Three letters. An inconsequential word in all appearances, but a word that carries so much with it. She did this. She achieved that. She means this to me. She. It could be one of the most powerful words of all time when you consider it closely. On this International Women’s Day I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate some very special women, and to say that we don’t need one day to do it, but we should do it every single day. Because, She.
To the women who get up every single day and do something that doesn’t make them happy, or fill them with joy, but they do it because they have mouths to feed and bills to pay, this post is for you. She is the woman who shows commitment, bravery and selflessness; and even when the world seems dark - the smile on the faces of those mouths she feeds and the warmth from the radiator she grafts to have working, those are the things that she can cling to while she waits for the time to pursue her own joy.
To the women who look in the mirror and see nothing but imperfections and flaws, who scroll through endless highlight reels of people living their best lives; this post is for you. She is the woman who today will look in the mirror and find something positive to say, because she is beautiful - no no, she is.
For the girls who don’t know if they are pursuing the right path, or indeed what that path even is, this post is for you. She is the woman who is curious and seeks more, and this should be celebrated! If I knew now what I knew at 14 when I was meant to make choices to determine a career for the rest of my life I know I would have made very different decisions! Life is a long road, and you have the opportunity to change and pursue new things. Don’t worry about what others are doing, just stay being curious and you will find that path. It’s there waiting. Honestly it is.
To the female that stands alone, not sure if she can be liked or if people will accept her, wondering if she is good enough, this post is for you. She is the woman who is careful, and mindful, and is the best friend to have because she is aware of what’s going on. If you see her, draw her in. She will love and reward you for it forever. For she is the woman who knows how important it is to be loved and accepted.
To the women who have made choices in the past that they regret now. This post is for you. She is the woman who made decisions with the best information she had at the time, and like everything, you live and learn. Don’t beat yourself up over choices and decisions you made. Put that energy into forging a path forward that you want to pursue.
She is the woman that is formidable. She is the woman who is vulnerable. She is the woman that gets up, shows up and above everything, will rise up. She knows no boundaries and no ceilings. She. The Mums, the sisters, the friends, the mentors, the bosses, the team, the ladies behind the counter, the online supporters, the Grans, the cousins, the aunts, the teachers and the strangers. She.
Celebrating some very special women today:
Shelley Bosworth Coaching - Shelley Bosworth
This wonderful lady is my mother in law, she was my biggest cheerleader when I announced I wanted more! She encouraged me, she celebrated every achievement and raised a glass with me on the good days and the difficult days.
And all this while firstly caring for her own husband through Alzheimer’s, and then her own short but spirited battle with cancer.
She ran her own business when she was younger, she raised her son to be the man he is, my best friend and my rock! Sadly she left us to be with her Mr B before I qualified and set up the business but I know she’s here, supporting me, rooting for me and and proud of all Mr B and I are doing .... I see her smile, I hear her infectious laughter and I am inspired by her strength to this day ... she kept going through everything and I will too because I can do this.
Boss Bird Parlour - Lisa Luscombe
This lady right here Pat Ross-Davies really is a true inspiration.
She lights up any room, can find a positive in any negative and has dedicated the last 5 years to co-founding and organising a free to attend ukulele festival Summer Strum Hoylake with all profits donated to charity, to date the festival has raised thousands and thousands of pounds for local charities and she does all of this work voluntarily to simply bring joy to a community through music.
In August 2018 this lovely lady was told after being cancer free for 17 years that her cancer had returned and was stage 4 secondary breast cancer, despite this news Pat continues to play weekly gigs with her band to raise funds in order to keep the festival running.
She lives for the moments and memories, makes the best of every single day and quite simply makes the world a better place to be.
Family Memento Photography - Aina Gomez Piza
My mum (in this picture she’s with my dad and my daughter).
She started a great career in law, and at 27 discovered during birth that her first child had Down’s syndrome in a time when not much was known about it and what it implied (or not). She dropped everything and took care of my sister, and then of my brother and me. Eventually, with a gap in her cv, she set out on her own journey of self employment. She had her own store front in a busy part of town and taught me that you can be independent and still be a family woman. You can own your business and be at home to make dinner if you want to - and she’s an excellent cook by the way.
The Calm Within - Aislinn Marek
My inspirational lady is my mum. She is my rock. She has stood by me through thick and thin and her faith, kindness and patience are second to none. Nothing is ever too much trouble for her and she lives life to the full (up and dancing at a ceilidh for her 70th birthday party, only a few weeks after having a hip replacement!)
She hasn't had the easiest of times over the years but you'd never hear her moan or complain. I would be truly lost without her and hope that I am half the mum to my children as she has been for me.
Paper Swan Stationery - Lucy McCormick
The women that have inspired me are my big sisters Ruth, Rachel and Claire (sorry I can't have one without the other!)
They have all worked so hard over the years to build amazing businesses and as working mums they have struggled at times but have always managed. They have shown me that hard work and dedication will all be worth it
T-21 Hub - Sharon Crowley
This is my mum, Sandra. So many women inspire me but my mum has always been there for me. She has stood by me, supported me and held my hand unconditionally throughout my whole life. Her kindness, her strength and her love are 3 reasons we love her
She inspires me as she passed her driving test late in life (for independence), has travelled abroad by herself (for adventure) and has been my rock since Ellie was born.
Silent Songbird Boutique - Anita Willand
My late mother in law, Elaine. She was the most mentally strong woman I have ever known. Despite her having many medical issues she never ever let them stop her in life. Through a dark time we went through together we became so close, the bestest of friends and she was truly like a mother to me when my own isn't present in my life.
It was through the dark experiences we faced together that I was and still am in awe of her. And she helped me summon my own inner strength which I carry with me every single day. When I feel disheartened I remember her encouragement of my business. When I feel overwhelmed I remember her calming energy. When I feel frustrated I remember her smile. And with her in my mind every day I know that I can tackle the harder days and get through them because she taught me that we all have strength in us. We just have to dig a little deeper sometimes. But it's there. Women are strong. Stronger than we think. Women are amazing!
Eat My Muffin Bakery - Sarah Hadley-Rainsford
This lady is Michelle Green. She was my very first business class called the business of baking in 2016. She opened my eyes to my instincts being correct. That what I wanted wasn’t just ok it was more then possible. She put me on the road to my first steps of where I am today.
Calm In The Chaos - Rachel Brydon
My inspiration is a lady called Alison Powell. She organised a world record attempt in June 2011 in West Wales for ... skinny dipping! We had to be at least waist height for more than 10 mins for it to count. We smashed the record as there was well over 400 of us (previous world record was 250). She did it for Marie Curie and on the way to the beach there were quotes and motivational statements from cancer survivors and family members.
She made the event fun, inclusive and about positivity. I gained so much from the experience. I went alone and felt empowered and supported. Making women feel great about just being is such a powerful gift to give them.
L'atelier Kauldhar - Jasbir Kauldhar
My son must've been about 8 years old (he's 19 now) and suffers with an eye condition called Nystagmus. We went to a fun fair and he wanted to have a go on the rifle range. I didn't want him to be hurt when he couldn't hit any of the targets so dissuaded him as much as I could and wouldn't let him try it. Mum objected to this and said she would pay for him to have a go despite my saying that it would be a waste of money and he wouldn't be able to see the target, let alone hit it. I stomped off angrily - she couldn't possibly know my son better than me!
I came back after having taken my daughter on another ride only to find a gigantic 6ft blue teddy bear sitting on a bench with my mum and son. He was grinning from ear to ear, so pleased with himself and I was amazed.
Apparently, mum told the stall holder about her grandson's eye condition and to stand right back because she didn't know where he would aim. The chap shot out the target at the same time as my son, making him believe that he'd done it all himself. He was 18 years old before we told him the truth and he'd always believed that he had the ability to do anything he wanted.
Mum's attitude was that everyone should be given a chance and I should never put my limitations on anyone, especially myself. It was a very valuable lesson and one I live by every day.
I started my business after we lost her a few years ago but I can hear her cheering me on and telling me not to worry and go for it.
A true advocate of "community over competition" Jennifer has gone a long way in the world of wedding celebrants and officiants to create a supportive environment where we all recognise our individuality and our niches within the sector.