Thursday 27 February 2014

2Inspire Network Review & Competition: Berry Butter - Shea Butter with a twist

Berry Butter: Shea Butter with a Twist

Although I have had this brand of shea body butter since December, I have only just opened it and have been testing it over the past few weeks.  From the day I was first introduced to this product, I had such high hopes, as it smelt absolutely divine and came highly recommended from a friend.

The product is described by the organisation as:
“Berry Butter introduces a wonderfully fragrant twist to an already flawless moisturizer. Each of our products contains amounts of unrefined (white) Shea butter and is enhanced with intoxicating fragrances that last. Choose from floral and citrus-based fragrances for day - and warm, spicy, or woodsy fragrances for evening. Used on the scalp it promotes strong healthy hair.”
It is available in 4 or 8oz and is priced £8.99 and £11.99. I have a 4oz sized tub of the Cranberry Passion butter, which is described as a blend of winter cranberries and appetizing orange.  Although a little goes a long way, a slightly bigger tub would be preferable, because in a very short space of time my tub is nearly empty. I’m not sure whether this is down to the fact that it smells so beautiful that I  often get a bit carried away with the application or because anybody who comes to my house and gets a whiff of the scent always helps themselves and so in a short space of time, my supply is diminishing. Even the kids love to dip their fingers in it because of the lovely smell.

What I love about the product is that it keeps the skin moist all over all day, even the feet area.  My teenage son who is so against using any products or creams that are even remotely feminine can’t keep his hands off it. The product is smooth and not grainy like some shea butter products and doesn’t take forever and a day to melt in your hand. The only downside for me is that the rich scent deters me from using it on my face as I have very sensitive skin and suffer from allergies and so I am reluctant to try anything I’m not sure about in this area. I also think that the price is a bit high for it to be used as an everyday body cream for the whole family, I know this may sound selfish but when I next stock up I will TRY to keep it as my little treat and hide it from the rest of the clan. Although I love the Cranberry Passion,  I  will definitely experiment and try some of the other scents available which are:

*  Brazilian Gold
*  Moroccan Spice
*  Tango
*  Zanzibar
*  Vanilla Skies
*  Lemon Drop

I highly recommend this product, particularly for those women who don’t like to wear heavy perfumes but love their skin to smell good.

Full range of Berry butter is available at:
The Phoenix Center, 73 Oxford Street
Lower Ground Floor, London W1D 2EP

Distributed by Paris Morgan Ltd

Tel: 07508766146
Twitter: @berrybutteruk
Instagram: @berrybutteruk


For a chance to win a 4 oz & 8 oz  tub of Berry Butter and a cleansing soap in the flavour of your choice, write a catchy phrase/slogan (no more than 1 sentence) expressing why Shea butter is so wonderful!

Email your catchphrase with your full name to Competition ends at 12pm on the 7th March (Only available to UK Residents).

Winner will be announced on the 7th March.

Product review by Hazel Chawapiwa

Tuesday 25 February 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Sian Bostwick Jewellery

In this 2Inspire Network Profile we meet Sian Bostwick of SianBostwick Jewellery who has overcome her own personal challenges to build a successful growing business in Jewellery.

Please tell us what is a typical business day for you? 
There no such typical day as sometimes I have to pop into London for meetings, jewellery events, or just pop into Hatton garden, sometimes I am at a show or exhibition for days which means attending the show all day for many days but I meet lots of lovely jewellery stars.

But a workshop day means I get into the workshop at abut 10am having planned out my to do list on the way. When I get into the workshop  I check my online stockists and sort out and beautifully wrap any jewellery orders that need to be posted out that day, accompanied with there own “vintage” style library card which shows the literary inspiration for the jewellery. Then deal with urgent emails and journalist requests plus any other more urgent paperwork. If I have a show or event coming up then I get on and sort out everything for the show.

Then its to the workbench, sometimes I work on a bespoke jewel  am creating for someone like a engagement ring, a trade order for a shop, stock or an online sale. I usually do a few tweets and social media stuff form the workbench, sharing what I am working on or a press feature.

I spend the rest of the day creating jewellery in the workshop, setting sparkling gems, polishing up the jewels so they shine and generally playing with all my tools.

I stop for lunch in the courtyard of the art centre in which our workshop is based, its usually already busy with the other artists so its a lovely social little lunch, very creative and buzzing. After that I'll pop any jewellery orders that need to be sent out to the post office then its back to the workshop.

Usually I head home from the workshop about 7ish, later when at home about 9 or 10ish I start again and finish off any other work that needs to be done, emails, bespoke designs, paper work and admin finishing up by about midnight.

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

After I graduated I began I few internships and work experience placements, this was really useful and some great experience but it didn’t pay. so I began making a few smaller pieces of jewellery selling them locally and taking on a few bespoke commissions whilst gaining all the work experience.

Then it just grew and took over,  I was getting busier and busier with my own
jewellery so I officially started business and created a website and my first collection after a year of various work experience placements I stopped them and launched Sian Bostwick Jewellery at the  one of the jewellery industry's biggest trade shows  "International Jewellery London".

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

It was wonderful to be listed in the HOT 100 in 2012 as one of only 17 NEXGEMS (up & coming jewellery designers) it was a huge boost both for the business and myself, so fantastic to be selected and placed among so many talented jewellery stars it really assured me that I was on the right path.

I was also selected for the kickstart stand at IJL (International Jewellery London) and a finalist for Young Accessory Designer of the Year both in 2010 just a few months into the business, it was a huge surprise and honer to be picked out by industry leaders for this so early on.

We have also gained a few other awards and lots of press coverage both national and international which has been fantastic.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Finding a space was a big challenge at the start. I had to work from home for the 1st year as there where no affordable and suitable spaces for me have a workshop and base the business. Since I moved into the Nucleus Arts Centre and set up my workshop there I have been able really develop and grow phenomenally. having that dedicated workspace where I can also have press and clients visit me, hold open studios and shopping evenings and over all be much more professional has been a big factor in our growth as a business.

On a personal level I have been overcoming anxiety issues whilst trying to grow my business, which In the past left been unable to talk to people, panic attacks and more. Though mediation, breathing exercises and slowly building up my confidence I can now attend events and meetings without being a complete wreck, and though I still have a way to go things are getting a LOT better.

What are your future plans for the business?

Grow further and further. I'd like more stockists possibly international, celebrity fans would be a big boost and lots more press features and awards plus taking part in lots more shows and events.

Eventually I want to move to a larger workshop with either a shop front or a dedicated “showroom” area for displaying all our jewels and meetings.

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

I would have had a e-commerce website from the start as since we have launched the e-commerce site the response has been amazing, and I would have had my branding more refined and defined at the start, plus invested in professional photography at the very start. I didn’t realise at the beginning how extremely important this is.

I do wish I had been able to deal with my anxiety better earlier on as I am aware it has made me miss out on certain opportunities or unable to make the most of some others. but this is slow progress and not something that can be changed quickly.

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

To fulfil their potential and surprise themselves, as a younger person I would have never thought I would be running my own business, designing and making jewellery and winning awards for it.

Its so important to push yourself and your work all the time, I it would be wonderful to inspire others to do the same and to really fulfil their potential.


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

Branding is really important, having you personal story tied in with the look of your website, packaging and everything else so its one consistent story that the consumer and get to know the personal side of there jewellery, why and how it was created and that connection.

Also social media especially twitter has been hugely useful for connecting not just with jewellery fans but with stylists, journalists and more.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

I love making and creating jewellery, especially bespoke jewels. Its a inspiration in itself, I just couldn’t stop, I love making and designing these beautiful jewels which will be treasured forever, have meaning and value beyond there financial worth and that will hopefully be passed down the generations. Its a very precious and special thing.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Contact Details:
Sian Bostwick Jewellery

twitter: @SianBostwick


Tuesday 18 February 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Hannah Martin, Co-Founder of The Talented Ladies Club

In this 2Inspire Network profile we meet Hannah Martin who co-founded The Talented Ladies Club with Kary Fisher, a website and online community for working mums. Read her inspirational business story and be motivated to live your best life.

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

I get up about 5am, make myself a cup of tea and start work in my home office while the rest of the house sleeps (except the cat who curls up next to me on the printer) – it’s often my favourite time of the day!

Then at 7am I wake the kids (if they’re not up already) and get them ready for school. After dropping them off at school (which is very handily right next door!) I sometimes cycle to the gym for a quick workout.

I usually work until lunchtime when I make myself a quick snack and maybe grab half an hour of reading or TV – but usually I carry on working while I eat.

At three I pick the kids up from school and then help them with their homework and maybe do some baking or housework with them if work is quiet. But if I have a deadline I’ll sometimes let them play while I work.

I’ll start cooking about 5pm and eat with my partner when he gets home between 6-7pm. Once the kids are in bed, I may catch up on work if anything is outstanding – if not I’ll try and grab an hour of TV before going to bed around 9-9:30pm.

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

I was inspired by my own experiences as a working and freelance mum, and those of my friends. I realised that all around the UK, successful women were struggling to make their careers work after having children.

It’s really tough trying to balance your ambitions with the demands of work (and competing with colleagues who don’t have to get back home for teatime) and the desire to be the mum you want to be.

When I had my son I was a single mum, commuting five hours a day to a demanding full time job. I loved my career (I was an advertising copywriter in London) but I missed being a mum to my boy. My au pair got him dressed, made his lunch, took him to school, helped with homework – I didn’t even know his friends!

So when I had my daughter, I decided to give up work in London and freelance from home – and gained a much better quality of life.

I teamed up with a friend I met when pregnant with my daughter, a freelance designer called Kary Fisher, and together we launched a website to help other mums find their right work/family balance too.

We started thinking about the site in December 2012, and set a launch date in April 2013, and then worked towards it. In hindsight it was a stupidly short length of time to conceive, design, write and build a site this big in, but we did it!

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I’m really proud of Talented Ladies Club and what we’ve achieved so far. I think the quality of our articles is great, and the design is brilliant. It looks professional, stylish and accessible, which is what we wanted.

We’ve also learned so much in the months since we launched – social media, marketing, what articles work and which ones don’t – and have started running training workshops for women. We’re also exhibiting at the Work and Family Show, and I’m giving a talk on social media – all firsts for us!

We have big plans for the site, and it’s exciting shaping a product that has the potential to help so many people.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?

Initially it was believing in ourselves enough to start it! It was through the help of a brilliant business coach that I came to understand that no one is a business success until they’ve just gone out and done it!

Since then it’s time. As mums with freelance careers to manage, we just don’t have enough hours in the day. I would love to just devote every waking hour to Talented Ladies Club, but unfortunately the kids need feeding, my partner needs attention and clients need work!!

Seriously though, I am looking forward to the day that Talented Ladies Club can pay me a salary and I can devote myself to it as a paid job, and not a very time-consuming but enjoyable hobby.

What are your future plans for the business?

We’re launching a membership scheme in September. It will be a 12 month programme that will take women from frustration to inspiration. It’s for ambitious but stuck mums who need help to identify a clear and achievable goal, and practical advice to get there.

There will be expert advice and practical exercises covering everything you need to be a success – whether you’re looking for a flexible job, want to launch a freelance career or start a successful business.

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

Lots! But to pick one thing it would have to be paid advertising. We’ve experimented with it a couple of times, but it was an expensive lesson for us as we just don’t have the budget to do it properly yet. We get more (free) traffic from social media. So if I was starting again, I wouldn’t pay for advertising.

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

It’s SO important to follow your dreams. We spend most of our waking hours working, so it’s vital to do something you feel passionately about and that fulfils and challenges you (in a good way). You also work harder and smarter when you’re fully engaged in what you’re doing.

I think older women have a responsibility to show younger women that they should strive for a career they love and realise that it is possible to achieve your ambitions if you’re determined and hardworking enough. I know I want my daughter to grow up with a good role model… a mum who is happy and fulfilled.

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

Just do it! Look around and see what you can do differently or better than other people. Use your passion, skills and experience to create a business that suits you, that you’re good at and that you’ll enjoy investing time, money and emotion in.

What or who inspires you in business and why?

Other women making it work! I love the network of amazingly driven, generous and passionate women I have met since starting Talented Ladies Club. There’s so much support and positivity out there, and I love hearing other peoples’ success stories. Nothing fires me up more than the sense that great success is out there to grab if you work hard and cleverly enough.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?

“It’s never too late to be what you might have been” by George Eliot.

Contact details


Monday 17 February 2014

2Inspire Network Review: Chilli Melon Cards

The lovely folks at Chilli Melon Multicultural Greetings card gifted me with a surprise personalised card just in time for Valentine's Day this year! Thank you for making this Business Woman feel super beautiful! 

Aside from having a wonderful website, I was struck but their proactive social media campaign which first drew my attention to their exciting brand. This personalised Valentine's Day card is just one example of how fantastic the brand it. Great quality card, a perfect image and the romantic font design were all spot on! It makes the perfect treat for anyone looking for a special card for their loved one.

Their range of card design stands out from a highly competitive market place. The bold colours and quality of each card make them an ideal gift to any loved one. What really makes me smile though is the truly diverse nature of the images on their range of cards. The team at Chilli Melon have taken it upon themselves to celebrate diversity and multicultural Britain creatively and positively!

Review by Ronke Lawal @chilli_melon

Tuesday 11 February 2014

2Inspire Network Business Profile: Knots and Folds

In this 2Inspire Network profile we meet Geraldine Peclard, founder of Knots and Folds, a unique unisex fashion accessories label specialising in high-quality prints and social stories.

 Please tell us what is a typical business day for you?
I cycle to my shared studio in North London ( we are seven textile artists/designer sharing a big studio!). I start the day by answering/writing emails and if I have something interesting to say I post it on social media. Depending on the time of the year, I design prints, develop products, deal with orders, network or do a lot of research. My day can change in a fraction of second so I need to be flexible. I have an evening part time job that gives me the break I need from the business and in the evening I come home with a fresh mind and write my ‘to do list’ for the next day.

What made you start the business and how did you get started?
I graduated in printed textiles design in July 2012 and started to freelance for a London based fashion designer. I quickly realised how un – socially sustainable the fashion world is, I hate the way business is made and the excuses used to justify it, so I decided to create my own label, one that would have social sustainability at heart. Each collection tells a social story and encourages conversation about difficult, taboo or simply ignored subjects.  And I put a lot of effort in building quality relationship with my suppliers, customers and buyers. I know it will take some time to be recognised but I am also sure I am in this for the right reason, encourage change.

What would you say has been your greatest accomplishment in the business world to date?
I have a few ‘victory moments’ but I could not say which one is the greatest. I am proud to be where I am today and to be constantly learning about business, people, and life.

What has been your biggest challenge in business so far?
My biggest challenge has been to look at my business with an objective eye, sometimes and especially when you are from an art background, you can take criticism personally and fear comments on your work. Letting go of this fear and exposing myself to judgement made me grow so much as a person and as a business.

What are your future plans for the business?
For now I would like to focus  a 100% in building a viable business, once we start making a significant profit I would like to register for social enterprise and be involved in more projects with a social battle using my creative skills.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently? 
My answer is going to be quite generic, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I have had difficulties and also great ‘victory moments’ I would not be where I am today without both.  I often say that in an perfect world I would love to have known everything I have learned doing mistakes without having done them, but that’s not how it works…

Why is it so important to inspire young women in particular to follow their dreams?
When given the right and space to develop ideas and express themselves women build strong and interesting businesses, we are emotionally more receptive to our surroundings and have the bigger picture in mind. More women need to be inspired to follow their dreams because we have the real potential to change things on a bigger scale.

What advice would you give to somebody who wants to start a business in your industry?
To start a business in fashion I have a few advices that are drawn from my personal experience. I would say: treat people well, try to make a difference in the way you approach your art -  say something meaningful, create a business with a soul, stay passionate but make sure you don’t lose yourself in the industry, make time for yourself and for the people that supports you and love you.

What or who inspires you in business and why?
What inspires me the most is when I can give back and inspire other people to start developing their own potential.

What is your favourite inspirational quote?
‘Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm.’ Winston Churchill

Full Contact details:

Knots and Folds / / @knotsandfolds / /

Friday 7 February 2014

Sponsored Post: Money and You Discovery Programme 2014 - discover your relationship with money


What's Your
Pattern with Money?

Does it come in and go out as fast as it came?

Is it a continuous source of stress to you?

Maybe you're constantly worried about having enough?

However the pattern shows up in your world, are you just sick and tired of being in that place with money?

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This programme has been designed to help you get maximum benefit from the tools, techniques and energetic processes I'll be sharing, and will include:

- 1 Live 'Money & You' One day workshop
- 4 Weekly Top Up Teleclasses with Homeplay
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The Programme kicks off on Saturday 22nd February 2014 with the one day Money & You workshop, directly followed by your first teleclass the next week. (The calls will be recorded if you're unable to attend).

To help you start making a real change in this crucial area of your life, I have made the investment for the Money and You Discovery Programme as accessible as possible at £97. I know it's worth several times that much, but I want you to be able to take aligned action when an opportunity like this comes your way.

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To ensure a high quality of attention and a deep level of participation, the number for this group is limited to 15. So if you're ready to join me, don't leave it too late.

Wishing you a world of prosperity and possibility,

Kuumba x

Kuumba Nia
The Me Mastery Mentor

P.S. Changing your relationship with money begins when you decide it will. Let that time be now.