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Arts & Culture / Tamsin Salfrais

Women We Love: 3 Super-Inspiring Business Stories

What do you dream of as you slog away at your desk? Is it your short-term goals, like planning your next vacay or finally booking that dentist appointment, or more long-term ideas, like plotting how you’ll run your own business in the future?

If it’s the latter, we’re about to add more fuel to the burning fire (shh, don’t tell your boss). In our PP series of Women We Love, we’re shining the spotlight on three kick-ass females – this month, women inspiring business stories. As American motivational speaker, Farrah Gray, said: “build your own dream, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.”

Who?

Brandi Leifso, founder of Evio Beauty Group.

Why we love her

Brandi is on a mission to build a community of strong women through her line of socially-conscious, skin-conscious, eco-friendly products, Evelyn Iona Cosmetics. The idea for the line of Canadian beauty products was conceived while Brandi lived in a women’s shelter for those escaping domestic violence which, as she told Canada’s CBC, she credited with her learning the impact conscious choices of strangers can make to an individual’s life. She said: “We can create change with small, conscious, consistent actions that lead to big change.” This positive vibe and community spirit runs through all her products; in fact, the Green Tea Primer (which you can find in this month’s Pink Parcel and only buy in the UK on our Pink Shop) had more than 200,000 pre-orders when it re-launched last September!

What we’ve learned

Have confidence in your idea. Brandi didn’t have the means to create the products at the beginning, so photoshopped together a catalog of products that actually didn’t exist yet. People bought into the idea and she then started manufacturing the products once she knew she had the financial backing.

Who?

Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails, FutureGirlCorp and Beautystack.

Why we love her

This woman is incredible. What started as a fanzine when Sharmadean was at uni, then a small nail shop in Dalston nine years ago, has since expanded to become a juggernaut of female empowerment through nail art and entrepreneurialism. WAH Nails is more than just a place to get your nails done. The Soho salon is a space for motivational speeches where women to come together and feel part of a community. The brand has spawned branches in Topshop and Harvey Nichols, a line of products in Boots, a virtual reality nail design app, and Sharmadean herself was awarded an MBE back in 2015 for her services to beauty. WOW. Sharmadean has also launched FutureGirlCorp (a workshop to coach a new generation of CEOs) and Beautystack (a booking platform for beauty services). As if that’s not enough, she also mentors young businesswomen and partners with causes close to her heart, for example, Art Against Knives, or collecting cosmetics for Grenfell.

What we’ve learned

You can have multiple roles. Sharmadean co-parents her son whilst successfully managing all of the above. Yes it’s hard. Yes you will face your challenges, but you CAN strive in each area of your life. Get it, girl.

Who?

Pippa Murray, founder of Pip & Nut.

Daily Telegraph today. @springandtonicpr nailed it again!! #startup #pipandnut

A post shared by Pip Murray (@pippa.murray) on

Why we love her

From kitchen counter to the shelves of Sainsbury’s and Selfridges, Pip & Nut has grown from a simple love of peanut butter – a woman after our own heart. Pippa, an avid marathon runner, would always turn to the treat for a post-training session boost, however soon learned that a lot of the brands in her local supermarket were heavy in saturated fats and sugars, and weren’t created in the most eco-friendly way. She set out creating home-blended butters, eventually selling them at Maltby Street Market to get unbiased customer feedback. More trial and error ensued before she was happy with the outcome and spent around eight months finding a factory to produce her range of tasty, yet sustainable and healthy nut butters. It’s been two years since she first launched, and there’s no stopping Pippa now!

What we’ve learned

You can learn on the job, so don’t say “I’m not an expert” by way of an excuse. Pippa had no knowledge of food production before launching Pip & Nut – she was a theater producer at the Science Museum in London. She just knew what she wanted and went for it, and you can too!

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