Blurrgghhh… I keep writing and re-writing the introduction to this post, but nothing feels right. Let’s just say ‘this year was hard’ and leave it at that, hey? I want this post to be about some incredible women who have brought joy, light, and (most importantly) inspiration to my 2020. Yes, there have been difficulties, yes there has been sadness, but these five women have fought the odds and done some amazing things this year. All five of my most inspiring women of 2020 are wonderful small business owners and deserve every bit of success that comes their way. A couple are clients I’ve had the pleasure of working with, the others are women I follow and admire.
Let’s get started. Here are my five most inspiring women of 2020…
Lauren Goodman (Bluebird Creative)
If you’re thinking I’ve only recently mentioned Lauren, you’d be correct. She was a feature in my Creative Business series last month. Go take a read if you’d like to find out more about the woman behind the brand.
Lauren is a wedding planner, coordinator, and stylist. As I’m sure you know, 2020 wasn’t great for the wedding industry (massive understatement!), meaning many small and wonderful wedding businesses have found this year heartbreakingly challenging. No one would judge any of them for just wanting to curl up in a ball and hide from the world… but not Lauren. Using her amazing creative talents, Lauren brought a different side to her business in 2020 and flourished with a ‘Bluebird Creative at Home’ offering.
She’s one of the most productive and proactive women I know, but this year she has really gone above and beyond. She has truly blown me away.
Harriet de Winton (de Winton Paper Co)
Harriet de Winton is an amazing watercolour designer and artist (she’s also really lovely!).
As a watercolour artist myself, I’ve followed and looked up to her for a long time. She has a gorgeous painting style, and she is so wonderful to watch and listen to on Instagram stories.
Until this year, Harriet’s primary focus with de Winton Paper Co has been wedding stationery. So, you’ve guessed it, 2020 threw some pretty big hurdles and curve balls her way. It was hard, but (because she’s so honest and open) Harriet didn’t shy away from sharing her feelings and insight throughout the year. She needed to find new ways to make a living and she brought her audience along with her, every step of the way.
Having already taught workshops and written a best-selling book, Harriet took her wonderful ability to nurture and encourage watercolour beginners to the next level – creating numerous different ways to learn from her and be inspired. I can’t wait to see what 2021 looks like for her!
Amy Hatch (The Timeless Stylist)
I guess it’s no real surprise (to me at least), four out of my five most inspiring women of 2020 are in the wedding industry… because the reason they’ve inspired me so much is their strength, grace, and sensitivity in making something of this year, despite the difficulties.
Amy is a wedding and event designer, stylist, and creative director. She not only helps couples create the most beautiful days, she also works with other wedding businesses to help them align their imagery and aesthetics to their brand. It’s this side of her work she has really taken to the next level this year, and it’s been so wonderful to see. Amy has such a kind heart and so much insight and experience to share with others. Seeing her not only flourish in her own brand but hold the space to support so many others has been incredible.
Inci Malik (Aromas Cafe)
Another area which has been greatly impacted this year is the food industry. I’m sure I’m not alone in missing regular meetups with friends for brunch, lunch, or cake. I’ve had some of my best business ideas whilst chatting over a plate of pancakes!
One of my favourite local cafes is Aromas in Weybridge. It has a really welcoming atmosphere, modern interiors, and a gorgeous menu. All of which comes down to the wonderful vision and leadership of owner, Inci Malik. Over the last few years, she has created something truly special with the help of her team.
With so many ever-changing restrictions in place, Inci has never lost sight of the heart of her business. She’s found innovative and creative ways to continue serving her customers and bring them joy, and always with a lovely smile on her face (when not covered by a face mask, of course!). She just had to be in my list of inspiring women of 2020!
Kate Spicer (Kate Avery Flowers)
Last but most definitely not least, Kate of Kate Avery Flowers. I mean, if we take out the fact I could just scroll through her gorgeous floral creations all day (ahem… I may or may not have done this on grey days this year!), watching Kate develop the teaching side of her business in 2020 has been amazing.
Also in the wedding industry and with many years of experience, Kate had already introduced workshops and tuition before this year – helping other florists blossom (pun very much intended!). However, unable to do as much face-to-face, she made the most of her wonderful Instagram following, and natural presence on camera, to offer online tutorials and at-home kits. I’m really looking forward to see where she takes things in 2021.
There we are, my five most inspiring women of 2020. If I thought picking just five last year was hard, it was even more so this time around. I could have mentioned so many clients who have been dealing with hardship (in many different ways), close friends who have been juggling their roles as mums and business owners, and numerous other women who have touched, uplifted, or empowered me at times during the year.
I am so grateful and inspired by the community of fellow creatives and small businesses I find myself in, and I hope (with any pain or troubles from 2020 put to one side, just for a moment) you can enjoy thinking about the women who have inspired and brought something positive to your year.