These Midlands women mean business; and so do their companies. 

Sara Denny 

Thyme Keepers

Ledbury Reporter:

Sara believes firmly that us women need to help each other. “There are enough people out there wanting to tear us down”, she tells Living. Life is pretty Zen these days but that was not always the case. There was a time that life for Sara was very different, following several traumatic events including an abusive relationship and bad health, she was left feeling broken.

After trying several holistic paths on a journey to find a way back to herself, Sara found crystals and aromatherapy to heal herself. What started off as a path to heal become a business. “women are complex creatures. All of whom and what I have been is summed nicely now in how I carry myself, a bit more gracefully than I might have done once, now I am a true survivor and a warrior!”

For many women it’s about finding an inner faith, a strength, even head space to deal and process what’s happened or happening. From her own personal journey Thyme Keepers was born. Out with the toxic and in with the new age!

Phone: 07709611103

Email: sales@thymekeepers.co.uk

www.thymekeepers.co.uk

Rowena Jones 

Rowe Homes Building Design 

Ledbury Reporter:

Rowe Homes Building Design Ltd is a small architectural design company established in 2017 by Rowena Jones to provide a fresh, young and dynamic approach to domestic design and construction.

An architectural designer with more than 15 years’ experience, she has residential experience ranging from designing private executive homes and managing volume housing schemes, to taking a lead role in the development, re-design and creation of the standard house type range of a small private developer.

From the very beginning RHBD Ltd has focused on building a reliable external team of established consultants whilst remaining a supportive repeat client to other high quality starts ups led by both male and female founders. “Building great relationships with clients and other professionals adds a sense of community to the job. The build stage of the project featured was fully co-ordinated by a female client using the construction information supplied by RHBD Ltd. A great example worth sharing as part of the celebration of International Women’s Day!”

Phone: 01905759140 | 07817065450

Email: info@rowehomes-bd.co.uk

rowehomes-bd.co.uk

Tejinder Ghag

Tej & Co

Ledbury Reporter:

It started with a promise: to help everyone feel happier, healthier and more confident about their bodies. Founder Tejinder Ghag – Tej to friends and clients – had always had a passion for beauty therapies, but she quickly discovered that through skin treatments and hair removal she could really make the biggest difference.

Having seen so many people suffer from unwanted or unsightly hair, or skin conditions like acne, uneven tones, sun damage or thread veins, Tej realised that a tailored programme and combination of treatment methods could tackle these problems effectively.

This approach, combined with a friendly, personal service and relaxed welcoming environment, has seen Tej and her team build a loyal, regular client base and earn a brilliant reputation right across Birmingham and the West Midlands.

“As we’ve become more successful, we’ve moved to bigger premises, taken on some really talented people and invested in some of the world’s best medically approved technologies.” But they have never lost sight of the simple promise that started it all. It’s a promise worth keeping, and it’s why their clients love them.

Phone: 01384 824039

Email: info@tejandco.co.uk

www.tejandco.co.uk

Jane & Emily Newman

Jane Newman Financial Planning 

Ledbury Reporter:

An all-female financial services firm based in Worcestershire, who have recently celebrated exam success by an apprentice with the perfect role model. Emily Newman, gained a diploma in regulated financial planning, has followed in the footsteps of her mum, who runs Jane Newman Financial Planning Ltd.

Based at Gaudet Luce Golf Club in Droitwich, the firm offers independent, whole of market financial advice to individuals and businesses and pride themselves on customer service and building lasting relationships with clients. Emily is a former business student whose apprenticeship began in September 2018, 21-year-old Emily was the youngest person in her cohort to complete the demanding course. She has also shadowed Jane at client appointments for the past 14 months.

Emily said: “I originally planned to study law but decided to switch to financial services after a gap year in Australia. I wasn’t put under any pressure and was always free to follow another career path if things hadn’t worked out. I’m delighted they have as it means the business will be in safe hands when mum decides to retire in the future.” The textbooks won’t be put aside just yet as Emily is keen to gain as much industry knowledge as possible and will be taking further qualifications relating to mortgages, equity release and ultimately achieving chartered status.

Emily's exam success rounds off a successful year for Jane Newman Financial Planning Ltd. In May 2019, the firm became directly authorised and Jane has joined an elite list of the highest rated financial advisers in the country based on positive reviews via VouchedFor.co.uk, the UK's leading ratings site. To gain a place in the rankings, which were published in The Times in February, each adviser had to receive positive reviews with the scoring based on three areas – advice, service and value. If you think Jane Newman Financial Planning Ltd can help you, please feel free to get in touch.

Phone: 01905 779193

Email: jane@janenewmanfp.co.uk | emily@janenewmanfp.co.uk

www.janenewmanfp.co.uk

Vivienne Carter

Carters Furniture 

Ledbury Reporter:

A family-run furniture retailer, Carters has been a trusted and respected name in Kidderminster for more than four decades, head of operations Vivienne Carter has directed this business successfully and the driving force behind creativity ensuring classic, stylish and modern furniture, working with brands such as Stressless, Celebrity, Ercol, GPlan and many more.

Operating from two different sites on New Road, the company is split into Carters Furniture Centre and Carters Bed City. As well as offering the largest selection of beds in the area, Carters is proud to be Worcestershire’s biggest independent furniture retailer with two showrooms covering over 40,000 square feet. With such a wide variety of furniture to browse at your leisure on the shop floor – plus many more items that can be ordered – it is essential that customers are able to make the most of their purchase and Carters’ highly trained staff are always on hand to offer advice and information.

If you’re looking for inspiration to transform your home, around 80 stylish room settings feature finishes ranging from high gloss to glass, light oak to French cherry, mahogany to yew and everything in between. Major brands available include G Plan, Ercol, Stressless and Alstons, which have always been Vivienne’s main vision for the store. At nearby Carters Bed City, customers will discover the only Comfort zone display in Worcestershire featuring Silentnight, Sealy and Rest Assured, the largest Vi-spring display in the area and hundreds of other beds and mattresses from leading brands including Harrison, Health Beds and Hypnos.

There is also a specialist section for electric adjustable beds and chairs with many different models to try and fully qualified staff to demonstrate how they are operated. Thanks to Viv’s close relationship with suppliers, Carters can source furniture made all around the world as well as products manufactured locally. Both stores have large free car parks and are open seven days a week.

Phone: 01562 755766 (furniture) | 01562 66396 (beds)

Email: info@cartersfurnitureonline.co.uk

www.cartersfurnitureonline.co.uk

Emma Bloor 

Fable & Willow 

Ledbury Reporter:

Fable and Willow specialises in custom-made soft furnishings. However, it was not Emma’s first career, Emma started her career as a nurse but soon succumbed to the creative bug she had developed at school. After a stint at her sister’s marketing company Ice Blue and following a separation, it was Emma’s desire to create a home for her young daughter that inspired her to set up

Fable & Willow, she bought the only property she could afford – a crumbling wreck – and set about ripping it apart. What she didn’t expect was how much she would enjoy it. Emma then studied under Victoria Hammond. It gave her all the skills she needed. “She taught you how to set a business up, how to design, how to make everything, and how to run projects from start to finish,” she says.

“One of the reasons why I did this was because I wanted to be able to pick the girls up from school” she says. It is flexible, but I think you do probably twice the amount of work.” Despite the pitfalls, she relishes being a role model. “I’m quite an independent woman and I want the girls to realise they’ve got to work when they get older and be self-sufficient,” says Emma. “I’m teaching them that because they can see me doing it every day.”

Phone: 07885 460 585

Email: handmade@fableandwillow.co.uk

www.fableandwillow.co.uk

Caroline Davies

Aristocraft

Ledbury Reporter:

Creativity, perfectionism and attention to detail are traits that run through the Davies family, with Caroline Davies being no exception. Beginning her career as an interior designer and florist, Caroline has always had a natural aptitude for creating beautiful, functional spaces for others to enjoy.

Having been introduced to the kitchen industry by her father and founder of Aristocraft Luxury Kitchens & Bedrooms, Bryn Davies, Caroline is now Aristocraft’s design director and leads a team of 7 kitchen and bedroom designers. With over 18 years’ experience in interior and kitchen design, and with an accomplished skillset and grasp on current trends, Caroline has also naturally progressed into designing high-end bespoke kitchens for one of Aristocraft’s sister companies, Davies & Davies.

When designing any kitchen or bedroom, Caroline puts in the work to build a relationship with her clients, understanding their lifestyle and exactly what they’re looking for, not only to create a beautiful space, but to make sure the functionality suits the client and their family. Caroline’s work is regularly recognised by industry leading bodies including Ideal Homes Magazine, Kitchen Design Magazine, and has been a winner and finalist in previous KBB Retail and Design Awards, amongst many other awards throughout her career.

This year, Caroline has again been shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious KBB Retail and Design Awards, 2020 for Kitchen Designer of the Year (£30,000-£50,000) – biggest and longest-running awards in the kitchen and bathroom industry. Following her online entry in which Caroline detailed the layout, design, and thought process behind one of her recently completed customer projects, Caroline was one of 4 shortlisted and invited to the Smeg head office in London to present her project to a panel of industry recognised judges.

The awards ceremony will be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on March 2, 2020, and we hope you join us in wishing Caroline, and all of the other finalists the best of luck! Established in 1982, Aristocraft is a second-generation, family-run business.

Phone: 01384 262710

www.aristocraftkitchensandbedrooms.co.uk

Ashley Rossiter

Mirror Me PR

Ledbury Reporter:

Former celebrity fashion stylist and qualified journalist Ashley Rossiter set up MirrorMePR, a PR and social media marketing agency specialising in representing premium global brands across the lifestyle, beauty, pet and equestrian sector back in 2011. Since their foundation, they have won numerous awards for agency performance, client satisfaction and innovation. MirrorMePR’s brand experience encompasses beauty through to interior design, and it is Ashley’s background in music, fashion and the luxury sector, which set the agency’s scope and expertise apart.

“My personal experience behind and in front of the camera, photoshoot planning and styling are all transferable skills which I use regularly working with our diverse client base. From helping a client with media training, organising a client photoshoot (location recce, choosing a photographer and models) or helping to style the shoot, these are all aspects we can advise or assist.”

Ashley’s relatable quote: “You can never go wrong when you have agreat team to work with.”

Phone: 0207 043 2345 | 01932 918 089

Email: hello@mirrormepr.co.uk

www.mirrormepr.co.uk

Clare Lang

MFG Solicitors 

Ledbury Reporter:

Clare Lang knows what it is like to juggle work and home as corporate partner at MFG Solicitors and a mother of 2, she runs on coffee most of the time! Regardless she loves her work and family and wouldn’t change a thing.

“My business life is challenging but rewarding. I love the buzz I get from doing a great job for a client whether they are buying a business or selling up and retiring to the sun!”

So, what does the average week look like for a corporate partner and working mum, the week always start the same, we caught up with Clare to find out what last week looked like:

Monday: Meeting a financial services client making 2 acquisitions; then an all-female management team buying-out the retiring owner.

• Tuesday: Birmingham. Meet contacts for coffee; then calls and emails. Home; kids to bed; then drafting documents.

• Wednesday: Kidderminster, pitching for the legals involved in a company sale.

• Thursday: Internal meeting to consider promotions. I’m struck by the talent we have at MFG, and most of those up for promotion are women.

• Friday: Emails and calls; business lunch at Opheem; then off to the signature awards. It’s been a busy week; now for some family time!

Phone: 0845 55 55 321

www.mfgsolicitors.com

Aasia Baig 

Centenary Lounge 

Ledbury Reporter:

Centenary Lounge started with its first 1930’s Art Deco Bistro Café in Birmingham 2009, and its latest addition opened in Worcester 2019. Aasia Baig its founder and MD has gained over 20 years’ experience in the retail industry and found a love of the railways in 2001. 4 years later, an opportunity to open a high-quality café in the wonderfully restored and reopened Birmingham Moor Street Station caught her eye.

Aasia learned of the historical dominance of GWR in the area and fell in love with the “Golden Era” of travel by steam train. Her Bistro cafés and restaurants bring Art Deco elegance and the heritage of “God’s Wonderful Railway” together, beautifully in many ways. “My business concept is simple; why grab a high-speed take-out sandwich and coffee every time, when you can slow down occasionally to indulge, imbibe or meet friends and appreciate warm ambiance and friendly service in a conveniently located bistro with class?”

“Creating new concepts and businesses from scratch is what I love the most; it has its challenges but also so very rewarding as well.”

Phone: 01905 724242

Email: birmingham@centenarylounge.com | worcester@centenarylounge.com

centenarylounge.com

Jennifer Semini 

ISO Quality Solicitors 

Ledbury Reporter:

Having originally joined to help on the new business side of things, over the years Jen became more and more involved on the day to day operations side of the business. Her role as director was made official in 2013. She now undertakes an all-round role which still includes new business development and promoting the business via networking (her favourite part) but also marketing, overseeing people development (including the recruitment and induction process), facilities management, financial management and overall responsibility for the business vision and direction.

Jen’s main aim in my role is to create an environment within the business which looks after our clients and develops our people. She strongly encourages everyone to take charge of their personal development.

“Being involved in the local business community is very important to me and as such I have taken on board roles for Worcestershire Advance and the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership Business Board. I value these roles as an opportunity to give back to the local business community as well and widen my networks and increase my knowledge of issues facing SME businesses.”

Phone: 0330 058 5551

Email: info@isoqsltd.com

www.isoqsltd.com