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Celebrating Our Wonderful Women | International Women's Day

Celebrating Our Wonderful Women | International Women's Day

Our Wonderful Women 💖 Introducing the women who make all of this good stuff happen. We are so proud that women make up 90% of our Avery Row team 🌻 As an independent business built by women we love to celebrate the amazing females who make us what we are today. Get to know Helen, Hannah, Elidih, Bay, Rosie and Lara over on our blog and hear about their story and what International Women’s Day means to them...

What does International Women’s Day Mean to you?
For me, it’s about celebrating the uniqueness of women. We are many things to many people and have lots of demands on our time. Finding the time to be the mother, partner, best friend you want to be whilst managing a fulfilling career, is a juggle many of us battle with. We often feel we’re not achieving our best in any area but International Women’s Day is a time to recognise all that we DO achieve. It’s about having the inner dialogue with yourself to recognise that you’re actually doing a pretty good job, that you’re a brilliant mum, a great friend, a wonderful daughter -whatever it may be.

What is your story? How would you describe it in one word?
Persistence! I started Avery Row shortly after having my second daughter. I really wanted to work again at that point but couldn’t see how returning to my previous career would have worked out. My husband travels a lot with work and it was my choice to be the more flexible worker in our household, to ensure someone was always there to cover the childcare. I’d always wanted to create my own business so it seemed like the right time (as it does with many female entrepreneurs, I meet many fabulous ones in this industry!) but in those early days, there was a long road ahead that I hadn’t expected. In between raising two little ones, and then having a third, I found myself questioning whether Avery Row would ever make it, some days it felt like the mountain ahead was too steep to climb. After the novelty of starting a business had worn off, I sometimes felt I was back on the bottom rung of the career ladder. Our front room was like a warehouse and I spent my days packaging and sending orders out myself! But, for every day that I doubted myself, there were hundreds more that I believed in the business and kept the vision alive. Today, things are so very different. l am so proud of the brand I’ve been able to build with a team of wonderful, talented women around me. And as we grow, I look forward to us going from strength to strength.

What is your advice to young women today?
Of course, we still have a long way to go in terms of equality, but attitudes towards women in the workplace have definitely improved. But we shouldn’t be grateful for this, we should expect more. So don’t settle for anything less, and keep things moving in the right direction. Having a work-life balance is possible, having a career and being there for your children is possible. Choose something you love, work hard, have a collaborative, open mindset and the sky is your limit. 

What does International Women’s Day Mean to you?
International Women’s Day has a different meaning since working with Helen at Avery Row and as I've reached my 30s. At Avery Row we have a culture where you feel supported, celebrated, respected and empowered. This day has a lasting impact, it flows over into Spring and ripples over the entire year, with women celebrating and supporting women. For me, International Women’s Day is about sharing experiences, learning how we can support each other and celebrating the amazing women in both my personal and professional life. I am lucky to have so many incredible women in my life and I am constantly amazed by their strength. As a women in her early 30s, there are certain expectations of what your life should look like. My friends and colleagues all support each other no matter what stage of life they are in and what they choose they want their life to look like. IWD is a great time to reach out to the lovely women in our lives tell them how brilliant they are.

What is your story? How would you describe it in one word.
The word I would use to describe my years prior to Avery Row, would be ‘fighting’. Working in the advertising industry, I would have to shout louder to be heard. I would be told I was 'brave' by colleagues. Although challenging, it was an amazing journey with lots of beautiful people and experiences. Joining Helen at Avery Row has been an eye opening adventure. I could never give up working in an environment that builds you up and gives you amazing opportunities. My experience now would be described as ‘empowering’. My creative studies and career have always been celebrated by my family. A creative path was never considered to be 'less' and I have always been surrounded by art, photography and music. I'm aware this is a privilege, and am forever grateful. 

What is your advice to young women today?
Don’t change who you are. Don’t feel like you have to fight. Do be picky. Don't settle and do take risks. Find yourself an Avery Row, a place in which you feel lifted up and empowered to be authentically you.

What does International Women’s Day Mean to you?
To me, International Women’s Day represents the celebration, progression and support of all women. It is a day that I like to pause and take stock of the growth of all the amazing women in my life, and give appreciation to those who have contributed to my personal growth. I feel so lucky to have had incredible role models throughout my life and the team at Avery Row is no exception, where I am surrounded by women who support and push each other every day. And we hope to do our bit in designing products which will nurture and inspire little ones in their future.

What is your story? How would you describe it in one word.
I hold a lot of gratitude every IWD. I was raised by a strong and supportive single mother, and feel very lucky to have her guide me through life. She led by example and all I know about being independent, brave and resilient is from her. I believe that as women in this modern world, we need to be thankful of those who have come before us, whilst working for those beside and ahead of us. There is still a way to go in achieving equality, but I am grateful to have been born in an era where women have the opportunity to make a difference and work towards change together. 

What is your advice to young women today?
Don’t apologise for going after what you want in life and don’t let anyone else determine your limits, especially in your career. From personal experience, I have found that so many women in the creative industry underestimate their worth, and it can take a lot of time to realise that you deserve all you have worked towards and hope for in this world. Practice reminding yourself this everyday, and see how you can inspire and uplift others through this outlook.

What does International Women’s Day Mean to you?
International Women’s Day is a moment of reflection and celebration for me. To take a moment to appreciate the incredible support I have for all women around me - friends, family and work colleagues and how each contribute to the person I am today. My Mum and Granny have been my absolute super heros, teaching me to be a kind, hard-working and strong women. They have continuously supported me and I am forever grateful.

What is your story? How would you describe it in one word.
Thankful. After graduating from university, it was always my dream to have a job working full time in marketing for a company with sustainability values. I feel to lucky to be working with such a talented team of women, who constantly inspire and drive me to get better in my career. I do feel there seems to be a negative stigma which a lot of women face when having social media as job title, suggesting it lacks significance. I have been lucky enough to have worked in jobs with a huge support around me.

What is your advice to young women today?
Know your worth, embrace your uniqueness, and never underestimate your capabilities. Believe in yourself and your abilities, even when faced with doubt or criticism. Don’t dwell on the criticism, instead learn from it, embrace it and apply every new element you learn. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others and devle into an uneasy mindset of your worth, but trust your ideas and your success, we’re all superstars.

What does International Women’s Day Mean to you?
IWD for me raises awareness of the hardships Women have had over generations to have equal rights in the workplace. Women for years have been penalized due to time out of their careers for maternity and childcare. It wasn’t till 1978 that Women Gained The Right to work without discrimination due to pregnancy and 2009 Women could file a complaint about pay discrimination. The importance of being supported by your workplace regardless of gender is integral to success internally and personally. However, there are still workplaces where women are viewed as inferior, and their voice/ideas and progression are dampened due to their gender. For me this is a time to reflect on how far we have come but also how far we have to go to get equality within all workplaces. I am so lucky to work for a company like Avery Row where Helen understands the importance of a work-life balance which has created a culture in our workplace of respected dedicated strong women.

What is your story? How would you describe it in one word.
My one word for my story is “Versatility” I have been lucky enough to be brought up in a primarily female family of creative independent women, striving to always be their best. All of us have had very varied careers where we have sought to find a working environment that gives us equal challenges and happiness in our day-to-day lives. Many women I know feel stuck in a role where the lack of equality has made them feel they have no other choice than to stay where they are. I have always been taught to be empowered with the knowledge I can do anything if I put my mind to it and can adapt my skills to easily change our career paths. My Mother trained as a Cartographer but went on to be a Sales Manager for Osborn and Little a well-known Wallpaper and Fabric designer. My Sister trained in Fashion and Design and despite obtaining a design role in London went into Floristry. I trained in textiles and now work as a Merchandiser for this wonderful company Avery Row!  All of us have never settled for less using the versatility of our skills to look for new opportunities to make us happy. I think it’s important to recognize in this day and age we are not defined by what we originally planned to do but believe that we can do anything if we put energy and time into it.

What is your advice to young women today?
Don’t be scared to change your focus in life if something isn’t making you happy find what dose and how to obtain it. I have learned from experience that nothing is out of reach if you show enthusiasm and determination. Don’t settle for less, if you want something create it. You are worth it!

What does International Women’s Day Mean to you?
It’s so important for women to have a day to celebrate themselves, and to be celebrated. I think that, first and foremost, it should be a day for us all to connect with and uplift the women in our lives, to let them know that they are valued and appreciated and that we see all that they achieve and do. It also means continuing to reach for gender equality in whatever ways we can. It’s about making sure we’re engaging with women’s voices, stories, literature, art, politics etc from around the world, and in our local communities so that we can grow our understanding of women’s lives everywhere. For me, International Women’s Day is ultimately all about celebrating how far we’ve come and asking, ‘where will we go next?’

What is your story? How would you describe it in one word.
Grateful! I’ve been really fortunate to have had an upbringing surrounded by brilliant women, the opportunity of great education and the chance to choose how I want to live my life. Throughout my career, I’ve worked for independent companies with strong female leaders, each of whom has taught me so much.

What is your advice to young women today?
Honestly, I’m still learning and lapping up advice myself from all the great women around me. I would say never stop asking questions. Every woman has to face their own unique challenges in their lives and in their careers, and when we share our stories and our struggles and celebrate how far we’ve come, we advance collectively and as individuals.

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