Custom Search 1

Sisters are doing it for themselves

BOARDROOM DIVA: Faustina Anyanwu – known as Fauntee – launched Divas of Colour in 2014. The women’s award ceremony aims to celebrate women of colour from around the globe.

TO MARK the end of International Women's Month, we profile a selection of UK-based women doing it big in business

...............................................

VIVIANE GOMIS, VIVIANE GO

With her mother being a seamstress, Viviane Gomis (right) developed a passion for art and fashion from a very young age.

She now runs Viviane Go, which supplies African-inspired handcrafted jewellery, accessories and headgear.

“My creations always reflected my identity and culture,” says Gomis. “So when I began exploring jewellery making, African wax fabric – or Ankara – was one of the first materials I was naturally drawn to.

“My pieces became very popular amongst my friends and family, who rooted for me to take this passion seriously and create a business out of it.”

Of running her own business, Gomis adds: “Being a single mother, running my own business offered me flexibility, independence and above all, control over mine and my children’s lives, which as an African woman, I had previously struggled to find in my professional life.”

Visit www.vivianego.com

...............................................

VEE ROBERTS, INSPIREURBIZ

InspireUrBiz is an informal business networking event, initially launched by Vee Roberts as a one-off for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) in November 2014.

After winning an award for contributions to the GEW UK campaign as a high impact host, the InspireUrBiz event was developed into a series of events. Each month, entrepreneurs and business service providers are reaping the benefits of attending this event.

“Each event offers a unique combination of guest speakers, engaging business workshops, speed networking, exhibitions and stalls,” says Roberts. “And did we mention free childcare too?”

The entrepreneur continues: “Our next event will take place on April 19 and it’s a winner for anyone who is already in business or thinking of starting a new business idea.”

Visit Facebook.com/ InspireUrBiz

...............................................

SERENA NWOKOYE, RENA'S BAKERY

After discovering she had an intolerance to wheat, gluten and dairy, Serena Nwokoye (pictured above with Speaker of Hackney, Councillor Sharon Patrick) began to look for food alternatives that didn’t include those ingredients. She was mostly successful in her quest – but she couldn’t find suitable cakes.

“Most supermarkets do have a range of free-from cakes but I found the texture wasn't really what I was looking for,” Nwokoye explained. “That's when I decided to get creative and start baking myself. At first it was trial and error but I finally managed to make cupcakes that tasted like the ones I remembered having before my intolerances developed. I shared cakes with family and friends, who told me they couldn't tell the difference between my cakes and cakes with wheat and dairy in them, which was a huge compliment.

“When people started asking me how they could order cakes I knew this was something that I should make official and so Rena's Bakery was born.”

Visit www.renasbakery.com

...............................................

THERESA ROBERTS, JAMAICA PATTY CO.

Founded in 2013, Jamaica Patty Co. (JPC) was launched by Theresa Roberts, with the aim of bringing high-quality Jamaican food to the UK. The store is located in Covent Garden, bringing the best of the West Indies to London’s West End.

“JPC was opened to show the world that Jamaican food and service can be of the highest quality,” says Jamaican-born Roberts. “The brand and physical appearance of the store fulfils my desire to promote my country in a modern, sophisticated way.”

www.jamaicapatty.co.uk

...............................................

MICHELLE MOORE, MOORE DEVELOPMENT CONSULTANCY

A former athlete, Michelle Moore launched Moore Development Consultancy in 2010. The company specialises in sport, diversity and education, providing services including event production, athlete representation and mentoring for young people/organisations.

In addition, Moore is a trustee for the Runnymede Trust – the UK’s leading Race Equality think-tank. She also played a key role in the London 2012 Olympic Games, developing strategy and creating engagement opportunities for young people.

“I believe in the power of sport for social change and my consultancy works with organisations and people to achieve this,” says Moore. “I am passionate about diversity and inclusion and bring this to all aspects of my work to make my contribution to the world.”

She adds: “Providing opportunities for all and helping to inspire others, especially the next generation to fulfill their true potential is a part of the work I do.”

Visit www.michellemoore.me

...............................................

MELISSA BEASON, LAJOY OF INSPRATION

LaJoy Of Inspiration (LOI) is an urban gift brand that merges historical, world-changing speeches and modern poetry, with art, graphic prints, home gifts and fashion to create unique and inspirational products.

The company was launched earlier this year by fashion designer Melissa Beason.

“I’m very passionate about monumentalizing black history through timeless pieces, in order to keep our heritage alive in a unique way,” Beason says.

Visit www.facebook.com and search LOI.

...............................................

NEOMI BENNETT, NEO-SLIPS

Registered nurse Neomi Bennett (pictured right, centre, with fellow nurses) created Neo-slip stockings to help people who are at risk of deep vein thrombosis. The revolutionary product is placed on the foot like a sock, enabling anti-embolism stockings – which are notoriously hard to put on – to glide on the legs more easily.

“I was inspired to invent Neo-slip when I came across an elderly lady in the community who was recovering from a hip replacement,” Bennett recalled. “She had been prescribed the stockings to be worn for six weeks but she was unable to apply the stockings due to their tight nature.

“Her husband resorted to using the stockings as curtain ties as he didn't want to waste the resource.

“Currently 25,000 people in the UK die each year of DVT and I felt that I must at least try to do something about it. That’s when I set about creating Neo-slip.”

Visit www.neo-slip.com

...............................................

GISELLA AND JAN ASANTE, GISELLA BOUTIQUE

Established in 1991, London-based design house Gisella Boutique is the brainchild of founder Gisella Asante and her daughter/design partner Jan (pictured together, right). The company’s couture collections draws from a rich and diverse array of transglobal cultural influences, all drawn together with London styling sensibility.

Their designs have been worn by a host of famous names, including UK songstress Shingai Shoniwa, US soul star Erykah Badu and Baroness Doreen Lawrence (pictured right, wearing a Gisella design).

“Our design signature is bold, elegant and eclectic,” says Jan. “The women who wear our designs come from varied walks of life, but what binds them is an appreciation for culture and uniqueness, which is what we offer via our tailor-made style experience.”

www.facebook.com/gisella.couture

...............................................

FAUSTINA ANYANWU, DIVAS OF COLOUR

Publisher, editor and founder of MBW (My Black Woman) PR, Faustina Anyanwu – known as Fauntee – launched Divas of Colour in 2014. The women’s award ceremony aims to celebrate women of colour from around the globe and the second annual event took place on March 21.

“In the UK, especially, there are no platforms for women of an ethnic background to meet and share their stories of struggle and success – Divas of Colour provides that,” Anyanwu explains. “It is an opportunity for women of colour from every background to share a glorious moment of celebration.”

Visit www.mbwpr.com/divasofcolour2015

Subscribe to The Voice database!

We'd like to keep in touch with you regarding our daily newsletter, Voice competitions, promotions and marketing material and to further increase our reach with The Voice readers.

If interested, please click the below button to complete the subscription form.

We will never sell your data and will keep it safe and secure.

For further details visit our privacy policy.

You have the right to withdraw at any time, by clicking 'Unsubscribe'.

Facebook Comments