Wales 35 under 35
Let me start by saying diolch. To those who don't know, that's 'Thank you' in Welsh.
I'm honoured to have been featured in Wales Online's 35 Under 35 Businesswomen.
This means a huge amount to me for several reasons; firstly because I think Wales has a lot of talent to offer, and secondly because showcasing successful young women in entrepreneurship is key to encouraging more girls and young women to take the plunge and start their own thing.
I may not have a thick Welsh accent...
But I can tell you, I am so proud to be Welsh. I think growing up in a smaller and more traditional culture really forges something in you as an individual. For me, it's a sense of cultural pride, and also a very strong sense of determination and resilience. Perhaps its from being part of a small, independent-minded country, perhaps its having had our country played down as an underdog globally, or maybe it comes from my obsessive consumption of Catatonia in the mid 90s.
I've also been excited to see a younger Welsh generation take the helm of their family brands, or pick up on the market's appetite for new, interesting independent brands. Each year on St David's Day I compile a list of the hottest Welsh brands, and I'm delighted to see them help shake off the outdated image of harp players and Celtic designs that has been associated with Welsh goods for decades.
Many people who have worked with me will know that supporting other women in business is very important to me - from having an all female team, to contributing to all-female academy Allbright; anything that shakes off the traditional suit and briefcase image of 'business' is something I stand for.
Its also worth noting that the under 35 threshold allows for more life to have been experienced, and less social pressure to have 'figured everything out' in your 20s. I graduated from a good uni with a good degree, worked internships, got promoted a few times and moved agencies and was building a traditionally successful career for myself all by the time I was 24, and yet I didn't have it all figured out.
I remember still being in the office one night at 10pm...
I remember still being in the office one day at 10pm (this was not unusual) and chatting to a colleague who told me I had it easy, as at least I was young and didn't have any dependents so could give all my hours to work. He told me his fiancé was 7 months pregnant and had to pull similar hours at her company. It crystallised everything for me - I remember thinking that was not the future I wanted for myself, so at 25 I set up my own business.
Even then, success did not come immediately!
I changed my whole business idea 1 year in, and steadily my brand, my reputation and my client list began to grow. 5 years later at 31, I'm delighted to be able to feature in a list like this as it shows that not all success happens under 30. At 31 I'm still at the cusp of my business success - after a number of steady years, things are really starting to step up - and I'm so excited for the next chapter!
To view the whole list and discover more amazing Welsh talent, click here.