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Inspirational women on international women's day

‘A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.’

It’s the people who have inspired me throughout my life, many of whom are women, who I will be forever grateful for, for believing in me and giving me the confidence to grow:

Firstly, Mother Goose. It’s actually her 60th birthday on 8th March this year aptly on International Women’s Day. She, for most of my adult life, has brought myself, my brother and my sister up having been widowed at a young age when my Father died. She has worked every hour under the sun to put food on the table for us in the NHS, as a nurse, through Covid, lockdowns, driving 80 mile round trips doing night shifts. She has been our ultimate rock in life.

Olivia Paviour – my boss for many years whilst working in media recruitment. Liv – you guided me from a teenager (who loved drinking wine on school nights far too much) right through to taking life a lot more seriously developing in my career and encouraging me to jump into a new industry,

something I was very keen to do but something I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do without you. Who knew that all those years of sales training, business development, forecasts and pledges would be so absolutely essential when running my own business!

My sister in law – Zoe. A Mother of 4, who works full time, is the youngest ever person to be on the board for a top accountancy firm, and one of the first women. Someone who is so incredibly driven and well respected, whilst being an incredible Mum is admirable.

Running my own small business, something I never in a million years thought I would ever have the guts to do, is something I am personally extremely proud of.

I always thought where many, many years of working in sales would lead me to. How would I ever do my ‘own thing.’ I lacked the confidence and had a lot of self-doubt. For me it was about mindset, surrounding myself around positive people. Breaking down what I have achieved to get where I am today. Getting myself in a very positive physical and mental state in order to make the leap.

When starting The Forest Foodie I honestly thought it might keep me busy for 2 days a week. 1 year on I was working solidly 7 days a week, and soon took on my first team member. Now – 18 months in – we are multi award winning, profitable, growing and have taken on a big unit to help with our growth plans. It has been a big personal challenge. Battling self-doubt weekly, every decision sitting on my shoulders – that’s tough. Having conversations with my husband that didn’t revolve around work, forecasts and ideas. The highs and lows. I would not change this for the world. I couldn’t be more content and have proved to myself an incredible amount, that I now truly believe there is nothing stopping me.

There are many factors which have led and inspired me to really push towards working on and building a company which balances profit and purpose.

Being a woman in business in The New Forest is amazing. Not at all undervalued or under represented. Lots of my suppliers are women and we all work together, with the same goals, to support one another. Gender is irrelevant here, it’s refreshing. We all work together to make the world around us a better place.

There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.

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