Friday, September 27, 2013

@54StJamesStreet Tenant of the Week: Chocolate Envelope @HanaAwwad

Our brand new £5.3mil centre at 54 St James Street is home to a number of fantastic local businesses, so we have decided to hi-light a different one each week.

This week our 'Tenant of the Week' is Chocolate Envelope, Owned by Hana Awwad.

Hana is a print and surface pattern designer for a range of products and services. Products include eco-friendly gift wrap,  greetings cards, logo design, wedding stationery and bespoke wallpapers. Chocolate Envelope wrapping paper and cards are sold in bookshops and gift boutiques around the UK.

Hana recently Designed a 9 metre wall mural for new Lebanese Restaurant in Liverpool 'Bakchich' and is currently working on a 12 metre mural for a new Thai Restaurant opening in Liverpool soon. 

Chocolate Envelope's designs are influenced by the traditional ornamental and decorative patterns and art of the middle and far East and Hana's work is inspired by nature which she captures through photography, drawings and paintings.

Hana says "You can tell as soon as you look at my work that I love working with exciting colour and patterns!"

To find out more about Hana's business vist or contact

For more information on our venue here at 54 St James Street, our meeting and conference rooms to hire in Liverpool, contact our team via or 0151 706 8100.

Friday, September 20, 2013

@54StJamesStreet Tenant of the Week: @CanWellClean

Our brand new £5.3mil centre at 54 St James Street is home to a number of fantastic local businesses, so we have decided to hi-light a different one each week.

This week our 'Tenant of the Week' is 'Can Well Clean' owned and run by Sarah Cantwell.

 'Can Well Clean' launched this year offering domestic cleaning services including: 
  • Regular Home Cleaning
  • One Off Cleaning
  • Move In/Move Out Cleaning
  • End of Tenancy Cleaning
  • Landlord Cleaning/Rental Properties
  • After Builders Cleaning
  • Before/After Party Cleaning
  • Communal Area Cleaning
For more information or to make an enquiry about Can Well Clean contact Sarah on 07462712712.
For more information on our venue here at 54 St James Street, our meeting and conference rooms to hire in Liverpool, contact our team via or 0151 706 8100.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Inspired By Her Daughter, Former Hollyoaks Actress Kelly-Marie Stewart Turns Her Love For Fashion Into a Business

‘Fashion has always played a huge part in my life and I love sourcing unusual pieces. When I had my own daughter I decided I would love to do this for children too.’

Her passion for fashion has led to the opening of Kelly-Marie Designer Children's Boutique. The shop finds and supplies unique children’s clothing, shoes and accessories by the best designers from around the world in one fabulous store based in Cherry Tree Shopping Centre, Wallasey.

Kelly-Marie has had to overcome a lot of barriers on her journey to opening her own business. Prior to her role as Hayley Ramsey in Channel 4’s Hollyoak’s, she faced various issues with applying for jobs because of her disability.

She explained: ‘I am disabled and I know only too well the barriers that a disability can have when looking for work as I lost my first job with a huge company as a result of becoming disabled and could not even seem to get past the application process with employers after ticking the disabled box.’

The Liverpool resident has managed to overcome these problems by passing by application forms and interviews, and creating her own job doing what she loves.

Another barrier Kelly-Marie has managed to overcome is that of childcare. ‘I am juggling being a mummy and family life with work…one of the beauties of my business is that I can do this quite easily as most of my customers are mums too they don't mind Daisie my daughter being here with me on the odd occasion I'm very thankful for that.’

When the idea initially arose to become self-employed, Kelly-Marie began searching online for help in moving her idea forward. This was when she discovered the free support The Women’s Organisation can offer to women who wish to start up their own business.

‘The first thing I needed to set my business up was a business plan and if I'm honest it was all new to me so I found The Women's Organisation and they guided me every step of the way, from placing me with my own amazing business advisor to putting me on lots of great courses from marketing to social media. I have opened my business without any fears due to the support I received which is great.’

Kelly-Marie’s main fear was her finances. She worried that she would not be able to make them add up. However, after working with her advisor at The Women’s Organisation, she quickly realised that there was every chance of her business being successful. She said: ‘I realised that things really could work and I soon realised that I could start my business with confidence.’

She continued: ‘the service I received from the women's organisation has been life changing looking back at an idea in January and here I am now with my business going from strength to strength. I really cannot praise the women's organisation enough.’

When asked what her favourite part of being self-employed is, the former Hollyoak’s star answered: ‘The best thing about running my own business is knowing that when my customers leave happy my hard work has finally paid off… I'm really proud of how far I have come…and with continued support from The Women's Organisation the only way is up.’

Moving forward with her newly found confidence, Kelly-Marie is proving with the growing success of her business that no barrier is too big when you really wish to achieve something.

If you want to dress your children up in style this winter, Kelly-Marie Designer Children’s Boutique can be found on Facebook or you can follow on twitter @KellyMarieKids

If like Kelly-Marie you would like to turn an idea into a business, contact The Women’s Organisation to find out what FREE services and advice we can offer – 0151 706 8111 /

By Beckie Kinsella

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Historic Women @54stJamesStreet Home of @TheWomensOrg: Rosa Parks

When The Women's Organisation opened the doors of their new £5.3mil building in the Baltic Triangle district of Liverpool, they were keen to show the influence that iconic women of history have had on the organisation.

Each room at 54 St James Street has been carefully named after an inspiring woman who made her mark in history. The Women's Organisation wanted to introduce you to some of these amazing women so you can see why they have been recognised at the Women's International Centre for Economic Development (WICED).

'Parks Suite', a stylish board room found on our first floor, is named after the inspirational Rosa Parks. Available to hire from £15 per hour the room boasts chic boardroom furnishings, integrated IT including free wifi and a large flatcreen TV perfect for smaller training sessions or meetings.

Rosa Parks (1913 – 2005)
Born in Tuskegee, Alabama, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was a child when her mother, Leona McCauley, separated from her husband and moved to Montgomery. McCauley was a school teacher and encouraged her daughter to be active in the struggle for civil rights. In 1932 Rosa married a barber, Raymond Parks. The couple joined the local chapter of the NAACP and worked quietly for many years to improve the lot of African-Americans in the segregated south. Most historians date the beginning of the modern civil rights movement in the United States to December 1, 1955. That was the day when an unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. This brave woman, Rosa Parks, was arrested and fined for violating a city ordinance, but her lonely act of defiance began a movement that ended legal segregation in America, and made her an inspiration to freedom-loving people everywhere.   The bus incident led to the formation of the Montgomery Improvement Association, led by the young pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The association called for a boycott of the city-owned bus company. The boycott lasted 382 days and brought Mrs. Parks, Dr. King, and their cause to the attention of the world. A Supreme Court Decision struck down the Montgomery ordinance under which Mrs. Parks had been fined, and outlawed racial segregation on public transportation.   For thirteen months the 17,000 black people in Montgomery walked to work or obtained lifts from the small car-owning black population of the city. Eventually, the loss of revenue and a decision by the Supreme Court forced the Montgomery Bus Company to accept integration, and the boycott came to an end on 20th December, 1956. After the success of this campaign, Parks became known as the "mother of the Civil Rights Movement". Later she became a special assistant to Democratic Congressman, John Conyers. Rosa Parks died on 24th October, 2005. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Serial Entrepreneur Siobhan Noble Tells us How She ‘Caught the Bug’ of Starting a Business

For Liverpool resident Siobhan Noble, the idea of being stuck in a corporate office job forever just didn’t appeal to her creative flare. 

“I worked at a bank,” remembered Siobhan “and I absolutely hated it. It just wasn’t me. I had a wardrobe full of vintage clothes and would regularly be at vintage fairs, my biggest love was bohemian 70’s vintage. As I would look around I would think ‘I could do this’.  A former colleague from the bank introduced me to The Women’s Organisation and let me know I could get help with a business plan. I also discovered I could get a grant to help me buy stock. Within a year of discovering them I had left my job at the bank and gone self-employed.”

In 2011 Siobhan (then just 25) launched not one but two new businesses, ‘Tatties Vintage’, running vintage fairs and retailing imported vintage clothing and ‘The Lantern Theatre’ which she set up in partnership with her creative mum Margaret.

“When I started Tatties I had a friend who had moved to L.A. who introduced me to a supplier. Since then things have changed with vintage becoming a massive craze, and tons of ‘vintage clothing’ businesses started popping up.    Tatties is different from the norm as everything I sell is really high quality and true vintage, but I am always looking at ways to develop the business further and stand out from the crowd, so now I am working on a new project to expand into teaching people about reworking clothes. I can link this nicely with my other business holding classes at The Lantern Theatre.”

As the market became more flooded she decided to adapt her business to have a more online focus, exploring social media marketing.

“I have managed to get over 6000 likes for ‘Tatties Vintage’ on facebook.  I find that people who have come to events at the Theatre were aware of Tatties which is great to see how the one supports the other. We had over 1500 visitors turnout for our Christmas Fair last year, which I think was mainly down to our online advertising.”

Like Tatties, taking over at the Lantern Theatre, a fringe venue for theatre, music and comedy, came at the right time for both Siobhan and Margaret

“When mum was made redundant from her previous job we heard that the Lantern Theatre was for sale, so it seemed like perfect timing. We took over the Lantern Theatre nearly 2 years ago now. My mum has always been in theatre so I grew up in rehearsal rooms. We love that Lantern is one of the only springboard theatres in Liverpool, a place for upcoming artists.”

Working with family isn’t always easy as Siobhan has found out. “We have our moments. Because I’ve got a business brain I’ll interrupt her creative flow and make sure she is thinking about making money. The great thing is that you can say a lot more to family. We get things out in the open and can be honest with each other.”

Lantern Theatre is based on Blundell Street in the heart of Liverpool’s up and coming creative quarter the Baltic Triangle. Siobhan told us “I just love the Baltic Triangle. It is becoming a real creative hub.  An area that was dying has had a resurgence which is fantastic.  I think it is great to have an area bringing all creatives together.  We need creative people. Without them it’s hard to market, and they are really great at networking.”

Through running both businesses Siobhan has learned a lot of important lessons and would offer this advice to those considering going self-employed:

“I’d say getting advice is very important when setting up your business. Without advice I don’t think I would be doing well enough to have left my job at the bank. Self-employment can keep you awake at night, but it is more rewarding I think. I think people have more respect for me knowing that I am a business owner. I’m proud of what we have achieved, I would definitely do it again.”

Siobhan is now expanding her fashion reach as fashion editor for Collective Magazine. She says “I think once you branch out and do one thing that you enjoy you get a bug for it. Doing one thing leads to another, and if you are anything like me you will find you end up with your fingers in loads of pies.”

To find out more about Lantern Theatre and how they are supporting emerging performing artists visit To link with Tatties Vintage head over to facebook and ‘like’ their page

If like Siobhan you have a burning desire to branch out and follow your business dream, then contact The Women’s Organisation today for FREE advice and support on 0151 706 8111 or

Part-Time Businesses Are a Growing Trend published an article yesterday noting  that due to "the dire state of the economy" we are seeing "a new class of entrepreneurs: part-time business owners who juggle entrepreneurship with a full-time job".

The article stated:

"As wages fail to keep up with household bills, Aviva’s bi-annual SME Pulse found that nearly half (44 per cent) of part-time business owners say they run their businesses to supplement existing incomes.
Of the part-time business owners surveyed, 42 per cent had turned hobbies such as photography, arts and crafts and cake-baking into part time businesses with the others surveyed providing website design, consultancy, retail and trade skills like decorating. Inspired perhaps by the "Kirstie Allsopp effect", more women are likely to have creative part-time businesses than men (49 per cent of women compared to 33 per cent of men).
Aviva’s research also reveals that women are far more ambitious, with more than a third of women planning to eventually make their hobby full time compared to just a quarter of men. Within the next two years, women are twice as likely (20 per cent) to plan to go full time than men (10 per cent)."

Speaking at The Women's Organisation business club networking event last month entrepreneur Pooja Saini of Bollyfit UK encouraged the women that her business commitment has increased and decreased over time flexibly to fit around planning a family, studies and additional income. Pooja who was featured in Liverpool Daily Post this week having given a masterclass on Bollyfitness to BBC Apprentice runner up Francesca MacDuff-Varley encouraged women that they can 'have it all' and adapt their life and business as they so choose.

Business woman Hana Awwad of Chocolate Envelope Designs told The Women's Organisation that her advice to women considering self-emploment is
"If you need to ease yourself in gradually starting part time while working part time, then do that. Follow your dreams, but be realistic."

Apparently the part-time business is paying off with, accorind to Real Business, with the average turnover being £3,800.

CEO Maggie O'Carrol of The Women's Organisation, women's enterprise support agency with offices in Liverpool and Manchester, recently took part in an Oxford Union Debate: 'Women Running Subsistence Businesses are not Entrepreneurs'.  Maggie joined colleagues Professor Sue Marlow and Professor Mark Hart to argue the opposing view, and gained great support from those in attendance finally being crowned winners of the debate. 
Maggie says "It's practically impossible to be able to cherry pick which business is going to be ultra successful from the early stages. Who'd have thought the Body Shop would have turned out to be the massive business it did from humble beginngings producing just a few lotions.  Therefore we need to nuture entrepreneurship what ever size or shape the venture.  Quite a number of them will have the opportunity to grow and we may be surprised as to the ones that do."
The Women's Organisation are keen to nuture entrepreneurship in women whatever their idea may be and encourage women to get in touch via 0151 706 8111 to take up free support to get their venutre off the ground.

#BusinessRoadshow is Back!

The Women's Organisation #BusinessRoadshow comes to Merseyside!
Monday 16th - Friday 20th September 2013


Got an idea for a business but need £££’s to get it started?

Come & meet The Women’s Organisation to find out about funding, advice and support available to local women to start a business

KNOWSLEY Mon 16th Sept

Huyton Library
Huyton Town Centre, Civic Way, L36 9GD, 9:30am – 11am
Poco Coffee Shop
      30 Eccleston Street, Prescot Town Centre, 1:30 - 3pm
SEFTON Tues 17th Sept

Parenting 2000 Litherland
12 Alexandra Mount, Litherland, L21 7PN 9:30am – 11.00am
Parenting 2000 Southport
The Lodge, Mornington Rd, Southport PR9 0TS 10am – 12pm
Crosby Tea Rooms
185A College Road,Crosby,L23 3A 10am - 11:30am
Southport Library
Atkinson, Lord Street, PR8 1DB 12:30pm - 2pm
North Perk Café, Bootle
375 Stanley Road, Bootle, L20 3EF 1:30pm -3pm
WIRRAL Wed 18th Sept
F Network – Head Office Birkenhead
1 Sandford Street, Birkenhead, CH41 1BN, 9:30am – 11am
Hoylake Parade Community Centre
The Parade, Hoyle Road, Hoylake, CH47 3AG 11:30am – 1pm
Heswall Library
Telegraph Road, Heswall, CH60 0AF 2:00pm – 3.30pm
LIVERPOOL Thurs & Fri 19th & 20th Sept
Thursday 19th September:
Allerton: The Interesting Eating Company 9:30am -11am
117 Allerton Road, Liverpool, L18 2DD
Childwall Library 11:30am - 1pm
The Fiveways Centre, The Childwall Fiveways, L15 6UT
Old Swan: Joseph Lappin Centre 1:30pm - 3pm
Mill Lane, Old Swan, L13 5TF
Liverpool Central Library 1:30pm - 3pm
Liverpool City Centre, William Brown Street, L3 8EW
Friday 20th September 2013
 Kirkdale: Merseyside Youth Support Trust (MYST) 11:30 - 1pm
Old St Lawrence School Building, Westminster Road, Kirkdale, L4 3TQ
City Centre: Ninety Squared Studio’s 3pm - 4:30pm
Elevator Studios (upstairs), 25 Parliament Street, L8 5R
Follow @TheWomensOrg #BusinessRoadShow on Twitter to keep track of our movements.

                       If you can’t make it or want more info call 0151 706 8111

@54StJamesStreet 'Tenant of the Week': U5 Social Care Ltd.

Our brand new £5.3mil centre at 54 St James Street is home to a number of fantastic local businesses, so we have decided to hi-light a different one each week.

This week our 'Tenant of the Week' is U5 Social Care Ltd. founded by Ashlea Jones and Tracey Brewer.

U5 Told us:
"Picking the right Social Care firm can be challenging. You want a firm that has experience, industry knowledge, and, of course, innovative ideas. U5 offers a 24/7 - 365 days a year holistic service."

U5 deliver many different services including:

  • Domiciliary Care
  • Cleaning Service
  • Supervised Contacts and Family Support
  • Parenting Assessments
  • Court Reports
  • Recruitment
  • DBS Checks
For more information on U5 Social Care Ltd visit
For more information on our venue here at 54 St James Street, our meeting and conference rooms to hire in Liverpool, contact our team via or 0151 706 8100.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

#WOBusinessClub Member Offers 10% Off @CaribEssentials Nearly 50% Off Stalls with @MDGEPGroup

This month we have some fabulous deals available via some of our business women. These deals are available to all business club members. See below for more information:


Discover Caribbean Essentials...10% Off!

Caribbean Essentials is a vivacious, vibrant and passionate “Mind, Body, Spirit” luxury spa ritual Collection, bursting with the vibrancy and energy of the Caribbean.

Following the recent UK launch, Caribbean Essentials now offer a range of retail spa products for homecare use to support their professional spa rituals, allowing you to transport yourself daily on a sensory journey to a luxurious tropical paradise. These delicious “Retail Spa Lifestyle Collections” deliver everything you will need to create the perfect, luxurious, vibrant Caribbean Home Spa environment - Aromatherapy Oils, Massage & Bath Oils, Soaks, Candles, Facial Collection and much more… All products are approved by the Vegetarian Society.

As a Thank you to The Woman’s Organisation for their support, Caribbean Essentials is offering all members 10% off during the month of September 2013. Use the code WOSEPT to order your products on line at 

Don't forget to also visit on facebook and hit 'like' to keep in the loop with latest offers.


'Green Chirstmas Market' Stall Nearly 50% Discount

GEP Group are putting together a 'Green Christmas Market' The event will be held on 1st December 2013 at Sefton Park Palm House. The market will be open to the public from 10am-4pm to peruse the festive stalls.
To qualify for a stall your business must be 'green' in some way.  Examples could be:

  • Selling eco-friendly products
  • Using recylced packaging
  • Using methods to reduce your carbon footprint
Stalls are £295 (inc. VAT) but The Women's Organisation members can take advantage of almost 50% discount paying just £149 (inc. VAT). A table and chairs will be provided and the event will be marketed widely by the event organiser.

If you are interested in taking up a stall, even if you are not sure if you are green enough, contact Joy for more information on

Make sure you mention The Women's Organisation when booking to receive the discount. Offer is subject to availability of stalls.


If you are a member of our business club and have an offer you would like to promote to other members please contat

Historic Women @54stJamesStreet Home of @TheWomensOrg: Dame Anita Roddick

When The Women's Organisation opened the doors of their new £5.3mil building in the Baltic Triangle district of Liverpool, they were keen to show the influence that iconic women of history have had on the organisation.

Each room at 54 St James Street has been carefully named after an inspiraing woman who made her mark in history. The Women's Organisation wanted to introduce you to some of these amazing women so you can see why they have been recognised at the Women's International Centre for Economic Devlopment (WICED).

 Our top floor training and conferencing rooms which suit gatherings from 10-150 people and have spectacular river and city views are affectionately named the 'Roddick Rooms' after Anita Roddick.  The versitile space offers the added bonus of our impressive roof terraces as break out space, and are fully equipped with high spec integrated IT including video conferencing.

Dame Anita Roddick (19422007)

Born in Sussex, Dame Anita Roddick, DBE was a British businesswoman, human rights activist and environmental campaigner, best known as the founder of The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products that shaped ethical consumerism. The company was one of the first to prohibit the use of ingredients tested on animals and one of the first to promote fair trade with third world countries. Roddick was involved in activism and campaigning for environmental and social issues, including involvement with Greenpeace and The Big Issue. In 1990, Roddick founded Children on the Edge, a charitable organization which helps disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe and Asia. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Roddick a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire. In 2004, Roddick was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis due to long-standing hepatitis C. After she revealed this to the media in February 2007, she promoted the work of the Hepatitis C Trust, and campaigned to increase awareness of the disease. Roddick was known for her campaigning work on environmental issues and was a member of the Demos think tank's advisory council. Children on the Edge (COTE) are an organization that Roddick founded in 1990, in response to her visits to Romanian orphanages. Upon seeing the conditions the children were in, she created COTE to help manage the crisis and worked to de-institutionalize the children over the course of their early life. COTE's mission focuses on disadvantaged children affected by conflicts, natural disasters, disabilities, and HIV/AIDS. On 13 December 2005, the National Post reported that Roddick had decided to turn her back on the world of commerce and give away her fortune, worth some £51 million ($104 million). Roddick also wrote the book Take It Personally, which encourages equality and an end to the exploitation of workers and children in underdeveloped countries. After her death her husband, Gordon Roddick, founded 38 Degrees in her memory, explaining, "I knew what would make Anita really laugh would be to cause a lot of trouble."