Just like the old saying goes – you become like the people you hang out with the most. In the age of the gig economy, where more and more people choose to leave their employments to start their own ventures, surrounding yourself with like-minded people to set out on a journey together with can be key to your success. That’s why I’m so incredibly happy to be a part of the Boost Women community – started in London in May 2016.
The boost women network
A skill sharing app, active swimwear and a community for all things green – those are some of the ideas that I surround myself with at our monthly breakfast get-togethers. The boost women network consists of around 15 women who live in or regularly visit London. We try and meet up once a month, and also have a Facebook group where we can share struggles, success stories and tips.
What my talented friends get up to:
When I was speaking with my business partner Emma Lindgren home in Stockholm the other day, talking about the network I’m a part of in London, it almost blew my mind how talented these women are. Having seen many of them get their businesses flying just this year that I’ve know them, I think it really proves that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.
So here goes – the success stories that are the Boost Women:
Ulrike Schulz – Secrets of Green
Ulrike started off as a social media freelancer like myself, and after having explored several speaking opportunities together last fall as the duo Digitalx2, Uli founded Secrets of Greens earlier this year. A community for nature-loving urbanists, and a web shop focusing on all things green and environmental friendly. In collaboration with small business owners around the globe, Uli has created a go-to-marketplace for anyone looking to bring greenery and nature into their homes. The beautiful Instagram feed of @secretsofgreen is also something you can spend hours just scrolling through. Uli is your go to person for finding the right look and feel for your social media! And she’s my go to person for just about anything, business or non-business related, as well.
Natalie Cobb – Private Dining London
Natalie runs Private Dining London – an event planning business that caters for both companies and private parties. Natalie, or Tilly as she goes by, knows how to plan the perfect event that will leave every guest wowed, with clients including EY and The Ritz-Carlton. Don’t forget to check out her blog for top tips on go to restaurants, bars and eateries around London. Not surprisingly, she also makes great company for sipping on a coffee or a glass of wine for hours, talking about life.
Natalja Dembek – Graphic Designer
Natalja is a graphic designer, and a Japanese art enthusiast. Apart from working with the Japanese Gallery she is also a graphic design and branding freelancer. She speaks four languages fluently and is amazing when it comes to knowing about art, culture and Japan. Currently we are collaborating on an app-project that might or might not lead to something. Well, who knows unless you try, right? Oh, and she’s also a great yoga partner!
Yasmine Åkermark – Sharehive / Svenska Nomader
Yasmine Åkermark is one of the most enthusiastic entrepreneurs I know. Having founded Sharehive, a skill-sharing service that allows users to trade skills instead of bills, she has built a network of people sharing skills around the world. I’m also fortunate to have co-founded Svenska Nomader together with Yasmine, Sweden’s largest community for digital nomads. We have big, big plans together for the future – so there’s no telling where this friendship and partnership will lead. Or when we meet face-to-face next time for that matter, since we both seem to be on different sides of the globe all the time. Luckily, remote work is the future, so we’re in touch daily anyway.
Maria Stylianou – Developer and London tech-startup networker
Maria is a talented developer and also a go-to-person in the start-up scene in London. She’s charismatic, social and super-skilled. Plus, she always brings a smile to my face. We traveled together to Lisbon in the beginning of the summer to speak at a tech conference for Landing.Jobs on careers and the work life of the future. I’m currently hoping to get her involved with another client of mine as well so that we can continue collaborating!
Segi Adewusi – By Segs
When I first met Segi she was just in the beginning of her plantain thins business – renting test kitchens to produce healthy snacks of her own and selling them at Christmas markets. In a year, she’s secured founding and is currently in the middle of producing her first large batch of plantain thins under the name Snacks By Segs. I’m amazed by her dedication and how far she’s come in a year. Soon to be the healthy snack-queen of the UK, and maybe also the world?
Rosie Cook – Deakin & Blue
Rosie based her business on a personal challenge – finding the right swimwear to exercise in. A swimsuit that would make a big breasted girl feel comfortable, yet powerful in the water. A year later, Deakin & Blue was founded, and has now seen coverage from top magazines like Cosmopolitan, Women’s Health and The Guardian. The brand is also the first swimwear brand to embrace the #BraHijack campaign, to raise awareness for breast cancer. I’m planning on doing all my swimming in a navy swimsuit from D&B this fall!
Sophie Thorne – Twisted Lingerie
Sophie launched fetish inspired lingerie brand Twisted Lingerie earlier this year. With a playful, yet sensual twist, Twisted Lingerie reminds women to take control in the bedroom and to live out their inner goddess. Smart branding, daring photos and an amazing social media presence has made Sophie’s a brand to watch. Following her dream, is something that has also been covered for in magazines like Pick Yourself and Lascivious Marketing.
The network and beyond:
These are just a handful of the women that are part of the Boost Women network, and I’ll make sure to update on more of their success stories and personalities soon enough!
A great place to connect with women entrepreneurs in London is the Women @ Campus breakfasts that take place at Campus London the first Thursday morning of every month. That’s also where I had the pleasure of meeting many of the Boost Women members, and where we decided to start a network of our own.
This fall, I’m also super excited about the opening of Blooms – London’s first co-working space with focus on women entrepreneurs, initiated by Lu Li, the founder of Blooming Founders. Many events are set to take place in this East London venue as well.
Always make time for networking!
This might be one of the oldest tips in the book – but still so relevant. Remember to always make time for networking. Sure, you need to spend time by yourself in front of a computer as well, but the real inspirational boost you need to grow your business, and yourself – that’s something you get in meeting with other people. I’m fortunate to have Uli be my personal “event planer” and she always brings me with her to all different types of events going on in and around London. I also try to keep on top of what’s going on “at home” in Stockholm.
So, my tip to anyone running their own business, I strongly recommend finding your group of go-to people to share your journey with. For the support, the insights and the friendship.