Friday 31 May 2013

The 2Inspire Academy is seeking Ambassadors

2Inspire Academy

2inspire Academy Ambassador Role Description

Purpose of the role: Ambassadors are a key part of 2inspire Academy’s marketing team.  They represent 2inspire Academy; talking confidently and ably about the work of the academy and how people can help us.  This enables the Academy to increase the number of supporters it has and to raise vital funds.

Main tasks/activities:
  • To proactively generate opportunities to talk to people about 2inspire Academy and how they can help.  This may be through attending events, speaking to the local media and giving presentations to groups.
  • To obtain celebrity ambassador support, this is vital to fundraising events and in raising the profile of the Academy.
  • To support the Academy in their key relationships with a range of celebrity ambassadors, agents and publicists.
  • To support the Academy’s activities, such as promoting the programs and fundraising initiatives.
  • To complete administration associated with the role, such as reporting on presentations given, providing new supporters, contact details and detailing donations made.

Qualities and skills:  Passionate, enthusiastic and confident.
Good IT skills, experience of fundraising and experience in public speaking are beneficial but not essential. To possess the ability to inspire and influence others with excellent communication skills

Time commitment: The time commitment required is flexible.

Location: Local/regional.

Support:  Ambassadors are encouraged to meet regionally 2-4 times a year to share ideas and support one another. 

Email for more information

2Inspire Inspirational Woman: Atiti Sosimi

In this business profile The 2Inspire Network meets the formidable Atiti Sosimi, an award-winning business woman who has really defined the concept of "having it all" but living a life that she truly loves! Read on and be inspired! 

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I have a very structured work schedule which allows me to manage my busy work/family life. I generally get up between 5.10am and 5.50am which is my ‘quiet time’. The family get up at 6am and are out for school by 8.00am and then my tasks for the day depend on the day of the week since I have split the business areas I service across the days of the week.  
I have face to face and Skype meetings, sometimes I am out delivering workshops or speaking at events, preparing for then hosting my ‘Tea with Atiti’ monthly events or working with my project manager on my Eyato accessories collection.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I have been a creative serial entrepreneur since mid 2000. Developing and delivering a high growth personal development business. I folded my company 2011,  I spent several months exploring what the future of my business would look like and made some tough decisions. Those decisions saw me start up a business which has evolved out of my last business. Previous successes determined business continuity, but the environment determined the delivery and practice.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
1.    Developing a powerful business brands that aligns with my values; celebrating your uniqueness (Distinctly Different / Eyato) Celebrate yourself, cherish and replenish yourself (Eyato/Tea with Atiti)
2.    Inventing the board game Shhh or Tell It which was described as a diamond by the then Argos games buyer (see website and it’s accompanying Facebook App
3.    Achieving Peer recognition through business award nominations and winning business awards
Atiti speaking to an audience with HRH Princess Anne on behalf of The Citizens Advice Bureau
What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
Responding to change.
Recognising that it was time to pivot in a new direction using a different approach, maintaining business activity during this exercise and refining/ clarifying what the future business would look like and refining what it would offer. 

What are your future plans for the business?
To keep growing and expanding into the global marketplace whilst maintaining a lean and profitable enterprise.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would probably give myself exposure much earlier than I did and not rely solely on the exceptional quality of my business services and products to bring the market to me via word of mouth.

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
We live in a world of gender inequality; life and certain care responsibilities seem to be disproportionately heaped on women by society e.g caring for home, children and family. So young women’s dreams more often than not end up on the back burner and often never get re-visited even after life has changed/improved e.g children have grown and flown the nest or circumstances involving aged family members have changed.
If women are to have a better chance at following their dreams then we need to inspire them as early on as possible with role models who have managed life and passion side by side in order for them to hold onto and pursue their dreams and they need to see themselves that their dreams are very important in order not to shelve them at the first obstacle.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
·         Clarify and establish what makes what you are about to offer unique
·         Ensure you have a committed market of customers who are prepared to pay for what you want to offer
·         Lock down your marketing and distribution strategies

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I am inspired by the gift of life, the fact we can make the lives of others better, more enjoyable, less stressful and more fulfilling if we chose to and as I choose to I am driven by my ability to use my life, gifts, talents and abilities to make a difference in the lives of everyone I come into contact with one way or another. I am inspired by possibility!

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." John C Maxwell

Contact Atiti

Tea with Atiti  

The Big Secret Comapny


Tuesday 28 May 2013

2Inspire Business Profile: Punkin Patch - Luxury designer baby nursery furniture

In this business profile we meet Toks Aruoture the founder of Punkin Patch Luxury designer baby nursery furniture made to the highest safety standard. Read on as Toks shares her amazing story.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
No day is typical! A good day will have me awake at 4:30am, in reality it’s usually 5:30. I get the children ready for school and all out of the house by 8:30. I have different activities scheduled for each weekday, and my tasks range from visiting clients, processing orders and liaising with craftsmen or suppliers. At the moment I am working on a project called DREAM, which encourages mums to be to be more daring in their nursery design schemes.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I went into interior design after a long break from my previous job as a Medical Representative. On my return to work, the terms offered were unfavourable to me coupled with the fact that I didn’t really enjoy the job. My husband suggested I do something I really love, which was interior design. I had done that as a hobby for a while. I later moved to the United States and purchased a beautiful baby boutique, then merged my love for interior design with the sale of beautiful furnishings.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date? 
Surviving! Actually it would probably be the fact that I rescued the business from certain death at the start of the recession. When I faced the difficult decision to close my store, I chose to move it online instead. I had gone through and been fleeced by a number of web designers who never delivered the website I had in mind and now I had 28 days to learn how to build a website from scratch. 5 years ago it really was rocket science. I had not dabbled in that side of things before and first I had to overcome the trepidation that stared at me, next I had to ‘unbelieve’ the fact that my business was over, and then retrain my mind to get up, dust down and keep going. I still refer back to that period when I’m facing a seemingly insurmountable challenge, I draw strength from the experience and it reminds me that it is possible.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?           
One of my biggest challenges has been logistics. A number of our products are made abroad and we have been through a great deal trying to find a good match for us. Sometimes items get damaged during transit. Considering the fact that most pieces are custom made to order, it isn’t as straightforward as simply getting a replacement. The replacement has to be made from scratch too. We have made some very costly mistakes in our choice of logistic partners and have certainly learned from them. I see it as paying for a course in choosing whom to work with.

What are your future plans for the business?
My immediate future plan is developing the interior design side of things. I realise that much as I love running Punkin Patch, I miss the hands-on creative side of things. I am a creative at heart and I realise I have been doing more sales and admin, that isn’t what I signed up for although it is essential when you run your own business and it is still in its early growth stages. On the production side we have some big plans in the pipeline.

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

I would start slowly and focus on building a solid foundation from the start. Building the foundation is hard and there are no immediate results. So the tendency is to rush through things in order to get the business into a productive state. However a solid, water-tight foundation will keep the business grounded and even when challenges occur- as they often do- you’ll feel secure knowing the ground on which your business stands is solid. A bit like the parable of the wise and foolish builders.

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

Everyone was born with a gift inside of them; no one arrived into the world empty-handed. I believe that our gifts our linked to our dreams, we dream about or aspire towards bearing the fruit of the gift that is inside of us. Leaving your dreams to fester will leave you feeling incomplete and dissatisfied with life. It’s leaving business unfinished. Along with the dreams and gifts come the ability to carry them out. It may be through networking, taking a course or two on related subjects or getting help via bartering. There’s always a way to get past the obstacles we face as women.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Make sure you are passionate about design. Do a lot of research and decide on a niche within the industry- a niche is important because it gives potential clients a laser view towards you.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
I love Laura Tennison and Sara Blakely (SPANX) Sara is daring, positive, inspiring, these are qualities I admire and they resonate with me. The fact that they are women who started out on a limb, all on their own from a simple idea is very inspiring.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life again.~ Confucius

Toks Aruoture
twitter: @punkinpatch
Linkedin: Toks Aruoture

Friday 24 May 2013

Attend The So Amazing Health and Lifestyle Show 9th June

So…Amazing is delighted  to present its first Health + Lifestyle Show 2013,  at the Holiday
Inn, Newbury Park on Sunday 9th June.
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2Inspire Network Business Profile: Carib Gourmet

In this 2Inspire Network Profile we meet Vanessa Bolosier, the founder of Carib Gourmet. Her inspiring business journey is a great example of following one's true passion in feels great and in Vanessa's case it tastes great too!

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I wake up around 6am, have a good breakfast. I typically start the day with some lime juice and water or ginger tea. I then check my emails, usually there are tons of them so I pretty much email back for a good hour or so. I then set the objectives for the day and liaise with my assistant and interns. When there’s no admin, mornings are primarily dedicated to cooking, developing recipes and spending time in the kitchen.

I usually have a light lunch and move on to meetings. I then try to keep all my meetings in the afternoons so all that needs to be handled admin wise is done and managed. Meetings can either be with suppliers, manufacturers, external consultants that carry out sales on my behalf or plain and simple networking.
After all the meetings, I have an afternoon treat, like a piece of coconut fudge or a cake to pick myself up. I’d have that with a nice cup of coffee. I finish my day with all the product shipping depending on the orders that come through. I debrief the day with my staff around 6pm. I usually work very late but I don’t know if that qualifies as work. It’s more me writing blog posts, looking for innovative products, looking at my competition etc. I then have a good stodgy dinner, oftentimes something Caribbean or African as my partner is from Ivory Coast and enjoys me experimenting with West African recipes.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
The opportunity came organically. Every time I went back to Guadeloupe, I’d bring back local goodies like jams, rums and spices. I ended up going to people’s homes to show how to cook and enjoy them. Everyone said I should do it professionally – so I set up the company! I started the business because I come from a family of successful entrepreneurs. I believe in being in control of my destiny, I wanted to feel free and happy in what I do.
What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date? 
There are many things but I could mention such as brand endorsements etc.

But there are two things I’m very proud of:
- Helping my very small suppliers who had no exposure secure high order volume from large companies across Europe.
- Secondly, I can confidently say that every single customer that has come through my company has learned something they didn’t know about Caribbean food and definitely Caribbean gastronomy from a different angle.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

My personal challenge was really differentiating a hobby from a business. Making viable and profitable (and sometimes clinical) business decision was the hardest, especially when very passionate.

What are your future plans for the business?

We are launching our own confectionery brand called Coco Gourmand. The range includes coconut fudge made from pure coconut milk, coconut drops, coconut ice and coconut brittle. If you have as much of a sweet tooth as I have, this is a winner!

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

I’d approach organisation that provide funding for start-ups. They really do help in terms of mentoring and honing your business skills.

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

I think women are very powerful individuals. They have so much passion and are often very multi-talented. Being able to juggle so many things at once really is a skill that women inherently have. So why not put it at the service of your dreams? It’d be such a waste to let anyone else benefit from it.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
Be passionate about what you do. That’s what will keep you driven when all hell breaks loose. Get your numbers right, your business model right: that’s what differentiate a business from a hobby. Get a mentor and surround yourself with driven business people.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

What inspires me: the power of being able to change things, change a perception and impact positively. Who inspires me: successful female entrepreneurs such as my mother.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
Worry about nothing and pray about everything. Philippians 4.6