The Day I went to The House of Lords! - Special Guest Blog

This month’s blog post is from the inspirational Hana Glover aka The Retail Coach and owner of The Bead Shop Nottingham.

We were lucky enough to have been named, along with Debbie Clarke from Debbiedooodah, 3 of the country’s 100 Top Female Entrepreneurs of 2019 as part of the f:entrepreneur initiative.

Read on to hear more about our day and perhaps inspire you to apply for next year!

The best part of the day was the friendships we made and support we now get from each other.

The best part of the day was the friendships we made and support we now get from each other.

This time last month I was at The House Of Lords! How strange does that sound! I still can’t really believe I was listed as one of the top 100 female entrepreneurs, so I thought writing a blog about it might help it all sink in.

Back in October I was sent the information about f:Entrepreneurs #ialso campaign by my bank manager. I spent several weeks debating with myself whether to apply but after lots of encouragement from other women in business I decided I had nothing to lose.

The f:Entrepreneur #ialso Top 100 is designed to celebrate and showcase amazing female entrepreneurs from all over the UK. It highlights women describing their work as so much more than just a single job or career.

https://f-entrepreneur.com is a grassroots initiative to help share the stories of women in business using #ialso

https://f-entrepreneur.com is a grassroots initiative to help share the stories of women in business using #ialso

The application involved answering what my business does, how I got there and what else I do. Along with questions on what I’ve learnt over the years and what advice I’d give to myself when I first started out. If you’re curious to know it would be; not to give up on anything you really want to achieve, and don’t be afraid to be yourself!

I found the application both quite hard, like most people I can be my own biggest critic and quite a positive experience. By taking a step back and analysing my journey I could see how far I’ve come.

In January I was amazed to discover my application was successful!

As part of the celebrations for International Women’s Day I was invited to a fancy event at the House Of Lords. This was well out of my comfort zone but fortunately I discovered I wouldn’t be travelling to London alone. I was delighted to discover that two other Nottingham entrepreneurs were among the top 100; Debbie Clarke of Debbiedooodah and Jen Walker of the Split Screen Coffee Company.

Debbie is a business coach, podcast host, lecturer and founder of the blue stockings network! Find her at www.debbiedooodah.com

Jen is a coffee genius, Small Business Saturday top 100 the face of a Sage advertising campaign and more! Find her at www.thesplitscreencoffee.co.uk

The highlight of the event for me was listening to the inspirational Martha Lane Fox speak. It was fascinating to hear her talk about founding LastMinute.com before the internet had taken off. She had several engaging and amusing stories about being a female in business.


Martha Lane Fox

Martha Lane Fox

My amazing travel companions helped me forget how anxious I was and turned the day into one of the most memorable days of my life! Over the last year I’ve been lucky enough to work with and meet so many incredible women. Nottingham really is an amazing nurturing place to run a business. 

Author Hana Glover

Author Hana Glover

Say hello to our new coffee supplier and my Aeropress

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Keeping it local.

It doesn’t take much research or watching of the news to realise there is a change afoot.  People are wanting to know where their products are coming from and they want to know the people they are buying from.  Businesses with a good knack for interacting with their customers on social media or in more traditional methods seem to be making gains in ways that larger, more austere and rigid companies are not.  Flexibility and a human face seems to be what is generating the most interest and excitement.

I find this an excellent prospect as a consumer and as a small business owner.  Knowing the makers is wonderful.

With all this in mind I have decided to make a change in my coffee supplier.  For those of you who know us, we have been with 200 degrees for the past 3 years and have nothing but praise and admiration for them.  They have always been hugely supportive of what we do and I will miss the people and service they offer (not to mention their wonderful coffee).  But, in the spirit of keeping things small and being able to walk into the roasting house whenever I want to (I love being able to go into the roastery and have a nosy) I have decided to start a new coffee relationship with the lovely people at Stewarts of Trent Bridge.  Stewarts is named after Nottingham’s coffee visionary Stewart Falconer, who hand roasting coffee in the 80’s, before the word “artisan” even existed. They are still using the original roaster he bought for the job all those years ago which is a joy to watch – easily done by peering through the glass windows of Sneinton Market.

So far we have had a lot of love for our coffee and I hope this continues.  We still feel there is no excuse for bad coffee anywhere anymore.

Quick-fire Aeropress Review

I bought an Aeropress and I love it.  If you are thinking of trying out this new (i.e. not ancient) brewing method  here are the positives and a few, slight, minor,  negatives.

Positives

  1. it makes a good cup of coffee,

  2. there is no grit or grinds in that afore mentioned good cup of coffee,

  3. it’s easy (once you’ve worked out what all the separate parts do) to make a good cup of coffee and you can experiment with different ways and types, 

  4. good brewing method on-the-go and when travelling/camping,

  5. it’s easy to clean,

  6. Not expensive.

Negatives

  1. there are a lot of parts and they don’t stack in a tidy way,

  2. you can only brew 1 (maybe 2 cups) at a time.