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March 8, 2019

International Women’s Day: Our favourite female entrepreneurs

 Jaffer
Alyssa Jaffer

This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating the groundbreaking, glass-ceiling shattering, talented and resilient women that have built their own businesses and brought their skills to The Collective. We’re spotlighting our favourite female entrepreneurs, a mix of our members and creative collaborators that have graced our corridors and shared their craft with us. Here’s to the women makers, shakers, artists and entrepreneurs all over the world.

Maxine Thompson, founder of PolkaPants

maxine thompson polka pants

What is your craft?

I am a trained chef and also trained and work in fashion as a designer for Betsey Johnson, and as head of customer relations at CHANEL in New York.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Stop, breathe, reflect. I think it’s really important to get perspective on what you are doing by taking one step back. We often get so caught up in our day-to-day operations, the running of our business and what is the best step, that we can often reach a stalemate or creative block. I find the best way to get over this is to take one step back. This way you can see what you could improve, whats going well, and what the best way to move forward is.

What did you do with us at The Collective?

PolkaPants is working with The Collective to create bespoke uniforms for their staff.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have worked with us?

Partnering with The Collective means that we’ll be able to provide members, diners and guests with a unique collaborative effort of both PolkaPants and The Collective – an overall experience. Through this partnership, we will work with the staff and the team to create a uniform that they are excited and proud to wear, and is also ultimately functional, allowing them to get on with doing a great job.

The Collective is as much as about the people who work there as it is the people who live there.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Believe in what you are doing, or trying to do. That is the most important thing – if you don’t believe in your idea, no one else will. Starting and running a business is hard and getting out of bed and getting motivated can be really tough some days. But, as my dad always says to me, if running your own business was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Natalie Mady, founder of Hackney Herbal

© Miles Willis 2017. Image was shot by Miles Willis Photography for International Women’s Day 2018, as a wider project focussing on women and innovation in farming. See the full set: https://www.mileswillis.co.uk/m/-/galleries/women-who-farm

What is your craft?

I’m a permaculturist with a passion for finding creative ways to connect people with nature. I show people how to grow and use herbs to improve their health and wellbeing.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Commitment, dedication and patience.

What did you do with us at The Collective?

I’ve run a few workshops at The Collective, showing members how to use herbs to make their own products for wellbeing. So far we’ve done sessions on herbal skincare and self-care, teaching them how to use herbs to make lip balms, bath soaks and sleep sprays. I’m looking forward to our next workshop, which will be on urban gardening and growing herbs at home.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have worked with us?

It’s been great to work with The Collective, as their model for co-living is really interesting. Unlike many new residential developments where people living next to each other don’t know their neighbours, the ethos at The Collective is a refreshing approach to communal living. I’ve always been amazed by all the activities that are organised for their members, encouraging people to come together and get stuck in! It’s been great to be a part of that and run our activities for such an engaged audience!

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Make sure you are clear about what your purpose is. It’s so important to be able to clearly explain why you do what you do in a way that engages and excites people.

Aden Eyob, founder & CEO of Mind Medication

aden eyob

What is your skill?

I am a clinical neuroscientist and author of the upcoming book, Mind Training: The Secret for Positive Living, that will help you to uncover your ‘why’, unlock your potential and free limiting beliefs to achieve the impossible.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Faith. Passion. Purpose.

What do you do with us at The Collective?

In addition to living at The Collective, I delivered a mind training workshop last year, as part of The Collective Community Festival in January. I also organised and facilitated a series of interactive talks that addressed money, time and stress and mind management in June, which was attended by both residents and members of the public, I most recently provided mindset and peer-to-peer coaching for members through The Collective Grow Programme.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have lived and worked with us?

Working with The Collective has been a true blessing both on a personal and business level. My inspiration to set-up Mind Medication was largely due to The Collective and its ethos of limitless possibilities through collective unity and community.

This was further demonstrated through the resources, events, and community vibe that helped me to overcome my fears and embark on entrepreneurship. The Collective has played an instrumental role in my personal development and the organic growth and success of Mind Medication.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

The entrepreneurial journey is a rollercoaster, with extreme highs and lows. But in the end, what matters most is the community you share the ride with. Don’t ride the rollercoaster alone.

Ruby Larimar, energy healer and founder of Holistic Ruby

holistic ruby

What is your craft?

My skill is the ability to help bring transformation using my knowledge wisdom and expertise in life coaching and energy healing using crystals, sound, voice, Reiki and traditional shamanic practices.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Reevaluate, adapt and persevere. No matter how good our product or service is, or how much we believe in ourselves, our world keeps on changing like the seasons and the years. As a result I have learnt to constantly revaluate, adapt and persevere.

What did you do with as at The Collective?

I hosted a workshop last summer on crystal healing for members, to help them connecting with crystals and sound for optimum health and wellbeing.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have worked with us?

Working with The Collective, I witnessed the energy of positivity, teamwork, love, nurturing, support, harmony – in essence, all the positive qualities associated with being in a community environment, working together as a one. I found the whole experience to be inspirational and refreshing.

I experienced firsthand that we can achieve more as a collective, than in isolation.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Hard work is the ultimate key to success. Invest your time and energy in creating a strong foundation to reap the rewards in the future, and most importantly, remember to enjoy the journey embracing the process fully!

Keziah Brown, founder & director of Heaps + Stacks

keziah brown heaps + stacks

What is your craft?

Heaps + Stacks is an event programming business. We work with the events team at The Collective to add to the programme of curated member events and special press events.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Love, energy, push.

What did you do with us at The Collective?

Ooh, we’ve done all sorts in the past year! The highlights: life casting kisses for Valentine’s Day, Kintsugi – traditional Japanese technique of reconstructing broken china with beautiful gold foil grouts – and the art of napkin folding.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have worked with us?

It’s wonderful to be working with such a forward thinking business that allows us to explore some of our more wild ideas, amongst such a varied and interesting crowd.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Wake up early and get the important things done before everyone else is up to make sure they get done, and you are constantly moving forward!

Jennie Webber, illustrator and founder of Wild Life Drawing

wild life drawing

What is your craft?

Illustration, conservation and events management. Wild Life Drawing is a drawing class, with a special difference – our models are real animals.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Kindness, hard work and attention to detail.

What did you do with us at The Collective?

I ran a Birds of Prey life drawing class for The Collective members last summer.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have worked with us?

I’m so pleased to have been a part of a new, innovative and obviously very successful way of living, and making memories for your members.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Find your niche, and try to do things differently.

Cindy Lin, founder of Staged4more School of Home Staging

cindy lin

What is your skill?

Home staging – We provide education for home owners and real estate agents on how to stage and style their homes for sale and to live. I was working in America as a home stager for more than 11 years and started my company when I was 25. In 2017, the company was fully transitioned from a local home staging business to an international online school, where we teach all things home staging. We also have business courses for home stagers on how to build successful home staging businesses that align with their core values.

What do you do with as at The Collective?

I just moved in about 3 weeks ago! Excited to be here.

What are three words you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Do good work.

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to live with us?

I think networking is extremely important. Being new to London, it is important for me to meet others and find possible collaborative partners. The Collective has been so supportive and amazing in introducing the members to each other, which adds a tremendous value to living here.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Really sit down and evaluate what is it that you want out of your life and your business. Your business should serve your lifestyle, not the other way around.

Your work should also align with your core values and your ‘why’. Once you have clarity on your core values and your ‘why’, the other stuff will start falling into place. Lastly, be patient. Business building is a long game that requires persistence and strategies.

Clara Heimerdinger, comedy club producer at Nice N’ Spiky Comedy

What is your skill?

Curating bespoke comedy line ups for venues and producing the live shows.

What do you do with as at The Collective?

Stand-up comedy gigs for The Collective Old Oak members.

What three words do you live by, as an entrepreneur?

Collaboration. And be nice!

At The Collective, we’re passionate about bringing people together to create a shared experience. What does it mean to you to have worked with us?

I love building communities through my comedy shows and that sits in parallel with The Collective community of members. To see people bonding over a laugh and a drink in their home is magical.

Give us a piece of advice for aspiring or struggling entrepreneurs, trying to make their mark.

Your network is key.

Happy International Women’s Day! Read more from the amazing women working at The Collective.

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