Monday, September 18, 2017

‘Everyone Should Be Able To Do What They Love…And Now I Do!’ - Jane Clappison; The Make Up Academy

Jane Clappison is a pro in every sense of the word! A professional make-up artist who has been working in the industry for the past fifteen years, in areas such as film and television, to make up counters and college – She has now turned her hand to another area of the industry and started her own training centre; The Make Up Academy.

Jane Clappison - Founder of The Make Up Academy
Prior to starting her own business, Jane’s most recent job was teaching as a make-up lecturer at a further education college, but found herself losing the love she once had for the job; ‘I love teaching and I love make up, but I had taught for over 12 years and it had changed dramatically in that time and not for the better.’

She always had a dream of starting her own academy, but it wasn’t until last year that she decided to go for it;

And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’

The Make Up Academy
We all know starting a business can be terrifying, and Jane certainly felt apprehension towards the leap she was about to make, but getting in touch with our team at The Women’s Organisation was the first step that Jane took in her journey…

‘I got in touch with The Women’s Organisation online and they got in touch the very next day. They set me up a meeting with Huda, who became my Business Adviser. I don’t think I could have made my dream a reality without her help and support, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened as quickly!’

‘At the beginning, I was nervous, excited, scared and doubtful…But determined!’

And determined Jane would have to be, because a big change was happening in her life. As she had given up her job, she faced a barrier of financial insecurity to overcome; ‘I had given up a full-time job where I’d been used to receiving a steady income for the past 12 years, so to go from that to nothing was difficult, worrying and stressful! But thankfully I had some financial support from my family, which I am extremely lucky and grateful to have.’

The practicalities of running a business where the next barrier that Jane faced, but with the support of Huda, she found this easy to navigate! As a new entrepreneur who hadn’t run a business before, everything was new to Jane and the support she had from Huda was crucial.

‘Huda went through the various steps that I would need to take to legally register my business, and helped me look at tax, insurance, cashflow and health and safety. She helped put it into an order that felt achievable and not like an unknown mountain of work!’

Some of Jane's handiwork! 
The Make Up Academy launched in October 2016 and has its home in the heart of Liverpool City Centre on Old Hall Street and it is a beautiful space! Here Jane runs Level 2 and Level 3 make up courses, both of which are fully accredited by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT).

She says; ‘So far things are going really well! I’m still only in my first year, but I’ve had some amazing students who are now working in the industry and that’s just the best and most satisfying feeling!’

And she can now begin to reap the benefits of being self-employed which is fantastic for her and suits her lifestyle; ‘The best thing about running my own business is being in complete control of it, doing it the way I want to do it and not being tied to the daily grind of 9 to 5. I feel a lot more in control of my work/life balance now.’

Starting her own business has been a massive learning curve for Jane and she has had to overcome many barriers, but she has faced them all head on. Jane told us; ‘I’m not the most confident of people, so to do this has been quite a challenge and stressful at times, but I’ve had the most amazing support from my family and friends, and I really believe in what I’m doing.’

‘Huda and The Women’s Organisation have been brilliant, Huda was so supportive but also firm!’

Jane in action! 
‘Now…It’s all about moving forward with The Make Up Academy! I genuinely want my students to have the best experience at my academy, to learn the skills they need to break into the industry and have a successful and fulfilling career…’

And she gave us some great words of wisdom that we think anyone can take away with them…

‘It’s not just about running a business. This is a passion of mine. Everyone should be able to do what they love, and now I do!’

If you'd like to find out more about The Make Up Academy, you can do so by getting in touch using the contact details below!

Email -

AND - If you've been inspired by Jane's story and would like our support to turn your business dream into a reality - get in touch! Email us on or ring 0151 706 8111

Meet One of the Newest Members of Our Team - Ellie Vick!

If you've popped into 54 St James Street recently, you may have had the pleasure of meeting one of the newest (and smiliest!) members of our team. Ellie is a member of our Admin Team and operates Reception - and after four months we can't really remember a time that Ellie wasn't here! So, we thought this would be good time to catch up with Ellie and find our a bit more about her and how she ended up with us at The Women's Organisation. Have a read and be sure to give her a hello when you visit us ... 

What’s your full name and where are you from?

Eleanor Vick and I am originally from Wallasey on the Wirral.

Tell me how you first found out about The Women’s Organisation and become part of our team?

I first found out about the women's organisation via social media, and I attended courses and kept my eye out for job opportunities on the website. It was an organisation that really appealed to me, I have been a member of the Women's Equality party from the beginning and was brought up as feminist, a place championing women's rights on a grass root level is something I really wanted to be a part of.

What kind of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?

I completed a degree at the University of Sheffield in History and English Literature, working two jobs to fund myself, one in the very glamorous role of a night club cleaner and one as a disability assistant (helping students with disabilities get the most out of their university experience). Following on from university I worked at the National Museums of Liverpool (the Walker Art gallery and the Museum of Liverpool). I took up a 6-month placement at the galleries in Edinburgh which was such a wonderful opportunity to work in one of my favourite cities! However, due to funding cuts the job couldn't be made permanent so I moved back to the Wirral and I took a job as a Wedding and Events coordinator at a Hotel. I decided that my future didn't lay in the hospitality industry and made the decision to focus solely on achieving a job I wanted. Which is how I came to apply for this role at the Women's Organisation.

What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The diversity and complexity to the influence that The Women's Organisation has, not just a local level but nationally and internationally. The many branches to the organisation astounds me. Perhaps more so, the staff each hold a multitude of roles and all play a part in achieving the goals of the organisation. The passion and unity of the office is something I have come to really enjoy working within.

What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The people by far. It would be nothing if each staff member did not actively participate in the values and aims of the organisation. It's an inspiring place to work.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

Reception is the first point of call for the organisation and the building, so it can be a very fast paced place to work. Queries come in all forms - phone, email and in person. As receptionists for the whole building, we greet and direct all visitors to the building, so knowing the building and its occupants is crucial. With many tenants and virtual tenants, we deal with their post, take messages on their behalf and answer any queries they may have. Other aspects of our role include setting up internal/external events, processing room hire enquiries, helping with projects within the organisation and any other admin related tasks that crop up on daily basis.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

Perhaps that I have a qualification in archery!

What do you do when you aren’t working? 

Most of my time off is spent with friends and family. We are close knit family but are scattered all over the country so I enjoy travelling to see them. I enjoy visiting galleries and museums around Liverpool and beyond! Most of my travel trips evolve around art! I love travelling, I can never get away as much as I would love to but I am always planning my next adventure!

Thanks Ellie and welcome to The W.O family!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Enterprise Evolution Team Help Gwrp Llandrillo Coleg Take Home National Award!

Last week the Enterprise Evolution team returned to our HQ with some fantastic news – Gwrp Llandrillo Menai Coleg (GLLM) who we have been working with for the past 18 months, had been awarded the Further Education Team Enterprise Award for our work in Thailand with the British Council and Thai Department of Education.

The 2017 National Enterprise Educator Awards, celebrate the UK’s top enterprise and entrepreneurship educators annually.  This year the awards ceremony took place Glasgow, during the Gala Dinner for the 12th International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference  which was being hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Further Education Team Enterprise Award was sponsored by Cobweb Information – the company that bring us the all-important Cobra information sheets! Representing the team on the night were Christine Evans (Head of Commercial operations, GLLM), Penny Matthews (GLLM) as well as our very own Lisa McMullan from Enterprise Evolution.

Enterprise Evolution have been working to support  Grwp Llandrillo Menai Coleg in  developing a new approach and curriculum for student enterprise and entrepreneurship in vocational education and in designing and facilitating staff development programmes. 

This work has been piloted following approval by the British Council Thailand (BCT) and the Thai Ministry of Education’s Office for Vocational Education Commission (OVEC).  Plans are to roll out the programme and activities nationally.

We were delighted to have received this award as part of the team with Gwrp Llandrillo Menai Coleg! We’ve been working hard in Thailand for the past eighteen months and it was fantastic to have this work recognised by the National Enterprise Educators Award.

We also wish our best to the highly-commended organisations in the Further Education Team Enterprise Award category – Barnsley College Enterprise Team, Barnsley College and Leeds City College Enterprise Festival and Leeds City College.

It was a fantastic evening with a great outcome for both the Enterprise Evolution team and Grwp Llandrillo Menai Coleg, so thank you to everyone involved!

Enterprise Evolution is the boutique consultancy service of The Women’s Organisation.  For more information about our work visit their website.