Linda’s a champion businesswoman

PUBLISHED: 11:00 10 December 2014

Linda Dillon and the other winners of the Devon Venus Awards

Linda Dillon and the other winners of the Devon Venus Awards

Archant

A Sidford pilates instructor is in the running for a national award after she was recognised as one of Devon’s most ‘inspirational, driven and successful’ businesswomen.

Linda Dillon runs pilates sessions and retreats, hires out seven four-star holiday cottages, and also offers counselling.

She has developed Boswell Farm into a ‘tranquil, restorative place’ and hopes her prize, in the home-based business category, spreads its name far and wide.

“I was initially in utter shock when my name was announced,” she said.

“I couldn’t feel more proud of my achievements here at Boswell Farm. I have faced many challenges, as so many businesses do, and have worked tirelessly to overcome them, to achieve my dream.”

This year also marks two decades since she took on the farm with her husband, Brian, who, sadly, died in 2008 after a short illness.

It was seriously hit by flooding between 2011 and 2013, which left three cottages uninhabitable for six months. Linda took a stand, undertook extensive works, and, in the ‘wettest winter ever’ last year, they stayed dry.

The business also suffered a setback during the foot and mouth outbreak, when all many would-be tourists to the South West saw were images of disease.

Her nomination last year prompted her to review her business and she hopes to increase trade with an increased online presence, which she says will boost her small team and the local economy.

“I am hugely excited and proud to be going forward to the national finals – I hope to do Devon proud,” Linda added.

“I still have no idea who nominated me for this award but I am very grateful to them, NatWest, the judges of this category and everyone who celebrated with me or who has appreciated what we offer here.” The Venus Awards were presented at a black tie event at the University of Exeter.

Some 2,000 women were nominated for the awards.


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