The Women in Business We Admire - A Celebration
In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD), we wanted today to be aboutcelebrating local women in business who we admire here at Powder Butterfly. In light of this, we’re delighted to feature Suzanne Hutton, Ann English, Michelle Jones and Elise Lane and their amazing businesses and latest projects they are leading to inspire us all. But first, a little bit on IWD and what today is all about...
International Women’s Day (The Story So Far)
Do you know the name Clara Zetkin? We didn’t until we started to look more closely into the history surrounding International Women’s Day. She is credited with putting forward the idea in 1910, at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, to make the day to honour women an international celebration. The year before she was one of a number of German delegates at a Women’s Day event in New York City organised by the Socialist Party of America. Unanimously the 100 women from 17 different countries at the conference all agreed with Clara’s suggestion. In 1911, Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, celebrated International Women’s Day on 19 March. After women gained suffrage in Soviet Russia on 8 March 1917, it was declared a national holiday there. Initially the day was mostly celebrated by the socialist movement and communist countries until it was adopted by the feminist movement around 1967 and a decade later the United Nations began celebrating the day.
Fast forward to 2021 and International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8 March. It is a day that symbolises the journey women have been on around the world to better their lives. A focal point in the movement for women’s rights in some places is a day of protest, in others a day to celebrate womanhood. There is a theme each year and this year it is ‘Choose To Challenge’
Taken from the official International Women’s Day website “a challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change”.
Now, moving on to the amazing women in business we want to honour today...
Suzanne Hutton, owner of The Staith’s Cafe
Suzanne is the owner of Literally Amazing Limited which is trading as The Staith’s Cafe.
She is the inspirational owner behind the cafe, bar and local store on the Gateshead riverside and within the Staiths Southbank, an award winning housing development designed by Wayne Hemingway.
Dunston Staiths, on the River Tyne, is believed to be the largest timber structure in Europe. Opened in the late 1800s by the North East Railway Company, it was built to load large quantities of coal arriving by rail from the Durham Coalfields onto waiting coal ships destined for London and beyond. With the decline of the coal industry came the decline of Dunston Staiths, it was briefly revived in the 1990s with plans to restore the structure, installing a performance space and art gallery. A devastating fire in 2003 seriously damaged the structure but, not to be deterred, The Tyne & Wear Building Preservation Trust successfully raised funds to kick start the restoration to transform it into an exciting and sustainable visitor attraction.
On 5th September 2014, Suzanne moved into the former Taylor Wimpey sales office and fitted out the cafe in just 8 weeks on the tightest of budgets! On 31st October 2014 she opened to the public for the first time, proudly following the original vision Wayne and Geraldine Hemingway had for the estate. The aim of the cafe was to be a central hub for the community which is something Suzanne always strives to keep at the forefront of her own vision. The Staiths Cafe is proud to provide a comfortable spot to relax and socialise, serving high quality coffee, fresh honest food and daily essentials including fresh bread and local produce. As well as being a community hub, Suzanne aims to host a variety of cultural activities and events in the cafe, making the space multifunctional as well as a perfect third destination between work and home.
The cafe is currently open for takeaway food and drinks and we, along with the rest of the community, can’t wait to be able to stop by for a longer visit as soon as they are back open fully.
Ann English, The Visual Communicator
Ann is a Visual Communications expert and solution focused business coach. As the founder of Create Intrigue and The Visual Marketing Academy, creator of the VisionMapping™ coaching technique, she is renowned for her VisualDoodle™ style and the inventor of The Metrognomes. She brings over 30 years of experience successfully delivering projects from concept to completion.
Ann equips business owners, consultants, coaches and thought leaders with a range of visual communication tools and techniques to transform ideas into reality. She can empower and enable you to:
Ann believes that EVERYTHING starts with an IDEA… and an IDEA can change EVERYTHING! She is on a mission to share her wisdom with the world and enable people to showcase their superpowers and transform Dreamers into Doers.
Michelle Jones, Founder of Kind Currency CIC and Michelle Jones Weddings
Michelle has been in the events and theatre industry for over 20 years. She became a full-time mum in 2007 and freelance wedding planner in 2012. She has hosted hundreds of beautiful weddings and told each and every love story. Michelle fell in love with weddings as a young bridesmaid aged 5 and through the support of The Prince's Trust, as an adult, she fulfilled her dream and Michelle Jones Weddings was born. Her business is all about creating wedding experiences through authentic story-telling, with love, family and the essence of marriage at the centre of each individual beautiful wedding and venue. From creating amazing wedding venues which is a fundamental part of every wedding day, to her consultancy side of the business that ensures every moment and every detail of the whole experience is perfect. They only get one shot and it simply has to be right.
As an eternal optimist, Michelle champions kindness and the power of community. She’s a wife, mother and homemaker who loves charity and volunteering with a passion to remove disadvantaged barriers and provide opportunity. Despite battling several chronic illnesses on a daily basis, you'll always find her smiling.
Michelle’s ethos is, “A little bit of kindness makes the world sparkle”, so much so that she has created the Kind Currency. She wanted to create a community with kindness at its heart to protect, sustain and celebrate kind businesses, kind people and kind causes. To find out more about this amazing project click on the links below.
Elise Lane, CEO and Head Winemaker of Laneberg Wine Ltd
You may recognise Elise from our blog at the start of the year ‘How I found a new client during lockdown’. She is the CEO and Head Winemaker for Laneburg Wine who we were so thrilled to work with in 2020 to create a range of bespoke wine boxes for their gift collection.
The Winery by Laneberg Wine is based in Team Valley, Gateshead - the first winery on Tyneside and the furthest north in England. Elise set up and runs the company with help from husband Nick, Dad (Ray), Mam (Ruth), sister Laura, brother-in-law Ash and cousin Liam. It’s definitely a family affair!
After growing up in Newcastle Elise moved away to Oxford in 1999 to study Chemistry. She then moved to London and worked for a big four accountancy firm (where she met her husband Nick) whilst there she did a couple of wine related qualifications at the WSET, but was always drawn to winemaking (and its chemistry!) After their first son Max was born she left her job and studied a PGDip at Plumpton College, and went on to work as the assistant winemaker in their commercial winery. They moved the family back up to the North East in 2017 and Elise set up the business whilst pregnant with their second son Reuben.
With grapes bought from a vineyard in Leicestershire, 2018 was their first vintage. It was a fabulous year for English grapes making them beautifully ripe! They had an incredible first year of trading, creating a collection of 3 still whites, 1 semi-sparkling white and 1 rose. Deservedly they attracted many wonderful comments from customers and industry pros like Oz Clarke and Tom Surgey of Three Wine Men, with their Bacchus, Solaris and First Crush Rose all achieving award-winner status!
Fittingly, their latest gift selection on their website includes Laneberg’s wine and Davenport's chocolates, one gift also features the wooden gift box our very own Corinne designed.With artisan Chocolatier Jane Williams, who founded Davenport’s chocolates, Powder Butterfly’s Corinne Lewis-Ward and Elise Lane’s Laneberg Wine, this gift has three elements all made by women in the North East and is a perfect celebration of women in business and women in general!
So to mark International Women’s Day this year, we at Powder Butterfly pledge to continue to celebrate women's achievements and increase their visibility. Taking action for equality is an important message this year, alongside celebration it is important to take action and raise awareness against bias. We’d love to know what you’re doing to celebrate IWD this year, do let us know in the comments below.
We are stronger working together and we #ChooseToChallenge.
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