Who are the women that inspire you and who do you look up to?
To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, our Founder shares a list of the women that inspire her and those she looks up to.
Ok, I’m going to try and categorise this list as it’s so vast, and since I’m constantly inspired by people the list does change and evolve quite often.
If I could say one thing to my own daughters, and to all those beautiful women and girls out there, it would be KNOW YOUR WORTH! I believe this with every part of my soul and hope my tribe do too. The more time you spend comparing yourself to others, the less time you have to show the world your greatness! And if you are anything like me – busy AF – time is precious AF. Which is even more reason to focus on cultivating your own self-worth versus looking for others to validate it for you. Look to others for INSPIRATION but not for validation. So, here’s my inspirational list of women…
I don’t want to sound like a big cheese but my number one inspiration is my Mum – a single parent. Big up to all the single mum’s and dad’s doing a great job out there. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but also the most rewarding. Doing it alone is something else. I can’t imagine not having my husband there co-parenting our girls. My Mum was the best Mum, and still is. I still feel like I have so much to learn from her kind and caring nature. She was always apologetic about what she couldn’t provide or buy for my sister and I, but they were just material things. She gave us the most important and priceless thing of all which was her time, and she had the patience of a saint bringing up two sisters 11 months apart in age.
Then there’s my wonderful ‘Nain’ which is welsh for Gran. My Nain has lost a husband and daughter. I cannot imagine what that feels like but I am incredibly proud of her zest for life having endured such pain and loss. She has felt broken, lost and alone but has managed to keep faith, humour and positivity through it all.
Professionally, there are lots of women I look up to and I’m constantly inspired by female founders including Jo Malone, Bobbi Brown, Michelle Mone, Alyson Hogg and my Welsh babes: Spectrum Collection’s Hannah & Sophie, Olew’s Elinor Davies-Farn, Mamws Interiors’ Marcia Edwards and S4C presenters Elin Fflur & Mandy Watkins, @spacelikethis. I also think that networks and which bring women together are fabulous, including Network She, The Monday Club and She Can She Did.
Although I’m not particularly interested in politics (#sorrynotsorry), I do think that Scottish politician Mhairi Black MP is awesome and I love her integrity and authenticity. Two things that most politicians are well known for lacking!
On a global superstardom scale it has to be Oprah. I don’t think I even need to mention her surname. The woman is incredible and her story is so inspiring from a horrendously difficult past. Also, I think Michelle Obama was one amazing First Lady and her honesty is refreshing – these are the kind of women I hope young girls look up to and feel inspired by.
Love her or loathe her, I really love Victoria Beckham. To go from pop star to WAG and then to a designer clothes label – the Beckham brand is a household name and what she has achieved in her career is astronomical. She’s a national treasure.
Then you have ‘real life’ people that go through huge unimaginable traumas. The impact some of these people have in changing perceptions more positively in dire situations is inspirational in itself. Because they are going through the motions and the way they document and record their journeys during this time is something else. Personally, I’ve only been able to share any difficult episodes in life after they have happened and I’ve digested the outcome, and my ‘difficulties’ aren’t even a patch on this bunch, hence why they are my list of warrior women. How these women do it during their journey is beyond comprehension to me.
In 2018 in particular there was Radio Presenter and Broadcaster Rachel Bland, who is sadly no longer with us, but left an amazing legacy in her battle with cancer by changing mind-sets with her award-winning podcast You, Me and the Big C. This podcast also featured Deborah James known on social media as @BowelBabe and who is one of my favourite instagramers. Deborah is an incredible human who shares her life stories whilst coping with incurable stage 5 bowel cancer and has written a book called F**k you Cancer!
Also Sally, otherwise known as @gettingstuffdoneinheels, has done so much for DKMS after her husband was diagnosed with blood cancer. She even jumped out of a plane to raise awareness (but not in heels I may add)!
And then finally Elle Wright, @featheringtheemptynest. Elle wrote a book following the death of her son Teddy, and she shares how she has coped with the help of her husband, family and her cute pug Boris as well as her love for interiors. She continues to raise funds and awareness for #teddyslegacy.
These women are my warrior women and their journeys are incredible. They are inspirational and they are heroic with the way they have coped with what life has thrown at them. None of them had choices in each situation, but the way they dealt with tough life changing situations is admirable.
My fave creatives are artists Niki Pilkington, who is also our Creative Director and queen of neon. Niki is a Welsh Artist based in LA and from the beautiful Llŷn Peninsula where I call home. Then there’s the fabulously eccentric rock star artist, and my quirky friend, Niki Cotton. Again, a lover of neon and her work is as phenomenal as her beautiful mind.
In 2018, I was in awe of Princess Eugenie who married in a gown deliberately designed with an open back in the shape of reverse v-neck to highlight, rather than hide, her scoliosis scar. This was so inspiring in a world where there is so much pressure for perfection. She was later quoted saying “Your scars are a way of communicating, and sharing a trauma can be healing in so many ways. It can release that stigma you might have given to yourself and by talking about it you can show people how they can heal, too.” I certainly became a fan after her wedding day.
Finally, I have my list of Welsh Women who have made names for themselves across the globe: Vogue’s Fashion Designer, Jayne Pierson, who’s worked alongside Alexander McQueen and made clothes for Lady Gaga; Catherine Zeta Jones from Swansea who’s now living across the pond with her husband Michael Douglas is a timeless beauty; Global Entrepreneur and former Police Officer Emma Cooper, who changed her life after finding out she was pregnant; and finally, all the glam of Katherine Jenkins who is the Welsh nation’s sweetheart. These women make me feel proud to be Welsh.
This list is really the tip of the iceberg as I have so many more women that inspire me and the list goes on. But at this moment in time I’m fan girling over these lot! When women support each other, incredible things happen.