Sidmouth's female business owners share success for International Women's Day
PUBLISHED: 06:55 08 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:17 09 March 2018
International Women's Day recognises the work of women across the globe - and in Sidmouth there is a lot to celebrate, with a town full of impressive female figures.
According to Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce, 45 per cent of businesses are run jointly or solely by women – based on 88 trading members.
To mark the annual event, some of the town’s female business owners shared the achievements, the challenges and rewards they see everyday.
Yoga instructor Louise Hunt started Jala Flow with her husband Tom in 2015 – despite thinking she would never be a businesswoman.
The mum-of-two said: “It was always something I wanted to do, especially working in church and village halls where it is cold and you have to carry all your equipment.
“I thought I would like my own space, a dedicated space where people can come and immediately they feel that calm.
“I was really shy and quite timid and to have your own business you have to become business minded.
“We have learnt as we have gone along and it builds your confidence.”
For Daffy-down-dilly owner Natalie Brittain, work can be more than nine-to-five, thanks to the shop’s booming online business. The mum-of-two said having a supportive family has allowed her to pursue her dream of making the business a franchise.
Natalie added: “It does take time, do not expect your first year to be a roaring success, you have to be patient and get a good team together.
“From a small town you can grow a national company and we are doing that.”
Sue Elliott, of Sidmouth Jewellers, said believing in herself was her biggest challenge after taking on the shop following the sudden death of her boss Calvin Marchant.
The Beer resident said “Calvin’s shoes were very hard too fill.
“My rewards have been winning customers over.”
Beauty Within owner Philippa Dunn has been in the town since 2001, and found it a supportive place to run a business.
She said: “I have always found local business women very supportive to one another.
“If you love what you do, give it a go.”