Monday, July 29, 2013

"A Day at a Time We Can Achieve Anything" Katie's Story Setting up The Gordon Café

Katie as pictured by ST84Photogrpahy
For mum of 2 Katie Adams, surviving a turbulent few years only made her more determined to achieve her goals. With 20 years in the catering industry, setting up her own café and catering service seemed like the obvious next step for Katie.
“I knew it wouldn’t be easy,” said Katie, “It’s hard being a single mum and running a business, but it all just comes together, especially if you have the help of a supportive family.”

With ideas buzzing around her head Katie knew she would need some advice to make sure she started her business off on the right foot. Her first stop was the local community centre.

Katie said “I got in touch with Kirkdale Community Centre, because I was looking for advice around funding. The woman there mentioned that they had an empty kitchen there fully fitted ready for someone to take on.  The centre is right by my house, by my daughter’s school so it felt like ‘maybe this is where I am meant to be’.”

Katie was keen to ensure she was making sounds decisions, and wanted to look at any help she could get with getting her business up and running.

“Someone told me about The Women’s Organisation, so I went along to get some advice. My adviser gave me loads of help to put me in the right direction. With that support and having found the right place, setting up the business, although it was a hard slog, has not been a stress to me, I’m in a groove with it.”

Being a local resident, Katie had watched businesses start and fail on the site, and she felt she could see where they went wrong and how to learn from their mistakes.

“The café premises has been there for years. I’d seen it open and close a few times.  I knew it just needed someone to be consistent, so I dedicated to open every Monday to Friday. That way people know exactly when we are there, and I get to spend the weekends with my kids.”

“I am local myself," reflected the LMH resident, "so I am glad that local people are my customers – without customers I wouldn’t have a business. I like chatting to the young kids that come in. I want to instil goodness in them and let them know I’m not there to judge. We also have local pensioners pop in, and I am glad to be there to check on them and give them their scouse to take home for their tea. It’s not just a café, it’s a part of the community.”

Having faced real lows in her personal life, Katie knew the timing had to be right and told us:

“I opened the café when I was ready, and it was what I wanted. I wanted to achieve my goals. I’d had a very unhappy few years, I’d been in a bad place, but I have come out the other end and know now if I give my best to everything I can achieve. The things I have been through have made me the strong woman I am.”

Things are going well so far for Katie and her business ‘The Gordon Café’ which offers outside catering as well as a community café.

The mum of two told us “I love working for myself. It’s hard work, but everything is falling into place. I work with great girls, there are two part time staff (one is my cousin) and me. I enjoy it that much it’s like work is my social life. Saying that, I am a perfectionist. A business is like your baby. So I take it seriously and make sure everything is how I want it to be.”

Since opening the doors of the café Katie has felt the real life changing effect of taking charge and working for herself.

“Time has flown. Every day that a problem comes up, I just get on and deal with it. It makes you stronger and you can learn from those experiences. My kids are really proud of me”

To experience The Gordon Café for yourself pop in Monday-Friday at Kirkdale Community Centre on Stanley Road, Liverpool.

Katie’s motto is “A day at a time, we can achieve anything”.

If like Katie you feel the time is right to achieve your goal of running your own business, why not contact The Women’s Organisation for advice, grants and support on 0151 706 8111 or

From building confidence to developing a business plan and accessing business start-up grants, The Women’s Organisation offer a friendly FREE and supportive service to help you make your dream a reality.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Women in Business 'Know Your Value' with @TheWomensOrg & @Hampson_Hughes

This week The Women's Organisation Business Club teamed with Hampson Hughes Solicitors to support women in business to 'Know Your Value'.

The positive networking event held at 54 St James Street focussed on encouraging women to know their personal and professional value, and to translate that through marketing their USP (Unique Selling Point) and in their pricing strategy.

Marketing and business development manager for Hampson Hughes Solicitors Lisa Pearson (pictured above left with Denise Chilton & Bernie Cox) shared how their firm had built on their success in tricky economic times by increasing marketing activity. PR and Media Relations Manager Laura Hampson talked about the importance of utilising free PR opportunities, building relationships with the press, knowing the value of a good story.

Warm and knowledgable guest speaker Denise Chilton shared tips she had learned through "Getting it right and oh so wrong" on her journey to business. As a business coach Denise gave strategies for tackling the tricky issue of pricing right.

Training co-ordinator at The Women's Organisation Bernie Cox finished the evening off with her 9 tips for pricing.

Some feedback from the event included:

“Fantastic networking opportunity, great audience and really useful sessions. Thank you”

“Good practical tips. Friendly. Focussed on topic. Thanks”

“Helpful tips as always. Thank you”

“Amazing event. I loved Denise”

“Pricing is such a thorny subject for us, so thank you for boosting the confidence”

“Really interesting. Raised some good questions to ask myself”

“Loved the ‘from the heart’ talk from Denise. Thanks”

“Fab as always. Informative, easy going and friendly”

“Terrific talk – very interesting with lots of helpful advice. Thank you”

“Always like coming to these events”

“Great! Given me loads to think about”

“First time here and found it really useful. Loads to take home and think about from the presentations”

“Nicely done, thanks. Positive and reassuring”

“Picked up some great tips and met some lovely people”

“Just a quick note to thank you for arranging a really good networking session this evening with Denise Chilton and the ladies from Hampson & Hughes. I have just been motivated to review my marketing and promotion strategy with costs as a result!”
The Women's Organisation offer FREE membership to their business club, holding networking events and masterclasses throughout the year for women in business. If you are a woman running a business in the north west of England who would like to find out more please contact 0151 706 8111 or
Next month's business club networking evening will be our 'Summer Social' on Wednesday 21st August 6pm-8.30pm. Contact us via the details above to make booking enquiries.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Britain And China Join Forces To Harness The Power of Women

A joint initiative to promote and enable women to achieve success and prosperity worldwide was agreed at a high-level seminar between the Liverpool based The Women’s Organisation and a delegation from the Shanghai Women’s Federation.

The six strong group was visiting Shanghai’s sister city in the UK and was greeted by Lord Mayor Gary Millar at Liverpool Town Hall before attending the event at The Women’s Organisation’s headquarters at 54 St James Street, located adjacent to the city’s famous China Town, the oldest Chinese community in Europe.

The delegation was led by Madam Li Rong, vice-chairperson of the Shanghai Women’s Federation, accompanied by Madam Xu Xiufeng from the Office of General Affairs of the Federation and Madam Kang Binqin, director of the Women’s Working Committee of the Art Centre of Shanghai’s Grand Theatre.

Hosted by The Women’s Organisation chairperson Gill Moglione, chief executive Maggie O’Carroll and chief of finance and operations Helen Milne, other speakers included Cllr Anna Rodery who is deputy chair of Liverpool City Council’s culture and tourism select committee and Mrs Deng Jing Liu, managing director of Harvest Land Education.

The Women’s Organisation chief executive Maggie O’Carroll said: “It is crucial that societies globally harness women’s enterprise and encourage and support women to start their own businesses.


“We first established links with the Shanghai Women’s Federation when we staged a seminar at the Liverpool City Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo. The delegation’s visit underpins our continuing strong relationship and determination to promote the interests of women in both our nations and worldwide,” she added.


Madam Li Rong (pictured here with Maggie and Helen from The Women's Organisation) commented: “It is important that we share our views and expertise in promoting women’s rights and we are delighted to be taking part in such a forward looking plan with The Women’s Organisation, the foremost group of its kind in the UK, and Europe.”


The group later toured the Women’s Enterprise Centre and Liverpool’s Central City Library where it was given a briefing by Madaline Heneghan, director of Liverpool’s acclaimed Writing on the Wall festival. It was also given an outline of the city’s plans for The International Festival of Business in 2014, when The Women’s Organisation will host numerous seminars promoting women’s equality and enterprise.


The Festival’s programme director Andy Snell said: “We are keen to attract women entrepreneurs globally and particularly from China because of Liverpool’s close ties with Shanghai.”