I am a keen supporter of local businesses and independent traders. Here are some of my friends, colleagues and organisations I respect.
Folks in useful businesses:
Laura Franklin is my very glamorous assistant. My virtual PA. Not only is she gorgeous, she is responsive, efficient, professional, friendly and just down the road. Which is handy when we want to meet in the real world, rather than the virtual one.
Katherine and I met whilst networking, we decided to do a swap, I have completed a garden design for her and her husband and Katherine gave me the benefit of her marketing wisdom. We spent an afternoon talking about my business – where it’s going, what I want from it, who are my ideal clients etc. This was followed by a comprehensive marketing plan with suggestions, tips and the way forward. It has been invaluable.
Liz Wilson, one of TWP’s directors has presented a workshop for a Three Wise Women conference I helped run. She is one hell of a positive woman, skilled at bringing out the best in your team/workforce/colleagues whilst allowing you to be totally at ease. If you value your team then support them by bringing Liz or Tracy in, or, at the very least, get Liz in at a speaker. She’s dead good.
Richard was recommended to me. I found him accommodating, helpful, engaged, professional and a downright good egg. He does all sorts of pics, use him if you can.
Lucy Hemmings-Grove did my branding. She has an eye for detail, check her out. She also runs lots of events in and around Lichfield and manages Handmade is Hot on Facebook.
A bunch of clever boys & girls who know their IT and way around computers.
My accountant. Local and professional, they are always at the end of the phone if I have a query.
Tracy and her team offer great training. What they don’t know isn’t worth knowing.
These guys sort my business insurances out, always checking for the best price and the most appropriate cover.
Not forgetting my web people. Long suffering (at my hand), they are always polite and helpful. LeeAnn and I met at a WiRE conference.
Karen offers great HR advice. She and I are fellow collaborators, along with Julie White in Three Wise Women, a CIC to provide networking events for women.
I have worked with Julie and Nick many times over the years, on ‘Wellies’ days on farms, in gardens, doing willow work, gardening, flower arranging for Sudbury Hall and many more. Julie and I are collaborators with Karen Kirby in Three Wise Women CIC.
Lovely Emma Heathcote-James is a friend and all round Joyce supporter. She has tremendous business acumen – honed in building her own company, makes fabulous soap (I buy her Gardeners Bar for lucky clients) and is an inspiration in her fitness regime. She runs soap making days in the Cotswolds, go book and enjoy.
Visit Elford Walled Garden and enjoy the delightful space, peace and quiet, friendly atmosphere and rose garden, allotments and Giants Garden. Buy from the produce table, sit awhile, take a book/friend/picnic and make a note in your diary of any events coming up, they are always good fun.
A truly lovely place. I had a2year contract working with the allotment holders when they received Heritage Lottery Funding.
A haven of good manners and great plants. This independent garden centre has a nice mix of plants, pots and sundries. They run coach trips to garden shows and sometimes let me come along too. Go speak to Byron or Jenni, tell them I sent you!
This is the most magical place in delightful Hawkhurst, Kent. Emma and Monty are incredibly knowledgeable and even more hard working. They grow some unusual plants and specialise in those most useful in a cutting garden. They would love you to visit if you are in their neck of the woods. Say Hi to lovely Sophie next door, the florist at Astilbe & Sorrel.
An online community for British cut flower growers. I aspire to being one of them.
I have worked with Cathedral Construction, Lichfield, Alluro Ltd, Whittington and Fairfield Construction, Alrewas. None of whom see the need for websites.
Women in Rural Enterprise is a fantastic resource and community for women in business. I would not be where I am today without WiRE. Local network groups have regular meetings. Not one near you? Then start one yourself. Talk to Fiona or Julie.
Local networking groups are great for building relationships with fellow professionals, from other disciplines and trades. I have been a member at BAM for some time and consider other members as friends and colleagues.
A Community Interest, Not for Profit Organization to support women of all ages and backgrounds to start and grow businesses. Julie White, Karen Kirby and I run Three Wise Women.
Organisations worth supporting:
Based at Ryton, Coventry. Become a member and access loads of useful information. Well worth the spend.
Bees are incredibly important and really need our support, we can do this by attracting them to our gardens, not spraying nasty chemicals, educating children, lobbying governments…..and by adopting a beehive. Makes a great present for that ‘difficult to buy for’ person.
You will have an endless supply of gardens and open spaces to visit if you join the NT. Great cake in the café’s too.
Needs no introduction surely? Great source of information, fab plant finder section, glorious garden shows and so on.
Yellow Book lists private gardens open to the public, always worth a visit. Get inspiration and ideas at a garden near you.