Women in business in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 16:42 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:42 25 February 2020

Women in business in the Cotswolds (photo: fizkes, Getty Images)

Women in business in the Cotswolds (photo: fizkes, Getty Images)

Archant

We have gathered some of the best and brightest Cotswold businesswomen

- The Education Hotel

The Old Chapel, Church Walk, Combe, Witney OX29 8NQ

Name: Jemma Zoe Smith. Position: Director. 07960 497235

Facebook | Twitter

I run The Education Hotel - which offers tuition and educational consultancy to families across Oxfordshire. As a tutor I have worked in: USA, China, Turkey, Dubai, Europe, Hawaii and Kenya. I arrived in Oxford to study biochemistry at the University and, except for a year in London, I've been here since.

Who or what inspires you?

Teenagers sometimes get a bad reputation in the press, but at The Education Hotel our young people are always striving to do their best and they inspire me to do mine. I love seeing them achieving their goals. We help students who want to attend top universities, get the top grades and want to be their best.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

Growing up I had a tutor called Peter who taught me to write essays. Struggling with dyslexia during GCSE's, Peter taught me that not everyone is good at everything and that it's okay to ask for help. This is something I tell my tutees, but I also use in my business life.

What does the future have in store for you?

This year I plan to focus on growing my business The Education Hotel. 2020 will see us expand to working with schools across Oxfordshire - offering workshops for parents, teachers and students. I'm also writing my own book. It's a guide for parents on navigating primary school. Watch this space!

The Education Hotel (photo: Charlotte Garner)The Education Hotel (photo: Charlotte Garner)

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- The Bourne House Practice

65 High Street, Broadway WR12 7DP

Name: Ruth Anne Adams. Position: Senior Consultant and Founder. 07462 404414

Facebook | Instagram

I am a specialist in women's mental health, particularly relating to hormonal change and in balance. I have a long career in private practice and this year we opened our truly ground breaking clinic focusing on all area's of mental health, nutrition, physical wellbeing and hormone health within a beautiful members club .

Who or what inspires you?

I've always been inspired by women with vision and an eloquence in sharing their ideas. From writers such as Angela Carter and Margaret Atwood, to interior designers and creatives. Then, in my field it's the people who push boundaries around female mental health, such as Dr Marwa Azab. I am also very fortunate to have constant inspiration from my clients .

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

There's a few, mostly words from my wonderful mother 'You can do anything and achieve anything you put your mind to, but you cant do everything'. I think this is so important to remember, whether it's in business, home or just aspects of modern day living. As women we tend to put everything on our shoulders and that causes a burn out… choose what you want to put your mind to and don't take on too much.

What does the future have in store for you?

Growth in all area's. As a business we plan to reach new members who will flourish with us. 2020 Retreats are on the horizon, as well as expansion of our clinic services and just to really deliver the very best health care available. Then personally, my future is one I create daily , I focus on my health, happiness and enjoying every moment of my journey.

The Bourne House PracticeThe Bourne House Practice

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- The Old School Bed and Breakfast

Little Compton, Moreton in Marsh GL56 0SL

Name: Wendy Veale. Position: Owner / Manager. 01608 674588

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Voted No. 1 B&B in Europe 2018 by TripAdvisor's Travellers Choice, my home, The Old School B&B is in its thirteenth year of welcoming guests from all over the world. A big helping of warm English hospitality topped off with a huge dollop of stunning, historical, living countryside makes my day!

Who or what inspires you?

Positivity! As a sole trader it is vital for my sanity to network. With so much local support and experience close to hand, I like to seek out those who shine and inspire. Bouncing good vibes off one another makes for a much happier working day and a good chance to succeed.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

'Just deal with what's in front of you'. I love life at this old school, but there is always a daily challenge and sometimes very over-whelming setbacks. I try to keep calm, carry on, prioritising and dealing only with what is immediately in front of me, for today whilst other issues can wait. This really seems to help.

What does the future have in store for you?

If only I knew that answer! Tourism is a massive part of our economy but ebbs and flows. I hope I can continue, with pride, in making a small contribution to showcase the Cotswolds. And of course, I have Old School tales to tell, so I must find time to write my memoirs!

Old School B&B (photo by Anna Lythgoe)Old School B&B (photo by Anna Lythgoe)

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- Design Storey

13 Royal Crescent, Montpellier, Cheltenham GL50 3DA

Name: Lydia Robinson. Position: Creative Director. 0333 733 1373

Twitter | Instagram

Lydia is the creative director of award-winning architectural practice design storey. I founded design storey in 2015 with my partner and codirector and partner Lawrence Grigg. Since then the practice has gone from strength-to-strength working on residential and smaller commercial projects in Cheltenham and the Cotswolds.

Who or what inspires you?

I'm inspired by both the architecture of the beautiful towns that are found throughout the area but also the natural environment of the rolling Cotswold hills. I believe architecture should respond to its context, whether natural or man-made, and driving around the Cotswolds is a constant source of inspiration.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

Be yourself and stay true to your beliefs. In architecture and design, you can often be tempted to follow trends or get swayed by others. Listening to people and collaborating is important but also having your own style, approach and self-belief goes a long way to establishing yourself.

What does the future have in store for you?

We have some really interesting projects on the drawing board at the moment and quite a few in the planning process. We are looking forward to seeing some of these projects built out in 2020.

Design StoreyDesign Storey

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- Slate Clothing

The Huntings, 7 Church Close, Broadway WR12 7AH

Name: Gilly Aspey. Position: Owner

Facebook | Twitter

Slate Clothing is a collection of womenswear fashion boutiques based in Cheltenham, Burford and Broadway. With our newest store having opened in Montpellier, Cheltenham in February 2020, our stores are dedicated to offering the very best handpicked ladies' clothing for every occasion with excellent service to match.

Who or what inspires you?

When my mother, with no previous retail experience, established a successful bookshop at the age of 50, I saw that anything is possible with hard work and enthusiasm. Together with encouragement from my family, and our loyal customers who have supported us over the years, I relish the next chapter.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

At my first trade show, when I knew absolutely nothing, I was told 'stop thinking like a shopper, you are now a buyer!' Those words echo round my head every time I view a new collection.

What does the future have in store for you?

My immediate challenge is to establish Slate Cheltenham amongst the other great retailers in Montpellier. This includes holding events both in-store and at local hotels for customers to attend, plus making sure every other aspect of the store is as it should be. Then I look forward to a holiday!

Slate ClothingSlate Clothing

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- Doux Amour

Griffin House, Digbeth Street, Stow-on-the-Wold GL54 1BN

Name: Jan Draper. Position: Owner. 01451 870096

Instagram | Facebook

A life-long dream, created twelve months ago, offering a fashion 'experience' which encapsulates, lingerie, loungewear, daywear and outfits for special occasions. As stockists of brands including ROBELL, Frank Lyman and A Postcard from Brighton, Anita and Chantelle, there really is something for everyone!

Who or what inspires you?

The belief of family and friends that I will make this venture a success, provides me with strength to meet the challenges facing Retailers right now. Already I have a loyal following, including 'Care lingerie' customers, whose resilience is just about as inspiring as one can get.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

My late Fathers advice "it won't be easy at least for the first two years" spurs me on as Doux Amour celebrates its first birthday this April. I like to think he would once more say "well done Jan, you did it your way - as usual!"

What does the future have in store for you?

Building on the tremendous success of our first year, we aim to position Doux Amour on the 'map' of must visit ladies' Boutiques in the Cotswolds. Continuing to ensure all our customers look and feel fantastic in our range, as well as developing our on-line shop shopping experience.

Doux AmourDoux Amour

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- Datasource Recruitment

83 Promenade, Cheltenham GL50 1PJ

Name: Lauren Gallagher. Position: Head of Consultancy & Innovation Engineering. 01242 521358

Twitter | LinkedIn

Award winning Defence Recruitment Agency Datasource is a family run business protecting the nation's cyber security, found in the heart of Cheltenham. Day to day business is led by Lauren Gallagher who is at the forefront of our Key Accounts providing top Security Cleared Tech Talent UK wide.

Who or what inspires you?

I've always been told to do what you enjoy and I am really lucky to have found a job that I love. It is also amazing to read the news and know that I have been a small part of something bigger.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

Things don't get done if people don't do them! Working hard is the only way to succeed - my director always tells me that you get out what you put in and this is very true in recruitment, you have to always go the extra mile.

What does the future have in store for you?

To develop the Consultancy and Technical capability further within Datasource to best support our clients in their innovation, research and transformation projects. We are passionate about and will continue to work closely with our clients to support women in technology and the next generation of Defence!

Datasource RecruitmentDatasource Recruitment

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- Tinplate Products

The Granary, Pinkney Park, Pinkney, Malmesbury SN16 0NX

Name: Emma Hanson. Position: Managing Director. 01666 841600

Facebook | Twitter

Emma Hanson is the powerhouse and MD of Tinplate. This family-run business has grown into one of the UK's most trusted bespoke tin packaging suppliers, working with a wide array of clients including Fortnums, Boots and Whittard of Chelsea. Under Emma's leadership, they offer high-quality, sustainable packaging for all.

Who or what inspires you?

What inspires me is the excitement of taking on a new project with my team, understanding what our clients are trying to achieve and helping influence the design and style of product to bring a beautiful pack to market which exceeds all expectations.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

A dear family friend, who is no longer with us, was a very successful business man. He advised me to 'always employ somebody who can do a task better than you. You are only as strong as your weakest member'. I have followed these words of advice to this day.

What does the future have in store for you?

Having a strong team has allowed us to grow organically at a rate of 20% year on year for over 10 years. Through nurturing, Tinplate will continue to grow. We will ensure our team develops and has pride in bringing new products to market, which we are all proud of.

Tinplate ProductsTinplate Products

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- Cotswold Security Group

De Montfort House, Enterprise Way, Vale Park, Evesham WR11 1GS

Name: Kay Clifton. Position: Managing Director. 01386 305086

I decided to take the plunge and start my own company three years ago after a decade in the security industry. CSG Ltd is now a well renowned local company providing all security needs for residential and commercial customers. We pride ourselves in providing a professional, personable and flexible approach.

Who or what inspires you?

My parents - my mum who has taught me that a woman can be independent and my dad who has taught me to never be afraid of the unknown and sometimes taking risks can work out! My team are absolutely amazing and this keeps me aspiring for more every day!

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

PMA - Positive Mental Attitude! This was drummed into me from a young age. You must be happy in yourself to be able to follow your dreams it also rubs off on the people around you! My mum always told me to follow my instinct, I should trust in this more!

What does the future have in store for you?

I would like CSG to focus on the 'Professional Neighbours' service which is part of our keyholding and alarm response service and to grow our customer base within The Cotswolds and further field. With the recent gaining of two industry-recognised qualifications I see some exciting times ahead for my team!

Cotswold Security GroupCotswold Security Group

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- Cellet Marketing & Public Relations Ltd

Bloxham Business Centre, Barford Road, Bloxham, Banbury OX15 4FF

Name: Yolanda Fletcher. Position: Owner. 01295 722816

Facebook | Twitter

I am the Owner of Cellet Marketing and Public Relations Ltd, a boutique agency in business for 31 years, specialising in marketing and PR within the travel and lifestyle industry. I am driven by delivering results, developing national campaigns, building relationships with suppliers and clients = happiness.

Who or what inspires you?

Meeting new contracts, brainstorming to develop original creative concepts. We represent fantastic brands, seeing them in the marketplace is amazing. Every day is different - one minute I am talking to the Travel Editor of The Times, the next I'm negotiating a national campaign and working on social media posts.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

Be honest in business to your suppliers, clients and staff. My Mum, who ran her own business, gave me this piece of advice at 17 and this is at the heart of everything I do. These values have ensured long-standing relationships; we have clients with us for over 20 years now.

What does the future have in store for you?

We have some exciting, high profile projects this year, including sponsorship of a major music event in Blenheim Palace. Embracing sustainability on a personal and work level. Keeping healthy to focus the mind. Most of all surrounding myself with positive and vibrant people and maintaining my charity work.

Cellet Marketing & Public Relations Ltd (photo: Alison Webster)Cellet Marketing & Public Relations Ltd (photo: Alison Webster)

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- Royal Agricultural University

Stroud Road, Cirencester, GL7 6JS

Name: Katherine Duke. Position: Head of Enterprise. 01285 889835

Facebook | Twitter

I have been responsible for developing the multi-award winning enterprise programme and social enterprises, since their infancy 13 years ago. Our amazing achievements include supporting over 60 students to start a business, gaining 2 supermarket listings for our social enterprises and winning Enterprise Education Provider of the year, in 2019.

Who or what inspires you?

I have worked with some incredibly talented and inspiring student entrepreneurs, during my time at the RAU. I am inspired by their tenacity, determination and enthusiasm for their business idea, which in turn, motivates me to continually innovate our enterprise offering to provide them with the best support possible.

What is the best advice you've ever been given?

A very wise entrepreneur once said to me, everything in business comes down to three p's; planning, passion and perseverance without any one of these you will not succeed! This is a philosophy I have tried to emulate within my work and instil in all our enterprise students.

What does the future have in store for you?

Being recognised as a Centre of Excellence for Enterprise Education by IOEE has provided me with a fantastic springboard, from which I can continue to grow our enterprise offering including our support for students involved in our social enterprises; Cotswold Hills wine and Muddy Wellies drinks. Here's to the future!

Royal Agricultural UniversityRoyal Agricultural University

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