Start off small and build up, don’t give yourself unnecessary stress by taking out too many overheads before you know how much money you’ll actually be making.

  What or who inspires you in business and why?

I love the ‘rags to riches’ stories of people who had little education, little money, but who have defied the odds, started their own business and are now Self-made millionaires! (that’s my goal!)

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Whatever the mind can conceive it can achieve – I can CREATE whatever I can IMAGINE!”

For more information about my Self-help novel which features my artwork and poetry visit:

Cezanne (artist/poet/author)

Read the first chapter of my Self-help novel 'Single, Spiritual...AND Sexual' FREE:
Listen to tracks from its complimentary poetry CD 'Seeds of Love'

Find out where I'll be performing next:

Learn about the colours and symbolism used in my artwork

Follow me on Twitter!/CezannePoetess

Tuesday 19 March 2013

2Inspire Business Profile: Kizmet Jewellery

Kizmet Jewellery is a bespoke jewellery and design service which is the brainchild of Ugandan-Irish born and a Holts Academy trained designer Naki Kaddu. Kizmet Jewellery was launched in June 2008 as a statement jewellery label strongly influenced by the designers love for semi- precious stones and bespoke design opportunities.

Each piece is designed and compiled by Naki and always made in limited editions, using the techniques developed over the years.

Below is a business profile on the business owner who was also an exhibitor at the 2inspire Ladies Day March 2013:

1/ Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?

Working at my workbench for a commissioned piece or building stock for my website. Followed by updating my web content and follow up emails with potential clients and booking events.

 2/ What made you start the business and what steps did you take to start operating as a business?

I went through a tough break up followed by a tragic loss, during that time my eldest sister bought me a book on beading and suggested I did something creative to help keep my mind busy and help heal myself through things. That was almost 5 years ago. I went to hobby craft and taught myself how to bead and made some earrings. Within 3 years I had launched a brand called Kizmet Jewellery and was working on stalls and events and through word of mouth. I invested in a Jewellery and Silversmithing and Manufacturing Diploma for 1 year (2011- 2012) with Holts Academy. Once I completed that I organised my first professional gallery showcase at Craft Central, (where I am a member) and had a selling exhibition for 1 week. That was September 2012. It was an amazing experience and validated that I was on the right track and progressing as an emerging designer.

I just launched an online shop (6th February 2012) where my work and products (all limited and exclusive) are available to buy online!!

3/ What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

My first professional gallery showcase – it was probably one of the most stressful events to pull together over 3 months, but, one of the most rewarding in so many ways! It still makes me proud!

4/ What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

My biggest challenge is being confident in knowing and believing the value of my product and the worth. Price points are always a tricky subject!

5/What are your future plans for the business?

I would like to continue to grow my online presence. Source and locate a small studio where I can work away from my spare room and consult with clients. Work on building relationships with stockists and wholesalers interested in a custom made, exclusive design service.

6/If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I have a day job in addition to my jewellery business… I need to start dedicating all this positive energy towards Kizmet and less towards my consulting business. (Yes I have two businesses!)

 7/ What’s the best compliment you could receive in business?

 Seeing people wearing my pieces with pride and joy!  

8/ What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

Be patient; build experience and technical skills to gain respect and recognition. Know where you want to go with it and build on your strengths. It’s a competitive industry, one built around trust and respect, but it’s a small one and your reputation within it, is key.  But, love the work you do no matter what.

9/What or who inspires you in business and why?

I am particularly inspired by Greek Mythology and universal / galactic influences whether that be through the zodiacs, folk tales or poems. Anything that touches the soul and allows us to see our existence with the universe or nature inspires me. Hence butterflies, twin moons, The Muses, my heritage – it’s all connected in one way or another and all that is reflected in all my pieces.

In terms of other designers, I have always been inspired by Elisha Francis a young designer in the London circuit. She works hard, gives back and has an amazing future ahead of her.  I am also a particular fan of Simon Harrison Ltd. I love his Frog Prince collection!

10/What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world” – Mahatma Ghandi

 Contact Information:

Friday 15 March 2013


In this 2Inspire profile we interview Debra Amini, founder of the UK's leading creative recruitment agency, Profiles Creative.

1/ Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
– There really is no typical business day. There is always structure within a week so there are set times for individual meetings, team meetings, and company meetings. Apart from that though, running a specialist recruitment agency means motivating teams to achieve, looking at the detail of what we do to make a bigger impact strategically with our clients and candidates, and even fighting fires from time to time! We often say “the life of a recruiter is champagne and razor blades” and this is certainly true of a given week and sometimes even a given day here.

2/ What made you start the business and how did you get started?
– I was working for a global, specialist agency that wasn’t able to answer the local needs of the London market at that time due to every office having to offer the same service. That’s corporate thinking! I wanted to offer recruitment across the full creative spectrum - graphic design, marketing, and PR – and no other agency was offering this at the time in the UK. Now of course quite a few are so I must have been onto a winner! We started with myself and a colleague in a small cottage in Twickenham with a cat named Gladys by our side. We then moved to the creative hub of London, Clerkenwell, into a lovely open plan office where we could expand and all share our ideas whilst working together to build our recruitment agency together. And we’re still here!

3/ What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date? – Building a diversified business. We are diversified in many areas – from the types of employees we hire, to the many divisions we have built under the one umbrella of creative, to having multiple revenue streams of business. This helped us grow quickly and also whether the storm of the past recession. Diversification is key in today’s competitive landscape.

4/ What has been your biggest challenge in business so far? – Within a specialist recruitment agency, company culture is key. Finding and nurturing the right mix of talent has by far been the most challenge aspect of growing our agency. It took us years to get it right.

We now have a diversified culture - some consultants who are ex-industry, some from generalist recruitment backgrounds, and many from specialist competitors – but the one thing they all have in common is they have developed the mixed skillset we need – they know the industry, they are inquisitive and ask the right questions, they are great listeners, and they are consultative in their approach to clients and candidates equally.

5/What are your future plans for the business? – To expand even further into the digital and ecommerce space. We’ve been in this space strongly for the last 5 years and with recruitment partners in the USA and Asia we can see that digital and ecommerce is growing year on year and still has loads of growth ahead of us in the UK market and in key international markets. Our core specialisms of recruitment across design, marketing and PR are now heavily online requirements and we will continue to spread our wings digitally.

6/If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently? – I would start with defining what I wanted company culture to be. What does it look like, how does it breath, what dynamics do I want in the office, and what mix of individuals will give us this.

7/ Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams? A diversified work environment is vital to a company’s success with female and male minds coming together to create, drive, and deliver at work. Inspiring women at a young age to follow their dreams is so important for a long-term diversified workforce. The earlier women are inspired to follow their dreams, the more likelihood they have of realising their options as they age - having a family should they want it and a fulfilling career that gives them a well-rounded life with independence.

8/ What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
– The world is becoming smaller, everyone has less time, and many of us have the same online tools to deliver in recruitment. Therefore you must offer a specialism that answers directly to a specific target audience. Generalist in today’s age does not work, in almost everything. Specialist is where its’ at.

9/What or who inspires you in business and why? – People I meet in business who are direct, driven, inquisitive, and thinking of new ideas and ways to make things happen inspire me. My pet peeve are those I consider “blockers” to progression.

10/What is your favourite inspirational quote? - Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly and get on with improving your other innovations. – Steve Jobs 

Website –
Twitter - @profilescreativ
Facebook –
LinkedIn Group -

Candid Creativity review of The 2Inspire Ladies Day

Candid Creativity specialises in photography and had a stand at the popular Ladies Day. Read their review of the 2Inspire Ladies Day - another happy customer!

Thursday 14 March 2013

Wednesday 13 March 2013

The Creativity of Women celebrated at The 2Inspire Network Ladies Day


The Creativity of Women celebrated at The 2Inspire Network Ladies Day

The 2Inspire Ladies Day event took place on 9th March 2013 at the Crowne Plaza, Docklands.  Coinciding with International Women’s Day, "Celebrating the Creativity of Women" it was a free event that showcased budding and established female entrepreneurs; particularly those in the creative sector.

The 2Inspire Ladies Day offered a platform that promoted and celebrated the creative talent of women.  Some businesses owners had only just launched their products and services and felt that The Ladies Day was a superb entry to market. With poetry readings from Joanne Mills, LD Henriquez and Cezanne Poetess delegates were treated to some superb entertainment topped off with exclusive singing performances from Linda E and Nyarai. The 2Inspire Ladies Day was honoured to have Councillor Joy Laguda MBE as one of our guest speakers; encouraging women to take ownership of their goals and strive for the best in life.

The event included stands from organisations and education as well as a wide range of creative businesses and services selling everything from natural beauty products to cupcakes and fashion. There was also entertainment and workshops to meet the lifestyle, personal and business development needs of attendees. Workshop topics included health, education, personal development, business start-up, media and styling. Feedback of the event has been empowering and inspirational; many delegates staying for the entire programme and stall holders keen for the next event which will hopefully take place in September 2013.

The 2inspire network was launched in May of 2012, “Empowering individuals and helping them to realise their potential is something that I am passionate about. I believe that women should work together and support each other on their journeys, this belief is the foundation of the network, an organisation that provides forums and platforms that help to empower, promote and inspire women” says Founder Hazel Chawapiwa. Hazel has been nominated as “Role Model of The Year” at this year’s Women4Africa Awards.
The event also marked the official launch of the 2Inspire Network’s Academy; a personal development and life-skills programme for young people aged between 16-21.

For more information log onto

Notes to Editor

Images available upon request

Tuesday 12 March 2013


In this 2Inspire profile we meet Ann Wright, a journalist and BBC Producer who is the founder of Rough House Media. RoughHouse Media is a bespoke consultancy which provides specialist media advice and support to a wide range of clients including global businesses and entrepreneurs, with a particular specialism in the not-for-profit, charitable and public sector. The company provides media consultancy, video production and a range of media and presentation training courses. 

1/ Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
One of the brilliant things about running a company like Rough House Media, which provides a range of services, is that there really isn’t a typical day.  One day I might be scripting, filming or editing a video or podcast, the next I might be working on a media strategy for a client and the one after that I might be designing or running a training course.
And I still work for the BBC from time to time, which is great. As a producer, I specialised in major live events, so I’m called in for programmes such as the Festival of Remembrance, Royal Wedding and the Diamond Jubilee.
Fitted around working ‘in’ the business, as they say, is working ‘on’ the business – writing our blog, joining social media conversations, networking, sales and marketing plus the nitty gritty of accounts and admin. 
One thing about having your own business – there is always something to do!

2/ What made you start the business and how did you get started?

My (now) husband and I are both BBC producers, and we set Rough House up in 1998 because we wanted to use our experience to help clients, particularly charity and not-for-profits, make the most of media opportunities.
We worked around our day jobs, offering a mix of media training courses and video production – one of our earliest projects was a series of football videos for Southampton FC.
In 2008 I left the BBC and began working for the company full time, and since then, we have really expanded and developed our services, so now we offer podcast production, crisis communications and management, media strategy and consultancy and presentation skills training as well.

3/ What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?

Particular highlights were winning my first piece of business after starting to work full-time for the company in 2008, and really increasing our production work last year, with three films for the Kennel Club (which have so far had over 120,000 YouTube views) and a series of in-depth podcasts for the Royal Society of Public Health.

But probably the greatest accomplishment has been to build a client list we can be proud of – working with organisations like the Royal Society of Chemistry, the University of St Andrews, the World Energy Council and the Civil Aviation Authority.

4/ What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Two really - firstly, to transform myself from a TV producer into a businesswoman, understanding and across all aspects of running a business.

And secondly, to keep on top of technology; the world of the media is changing constantly and as a media consultancy we need to be ahead of the curve so we are able to advise our clients.

5/What are your future plans for the business?

We want to further develop our services, using our knowledge of the industry to provide more media and public relations support for clients on a long-term basis, as well as increasing the amount of video and podcast production we do.

6/If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

It is true you learn from mistakes, and I have made a fair few.  One key piece of advice I would give is to be smart about networking. Networking is an excellent way of gaining contacts and business, but you have to network where your most valuable clients are.

7/ Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?

At school I went to, the girls generally were advised to work in a bank or become a hairdresser. At my university, graduates were advised to go into retail management, accountancy or the civil service. I did none of those and have had a varied, satisfying and interesting career. You don’t have to do what everyone tells you to, if you are determined enough, you achieve whatever you wish.

8/ What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?

PR and media consultancy is a very crowded market, so identify your specialism and niche so you have a ‘unique selling point’ that marks you out from your competitors.

9/What or who inspires you in business and why?

I’m inspired by women who are able to build and grow their businesses but still remain true to themselves and their vision.

10/What is your favourite inspirational quote?

I’m torn between Bill Gates:
"If I was down to my last dollar, I'd spend it on public relations."
And Nelson Mandela:
“Whatever your life's work is, do it well.”

Twitter: @roughhouse01
Tel: 020 8332 6200