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Leading ladies of Hampshire - 2017

PUBLISHED: 16:06 27 February 2017 | UPDATED: 12:22 28 February 2017

Top row: Abigail Wicking, Alexandra Finlayson, Ann Davies, Emily Taylor | Second row: Tracey Grout, Sue Sugden & Clare Sly, Georgina Hand, Margaret Hepburn | Third row: Jan Ward CBE, Jayne Shephard, Adelle Turner, Anne Leiper | Fourth Row: Emma Wilders-Pratt & Juliet Mayhew, Kathleen Charlesworth, Katie Clarke, Marylyn Abbott | Fifth row: Julie Allen, Kelly Barfoot, Lauren Matthews, Tasha Newland | Sixth row: Donna Bache, Karen Brar, Susie Reid Thomas

Top row: Abigail Wicking, Alexandra Finlayson, Ann Davies, Emily Taylor | Second row: Tracey Grout, Sue Sugden & Clare Sly, Georgina Hand, Margaret Hepburn | Third row: Jan Ward CBE, Jayne Shephard, Adelle Turner, Anne Leiper | Fourth Row: Emma Wilders-Pratt & Juliet Mayhew, Kathleen Charlesworth, Katie Clarke, Marylyn Abbott | Fifth row: Julie Allen, Kelly Barfoot, Lauren Matthews, Tasha Newland | Sixth row: Donna Bache, Karen Brar, Susie Reid Thomas

Archant

To celebrate International Women’s Day in March, Hampshire Life celebrates some of the county’s most influential business women. From headmistress to interior designer, hotel owner to solicitor - we ask these leading ladies about how they forged their successful careers and businesses.

Emily Taylor - Eric Robinson Solicitors

Emily Taylor first arrived at Eric Robinson Solicitors 18 years ago for a work experience placement she had sought in her desire for a career in the legal profession. Now, at the age of just 34, Emily is not only Partner and Head of Wills, Trusts & Succession at the firm, but also manages one of its seven branches across Hampshire in Chandlers Ford.

What is the secret of your success? - Determination, hard work and I have a naturally positive, can do’ attitude. I prefer to tackle and overcome problems rather than avoid them and have always been comfortable in my own skin, which I think is the key to confidence. I also have been fortunate to surround myself with talented, positive people - in my department, the office and the firm generally. I believe mutual respect is fundamental to successful working relationships.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I have fantastically supportive parents, a wonderful sister with her own children, a devoted, hands-on husband and we work as a team for my three young sons. This means when I am at work, clients and staff are my focus, but when I am at home, I am a mother and a wife. One will sometimes need to take priority over the other, but the key is to be organised and keep perspective.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My mother grew up on a council estate in Newcastle and worked hard all her life for everything she has, including when we lived abroad in Canada, but devoted every weekend to the family. Like her, weekends, holidays and evenings are when I concentrate on quality family time. I also have received tremendous support from Eric Robinson Solicitor’s Managing Partner, Catherine Maxfield who has been very generous with her time, knowledge and experience. She was the firm’s first female equity Partner and I am proud to be the second.

18 West End Road, Southampton 02380 254676 www.ericrobinson.co.uk

Kelly Barfoot - BoxxFresh

I run a bespoke veg box delivery service, specialising in seasonal and locally sourced produce from farms in Hampshire.

What is the secret of your success? - People who know me would say it’s my ability to put something together from nothing whisking up a quick and tasty meal from an empty fridge, or feeding surprise guests with a sharing board. Boxxfresh grew from my kitchen table and my creative ability with food; which was part of my life long before it became a business - so you could say that I’ve made my passion my success.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - With start-ups it’s the biggest challenge. There are never enough hours in the day and it’s too easy to get bogged down with minutiae, or distracted! Being organized, so that the children always come first and don’t suffer as an unintended consequence, is a conscious decision for me. The benefit of working from home allows flexibility to juggle the demands of a growing business and a young family. There’s always a list, but knowing when to put it down and enjoy family time together is vital.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I’m lucky to have three amazing children and a supportive husband who inspire me with their positivity and humour. They give me the motivation to strive to be the best version of myself I can, knowing that I’m a role model to my girls and that what I’m building will create something for them. After 13 years as a mum, I never thought I’d have this opportunity to start my own business doing what I love, so hopefully this will inspire others too.

Posbrook Lane, Lower Bromwich Farm, Tichfield, Hampshire, P014 4NS 07731 470966 www.boxxfresh.com

Julie Allen - Moutan

Julie Allen started Moutan in 2002 opening her first shop on Odiham high street after working with World-renowned London florist, Paula Pryke. A second shop in Hartley Wintney in 2008 and a third at Newlyns Farm Shop in North Warnborough in 2012 has confirmed the success of Julie’s approachable business manner and the Moutan style.

What is the secret of your success? - Hard work, dedication and a great team to rely on. There isn’t really a secret although, in my experience, being prepared to put in the hours, sometimes for free, certainly pays. I turned my love of painting flowers into working towards my dream of owning a country flower shop. I made sure that I put myself in the right place at the right time volunteering as an assistant for the Flowers and Plants Association at Chelsea and Hampton Court flower shows, in fact, this is where I first met Paula Pryke - we got chatting and I asked her for a job!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Whether I always achieve the right work/life balance there is definitely one there! I have the support of family and close friends and even though I often work long hours I still find downtime to enjoy their company. My husband works hard for Moutan whilst also running his own very successful business and my parents take an active role in helping us with our young son. It’s not always easy however it certainly helps when you enjoy what you do.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - When I first started in floristry I had to seek out inspiration and I still have treasured books by the likes of Paula Pryke, Jane Packer and Christian Tortu. These days with Instagram and Pinterest inspiration almost finds me! We love to use social media at Moutan and hope that we are also the source of inspiration for others.

109 High Street, Odiham, Hampshire, RG29 1LA 01256 702387 www.moutan.co.uk

Sue Sugden & Clare Sly - Cashmere Goose

What is the secret of your success? - Since we opened in 2012 Clare and I have had a clear vision of what we wanted to offer our customers. Cashmere Goose is a place where our customers feel comfortable and at the same time inspired and occasionally excited. Its a lifestyle store that touches all senses. When the first thing we hear when customers walk in is ‘ this shop smells good!’ we know we are on the right track. Success comes from doing a job you love and Clare and I both love fashion and homewares. Cashmere Goose creates a seasonal look for the home and always offers a stylish and eclectic mix of fashion brands.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Happily neither of us sees CG as a job it’s our second home! We love what we do and have a real passion for the things that surround us work isn’t a chore! Two days are never the same and there is always something creative to do keeping up with current trends and what our customers want! Its a family affair for both of us. We ask family and friends to help out and luckily have a breadth of skill sets between us! We also have a wonderful team of staff who now share our passion for CG!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - We love people who have drive, are creative and stylish yet at the same time caring and compassionate. When you have your own store you need to get inspiration from different places. We both love finding other independents to mooch around in small Hampshire towns! But we both love High Street stores like Anthropology and can get our own retail ‘fix’ there! Its a continual joy inspiring our customers and seeing that shopping at Cashmere Goose gives them the same pleasure!

High Street, Hartley Wintney, Hook, RG27 8NS 01252 844143 www.cashmeregoose.co.uk

Alexandra Finlayson - Vail Williams LLP

Vail Williams are a leading firm of Property experts with offices across the South and in Birmingham. Alexandra joined as a surveyor over 15 years ago and is now a Partner within the firm. She has built a hugely successful career around her other role as a mother of two daughters.

What’s the secret to your success? - Hard work, flexibility and a forward thinking employer who has allowed me to change the way I work to suit changing family circumstances. I have had various contracts from full time to 2, 3 and 4 days a week and now flexi time based on full time hours but fitted around family life (and the needs of my clients who often need advice out of normal hours anyway). I have always pushed boundaries and been very ambitious to succeed and that means I have worked equally hard at my job as I have at making my job work.

How do you balance work/home life? - When the children were younger I continued to work, using nurseries, child minders and nannies as my husband works in central London. This was done in the knowledge that I would reap the benefits of maintaining a career a few years later as the childcare costs meant not earning much at the time. These days I have a fantastic support network of friends that help make things work.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I’m not sure that I draw inspiration from any one person as I have always been driven by the ambition to achieve excellence in what I am doing and to be ‘best in class’. However, since you’re asking I think Caitlin Moran is fairly inspiring - she’s fierce, funny, not afraid to speak her mind and successful yet pretty much self-taught from a poor background.

550 Thames Valley Park, Reading, Berkshire, RG6 1RA 01189 097400 www.vailwilliams.com

Jayne Shephard - Energique Health Club & Spa

Energique Health Club & Spa is the only premier health club in Alton, providing a wide range of easy-to-use gym equipment, including a swimming pool, 2 squash courts, a sauna and steam room. Customer service is paramount. We want our members to feel valued at all times and our dedicated team of qualified and professional staff is totally focused on helping members to achieve their health and fitness goals.

What’s the secret of your success? - I am passionate about the business. Customer service is a key differentiator in this industry. We are always looking for ways to improve and my team is key to my success. We pride ourselves on our friendly, professional service. We’ve significantly increased the membership and my team plays a vital role in supporting the expansion of the business. All our members are important to us - old and new.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? I have two grown up children and four grandchildren under 4 years. My husband has been a great support as I could not have taken on the business without his help and business knowledge. I try to spend as much time with my grandchildren as I can. They are great at helping me to minimise the time I spend checking emails and messages on my days off.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I bought the assets of the company in the summer of 2011. My accountant and friend, Paul Francis, helped me enormously over the first few years. He encouraged me to develop the business - always striving to achieve higher standards, provide better facilities and increase our membership base. Paul has since become my business partner and I would say he is the one who inspires and motivates me.

Anstey Lane, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 2NB 01420 86022 www.energiquefitness.co.uk

Marylyn Aboott - West Green House

What is the secret of your success? - Hard graft, seven days a week and a good team. Gardens never stop growing so you can’t take your eye off things for a moment. As the last daffodil fades, so the tulips start to bloom, as the summer gardens come to full bloom, so we launch our Opera Season. It never stops but that’s the challenge and the excitement. I plan year round here - we’ve just finished our winter season but next week I’m off to find new stock for our 2017 Christmas Fair.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I’m not sure that I do! West Green House, where I live, is in the heart of the Gardens so even if I feel like an afternoon off and I see I weed that needs chopping or a rose that needs tying I can’t resist working on it. Every keen gardener will tell you the same - it is work but it very rarely feels as if its work. Sweeping leaves on an early morning in the Lakefield with the mist under the bridge is one of the most beautiful times ever. And it absolutely beats commuting into the City every day.

Who inspires you, either at work or at home? - It was reading about the generation of women who created the great gardens through their attention to detail, their imagination, persistence and sheer hard work. People like the the late Marchioness of Salisbury at Hatfield who had an inspired vision not only for their gardens, but for everything they did, created with style and elegance - and a sense of humour.

Thackhams Lane, Hartley Wintney, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 8JB 01252 844611 www.westgreenhouse.co.uk

Tasha Newland - Ikon Works

What is the secret of your success? - I started Ikonworks Photography in 2009, overnight, I re-discovered my passion. I found a voice I did not know I had, a creative, artistic one long buried by a corporate career. Critical to the success of my business, was finding my personal brand and style. Applying these, alongside your desire, and unique voice to wow and engage clients is key. I continue to build the brand, learn new skills, delight my clients and have my work featured. Being an undeniably good and charismatic photographer, renown for having a gentle touch completes me.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - The life of a photographer is manic. I have learnt balance is not something you find; you create it, and plan into your life. I have work flows, schedules of tasks, and even a timer at my desk. I am obsessed with planning my days, and I journal every day for focus. I have two children who I ensure have 100% attention when we do have precious time together. I ensure I have a clear vision for my business allowing me to make wise, strategic decisions. Decisions good for my business, family and my wellbeing.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My sister in law bought me the book “Misfit to Maven”. It is part life story, part work book and it is AMAZING. The writer Ebonie is now my business mentor. I also use the Desire Map by Danielle La Porte, it is a way of planning goals by how you wish to feel as you achieve. The wedding industry is fascinating, full of talented creative’s, and extraordinary entrepreneurs. I am inspired when collaborating with my network of professional Hampshire suppliers. For this network, I have founded an online space called the Hampshire Wedding Club.

07894 251579 www.ikonworks.co.uk www.instagram.com/ikonworks sayhi@ikonworks.co.uk

Anne Leiper - LGFL Ltd (Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers)

Anne Leiper is a Director of Leiper Gupta Family Lawyers. From their discreet countryside offices in Eversley, LGFL help clients with family law and divorce cases across North Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey.

What is the secret of your success? - My particular interest in family law is achieving financial settlements and solutions that look after our clients and their family. People need to be realistic and pragmatic about arrangements, so they are both effective and achievable, regardless of their overall worth. It’s a challenge, and sometimes requires a high level of diplomacy, but getting the proper result is very satisfying for both myself and our clients.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I enjoy what I do, which really helps! LGFL Ltd currently enjoys a busy client base, but as a result is all too easy to take too much work home. I resist where possible for two very good reasons. Firstly, my clients deserve my full attention. Secondly, a good balance enables me to maintain a wider perspective, and to visit my cases in the morning with a clear head.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I am always inspired by my colleagues and the whole LGFL team, especially the energy and infectious enthusiasm of my fellow Director, Rita Gupta. I also draw inspiration from the mediation and collaborative law network that I am involved in. The network’s experienced practitioners offer a non-confrontational approach to family law problems. It is invaluable to share experiences and knowledge with other likeminded professionals, many of whom I have worked alongside (and against!) for years.

Park House @ Warbrook House & Grange, Eversley, Hook, Hampshire, RG27 OPL 01189 739749 www.lgfamilylawyers.co.uk

Kathleen Charlesworth - Francesco Group Ringwood

What is the secret of your success? - Francesco Group’s Ringwood salon has been open just over 6 years and has been, and continues to be a challenge (in a good way!). Keeping everyone motivated and enthusiastic is where the challenge lies, but this is the key to our success. Training is available to all who want to improve and support to those who require it. One thing I had not planned on is that we have become a little family!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Through my sports I switch off and have to concentrate on the task at hand, which can become a little dangerous when sailing a yacht! I took up a new sport only a year ago, tennis, which I really love. I’m a total believer in the endorphins produced during sport and this always helps me think clearer. However, my hair might not look its best during these activities, but my team helps sort that out!

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My team always inspires me. My manager Erica, who is an amazing hairdresser and now a mother to a beautiful boy, has always been an inspiration to me. She always gives 100%. Amy from the Francesco Group Ringwood salon team was a finalist at the British Hairdressing Awards, and is always pushing herself creatively in the hairdressing world, which I really admire, such a natural talent in someone so young. All of my team inspire me, even if its just the first blow-dry or cut one of my apprentices have done. Seeing beautiful hair leave the salon inspires me and I feel very proud of all of my team. My husband inspires me every day. He is successful but always has time for others and is relaxed, easy going, kind and thoughtful my perfect man! I met him 4 months after opening the salon and he is my constant sounding board.

11A The Furlong Shopping Centre, Ringwood, Hampshire, BH24 1AT 01425 473784 www.francescogroup.co.uk/salons/ringwood

Emma Wilders-Pratt & Juliet Mayhew - Trethowans LLP

Emma Wilders-Pratt and Juliet Mayhew are partners in the Family Team at Trethowans Solicitors, who have spearheaded the opening of a Winchester office.

What is the secret of your success? - Being half of a fabulous duo who have the same mindset and commitment to offer a first class dedicated service to our clients. We work with other professionals who are able to compliment the skills that we offer, such as therapists, counsellors, accountants, financial advisers and many more to provide a holistic service to our clients. We are passionate about finding child focused solutions for the future and equipping our clients financially and emotionally for their new beginning.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Working with people who are going through relationship breakdown can be very demanding. Understanding and harnessing the psychology of the individuals, on both sides of the table, is at the centre of what we do. We are both mums with families of our own and working as a duo, we are able to provide unfailing support to our clients, while maintaining a work/life balance, which has led to extremely happy clients and in turn a wealth of referrals.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Emma - My children, every day they give me the gift of seeing the world through a child’s eyes and remind me that life is what you make it. Juliet - I agree. My daughter is currently travelling across South America on her gap year, embracing every new experience on offer. She just sent me a picture of her sitting on a swing, launching herself with arms outstretched over the edge of a cliff! Her fearless zest for adventure is truly inspiring.

Suite 4, 45 Southgate Street, Winchester, S023 9EH 01962 670677 www.trethowans.com

Katie Clarke - Hardware Warehouse

Hardware Warehouse is an online DIY and hardware store run by Katie Clarke. They specialise in plastic and metal profiles, sheet metals, wet and dry vacuums and more recently Draper Tools and the Method Eco Cleaning Range. As well as great product, Katie and her team are committed to always giving their customers the best possible service.

What is the secret of your success? - To be honest I wouldn’t say there is any secret, just a huge amount of hard work and determination. I have always been ambitious and continually want to better myself and my business. I’m a big believer in training and continual learning, especially having an online business you have to try and keep ahead of the game. Our first class customer service also helps to set us apart from other online retailers.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Like any working mother, it is a balance I feel like I can never get quite right. However, I am very fortunate that I can be flexible when I need to be. For example, if one of my children are ill, I work from home. We also make sure we get away at least a couple of times a year as a family, it’s vital for all of us to spend quality time together and recharge our batteries.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - Above everything else my family, especially my two children are my biggest inspiration. They are the reason I work so hard and want to achieve so much. My partner also runs his own business and seeing him achieve so much inspires me to continually work harder in my own business. Other than that seeing other women (especially mothers) achieving success in business inspires me to work harder and be better, I am very proud to be one of them.

Romsey, Hampshire 0330 333 5030 www.hardware-warehouse.co.uk

Adelle Turner - The Hub

The Hub was first established in November 2015. Specialising in hair and scalp care concepts with individual solutions for all hair problems.

What is the secret of your success? - For me, it’s being happy. With lots of determination and knowledge, I enjoy the challenge of coming up with solutions to problems. A positive mental attitude gives me that determination to continue perfecting and sharing my knowledge of engineering this craft. Fundamentally though, I think that if you can find an occupation that truly makes you happy, you will make it a success.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I try to manage my time accordingly. It’s not always easy to engineer it that way. I allocate certain times to carry out certain tasks with a “one touch technique” rather than trying to do too many things at once and going round in circles. A good old “To do list” has never failed me. That makes sure I have quality time with loved ones and a good nights sleep. One of my favourite past times is fly fishing, so if I can get down to the River Test and cast a line all my thoughts just melt away and I find it very therapeutic. Being by the river is like my “reset” button.

Who inspires you most, either in work or home? - That’s a tough one. An amalgamation of people past and present. People that really go for it. My clients inspire me, listening to people is essential in my work and fulfilling my guests desires and making them happy inspires me to think about everyone individually. If I can make someone feel fantastic about themselves that makes me very happy and is my reward from my work. Stockbridge itself is inspiring. It is a wonderful town with a fantastic community and full of independent traders all working together. I’m very proud to be a part of it.

Old London Road, Stockbridge, Hampshire, S020 6EJ 01264 810139 www.thehubstockbridge.co.uk

Lauren Matthews - Lauren Matthews Interiors Ltd

Lauren Matthews Interiors offers a complete interior design service for both commercial and residential clients. Specialising in Show homes, Day Spas, Beauty Salons and Restaurant interior design, Lauren leads every project from her office in Gunwharf Quays, Hampshire. Over the past 5 years, Lauren has established a reputation for contemporary and elegant design.

What is the secret of your success? - I studied for 5 years to qualify as an interior architect and designer and I believe that sheer determination and hard work have all helped my business succeed. I have a great team of professionals with whom I work closely at times, whether producing photo realistic visuals, architectural advice, branding or accounting. The overall team contributes significantly to the successful completion of my projects.

How do you achieve a work life balance? - As an interior designer, the working day can be very long and demanding. My daughter is now grown up so that makes things easier. We look after one another and cook meals when the other one is working late, as she also runs her own business. There’s nothing like coming home to a hearty meal and a glass of wine after a long day! I think it’s imperative to take time out, and make time for loved ones.

Who inspires you most at work or home? - My partner is an incredible inspiration. He has worked in the music industry from a young age, so is used to working long and often unsociable hours. I admire how he has mastered the life/work balance! My lovely parents are also hugely inspirational. My father is an artist and my mother is a designer. I love how they continue to use their skills in their retirement, painting or constructing something in their house or garden. I hope I grow up to be half as admirable as them, I really do.

Aspex, The Vulcan Building, Gunwharf Quays, P01 3BF 02392 299365 www.laurenmatthews-interiors.com

Georgina Hand, Chartered FCSI Investment Director - Rathbones

What is the secret of your success? - I started my career at Rathbones almost 17 years ago and, over this period, have been able to benefit from the experience and knowledge of those around me. My job involves meeting many people (both clients and companies) whilst studying the stock market and the global economic environment. I think that, if you genuinely enjoy your career and maintain an all-important thirst to learn more, success follows naturally.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I have three small children at home, so getting the work/life balance right is hugely important to me and prompted my move from London to our fantastic Winchester office. Thankfully, the collegiate nature of our team at Rathbones, coupled with supportive long-standing clients (some who appear more interested in my children than their investment portfolios!) mean that I am able to enjoy motherhood and my career without feeling that either are compromised.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I am lucky enough to have a fabulous job which allows me to meet inspirational people on a day to day basis, so it is impossible to choose one person. I am inspired by my clients so often: a missionary who has given up so much to help others, an incredible WW2 veteran, many people who have had extraordinarily successful careers, or great-grandmothers, proud of their growing families... And, lastly, I mustn’t forget my husband (he may read this!).

32 Southgate Street, Winchester, Hampshire, S023 9EH 01962 857000 www.rathbones.com

Margaret Hepburn - Hepburn Bio Care Group

Margaret V. Hepburn established the Hepburn Bio Care Group in 2006; 10 years later it is now a leading global provider of proven eco-sustainable solutions and technical services to many caring companies such as: Carnival, RCCL, NCL, BP, Thomson, My Hotel. Proving that a green, lean system, which works in harmony with nature, is more cost efficient and thus makes better business sense than most traditional systems.

What is the secret of your success? - I have always been driven by a desire to make a difference and a need to do something I could totally commit to, but these ingredients alone are not enough, you also need the right products) and the ability to evaluate the right “timing’. Long term sustainable success also needs integrity, honesty and long hours, an obsession with detail and an ability to see opportunities in everything that happens to you.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I am not sure it is truly achievable. I found it very difficult as a single parent, mostly exhausting, sometimes exhilarating and often heart breaking. But necessity is the mother of invention and most importantly we need to accept that we can only do the best we can. Be open and honest with your children and explain that it is not only about providing for them but also about you being happy and productive now and in your later years. After all we are all living longer and healthier so the odds are that you will be a long time alone after your children have left home.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My parents. My mother instilled in me a sense of integrity and self-esteem and how important it was to never be totally financially and intellectually dependent on any man. While my father by example showed how wonderful it was to be personally successful and respected.

Freemantle Business Centre, 152 Millbrook Road East, Southampton, S015 1JR 02380 710044 www.hepburnbiocare.com

Jan Ward CBE - Corrotherm

Worked at board level for specialty metals sector internationally, holding posts in US, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific. Founder of Corrotherm International Ltd .Nat West Everywoman Entrepreneur of the Year a 2009, London and South East Global Director of the Year 2014. Graduate of Institute of Export, Fellow of the loD, awarded CBE for Services to Business 2015 and Honorary Doctorate of Engineering by Southampton Solent University in 2016.

What is the secret of your success? - I don’t think there are any great secrets to success, I never believed that there were limits or barriers for me and I had an absolute determination to achieve a goal. II try to listen and learn from others but always trust my instincts. If you’ve done the research and you’re sure of yourself don’t give up. Be ambitious and ask for help.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I have amazing support at home. I try to use time wisely and I don’t punish myself if the domestic chores slip a bit. In the early days of building a business there is no balance but as you grow the balance gets easier. If you want success you have to accept the hard work, long hours and responsibility. I don’t try to have it all, but do give myself permission to take time for myself.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I have a number of people that I admire, but my husband is top of the list. How he puts up with me is a mystery. He enables me to do all the things I do and is an enormous support. He’s a great sounding post and cool head when I’m up against it. I have enormous admiration for some of the great Edwardian explorers and envious that I was born too late to be one of them.

Unit 31, South Hampshire Industrial Park Totton, Southampton, SO40 3SA 02380 748100 www.corrotherm.co.uk

Ann Davies - Lamb Brooks Solicitors

Ann Davies is a Partner at Lamb Brooks LLP, a full service law firm in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Ann has been a specialist family lawyer for over 30 years. Within this time Ann has seen many changes with how family dynamics have adapted and also the legal processes that are followed. Ann has vast experience of dealing with all aspect of family cases, but her key area of work is in resolving the financial arrangements which follow on from a separation, divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership.

What is the secret of your success? - Hard work and a wonderful team. You are not an island working in isolation. It is all about having a good team around you who share your values and are dependable. There has to be trust that we are working towards the same goal and I have been lucky enough to have this support and know that I can depend on my personal team as well as the excellent workforce that we have at Lamb Brooks Solicitors.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Being organised and getting things booked in the diary. I have never understood being proud of not taking your full holidays or working hours to the detriment of your family or your life. I think you need to be more than one dimensional. It is good to have outside interests or be an active member of your family as that helps to shape your personality. I believe that makes you more able to do your job effectively and connect with your clients.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - There are so many women that I admire or respect who have been an inspiration. From my Grandmother and Mother who faced adversity, my inspirational English teacher, as well as many women who have been in the public eye and some who have worked quietly in the background that have fought against prejudice and adversity to make the lives of women better. Too many to mention individually!

39 Winchester Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG21 7E0 01256 305587 www.lambbrooks.com

Susie Reid Thomas - Twilight Trees

Twilight Trees have become the go-to brand for specialist faux arboreal lighting and flora having added glamour and elegance to weddings, events and homes since 2014. They have lit up venues such as Burlington Arcade, Somerset House and the V&A. Available to buy or rent, their LED trees and Trees in Bloom’ provide an instant and unique atmosphere to any space inside or out.

What is the secret of your success? Hard work! - I am also very instinctive and that has served me well. The team and I are passionate about the business and the experience we provide for our customers. Every event gives us such a buzz and there’s nothing quite like seeing the whole of Burlington Arcade lit up with an avenue of Twilight Trees! We always go above and beyond to ensure that each and every job is done to the best of our abilities and I think that’s where our success lies.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I work from home and Twilight Trees HQ is never quiet. I love it that way though and really feel that we work off the energy that that type of environment brings! I also appreciate the flexibility of being my own boss- I can leave half way through the afternoon to go and watch my son play rugby but can also get up in the middle of the night when I have ideas buzzing around in my head, switch on the computer and get cracking.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I have some great role models in my life. My father and brother run their own businesses and I like to think that I have the same work ethic. I also look to my husband a lot and I value his knowledge and opinions. If we are talking celebrities I adore Joanna Lumley. We met her at a recent event and I thought I might explode when she draped herself around one of our LED maple trees and told me how wonderful she thought they were!

The Courtyard, Northfields, Fair Lane, Winchester, Hampshire, S021 1HF 01962 877644 www.twilight-trees.com

Abigail Wicking - Portrait Artist

Abigail is a self taught artist specialising in animal portraits and oil landscapes. Working out of her family home in the village of Holybourne near Alton in Hampshire she has quickly grown her hobby into a successful business.

What is the secret to your success? - Self belief and the desire to prove people wrong. When I got back from my travels and said I wanted to be an artist I was met with doubt, negativity and rolling eyes from more or less everyone. That was all the motivation I needed, since then I have had a single vision and a one track mind. Plus, if I didn’t succeed I knew I’d have to get a proper job!

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Its important to me that work fits around life, not the other way around. I’ve never been my own boss before and I’m fortunate that my business is one of my hobbies. I enjoy weekend’s away hiking or riding horses so I don’t mind working a Saturday if it means I can take a day during the week, or working later if I’m out and about in the morning. Its all about balance and moderation.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - There was an artist who was the father of one of my sister’s school friends. I was about thirteen and I realized for the first time that artists weren’t always extravagant, far away people and that if he could do it then so could I. I told him I wanted to be an artist and the next week he came back with a cardboard box full of bits that I still use today.

Holybourne, Alton, Hampshire, GU34 4HD 07807 580 836 www.abisportraits.co.uk ajwicking23@gmail.com

Tracey Grout - Sofas & Stuff

Sofas & Stuff first opened in 2009, our branch opened 2014. We specialise in affordable hand made British sofas in any fabric in the world. Our barn style conversion showroom has over 40 models on display. It is a friendly, family run business on the Herriard Estate, where peacocks roam freely, dogs are welcome and the kids are kept entertained in the play room.

What’s the secret to your success? - Success means different things for different people. For me it is doing something I’m passionate about, working with people I trust and offering the best service and quality sofas in the industry, all the while, having fun doing it. Our customers feed off our energy, trust our design advice and extensive product knowledge, and often refer friends and family.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - I’m not sure if I do, but I try hard at it each day. I remind myself that my work is what I love, but my family is what I live for. Luckily I work with my husband and father, and the nature of the showroom being located in the exquisite setting of The Walled Garden Has allowed us to create a home away from home environment for our children. Being open 7 days a week, we spend a lot of time here, our 2 boxer dogs come to work with us, and the kids have a their own space too.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - My husband, who manages to make me laugh everyday, and reminds me about what is truly important and always encourages me to chase my dreams. My father who never complains about doing something but Rather about why something is NOT done, and always treats people with kindness. Our customers inspire me, each have different ideas, colour schemes, fabric favourites and with that we get to sit together, design together and ultimately create their perfect sofa. Its brilliant.

The Walled Garden, Herriard Park, Basingstoke, RG25 2PL 01256 637240/07 www.sofasandstuff.com

Karen Brar - Redwood Advertising Ltd

Redwood Advertising is a specialist multi media buying collaborative marketing agency working across, TV, radio, digital print and outdoor advertising platforms. We liaise directly with clients and find out the end goal, what are they trying to achieve, more products sold, more bums on seats we get down to the fundamentals to drive the results. We research the industry and past test campaigns and then pull together a package that will deliver exactly what was required.

What is the secret of your success? - Success comes with time, and we have spent over 17 years learning the insights to media planning and buying. The ever evolving Internet and use of data constantly changes the dynamics of our campaigns. Thanks to our in depth knowledge of paid media and digital channels we plan, negotiate and trade effectively for our clients. By nurturing and growing together, were in it for the long haul creating strong brands that stand the test of time.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - Having a property developer husband who works from home and spends quality time with our children (including school runs in the early days) has enabled me to successfully balance work and home life. Now the children are 19, 20 and 21 and all still at home which is amazing. Their lives are busier than my husband and mine so we try to keep up with them and schedule in time for the Fab Five.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I consider myself extremely lucky to have the love and support of my family who give me the strength to succeed. Being a very competitive family we are in it to win it and we carry that on in work and play. I love meeting new clients and their challenges and talk openly about how we can together achieve a success campaign.

Chatmohr Crawley Hill, West Wellow, Hampshire, S051 6AP 01794 725249 redwoodadvertising.co.uk

Donna Bache - Antique Fine Jewellery

Donna is the owner of Antique Fine Jewellery, an independent shop located in the heart of Winchester. Starting the business in 2014, they’ve quickly become known for offering beautiful pre-owned pieces, antique watches and stunning diamond jewellery, as well as valuations, repairs, remodelling, jewellery redesigns, all of which keeps the shop very busy! They offer fine jewellery of the best design and quality and pre-owned jewellery from a variety of fresh and vibrant sources, all at reasonable prices, with exceptional craftsmanship and finish.

What is the secret of your success? - Quality, quality and more quality! My team is small, friendly and professional and we are completely customer focused. Our priority is your needs. From Birthdays to Anniversary’s and through all other special occasions, we know each piece of jewellery is a special memory to you. That’s why each item in the shop has been personally selected by myself.

How do you achieve a work/life balance? - While the business is my passion and takes up a lot of the day, I always make time for my family. I also find that one of the keys to working well is having a similar attitude to my team and encourage everybody to look for support in each other. This way, when I wake up in the morning, I know that I’ll be there for the people who need me and they’ll be there for me.

Who inspires you most, either in work or at home? - I’d be tempted to say the fabulous jewellery, but truth by told it’s my daughter! I admire her enthusiasm for life and her ability to be successful through sheer determination and persistence. She’s a true living example of inspiration and all at the age of 7! Lovely girl.

79 Parchment St, Winchester. S023 8AT 01962 860202 www.79parchmentst.co.uk

In June, it’s the turn of the men as we bring you our Hampshire Life Men in Business featuring the movers and shakers in the county’s business scene. If you are interested in being featured, contact Sharon Wareham on 07803 104190 or email sharon.wareham@archant.co.uk.

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