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We talk dream briefs + summer trends with Balloon + Floral Event Designer, Francine

We are forever blown away by your instagrammable-asf creations. How did it all begin?

Thank you so much! Surprisingly, inflating thousands of balloons a week wasn’t always something I planned to do, but there is a story…

I have spent my whole career pre-Frank and Fancy in the corporate world, mostly Leadership and Development practice in large organisations such as River Island and Thomas Cook. I loved working with people, facilitating workshops, and coaching professionals to be the best leader they can be to their people. But then, I welcomed my beautiful daughter Lulu into the world in September 2020.

The plan was always to return to my very loved career once Maternity Leave was over however as you can see that didn’t happen! I had previously booked the holy grail of balloon decor, Elari Events for a past event at River Island, and if I’m honest, I didn’t really get the big deal on balloons but they blew me away!

During those many hours doing night feeds I found myself seeing more and more incredible Balloon Designers, it was a huge industry but I just hadn’t seen much of this in Corby, and as busy as I was being a new mum in Lockdown, I also really missed being creative.

Lulu was 5 months old when I decided to give it ago, my niece was turning one and I attempted to make a Peppa Pig design, it was hard, it fell off the wall, and still never are those pictures to see the light of day! A week later, it was coming up for Valentine’s weekend and I had a lot of pink and red balloons leftover from the failed Peppa garland so I thought “OK, one last go, let’s make something for valentines!”

This time it worked! It looked great and I thought this was something I could do! I racked my brain on a name, but it ended up being pretty simple, I get called Frank and my nieces call me ‘Fancy Nancy’ so here Frank & Fancy was born!

What was the initial inspiration to start your own business and sell them to others?

My initial inspiration was to create amazing decor that most people had never seen from balloons before. I thought I would mostly sell small collectible items however I soon found my passion was for the big stuff!

Creating these masterpieces must be so much fun, but also such hard work! What are your top tips to shake the ‘funk’?

To look back, whenever I feel I’m not where I want to be, I pull out that Peppa Pig garland, I scroll down my Instagram and see what some of my earlier designs were like in comparison to now, and I pull out my diary and be thankful for every booking I have remembering I could still be commuting to London every day and missing such precious moments with my daughter.

Running my own business was never something I ever wanted to do, in fact, I would regularly say, “I couldn’t think of anything worse than having to deal with that stress”, and it is stressful at times, hard work, late nights fitting it all in once my daughter goes to bed but, its mine, I created it and I’m so proud of how far its come already.

What would be your dream balloon brief?

There are so many and probably would differ depending on what event was being celebrated. But probably a clear theme with space and trust to run with it myself and of course a good budget as I can get carried away! Also, it’s not just balloons now, props are probably what I spend most of my time sourcing, designing, and creating, I’m very lucky to have a very clever partner and dad who can make pretty much anything I ask!

Are there any brands you would love to design for?

Perhaps not any particular brands as such but if the Kardashian’s Event Planner could hit me up I’d be more than happy to work with them – they throw the most insane parties!

You have recently expanded your creative skills, launching floral event decor. Tell us about that.

Whilst my business started with balloons, my goal has always been to make sh*t look good! So to add floristry into the mix and many other new things that are coming soon felt really natural. In January 2022 I took the leap and booked a week-long course with the infamous McQueen Flower School!

I had little experience with flowers other than artificial which featured lightly in some of my designs so I was pretty nervous to go back to zero on a whole new craft. But I kept reminding myself again of the Peppa Pig garland, if I learned this much in a short time on balloons, I can learn flowers too right?

What are your predicted summer trends for parties and events?

Summer trends I keep seeing and filing away for inspiration are mostly props with florals alone, although I will always try to bring balloons into the mix. The neutral tones are still going strong but a huge wave of bright contrasting summer tones are coming! Australia is really in the lead with this type of thing. To see an example, have a look at the neutral ‘Gigi’ example on my page, I think there’s lots more of this to come! Shout out to my Dad for making me my most popular prop to date!

What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?

Don’t stress – it’s going to work out better than you could ever hope for!

I think I spent many of my early 20s wanting to nail down a career, get my first home and tick all the boxes that meant I had been ‘successful’, and whilst that was all amazing and did lead me to where I am now, I wish I was braver sooner!

Trust the universe, it will always have your back, so maybe that’s it, I should of read the book ‘The universe has your back’ earlier.

Finally, what piece of advice would you give to other entrepreneurs at the moment? … and are there any small businesses you would like to say ‘hello’ to?

Immerse yourself in everything available to you.

Follow and learn from those who are leading in your industry.

Build relationships with other small businesses, both similar and also different from yours.

Find what makes you different.

Don’t get caught up on Instagram following.

If you don’t know how to do something, find someone who can teach you!

Trust the process.

Oh, why did you have to ask that, now I’m worried about who I’ll miss out! There are so many but…

@lovebubbleballoons… I couldn’t keep sane without you in this crazy event world,

@lauramillsmarketing… for always supporting and guiding me,

@allthatplatters… thanks for always thinking ‘Let’s do this’ with me,

@_maria_simpson… for keeping me inspired with her very creative Reels,

@illumin8ed_letters… for always being a trusted supplier to work with,

and @ketteringdental… for trusting me with my first ever paid garland!

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Letting Go: Limiting Beliefs

Ah, limiting beliefs.

You may have heard this buzzword term being thrown around a lot on Social Media recently.

We all have them. We’re often held back by them. We should most definitely all be doing more inner work to confront them.

But what exactly is a limiting belief? How do we form them, how can we identify them + how can we confront them head on?

Limiting Your Potential

If you’ve ever made a self-depreciating statement about your ability to do something, you probably made it in good humour but, chances are there’s a limiting belief buried in there somewhere.

It may come in the form of potentially harmless beliefs, such as pre-warning your friends that you’re ‘terrible at parallel parking’ before taking an embarrassing number of attempts to get into a parking space fit for a Boeing 747. Or maybe you’ve uttered the words, ‘I’m too old to wear that!’ [Aka me, a ’96 millennial, not even attempting to try half of the latest fashion trends for this exact reason].

These might seem harmless enough but if your dreams were to become a Driving Instructor or Gen-Z Fashion Influencer, these beliefs might actually be holding you back [FYI these are neither of my aspirations but the potential is there if I want to give either a go…]

How Our Limiting Beliefs Are Formed

A limiting belief is essentially a belief that you consider to be the absolute truth or a fact. They often keep you stuck, either from moving forward with your goals or keeping you stuck in negative thought cycles.

A lot of our beliefs are formed through our experiences + our perception of those experiences. If you’ve had a particularly negative experience in your life, you may equate this with a specific [negative] outcome + as a result, never want to put yourself in that situation ever again.

If you’ve had a particularly bad breakup for example or a toxic relationship, you might form a limiting belief that you’re not worthy of love [spoiler: you are] that you’ll never find another partner again [you will], or the belief that all relationships end badly [they really don’t have to].

Identifying Your Limiting Beliefs

For me, a lot of my limiting beliefs were around money + my ability to try new things. For a long time, these beliefs kept me trapped in a job that felt unfulfilling, not being paid what I wanted + stuck in a negative mindset.

Now I’m in a completely new job + industry, doing more of what I love each day + keeping myself open to receiving everything that I want in life.

How can you confront your limiting beliefs?

There are a number of ways you can identify your own limiting beliefs.

The best starting point in my experience was to become more aware of current behaviours + start by assessing your thoughts on a regular basis. Keep a journal of your thoughts + behaviours over the course of a week or two, or spend time meditating to become more aware of your current thought patterns.

If you feel a negative belief coming up that makes you feel stuck or stops you from taking action, start to question where this belief actually comes from.

  • Is it something someone else told you [a family member, teacher, friend, loved one] during your childhood years + you’ve always accepted it as ‘the truth’?
  • Have you had a bad experience in the past?
  • Is it something you tell yourself all the time?

When you become more aware of your thought patterns + beliefs, it’s a lot easier to confront them. Ask yourself if the belief you hold is really true? Is there any evidence to suggest otherwise?

Often, we take on the limiting beliefs of other people that have been projected onto us rather than stopping to ask ourselves what we actually think about a situation.

Feel The Fear [… in the words of Susan Jeffers, “Do It Anyway”]

Another hack to identify existing limiting beliefs is to think about the things you’re most afraid of doing. It might be public speaking, socialising, starting to take action on your business idea, changing jobs.

Whatever it is, journal and ask yourself why you believe what you do.

  • Where does the fear come from?
  • What is the underlying feeling that you’re most afraid of? i.e. is it a fear of being seen/heard, fear of rejection, fear of abandonment.
  • What are you trying to avoid experiencing?

Identify behaviours that bring most resistance to you + focus on how you can reframe your limiting beliefs into empowering ones.

Your external world is a reflection of your internal world. No matter what your current beliefs might tell you, the world is your oyster + you can literally create unimaginable opportunities for yourself.

It starts with you + taking the necessary steps to changing your internal world first.

Follow @theweeklywoman for more wellbeing + mindful living tips.

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A day in the life of our Advertising Director, Louise Prickett

Firstly, tell us a little about your career so far, your education + how you have found the last 5 years creating, building + running a successful Marketing Brand, Chirpy Bird Social?

At school I was clever but I ‘dumbed’ myself down to fit in. I think this set me back a little bit. I never really found something that I excelled at + that I was happy to be seen to like [I look back + I am kind of annoyed at myself for caring so much about what other people thought because I don’t care half as much now!]

Then I took Business Studies, I loved it. I wanted to carry this on into to Sixth Form, but alongside that, I had to pick other subjects which I didn’t really enjoy +, to be honest, I hated it! I then made the jump to college to study Business. This was one of the best decisions of my life! Completely out of my comfort zone + a year behind, but this didn’t matter at college, it was great! 

Jumping forward to University + a gap year I took where I decided to work to gain experience in Marketing. I never left! I didn’t go back to university, it wasn’t for me + so I continued to work. I quickly fell in love with Online Marketing. But, I wasn’t 100% happy where I was + my heart was telling me that I could do this on my own. So I did… + the rest is history. 

Although I never really talk about it, I have worked super hard over the years + I have learned a lot of what I know today through simply doing, getting stuck in + learning along the way. 

Truthfully that’s how I learn best, it helps that I am so interested in what I do too! 

We know your expertise inside + out, but for our readers, what elements of Digital Marketing do you specialise in? What do you love the most?

I have always loved writing. So, that aspect of my job is a real joy. I also love creating graphics, this is something I would like to delve deeper into this year. 

I have naturally fallen into Facebook Advertising due to the incredible demand for them. I have learned most of this as I’ve gone along, I honestly think this is the best way to do it. Making errors, learning from them + moving on! 

Known as our ‘Ad Queen’, you are our go-to for Paid Social Advertising; achieving results + getting the best ROI for our clients. What are your top tips for a small business owner, with a small budget looking to start Paid Advertising for themselves? 

Get testing, use a small budget to get to know Ads Manager, make mistakes + learn from them. Start by running an advert for Brand Awareness or Reach, this way, you’ll be able to get to know your target audience + how well they respond to your ad creatives + wording. Tweak, tweak + tweak until you’re satisfied. Once you hit the right mark, you’ll get some really great results + from there, you can put aside more budget for each month.

Working with household brands to start-ups, you have had a range of briefs over the last 5 years. What have been your favourite projects to work on?

I’m not sure where to start! You’re quite right, I have had a range of briefs over the years + I have had the absolute pleasure of working with so many amazing business owners from a variety of different industries. 

Without naming names, my favourite projects are the ones where I support a business from its infancy + watch it flourish. I also really enjoy projects where I have free creative reign + my favourite subjects include food, animals + beauty! 

I enjoy being able to put on different ‘hats’ + learn the ins + outs of different products + services, something that not many people may realise I do. 

What would you say have been the most positive learnings since launching your own brand?

Go with my gut instinct, always! 

Now, we know + see the magic you create – but, tell our readers a typical day for you.

A typical day will consist of catch-up calls with clients + you! I ensure that clients haven’t got anything urgent to attend to in their notifications or contact points. I will double check there are no problems with the Facebook Ads I am running for clients + I will normally have a Content Calendar to get stuck into. They’ll be ideas to come up with, lots of writing + coffee to be drank. 

This is a hard question, I am really lucky that no day is ever the same. 

As well as working with our fabulous clients already, who would be your dream client to work with?

I would love to run the Social Media for a Zoo [seriously!]… something along those lines, anything to do with animals… I’d have so many ideas. Completely the opposite to your dream client Abigail. 

I would also love to be on the Social Media team for Aldi – I think they are brilliant. 

At You & Me we have our ‘go-to Toolkit’, what are your favourite apps or programs to use to create a beautifully aesthetic grid?

Planoly all the way. 

Where do you get your inspiration from?

You + also Pinterest, I love it! 

Now, we’re getting a little personal – on the weekend, where can we find you?

Walking the dogs, eating, or chilling on my sofa! 

Are you a night owl or an early bird?

Erm, it very much depends. I can be either!

How do you manage your time + remain productive throughout the day?

Right, I don’t manage my time + it’s something I need to work on! I remain productive because I know when to stop, sometimes I need to clock off early or even go for a nap because I’ve hit a wall, then I am back on it. I always listen to my body! Also going for a walk + coming back to it helps. 

Tell us a piece of advice you would tell your younger self now?

Please please don’t care so much about what others think! If The Secret was around at that time, I would tell myself to get stuck into it + look after my mental health more. 

… and finally, what’s your favourite thing about what you do + working with You & Me?

Learning about other people, their services or products + being able to provide them the awareness that they deserve.

Follow Louise’s journey + the magic she creates on her Socials, @chirpybirdsocial.

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We talk to one of our oldest friends Jade, Founder at Yoga’Na Flow

Hi Jade, welcome to our Journal. We are so proud to feature you as our first Fitness + Wellness Expert. And who better than you, one of our oldest friends!

For those who don’t know you, tell us about Yoga’Na Flow.

Aw, thanks guys! So Yoga’na Flow started nearly 5 years ago now which is crazy + what a journey it has been. Yoga’na Flow is all things wellness, positivity + puns! I teach yoga classes, host events + retreats, + I am always looking for fun ways to make sure people are moving.

You are a talented Jade-of-all-trades, Yoga Teacher to Actress, to Content Creator. How did it all begin?

It all started when I was 3, I went to my first Ballet class + absolutely loved it. I was then cast in dance shows + found a love for being the family clown + making people laugh. From dancing, I went to acting classes + chose to follow the acting dream at College + University. I have worked on sets as a Actor, VO artist + I have even performed stand-up comedy in New York! NYC is also where I found yoga, one of my teachers was also a Yoga Teacher + we regularly did yoga before acting class. It was such a great way to start the day!

When I returned from NYC, I took the plunge + booked a flight to study yoga in India!

The Content Creation commenced when I started my yoga business, but only recently in Lockdown when I really started to enjoy creating Social Media posts + videos. I like to keep busy with lots of tools in the bag!

We know you have been hugely successful across the UK, including teaching at Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Festival. What is your favourite thing about teaching yoga?

I have been asked to teach at Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place for two years now + have loved it! One virtually + one in person! My favourite thing about yoga has to be the people I meet + post-Savasana when they tell me they feel amazing!

Lets talk about your Content Creation + Acting, what’s been your favourite projects so far?

I have worked for a lot of feminine brands, including BeYou, creating posts + reels… as well as CBD oil companies + activewear brands. I love that I can combine yoga + acting!

During my acting career, I filmed an advert for Premier League in a library in Birmingham, that was an incredible day!

You have travelled so much – spending time in New York City + Australia, where has been your favourite place to travel? And why would you say travelling is so important during our careers?

Pre-Pandemic, I travelled loads + am so grateful I took the leap to do so. NYC + Australia are definitely favourites but also Fiji + Vanuatu! I lived on a ship for 6 months so it really was the dream seeing places you can only get to by boat.

South Africa has to be my favourite ever though + I cannot wait to go back.

What’s next Yoga’Na Flow? Where do we see you in the next year?

Retreats! Events! More content + I have some exciting things in the pipeline too.

Your tone of voice makes you one of our favourite people to follow. We love your puns – how do you stay so current with your fun themes, comic posts + witty captions? Does it come to you naturally?

Thank you! The IG world can be very scary, but great to hear you love to follow me! I never know if my witty humour is too much sometimes… it comes naturally to me + if you don’t know me you might be like.. is she okay? I just have the eye for puns + witty things! I hate boring posts… I love humour. A day without laughter is a day wasted!

Are you a night owl or an early riser? What are your top productivity hacks?

I would like to say I am an early riser [my yoga clients know this] but I am also a night owl, if I have work to do or partying to do… [all about balance!]

My productivity hacks are:

  • Drink water throughout the day
  • I sit on the floor to work! Great for posture + your spine!
  • DO the hardest thing first + the rest is easy.

As fellow Female Founders, we wish you the biggest success in your venture. Which other Girl Bosses are you loving?

Oh, there are so many Girl Bosses that inspire me daily. Firstly, You & Me Collective, you + Louise create great lives that inspire me with your content! Kirsty Gallagher, all the feels from her content + I love astrology… and finally, Cat Muffin, an amazing Yoga Teacher + love her passion + hard work that she’s put into her business, getting to where she is today!

Finally, what advice would you give your younger self?

Keep being punny + if you can dream it, you can do it! Never hold back + just be yourself!

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We talk modern styling for the style-conscious with Vogue featured Stylist, Callie Pettigrew

We love your ethos ‘modern styling for the style-conscious’. Tell us your story.

I’m Callie – a Creative Event Stylist + Designer based in London. I love to create modern events + specifically tablescapes that bring people together for a shared experience, whether that be brand events, celebrations or weddings. I’m a minimalist, but I’m also obsessed with colour, so I tend to be drawn to simple, modern design with a playful twist. I love to do something a bit different, to jump on a new trend or push a concept so my clients tend to be quite creative themselves too.

What was the initial inspiration to start your own business + style for others?

My background has always been super creative. I studied Graphic Design at university, before freelancing in set design + interiors + then working in-house for various events companies. I just kind of fell into styling as it brought together all those skills in a way that keeps things interesting. I was working super long hours in my previous job but without the freedom to make my own decisions + pick the projects that excited + inspired me, so I decided to take the leap in 2019 + start my own business, I haven’t looked back! 

Being featured in Stylist, VOGUE + Love My Dress are HUGE achievements. What has been your favourite party/event/wedding to style so far?

Thank you so much! Zeena + Zack’s wedding was definitely a highlight. They were one of my first big weddings back post Covid + after having to postpone multiple times, everything about it was just so joyful. I loved every second of bringing their colourful vision to life, + then to be featured in Vogue was just a total dream come true. 

We have also read you design bespoke stationery. If you could design stationery for any brand or individual [famous or not!] who would it be? What style do you think they would love?

Yes! My degree was actually in Graphic Design which has been a wonderful skill to bring into my styling work. I do only offer my stationery services to clients I’m already working with as it’s definitely not my main passion, but I find it’s a lovely added bonus as it means we can really incorporate it into the full design. I’ve always said I’d love to design an event for Glossier so it would probably have to be them. I love their simplistic yet modern style + think it really aligns with mine!

We’re obsessed [not low-key, obsessed!] with Studio Dine. Your dinner candles are gorgeous. What inspired you to start an eCommerce brand too?

Oh thank you! They’re so fun, aren’t they?! Studio Dine was born in November 2020 as a result of lockdown + lack of events work for me really. I’d always wanted to make my own candles as I felt like at that stage I’d seen pretty much everything on the market [now there are hundreds of candle brands!], but had never really had the time so it felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a go! I’m always on the hunt for exciting tableware + props for my styling work day to day, I thought how cool would it be if I could create those products I’d never been able to find?! Now I’m expanding into all sorts of modern tableware which is really exciting! 

Where can we purchase your products? Do you have a favourite + why?

Everything is sold on my website currently [], although I will be doing a few in person markets over the Christmas run up including A South London Makers Market on the 7th November + London Makers Market on the 4th December. It’s so hard to pick a favourite product, but I’ve just launched the November candle + I’m pretty obsessed with it, so maybe that? It’s a mix of lilac + turquoise so super on brand. I’ve also been working on my very first scented candle that I can’t wait to launch! 

On days you are feeling uninspired, what are your top tips to shake the ‘funk’?

I’m big on finding inspiration from everything around me, from interiors + design, to architecture, places I’ve travelled, fashion, print + illustration. It’s definitely what keeps my ideas fresh, so I try + get out + about for a change of scenery, whether it’s a walk in the park or popping to an exhibition for the afternoon. 

Within your blog we can see you talk about sustainability + eco-friendly weddings. Do you find that more couples are conscious of an eco-friendly approach + what are your favourite top tips?

Definitely more and more these days. The simplest things are to make sure your suppliers are as eco-friendly as possible. Foam-free florists who use seasonal flowers, stationers that work with recycled papers or catering companies that cook with seasonal ingredients are all great places to start. Hire things if you can rather than buying them [+ proceeding to never use them again!). It’s the small things like that which can make a huge difference. 

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self? 

Oooh what a good question. Probably just to go for it! I spent so long wanting to do my own thing + working for other companies as if they were my own so I wish I’d been brave enough to take the leap sooner. 

Finally, what piece of advice would you give to other entrepreneurs at the moment?

Celebrate your wins! It’s so easy to get stuck in the day to day + forget to take a step back to see how far we’ve come. Make time to do that! 

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Viewing the world from a different perspective is my secret superpower

Written by our Guest Author, Mellissa Mercury.

I’ve always been told that I’m unconventional. When faced with an office environment, I felt incredibly uncomfortable + always thought I did an okay job at hiding it. I observed the behaviour of others, picked up on body language, facial expressions + tone of voice, all a huge part of how we communicate. 

I became a chameleon, like most successful sales people. I mirrored those around me + at times, almost had myself fooled. On paper, my sales career was excellent, I worked for international media companies, managed a team, had big brand clients + pulled off six figure deals; but no matter which company or medium I worked within, something always felt off… even when sitting underneath a sign proclaiming ‘Be You, Belong’. Being myself felt wrong.

Like a lot of people, the pandemic forced me to reframe my life. I’d just started a new job when the first lockdown happened, so no time to bond with my colleagues face to face. I found the switch to being reliant purely on email + WhatsApp jarring. I’ve always struggled to read between the lines so frantic messages at all hours of the day from faceless managers + clients could make my head spin. Without crystal clear instructions or the opportunity to ask questions, I quickly found myself drowning, with no support or escape rope. It wasn’t healthy. 

Early in my career, I was often told that I’d misunderstood a situation. During the pandemic I’ve been told, as though I was a petulant child, that I asked too many questions. My frustrations grew. I could see ways of making things efficient but felt ignored.

After a year of overworking + bordering on burnout, I sought the advice of a careers adviser. A deep-dive into my career history, personal life + interests, threw up the possibility of me being on the spectrum. Automatically I wanted to shut the conversation down. I’ve always achieved good grades, have a high level of empathy + love being around people, so how could I be autistic?

I started researching + learnt about the difference in how autism typically presents itself in women vs men. Something clicked, this feeling of not fitting in + pretending to, wasn’t just imposter syndrome, it was ‘masking’ a common behaviour in women with autism + often done completely subconsciously.

I ended up contacting my local Mencap + had a positive screening for autism. Mencap work with adults with ‘high-functioning autism’ + in the last couple of years have seen a big increase in the number of women.

After my screening, I ended up leaving not only my job, but the entire sales + media industry. It didn’t fit my personality, all it did was amplify my feelings of being an outsider + made me feel drained. 

For years I’ve been reading tarot cards as a hobby, I don’t claim to be a psychic, but feel tarot is more psychology. The cards simply present you with a version of reality, if you can relate + see a way to take the advice on board, that’s great, equally if your instinct takes over + you want the opposite from the advice given, then you’ve also learnt something really powerful – the ability to trust your gut instinct.

Tarot has been a transformational tool in not only my journey to connect with my autism, but as a way for me to unpack my anxieties, explore my mental health + feel empowered when faced with difficult decisions. 

While my ability to see from a different perspective was not a right fight for the corporate world, with tarot I’m able to channel this into something beautiful. I’ve read the cards for over 1,000 clients from all walks of life, my empathy + outside the box thinking has helped others understand themselves in a new way. 

My journey here is just beginning but already I’ve been privileged to read tarot at Latitude Festival, started a residency at Lost Boys in Camden, where I also teach classes on how to read tarot + as a guest reader at private + corporate parties.

I’m much happier in life now that I don’t have to stress about holding myself to a standard which wasn’t authentic. I understand that autism is a condition for life, I’ve always had it + always will, so rather than suppress it, I’m embracing it. It is my superpower + I’m on a mission to empower others to champion their differences + find the positives in situations which otherwise could be overwhelming.

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We talk inner warrior, sidekicks + taking a leap with Business Mentor, Gali

We love your ethos ‘Be a warrior in your business’. Tell us Gali, how did it all begin?

Thanks, I love it too! It stems from my strong belief that you need your tribe, your warrior women, you need a solid crew of women around you to succeed. Whether they are your friends, other entrepreneurs, business mentors. I’m happy + very very fortunate to have all of these. 

I’ve also like others experienced confidence dips + individuals that have zapped my confidence especially along my career journey so have had to cultivate a strong sense of identity, authenticity + it’s taken me years to be OK with being me. More so the acknowledgment that I am strong, able + a warrior. That’s what I want to channel in other women, nothing gives me more joy than seeing other women thrive! 

So my business all started around 6 years ago as a side hustle whilst doing a ‘proper’ job. I’d worked in big business for over 25 years [a long stint!] from fashion to health + it just wasn’t me, I’m not corporate at all, I was leading huge teams + experiencing burnout. 

My side hustle initially was helping small businesses to grow, acting as a strategy consultant. I didn’t have the confidence to go out alone, then when COVID hit I was made redundant so that was my kick up the a** + I felt even more motivated to help other women running their businesses or those thinking about it or those that had just launched, plus also to put my 20 years + mentoring expertise to good use!

For our readers that may not know you yet, tell us what you do.

I’m a Business Mentor + Online Business Manager. So my business is two-fold. I offer mentoring for female entrepreneurs + small business owners that are thinking about starting up, or just launched + for those established + running their businesses well but feeling a bit stuck, not sure how to grow, have fallen out of love with their business, not sure how to sell + want to be confident + thrive. 

The other arm is helping them run the show – social media management, marketing, recruitment, operational processes, time management, getting the business organised, managing clients + teams – being their warrior sidekick! 

My approach is an honest no fluff or bullsh*t one, it’s not about regurgitated advice, it’s about giving women the tools + strategies to see outcomes! Empowering women + women in business must be such a rewarding thing to do. Why do you think female empowerment is so important?  

Because by nature we don’t big ourselves up + we don’t just go for stuff as men do. We overthink, worry that we’re not good enough, we’re not ballsy like men. Men go first then think about it after, they say ‘I can do this’. We’re not good at doing that as women. So the more you have strong women around you telling you, you can + just do it the more confident you’ll be. It’s also important to show women that they can speak out, be confident, challenge things, be assertive, be bold, say no, set boundaries. 

There is also a lot of competition out there + that’s not what we should be about, we should celebrate each other, I always liken it to the pep talk you give to other women in club toilets, I want women to go away after they’ve spoken to me + feel good + like warriors. We should be encouraging supporting each other, then we’re all stronger + better in our businesses.

Reading your story, after spending 25 years in a corporate world – what made you jump into something new? 

Loads of reasons! The biggest factor for me as a leader myself was toxic leadership, sadly I had a long line of toxic unsupportive managers [no empowerment there!] The corporate environment for me was not a good fit – a lot of bullsh*t with no substance, a lack of empathy + kindness + a lack of developing people or getting the best out of people – it was all just results/KPIs. It was also a very stifling environment, different ways of thinking or challenging the status quo were not allowed. You can only pretend to be something you are not for so long!

Who is your ideal client?

Women entrepreneurs + small business owners that know they’ve got a good business but are willing to say ‘you know what, I don’t know that’ or ‘I need someone to help me get through this challenge or help me grow’. Or have fallen out of love with their business + feeling a bit stuck. Plus are willing to work with someone to ignite that inner warrior, the reason they went out alone + do what they do!

Looking back, what are the biggest lessons that you have learnt?

Always, always stay true to yourself. For many years I tried to convey myself as what I thought was the professional way of doing things to fit into an environment that wasn’t me. Never do that, it erodes your confidence + you’ll be unhappy.  

Are you a night owl or an early riser?

Oh, early riser definitely! I’ve got my morning routine down. I’ve worked from home for over 9 years now, so it’s important I feel to have your morning rituals, start your day right. Wake up, don’t check your phone! Exercise, listen to some music or podcasts. Have breakfast, slowly! I trained myself not to rush everything. Oh + coffee, lots + lots of coffee. Shower, get dressed + then at my desk. As if you were going to the office.

What are your top productivity hacks?

Have a plan, I work on 3-month intervals, just easier + more manageable. I’m visual so I set out all my tasks etc on Trello (which is a lifesaver). Manage your time well – block out your diary each week for certain things e.g. Thursday is client day/meetings day, Tuesday is admin day, Thursday AM is a deep focus workday [when you need everything switched off + you can focus on those harder tasks]. Take breaks + get outside during the day, which clears your head + makes you more focused. I’ve got loads, it’s what I help others with! 

What’s next for Gali Siegal? Where do we see you in the next year?

World domination right? Gotta set those goals. Seriously, building my business, building my community + tribe of warriors, mentoring even more women to spread the warrior vibes! 

As fellow Female Founders, we wish you the biggest success in your new venture. Which other Girl Bosses are you loving?

  1. Stefanie Sword Williams – F*ck being humble. I’m sure you all know Stef if you don’t check her out + her book. She is all about selling yourself + being comfortable doing it. She’s built a movement, brilliant + is all about empowering others.
  2. Sapphire Bate, Founder of the Coven Girl Gang. I recently joined this network as was a part of others + can hand on heart say that this is more aligned with my values. Sapphire is all about empowering other women in business + has set up the foundations for something really special. She is the epitome of a warrior woman in her business. 
  3. Aesthetic Laundry – I want to give them a shout-out because their brand is brilliant + what they are doing is brilliant. They are a new fashion brand [been up and running for a year], they are challenging the fashion industry, female-led. 

Finally, what advice would you give your younger self?

Stop worrying about what others think of you [I’m still working on this one in my adult life!].

Follow Gali’s journey online now.

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Why It’s Necessary to Choose Yourself First with The Weekly Woman

As an avid, recovering people pleaser, I know first-hand how difficult it can be to put yourself first. 

You feel guilty for saying no. 

You question yourself and what you want. 

You subconsciously feel selfish for putting your needs ahead of others. 

When we start to set boundaries with ourselves and those around us, it creates momentum for creating the dream life we actually want to live, rather than allowing others to dictate how our lives should play out. 

Need a push on why you should take the plunge to prioritise yourself? 

Here are 7 things to remember on your journey of choosing yourself first. 

  • When you choose yourself first, you get to be your most authentic self. 

From my personal experience, the people around me who inspire me most are the ones who are not afraid to go after what they want in life, even if the things they want seem wild to people around them. 

Going after what you enjoy and love to do will inspire so many others to do the same. 

  • The people who are meant for you will naturally gravitate to you. 

One piece of advice I heard recently which has stuck with me is that ‘people will only meet you as deep as they meet themselves.’  

It’s okay to be at different stages in your lives and for people to come in and out of your life as a result. I’m a big believer that what is meant to be will come full circle, but you need to build a life for yourself first and one that truly brings you joy, rather than focusing on trying to please everyone around you. 

  • Not everyone is destined to keep a seat at your table. 

Not everyone is going to agree with you. 

But when we respect our own boundaries and needs, we create space for new opportunities to come into our lives that fit with our ideal idea of our lives. We begin to care less about other people’s opinions because we are living a life that is truly authentic and true. 

  • It’s important to remember to forgive yourself first. 

On this journey of choosing yourself first, you’re going to make mistakes. You’re not going to get it right the first time. 

It’s human nature to make mistakes [and similarly to beat ourselves up over these mistakes]. 

Use this time to be compassionate with yourself – it’s not going to be a perfect streamlined approach or journey to your new destination. There’s going to be speedbumps. But forgive yourself and keep it moving. 

  • You do not need to ever feel guilty for setting boundaries for yourself. 

This goes without saying. 

And no one should ever make you feel guilty for setting these boundaries either. 

But when we’ve had these beliefs engrained in us for such a long time, maybe even decades, it’s natural to feel resistance to change. Start by getting comfortable with saying no to the small stuff and gradually build yourself up to the bigger things. 

  • No matter how good other people’s lives look on social media, remember we’re all creating highlight reels of the best moments. 

No one has their life together [least of all me].

Not knowing what you want to do in life has a bad reputation, but it should be an exhilarating feeling. It means you’re no longer willing to put up with the life you’ve been living. It means you want more for yourself. It means you’re about to start doing things to level up your life. 

Don’t fear change or the feeling of the unknown. After all, change is the only constant thing in our lives. 

Living a life that is someone else’s idea of happiness, is not a life you want to be living. 

  • It’s okay to ask for help and support through the process. 

Speaking from experience, choosing yourself and putting yourself on the self-development path can become a lonely process. Don’t make the mistake of isolating yourself too much at this time, especially at the beginning. 

Reach out to people you feel comfortable with or who you can trust. 

Or join groups and communities online to connect with people with similar interests.

If you remember one thing, it should be this: you have the power to create the life you want and deserve. Don’t let anyone tell you that going after what you want is selfish. 

Follow @theweeklywoman for more wellbeing and mindful living tips.

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We talk bold, beautiful + breaking clothing boundaries with Charlotte

Your designs are bold + beautiful. Tell us the story behind them. 

Thank you! My designs are inspired by my love of alternative culture, gothic artwork, spooky cartoons + tattoos. The very first design I illustrated began as a My Chemical Romance inspired tattoo that I was trying to design for myself. My designs begin as very rough sketches, followed by research + image references before they become digital illustrations. The illustrations that stick and become products are usually the ones that have a stronger concept, or meaning behind them that you wouldn’t necessarily know just by looking but it fits together into the wider collection or the ethos of Sugar Storm.

What was the initial inspiration to start your own business + sell them to others?

I was in my early 20s + I wasn’t loving the choice of clothes that I had + really didn’t feel like I had a style or that I could get excited about fashion. At the same time I had recently graduated from art school + was struggling to find my creative style, so the first t-shirts I made were an experiment in trying something totally new + expanding my skills. I initially got two t-shirts made just to see what they’d look like + ended up sharing them on Facebook asking if anyone would be interested in buying one + I sold about 15 to family and friends. After that I fell in love with the process of creating wearable artwork + seeing my products have a life of their own, seeing other people wearing them to express themselves + show off their own style. I had never set out to start a business, particularly a fashion business, but I always wanted to be able to make a living from my artwork + making things, so it’s a happy accident that I really enjoy the business side of it as well.

Explain your style to our readers.

I’m a grown-up emo kid + most of my style is an extension of that. I love gothic fashion, alternative subcultures + anything spooky. As I got older I didn’t always feel comfortable expressing this – particularly in my art work, but the more confident I’ve felt in my own style, the more it seeps into my work + attracts like minded people. There’s definitely an element of nostalgia in my style + taking the rebellious side of punk, emo, grunge etc + creating something that might be a bit more subtle, but still makes that statement.

Where can we purchase your products? Do you have a favourite + why?

All my products can be found in my online shop, at My favourite product is the original Heartbreaker t-shirt, because it was the one that started it all – the product that existed before I even knew I wanted to run a business. It’s one of the boldest designs I’ve ever done + it usually gets some attention when I wear it, which is nice. I really love all the t-shirts because they can be styled in so many different ways + I love seeing people make them their own. 

We have noticed you also encourage empowerment, self expression + individuality through your  Workshops. Tell us, how did these begin? 

I’d been running Sugar Storm pretty much as a fashion brand for about a year before I realised that something was missing. I wanted to expand the brand + reach more people but I didn’t necessarily want that to just mean making more products. I was already running creative workshops that were separate from Sugar Storm + when I decided to take a step back to really explore the mission of what I was doing – which was centred around empowerment, self expression + creativity – incorporating workshops felt like the natural next step. The workshops have taken many different forms + they’re still very much evolving so I’m excited to see how they can grow over the next few years.

Not only do you create alternative fashion, but you also provide Tarot readings. Tell us your Tarot story. 

I’ve always been curious about metaphysical + spiritual practices, but I really started to actively explore it about three years ago. I bought myself a tarot deck + started reading and learning about it. At the time I didn’t really tell anyone, I had no interest in reading for other people, let alone reading professionally. It felt very sacred + I enjoyed it being something just for me. During the 2020 lockdown it became more of a learning project + I set myself the goal of being able to read for other people by the time we came out of lockdown. I practiced + read as much as I could on the traditional meanings + symbolism, + did a course on intuitive reading. Tarot is really important to me + it was a big decision to open this up to the public, but it felt right at the time + I’ll keep doing it while it feels like the right thing to do. I think it’s a wonderful tool to help people connect with themselves + feel empowered to explore their feelings + identity, which is very aligned with the Sugar Storm ethos. 

How can our readers reach out + find out more about Tarot?

I offer two types of readings: a bite-size email tarot reading + a full video-chat reading, and all details of both are on my website. You can read more about how I got started with tarot, how I read, what to expect from a reading + even how you can read tarot for yourself at I also try to share mini tarot readings on Tiktok as much as possible so you can find me there @sugarstormstudio too. 

On days you are feeling uninspired, what are your top tips to shake the ‘funk’? 

When it comes to creativity, I think it’s really difficult to force it, so when I can I like to take a step back when I notice things aren’t flowing + either get away from my desk + go for a walk, or move some tasks around so I can work on something that doesn’t require creativity or inspiration for a while. My uninspired days usually come as a sign that I’m not resting enough or getting overwhelmed with stress, so for me rest is usually the answer. I also try to start my morning off slowly + not immediately reach for my phone, + find that spending time outside, exercising + looking through old notes + sketches are some good ways to spark some creativity again.

In your blog, you discuss women in rock. Who are your biggest inspirations? 

I’m really excited about the shifts we’re starting to see in alternative music to challenge the norms + push for more diversity + inclusion. Right now I’m particularly loving Meet Me @ The Altar, Milkie Way from Wargasm, Dana Dentata + Nova Twins. Hayley Williams from Paramore was also a big inspiration for me, as an early 2000s emo, because she was really the first woman I saw on stage in a very male dominated scene + that was really important for me growing up.

What advice would you give to your 20 year old self?  

Don’t stress about having everything figured out, because nothing is going to go to plan anyway. Just enjoy the experience of learning, growing and trying new things. 

Finally, what piece of advice would you give to other entrepreneurs at the moment? … + are there any small businesses you would like to say ‘hello’ to?

Get comfortable with having unshakeable belief in yourself + your business. It’s so valuable to have people around you that believe in you + will hype you up when you’re having doubts – because doubts will always happen – but through all the day to day challenges + the conversations with people who don’t ‘get it’, it’s your own belief in what you’re doing that will keep you going. I think there’s a lot that you can blag + half-arse your way through in business but if you’re not all in + don’t truly believe in what you’re doing, it’s going to be really tough. 

Follow Charlotte’s journey online now.

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The ever-changing versions of success

We are over the moon to showcase our guest author Emily, Founder, Business + Life Coach at Emily Button Creative. Emily supports women who feel stuck + helps them to be their own boss + create a purposeful life on their own terms. Let’s explore Emily’s ever-changing versions of success.

In my twenties, I thought I had my version of success pretty much nailed + was well on my way up the corporate career ladder. I wasn’t majorly driven by money [but appreciated what it allowed me in life] but more driven by what I could achieve if I set my mind to it [a lesson that first paid off at university where I left with a 1st class degree!] I soon started ticking off my goals – buying a house, getting engaged + then married, getting my Director position, + being the youngest compared to my peers by 10-15 years. But it never felt the way I imagined it to!

Through a turbulent Saturn’s return period in 2016 [for those of you heading towards your late twenties, I *implore* you to do some research on it even if you aren’t a huge astrology convert!] I embarked on a journey of self-discovery to make big changes in my life. Starting with working with a coach to help understand what is truly important to me + what I wanted to be doing from a career perspective.

I realised that I was no longer connected to the work I was doing in the corporate world. I didn’t want more money or more things – instead, I wanted to do work that I loved + was passionate about, as well as the ability to work flexibly around a potential family. This change in thinking did cause quite a bit of inner turmoil as I felt like I’d come to a crossroads + didn’t know which way to turn – I just knew the path I was on workwise wasn’t the right one for me.

Falling pregnant in late 2018 + thinking about work post-baby further cemented the need to radically change things up + I fully immersed myself in the practice of coaching + made the decision to become self-employed. Early 2020 then saw me resign from my corporate job + become my own boss!

Having a baby + becoming self-employed meant I had to redefine what success meant for me. Becoming a first-time mum meant my ambition hadn’t waned [I wrote a blog feature on my website about tips for new mothers to keep mentally stimulated] but rather my priorities have shifted. I worked all hours + hard in my twenties + for me right now, with a toddler and another baby due in October that is no longer something I want to be doing. Success for me now is not focused on the tangible markers, but rather on how I want to be *feeling*. I think as a society we place too much emphasis on achieving something to give us a certain feeling, whether that be happiness, pride, etc, as opposed to chasing the feeling itself.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am proud of everything I have achieved + completely realise that what I built in my twenties has given me a solid foundation for where I am now + things would be much different if I didn’t have that.

Success has evolved for me now to look like striving for feeling content [my word for 2021]. It’s about doing work I am passionate about + supporting women to be the best they can be, it’s spending quality time with my son + family where I’m not worried about time, it’s looking after myself + resting when I need to + it’s about investing in my own development + happiness. 

I don’t know when the next evolution + adapting of what success means for me will happen, but I do know it will +  I am actually excited for what that looks like. So it is important for me to continually check in on it + to make changes + adaptions when things feel like they are no longer serving me.

You can find more about Emily here.