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Business

Two Northern Lasses

Updated 8 days ago

Business
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An honest and down to earth podcast for business owners and wannabe business owners looking at all aspects of how we blend business and pleasure and all of the other dross that life as human beings throws at us. Expect topics like whether we should work on holiday, dealing with imposter syndrome and daring to ditch the secure job with a regular income and go it alone, all discussed with a series of amazing guests who know exactly what we are talking about. Listen to Two Northern Lasses for inspiring, informative and entertaining content delivered in a real, down to earth northern way.

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An honest and down to earth podcast for business owners and wannabe business owners looking at all aspects of how we blend business and pleasure and all of the other dross that life as human beings throws at us. Expect topics like whether we should work on holiday, dealing with imposter syndrome and daring to ditch the secure job with a regular income and go it alone, all discussed with a series of amazing guests who know exactly what we are talking about. Listen to Two Northern Lasses for inspiring, informative and entertaining content delivered in a real, down to earth northern way.

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Cover image of Two Northern Lasses

Two Northern Lasses

Latest release on Nov 30, 2020

Best weekly hand curated episodes for learning

Read more

An honest and down to earth podcast for business owners and wannabe business owners looking at all aspects of how we blend business and pleasure and all of the other dross that life as human beings throws at us. Expect topics like whether we should work on holiday, dealing with imposter syndrome and daring to ditch the secure job with a regular income and go it alone, all discussed with a series of amazing guests who know exactly what we are talking about. Listen to Two Northern Lasses for inspiring, informative and entertaining content delivered in a real, down to earth northern way.

The Annual Report from Two Northern Lasses Jayne & Michelle

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In our final episode of the Season (sorry Series) 1 we close off with a load of questions from some of our listeners and guest an a bit of reflection!  We will be back in the new year with Series 2 and more brilliant guests! 

Nov 30 2020

42mins

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Relaxing your pets with entrepreneur Amman Ahmed

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Amman is a Yorkshire Lad, living in Manchester and founded Music for Pets which is the home of brands Relax My Dog and Relax My Cat lovingly described as Petflix!  Love it!! 

He started with just £1k and found a musician in El Salvador for around £200 to create the first lot of music which they tested on the musicians dog who had noise anxiety.  

Interestingly but not surprising really when you think about it different music appeals to dogs and cats. It's all down to changes in musical arrangements, instruments used, sounds, and frequency.  It's kind of like meditation and visualisation - cos they have TV too!!! The TV for cats is more 'high twitch' ie birds, squirrels, Chipmunks - what cat wouldn't love that? 

As a business they are constantly asking for and receiving feedback from their listeners (ok, the owners of the listeners) and bizarrely they do actually get trolling type stuff such as "the music made my dog shit on the carpet" but they also get really heartwarming stuff like "can I play the music at my dogs funeral?"

It's a really interesting concept and we are not the only ones to think so. they have had 20 million listens worldwide.

So listen to this episode and find out more - in fact get your pet to listen too - why the hell not?

Nov 12 2020

33mins

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The importance of being visible with branding photographer Maryanne Scott

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In this episode we chat with the lovely Maryanne Scott AKA The Branding Photographer.

After meeting only a week ago when your very own 2 Northern Lasses attended a branding shoot of their own we thought that you might be interested in what Maryanne has to say so we set about persuading her to come on the podcast.  To be fair she didn't take too much persuading because she had met us and already had figured out what a down to earth pair we are!

Much like she does with all of her photography clients, we clicked (pun intended!!) straight away because she put us at ease and appreciated fully the fact that lock down lard was an issue (for Jayne, not Michelle who has admirably stuck to her Slimming World (other diets are available) plan throughout 'these unprecedented times').

So, Maryanne has dabbled in various jobs and careers over the years but always had a love of photography and was able to start taking this seriously when her lovely husband bought her a 'proper' camera for her 28th birthday.  She did it alongside her other job as a corporate insurance broker for a while then took the leap into making her dream her full time career!  Who wouldn't want to do that?

So, she has a great business model and is so much more than just a photographer, she writes blogs, provides her followers with engaging and useful content and she runs a membership model called Visibility School where members get access to a professional shoot every single month!  Visibility is everything whatever business you are running because people buy from people you know!  True story!!

Wait for the game at the end!  Loving the cucumber chat!!

Find out more about Maryanne and her business here

https://www.instagram.com/brandingphotographeruk/

https://www.facebook.com/brandingphotographerUK

https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryannescott/

http://www.brandingphotographer.co.uk/

maryannescott.co.uk  

Oct 29 2020

35mins

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Three Northern Lasses with Mandy Taylor

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We don't think we have met more of a people person than Mandy before, she just oozes positivity and spreads it around to everyone she meets.  She's just one of those genuinely lovely people, a general good egg to have in your life!

She has so much to say, we could actually do an entire series on her.  Unfortunately we only got 40 minutes and you know how we like to waffle on so our convo with Mandy really did feel as though it had been cut short.  But we are sure we can get her on again, or she might even be persuaded to start her own podcast one day!  Watch this space!

The start of Mandy's career was pretty straight forward, work for the council, study an accountancy qualification.........

Then like many others do, Mandy realised she didn't want to do that so she quit!  She walked out of that building and straight into a car showroom where she talked herself into a 4 week unpaid trial in car sales (despite being a woman!!).  After 4 weeks she was the top sales person and got a job working with people and the rest, as they say is history.

There is so much to Mandy's life and career having experienced the lows of anorexia as a teenager and cancer as an adult and the highs of a great career that she loves, buying a cat whilst drunk and raising over £3million for various charities since 2004.

Listen in to find out more about all that plus her job with Bibis, her job with Topic UK magazine and the spin off Yorkshire Business Woman and how she met her newest friend The Yorkshire Shepherdess.  And more....

Links below.....


Twitter @Charity_Angels

@Topic_UK

@YorkshireBusin2

Insta: 

charitymrst

Yorkshire_businesswoman

topic_uk

Facebook: Mandy Taylor and Charity Angels

Oct 15 2020

34mins

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Being curiously creative with Juliet Thomas

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Regular listeners may recognise Juliet as she was our guest host a few months ago, during lockdown.  And it has taken this long to get ourselves sorted so she can be a guest.

Juliet is very much the creative type and has loads of 'pots on the boil' so to speak.  She has had a challenging year to say the least but has maintained her love of creativity throughout and continued to inspire others in all sorts of ways (you'll have to listen in to find out more).


And find out more/keep in touch with Juliet here


Website Home & Blog: www.thecuriouscreativeclub.co.uk

Instagram: @thecuriouscreativeclub

Facebook: The Curious Creative Club

Oct 01 2020

37mins

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Skin is her thing! Chatting with Gillian Leeming from You Clinic

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Tbd

Sep 03 2020

29mins

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Get off on a good footing with 'brand activist' Danny Bulmer

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You may have noticed that we seem to have knack of getting genuine down to earth guests on our podcast and that couldn't be truer of self proclaimed 'brand activist' Danny Bulmer.  

Daniel Owen Bulmer (first time we have ever discussed a guests middle name so had to get that in there), or Date of Birth, as he is known in certain circles, started his career working for a creative brand agency although not on the creative side of things as you might expect, but on the account management side so was the one to go out and meet with clients, win business, take a brief and then pass that brief clearly and concisely to the designer or other creative within the business to execute.  He says himself he was every graphic designers worst nightmare because he had the ability to throw his own thoughts in there because he can do that too.

Danny has always been the creative type even right back in his school days and he believes that everyone has some form of creativity in them.  And he may be right because even our Michelle has been trying her hand at a small arty project recently inspired by previous guest Juliet who actually runs creativity groups and workshops.  Make sure you are following our social media channels as she has promised to post a picture of her creation.

Anyway, we digress, back to our guest.  So, after working for a boutique town centre agency Danny decided to go it alone and set up his own agency, Date of Birth - you get the link now?  He did this successfully for a number of years before he decided to give something different a try and decided to set up a rural co-working space (yes this sounds familiar because that is exactly what our Jayne has just done, in fact at this point in the podcast she is thinking 'OMG what have I done? What went wrong?') but Danny assures her that he will share all his learning from his time which was 5-6 years ago - see a genuine guy who just wants to help people!  We just love that!

After seeing out his three year lease Danny came out of the co-working space feeling somewhat battered and bruised, it had been a difficult time and he had lost a fair amount of money.  It seems he hasn't really looked on those times with affection but talking to us reminded him of those proud moments that did come out of that time.  He started his foodie brand The Cure Charcuterie which is all about Great British snacking - think the snack equivalent of craft beer, in fact eat the snacks whilst drinking craft beer!  He also held loads of great events that brought local brands together and Co-Up was also the birth place of a few more successful brands, so it wasn't all bad, he just needed the reminder.  Honestly, being a podcast guest can be like therapy (we are not suggesting that it is an alternative to good quality therapy mind, that would be ridiculous and totally irresponsible!)

So anyway, talking of therapy and different ways of dealing with things Danny has struggled with anxiety and depression in the last few years which led him to his latest bright idea (yes, he is full of them) which is Good Footing. On top of the current day job as a brand strategist and creative direction consultant he helps creators think, do and make good things. He basically runs workshops that take place in the great outdoors whilst walking with the aim to inspire people to think creatively in order to help solve big problems.  With the added bonus of instilling positive mental and physical wellbeing.  What's not to love about that concept?  In fact, during the last few months it has been pretty difficult but he is currently putting things in place to launch In Good Company - a netwalking event in September!  That's next month!  How blummin' exciting!

For more info see https://www.linkedin.com/in/dannyobulmer/

Aug 20 2020

45mins

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A dose of inspiration from the younger generation with Melissa Roberts

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Say Hello to`Melissa Roberts, our youngest ever guest to date.  At the age of just 21 Melissa has a fire in her belly that betrays her youth, she is just so bloody sorted and is such an inspiration to us and other people that are more than twice her age (we know!!!), as well as anyone else who firmly believes they want to follow their own path because she has had the guts to do just that and it is seriously paying off for her!

At school Mel didn't really know what she wanted to do and didn't really enjoy any other subjects other than business but nevertheless for the last time in her life she bowed to outside pressures and went to college to study A Levels, and then she didn't.  She gave up part way through year one and decided to go to Kirklees College to study a BTEC in Business which some might be under the misconception that this is a bit of a cop out and that a BTEC doesn't have as much value as A levels!  Well they would be wrong then wouldn't they? We believe that people should take their own path in life, how many guests have we had on who are doing or have done, what they feel they should do and not what they actually want to do?  Plenty, so it is particularly refreshing to meet Mel who absolutely has set off on her own path and that path, so far, seems to be leading to great places.  While she studied her BTEC she also worked two and a half days a week at a local marketing agency and this stood her in good stead when it came to starting her full time career as she had a head start on her peers.

But she didn't just settle for employment, of course she didn't.  Growing up surrounded by entrepeneurs inspired her to start her own business with a friend at just 18 years old and she has not looked back.  Beanie Media offers web design and development as well as social media advertising to family owned manufacturing businesses and they do it well!  This is where Melissa's youth is firmly on her side, you may say she has an unfair advantage (read the book), because she is bang up to date with the latest technologies and because she has a genuine geek streak when it comes to all things tech and digital media she is constantly learning and guess what?  She then passes this knowledge on to her clients to ensure they get amazing results!

Melissa also prides herself on solving real life problems through technology and this has led her to her latest venture Kidcrowd which is a platform that gives parents of partygoers an alternative to buying a token gift (tat) that ends up hanging around the home, not getting much use and ultimately goes to landfill.  We have all had that 'that'll do' moment when buying a gift for our kids to take to a party right?  Well no more!  Kidcrowd is on a mission to reduce gifting wastage, and let children use their own savings to buy the gift they really want.  So as a family friend, grandparent or partygoer we can use the money we would have spent on said token gift and pledge it to the birthday boy or girls crowd fund, so they get to put the money together and buy something they really want.  How good is that?  If you agree take a look at the website here https://kidcrowd.co.uk/

We wish Melissa all the best in her career and business, she really does deserve it and we really hope her story inspires other young people to follow their own path and get on the exciting rollercoaster that is self employment.  There is no need to wait until you are in your 40's like we did, although that is fine too - obvs!

To connect with Melissa get onto LinkedIn which is her favourite social media platform for business and connect with her here https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-wojarski-roberts/

And to find out more just give this episode a listen!  

Aug 06 2020

33mins

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Simply Winning with David Horrocks

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David is - wait for it - An academic, having studied a PHD in Psychology, Director of Sensible Soccer and a Research Consultant at Manchester United Football Club.  It's fair to say he is a busy man but these days his life is much less busy and much more settled than it has been in the past.

As a Lancashire lad growing up in Burnley, like many lads he was an aspiring footballer.  His dad managed to get him into a local Catholic school which had a good reputation for being a 'good football school' despite the fact that he wasn't Catholic at all.  Actually his Dad met the headmaster of the school in the local pub (where most of us Northerners form many friendships).

Back in those days football wasn't the way it is now, the money was nowhere near and they didn't offer academy places to the youth, though many clubs did have Under 16's sides and David was lucky enough to play for Burnley and Blackburn at that level.  He was also offered a YTS (Youth Training Scheme for you youngsters) at Blackpool but he turned that down and stayed on at school to study A-Levels.  Trying to balance a football career with full time studies didn't really work well for him and he found himself fledgling at both rather than excelling at one or the other.  He had basically compromised and this was a wake up call for him.

He went on to get a job in a local paint factory and then in the Warburton's bread factory (best bread ever btw - northern lasses opinion and nobody paid us to say that!) and he played football for Accrington Stanley (who are they? - another 80s reference, when did we get so old?).  His friends by this point where at Uni so he was basically living the student lifestyle whilst trying to carve out a football career, again, not the best combination.

What sport had done for him though was allow him to meet a load of people he probably wouldn't have otherwise met and this enabled him to get a 'proper job' in an IT firm and he stayed in this industry for about 12 years, that's where he met our Michelle - what a lucky fella!  He was still paying football at this point but was approaching his 30's and realised that when football was no longer an option for him he didn't want to be stuck in that particular day job.

This revelation led him to start studying coaching which then fed his interest in the psychology side of sports so he went on to study that via an Open University Course whilst he worked part time in community clubs and schools.  One of these clubs at the time was of particularly interest to the academy scouts (academies now exist by this point) who came along to see the players and spotted the coach (we love this part of David's story).  So he then went to work at Bury FC and met their Head of Psychology who inspired and encouraged him to go to University and finish the degree where he did his dissertation entitled Talent Development and Serial Winning (Manchester United Football Club) which ended up getting published - you might say he got noticed.

After this he worked for quite a few football clubs then was poached to golf for a few years where he went on world tours and led a very busy and hectic life.  Then something amazing happened, something that he describes as the best thing that ever happened happened, his son Jordi (now 7) was born and that lifestyle became unsustainable as he didn't want to be away more than he was at home.

Next step, lecturing at Universities, consulting in various sports and setting up his own company www.sensiblesoccer.co.uk, a business that distributes football supplies to clubs, schools and the general public.He also became a Research Consultant at Man Utd FC which sounds like such an interesting role and involves David and therefore the club being at the forefront of sports technology - you are going to have to listen to find out more!

Aug 06 2020

51mins

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The story behind the man behind Sanctum Healthcare with Jonathan Edgeley

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We know what you're thinking 'what's Sanctum Healthcare'?

Well, in short it is a registered provider of mental health and addiction services based in Cheshire.

And that is all we are telling you, you will have to listen if you want to know more won't you?

So anyway, Jonathan is one of the founders of Sanctum and his journey to this is long and varied.  "Aren't they all" we hear you shout!  Well, yes they are but this one is even more long and varied than usual.

After leaving school at 18 before he took his A Levels, Jonathan was lucky enough to get a job through his Dad selling some sort of techy thing  that we don't really know what he means, but it doesn't really matter now anyway.  He spent 13 years working in IT and loved the sales side of things but not particularly the tech.  

He also loved the 'jollies' that came with a sales career back in the day which don't tend to happen much these days.  However, the 'jollies' were not great for a guy like Jonathan who soon discovered that he was suffering from issues associated with poor mental health, namely alcoholism and anxiety. Having no off switch often left him partying way longer than his colleagues did and eventually as these issues, and age, caught up with him, he found himself on a downward spiral.  He lost his driving licence and therefore his career took a nose dive which then changed his lifestyle and his relationships.  

In December 2006 his dad staged an intervention and sent him to a rehab centre in South Africa where he spent 4 months and  managed to stop drinking and taking, what he describes as 'mind and mood altering substances'.  After this he went from strength to strength setting up a couple of very successful businesses but then disaster struck and he relapsed, he started drinking again and he carried on drinking for three and a half more years.

Listen in to find out more about how Jonathan went from helping himself out of alcoholism to helping his high earning clients recover from their struggles with things like alcohol & substance addiction,  depression, anxiety, eating disorders and many others.

If you want to find out more about Jonathan and what Sanctum Healthcare offers then you can visit the website at https://www.sanctumhealthcare.co.uk/ although you won't find much there as what they do is super discreet to protect the reputation and anonymity of their clients.  There is more info on Linkedin here  https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanedgeley/ and get this, you can even just pick up the phone retro styleee and call him on this number 07832 964126.

We hope you enjoy listening to this episode, we loved recording it and managed to still have a laugh despite the sensitivity of the subject.

Feedback welcome as per!

With Love

Michelle and Jayne

Jul 09 2020

42mins

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Reigniting your career with best selling author of She's Back - Lisa Unwin

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Lisa is a really interesting woman and has had a varied career as have many of our guests but what stands out about Lisa is that whilst taking a career break to raise her children she realised that finding her way back to her once loved career had become much more difficult than she had first thought it would be.  Then she realised something else - she wasn't alone!  And instead of sitting back and letting this happen, she took action and then co-wrote a book to show the rest of us how to take action too.

We have both been reading this book and wished we had discovered it sooner, it has some many helpful tips and inspiring stories in it.  Give this episode a listen to find out how Lisa came to be doing this and what she is up to these days.

As ever, we would love to know what you think.

Oh, and buy the book here - you won't regret it.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CJTYRX3/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

Jun 25 2020

37mins

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Being in the right place at the right time with Digital Marketing Expert Jennifer Esty

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PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING!!!

No not really, just wanted to get your attention!  The audio in this episode is a bit dodge in places, bear with it - we are recording in lockdown after all and silly Jayne thought she would risk it for a biscuit and record in her new office that doesn't actually have wifi yet.  Jayne says sorry!!

So in this episode we have not only, one of few non-northern guests (this isn't a strategy btw, we welcome inspiring people from anywhere) but Jennifer is our first overseas guest (to be fair though she does now live in the north of England after she met her hubby way back when at a Halloween party in the big smoke!!)

Jennifer is Director and co-owner of Sharp Ahead - a B2B (that means business to business in case you didn't know) digital marketing agency based in Reading and Leeds (like the festivals) and weirdly 3 employees in Blackpool - who knew Blackpool was the hub of digital expertise? Well turns out Jayne did!

So, have a listen to find out how Jennifer came from Stateside to London to up North and accidentally fell into her career and then her latest venture by being in the right place at the right time.  We are pretty sure that she is just being all modest on us and a fair bit of hard graft came into it too.

If you want to find out more about Jennifers business here is the link.

https://sharpahead.com/

Jun 18 2020

34mins

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Talking cats, cakes and careers with social media trainer Janet Bebb

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In this episode we chat with Janet Bebb from Social Progress all about her career and her business how it came about and what they do to help people either learn to manage their own social platforms or manage them on their behalf.

We also chat cake, specifically carrot cake (Costa has the best in case you were wondering - Janet has tested them all) and about her crazy cat Earl (named after the tea).

If you want to know more about Janet and her business then one of the many links below can put you in touch.

https://socialprogress.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/socialprogress/

https://www.instagram.com/socialprogress/

https://twitter.com/SocialProgress

https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetbebb/

Jun 11 2020

51mins

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Getting your vibe from your tribe with fitness guru Natalie Rew

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In this episode we discuss Natalies career journey from a background in graphic design and secretarial roles, meeting our Michelle at Apple, and the following years that led her, at the age of 43 to train to become a fitness coach and personal trainer.

If you want to find out more about Natalies business and even join us 2 northern lasses on our own fitness journey then have a look at the links below


https://www.facebook.com/natalie.n.rew

https://www.instagram.com/nattyroofitness/

Jun 04 2020

42mins

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Talking how you go from wannabe stripper to successful company director making radiators sexy with Fiona Conor

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tbc

May 28 2020

41mins

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Talking business and podcasting with fellow podcaster and Northern Lass, Deborah Ogden

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When our Jayne first saw Deborah speak at a local business event she spent the hour nodding like the Churchill dog.  It is not often you hear a speaker who really connects with you and says the things that you are thinking, but with Deborah this is what you get.  She is a fantastic public speaker and just oozes confidence and authenticity and it is this down to earth yet authoritative manner that has her connecting with her entire audience from the get go.

Deborah has a varied business offer, all of it based around helping people to be the best and most authentic version of themselves, to communicate effectively and unleash a personal brand that has impact, memorability and style.  She does this through 121 mentoring, public speaking, workshops and of course her very own podcast that she launched last year - On brand with .......  Give it a listen, it is really very good.  In fact we were a little nervous before this interview, you know, interviewing a pro and all that.  It was fine though, it's just like having a chat with friends, it just happens to be recorded so you can join in too.

But Deborah's road to where she is today, as is usually the case with our guests, was not as you would imagine.  She actually studied Law for 6 years (we know!!!)  at university and became a lawyer but having then realised that she had a major passion and an untapped skill for communications she switched career and went to work in marketing at Lancashire County Cricket Club -- yes it was in the day when Freddie Flintoff was in his prime and no we are not jealous of Deborah at all - honest!!

A successful marketing career ensued and she ended up starting her own business Deborah Ogden Ltd almost 10 years ago and the rest, as they say, is history.

If you want to find out more about Deborah and her business listen obviously, and then take a look at the links below, in the meantime we will leave you with one of our favourite quotes that Deborah uses and one we should all remember - 

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” - Dita Von Teese

Which we translate to mean BE YOU!!


https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborahjogden/

https://www.deborahogden.com/

https://twitter.com/do_impact

https://www.facebook.com/deborahogdenpersonalbrand/

https://www.instagram.com/do_impact/

May 21 2020

41mins

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Talking dogs and careers with business owner Victoria Hoole

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Victoria is the proud owner  and the main hydrotherapist at House of Hound Hydrotherapy in Scissett, Huddersfield.  They provide all sorts of services for dogs and their owners from rehab after an operation to fun swims and man trailing events.  Who knew such a thing existed eh?  Well we did obviously, but not until we had met Victoria ourselves.  

You regular listeners will know that Michelle has 'Max the Dog' and so she went along to Victorias opening event in 2017 and met her there, she then took the third co-host Max (although he doesn't speak much) to a scenting workshop, and then another - he loves it you know (secretly Jayne thinks it is Michelle that loves it not Max!!).

Victoria's career journey is what we often describe as 'not the straightest of paths', going from childcare to a probation officer to then setting up a business is not an easy route but so far has been really rewarding  and allows her to work with her favourite dogs.

If you're a dog owner, or even if your'e just a little bit intrigued - have a look at the links below to find out more....

https://www.houseofhoundhydrotherapy.co.uk/

https://www.facebook.com/houseofhoundhydro


And also here are the links to the two charities that Victoria mentions....

https://www.facebook.com/PDWRA

https://www.facebook.com/WestYorkshireDogRescue

May 14 2020

43mins

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Creating new opportunities with Charlotte Balderstone-Hughes

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This weeks guest Charlotte has lived such an interesting and exciting adult life.  Being married to Darren Hughes who Co founded Cream, CreamFields, Homelands and We Love Space on Sunday’s IBIZA, saw her using her textile design degree to build up a phenomenal range of branded merchandise which on the back of the iconic Cream brand gave her and Darren a super successful business which took them to festivals all over the world and most notably had them spending 6 months every year in Ibiza. Charlotte admits that they didn't really realise at the time how successful they were which just goes to show how down to earth Charlotte is and this really comes across in this episode.

But when kids came along Charlotte decided to move her family back to her hometown of Huddersfield to be near her mum and they bought the house that then became their business.

The Scarlet Hen at Norfolk House is Yorkshire’s Finest Boutique Retreat.  It is a luxury holiday home (Charlotte's ACTUAL home when there are no guests) in a Georgian Mansion House in Huddersfield for sophisticated hen parties, girls getaway weekends, family celebrations, team building away-days and spa retreats. It sleeps 10-20 guests in 4 floors of luxury accommodation including 3 beautiful reception rooms, an indoor hot tub and in-house spa treatment rooms. Check it out on the links below, it really is amazing and one of the reasons that it is such a beautiful house with thoughtful touches throughout is Charlotte's interior design skills and impeccable taste obviously.  I mean just look at Jayne and Michelle''s boring looking Zoom backgrounds in comparison to Charlotte's!  Zzzzzzz!!

It isn't just about the house though because Charlotte ensures her guests have the best time and even helps them create their own bespoke itinerary during their stay by adding such things as a private chef, life drawing classes, afternoon tea, murder mystery, cocktail master class, karaoke, flower crown making, chocolate workshops, bath bomb sessions and Decleor spa treatments. Lush!!  They also have really close links with some of the other amazing local businesses such as Erics restaurant, Holmfirth Vineyard and The Scullery.

The life drawing classes are really popular with the Hen parties (can't think why!?) and Charlotte actually teaches these classes herself. Having gone back to university when returning to the UK and successfully achieving a teaching degree followed by a stint teaching art and design at a few local colleges she is more than qualified to do so and of course her passion for design comes across - even in a non visual recording such as a podcast for instance!

As we recorded this episode amid the Coronavirus crisis we discuss the impact this has had on Charlotte and the business and what she has been doing in the background to ensure success when it is over.  Rest assured Charlotte's entrepreneurial spirit will win out and she WILL find a way to make it succeed as she has done so many times in the past by coming up with amazing ideas and bringing wonderful experiences to her guests. We have every confidence that this will be the case and we can't wait to attend an event at Norfolk House ourselves confident in the knowledge that we will get an amazing experience and that a percentage of ours and every guests booking goes to the local charity Pennine Domestic Violence Group which provides support to victims of domestic violence and abuse.

Hope you enjoy!  Millions of links here for you to find out more about everything we discussed.

https://www.facebook.com/Thescarletpen/

https://www.facebook.com/scarlethenatnorfolkhouse/

https://instagram.com/norfolk_house_scarlet_hen?r=nametag

http://www.thescarletpen.co.uk/

http://www.scarlet-hen.co.uk/

https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-ZzwrLhGmi/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

May 07 2020

38mins

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Chatting food, cooking and Italian families with restauranteur Lidia Shinwell

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Well what can we say about Lidia?  Well firstly, she is clearly a very busy and very driven lady which is undoubtedly something that has been passed down from her dad as she grew up seeing him really make something of himself, his tale is literally a classic rags to riches one and you cannot fail to be inspired by his story.  He came to the UK from Italy with nothing, worked in the mines and made some 'danger money' which he invested in an ice cream van he then sold imported Italian produce from to the growing Italian community each evening.  He continued to invest everything he made and the family now own two of the best Italian restaurants and hotels in Huddersfield - links to which are below.

Lidia grew up in a big traditional Italian family, surrounded by amazing chefs both from within and outside of the family.  Not many people can say they went to Uni and avoided the kebab shop, knocking up a quick pasta dish at 3am for their housemates - but Lidia can.  Clearly the passion for food was in her blood but she didn't really want to enter into the family business and studied Business, Marketing and French at university.

However, dad had other ideas, of course he did, and being a persuasive kind of guy and having a requirement for someone to really put Da Sandro's restaurant and The Briar Court Hotel on the map and Lidia having the newly acquired skills from her degree, into the business she went, and there she remains almost 30 years later.  The family also own and run Prego Restaurant and The Waterfront Hotel & Venue in Brighouse and have set up, owned or had a hand in various other successful venues such as Ciao which Lidia set up with her brother.

It doesn't stop there though, Lidia and the family do a lot, and we are talking A LOT to help the local community.  The Brighouse canal clear up was Lidias brainchild about 7 years ago and continues to be part of the wider community clear up to this day, she also volunteers with Food4Hope which is a Brighouse based charity that feeds the homeless (obviously in this case with restaurant quality Italian meals) and since lockdown happened in the UK 5 weeks ago and still going at the time of recording they have switched to feeding the housebound.

So it comes as no surprise to learn that during this enforced lockdown where restaurants and hotels are closed, Lidia has found herself with a bit of time of her hands and her love of cooking and sharing that love with others was having to take a back seat.

Egged on by her teenage daughters she has recently launched Lidias Italian Kitchen on facebook and instagram where she shares time served family recipes in a relaxed and friendly manner, often with a glass of wine in hand.  We are loving the recipes she is sharing and are definitely giving them a go, give her a follow and send in pics or videos of your own efforts for a bit of fun.

Hearing Lidia talk about food during this interview was so inspiring and we are definitely craving a night out in a great restaurant when this lockdown is over, and we want to go to Lidias for tea of course!!  Meanwhile, we will have to settle for watching the videos and doing our best to create the meals at home. All the links are below if you want to find out more

www.instagram.com/lidiashinwell

www.facebook.com/Lidias-Italian-Kitchen-104326631269352

www.waterfronthotelandvenue.co.uk/Prego-Restaurant/

www.dasandro.co.uk

www.briarcourt.co.uk

Apr 30 2020

52mins

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Pivoting your business in difficult times with gym owner Claire O'Meara

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When the lockdown was even threatening to hit, Claire and her husband Brendan had a plan!  They always have a plan which is great right?

So as the crisis rapidly approached us here in the UK the owners of The Lifestyle Studios in Scissett, Huddersfield were busy making plans and considering 'what if?' which meant that when some social distancing rules came into play early in March they added more classes to their member timetable but cut the number of people able to attend down to just 8, changed the class plans so people were working solely in their own areas and with their own equipment.  Following each class, they would disinfect EVERYTHING and go again with the next 8.  It was a great plan.

Then, the inevitable happened and the government announced that all gyms were to be closed one Friday tea time and true to form, yes you guessed it, they had another plan.  They spent all that night getting together their equipment so that they could lend them to their PT clients and they could continue their sessions online, they were all given separate collection slots on the Saturday morning so were able to kick off with their online PT sessions really quickly.  They did the same for their class members and have been successfully running their usual classes via zoom for over a month now.  Unbelievably and to their credit, they have not lost a single member and they maintain the community that they have worked hard to achieve over the last 7 years.

We just know they are going to be in an even stronger position once the lockdown is lifted and no doubt they will have yet another plan!  A class for any non members that have developed bad habits and lost any fitness they did have might be one to consider Claire!! We know at least one person that would be up for that! 😀

If you want to know more about Claire and her businesses here are the helpful links for you

https://www.linkedin.com/in/claireomeara1/

https://www.facebook.com/TheLifestyleStudios

https://www.instagram.com/thelifestylestudios/

https://www.facebook.com/thecocollective

https://www.instagram.com/thecocollectiveuk/

Apr 23 2020

36mins

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