Take action!

Good Morning,

Sorry, I have been missing in action, but lack of organisation and in some instances – focus; meant that I neglected this little world I had created, to share all things I love.

However, I am back and aim to stay consistent.  Look out for a new post every Wednesday and Sunday.

This post is dedicated to all of those people who feel marginalised or unheard.  Please be persistent.

I read an article in the Guardian about a blind entrepreneur – Disability is uncomfortable she never saw her self as disabled, until the world pointed it out to her.

However, the world’s discomfort has made her a teacher to us all.  She is teaching us how we can include people with disabilities in our workforce.

I had two conversations yesterday about what is ‘normal’? On whose metrics are we measuring ‘normality’?

We are in exciting times and we need to embrace the changes that lay ahead.  So ask questions?  Investigate the views of others? It may not be correct based on your standards, but it will allow you to gain a perspective of the other person’s viewpoint.

Have a great day!

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

Advertisements

How does life go on, even through a crisis?

I remember reading an article or hearing an interview about war-torn Syria, and in the article, a young woman described how life goes on even during a war.  Now, it never occurred to me about the practical logistics of the people who are indirectly affected by a serious crisis.

The reality; there are many businesses, lives, and events that continue outside of the main crisis, although they live and exist within direct contact of the situation.  These individuals sit in a position of having to walk the fine line of remaining focused on their personal endeavors at the same time responding to the needs of victims.

This post is inspired by the fire at Grenfell Towers, West London, where one of the key issues of discontent and anger is the social and economic divides.  Now as I write this post we are in the throngs of the emotion of victims, families and the local community.

People are responding in mass making contributions, donating money, time and resources. Giving a caring hug and a listening ear.

However, my questions are, what happens beyond the current impact?

  • What is happening to the local business who may have employed and supported local people?
    • Will they survive?
    • Will there be jobs for people to go back to?
  • What happens to the employees who may lose their jobs or will not be paid due to their absence?
  • What happens to people on zero hours contracts?
  • What happens in the future, when these victims (direct & indirect) are seeking employment, will their connections to this event, place them in a marginalised position.

One of the issues I am concerned about is what happens when the eyes of the public have shifted to something else.  (Similar to parents with a new child, life really begins after everyone has left, the home after the initial excitement).

The same is true of trauma and a crisis.  In the midst of the incident, people can become very motivated to provide solutions.  However, what happen months, and years later.  How are we treating and managing those people?

I think people forget, that life is made of those seconds and not just of those big moments.

So, I am thinking about what happens after the fact?

  • How can businesses show compassion?
  • What can I do to help build sustainable businesses?
  • How can the small businesses of today be the compassionate multi-national employers of tomorrow?

I am sad that a crisis has to bring about the neccessity for compassion in business.

Deep in thought

My name is Nicola and this is my blog.  I write about things I love and consider important.

This post focuses on compassion in business.

 

What makes one race afraid of another?

There are many things I would like to study and anthropology is one of the topics I would love to dedicate some time to studying.

As a marketing professional, I am interested in human behaviour, I am intrigued at the ways societies have evolved and what creates a shift? I have found it very interesting to hear the change of rhetoric over the years as social media amplifies the voices of different cultural groups. I am not a major in this area yet, but there are certain things taking place in society today, that is breaking the status-quo and changing the common norms.

However, way are people afraid of change, especially within race, in 2017, 50% of society is saying ‘TIME FOR CHANGE’ and as a result, other marginalised groups are supporting that call for change.  2017 kicked off with millions of women saying change. However, the movement triggered a global desire for emancipation from the same old, stale society norms, to create a ‘new normal’.

  1. However, particular cultural groups are afraid that their historical behaviour will be reflected and inflicted on them.  Although, (as the saying goes – revenge is sweet).  Many people who are seeking ‘change’ have recoginised that, that behaviour of our society is a pathology of the current system, and therefore people are seeking equality through a loving and kinder route.  This is being reinforced and demonstrated through the growth of the Mindfulness Sector, Yoga, Meditation and much more.
  2. Uncertainty about what we want.  It is so much easier to push against something we don’t want, but harder to create something that we do want.  Therefore, fear is created as a result of that uncertainty.
  3. Social Media and mobile phones make you face your indiscretions.  It is harder in today’s society to hide from your negative behaviour as you visual evidence reflects and reminds you as well as others of your behaviour.

As mentioned, I am interested in what makes people tick, how we got to where we are now and what the future holds.

I would love to have a great discussion with you, so connect with me and let me know your thoughts!

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

 

Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent – Precious Jason

img_5109

Name:            Precious Jason

Business:      Etieno skincare

Website link: www.etieno.co.uk

 

 

 

In 2012, Precious Jason was diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia and went on to have intensive treatment which left her skin feeling compromised. The need for safe and natural remedies inspired her to create her own natural skincare range (www.etieno.co.uk).  Etieno skincare lovingly creates luxurious, therapeutic and skin loving products for people with battle scarred skin.

etieno-logo-2016

Precious, what is the inspiration behind Etie’no? After my diagnoses with an aggressive form of cancer and subsequent treatment, my skin felt dry, damaged and sensitive. I also lost my hair, nails and self-esteem.  This led to search for natural, safe and therapeutic skincare products. When I couldn’t find anything I decided to create a range of products aimed at people just like me.

What are the key foundations of your business?

  1. I go the extra mile to source the best ingredients for my products. Every single ingredient is there for a reason and thoroughly checked
  2. We take customer service very seriously too. From handwritten notes to recommending a great service that we have experienced, we want to help people who have gone through similar experiences
  3. We are proud supporters of cancer charities too. It is an important thing for me to be able to support others.

How has your business grown since you first launched?  We have had some decent press since we launched and I was invited to exhibit at Number 10 Downing street in December 2016. I met the Small Business Minister and it was lovely to share my concerns with her on women rebuilding after cancer treatment.

What have been your biggest struggles since launching?  Educating people about cancer treatment and its impact on self- esteem. A lot of people are not aware of the toxic ingredients in conventional skincare products and the impact it has on wellbeing and health. I am working on that and fixing that a tweet a time.

What have been your greatest achievements?  It would have to be winning 2 national awards, being shortlisted for 4 (including one for our skin balm) and my visit to number 10 and handing over my products to the Minister. It was an honour for me to come from being a patient to an entrepreneur

_mg_9402

What differentiates you from your competitors? We use the best ingredients and we serve with love. Our book “Caring for your skin after cancer treatment” is free and will always be free.

How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?  Reach out.

  1. Download our FREE ebook on etieno.co.uk and join our newsletter for information (our newsletters are informative and we have a song of the week too)
  2. Connect with us at Etie’no and someone will reply in under 24 hours

What are your goals for your business over the next few years? I would like to be in Boots in 3 years. I see my products on their shelves helping their customer base.

What is your message to the reader? Don’t give up.

THANK YOU

nicola-2Thank you, Precious for the interview.  Many people are confronted with challenges in life. However, as the saying goes, ‘the true strength of character is not how many time you get knocked down, but how many time you get back up’.  We salute you Precious!

 

If you want to be part of the Hidden Figures series, please contact info@marketingwithlove.co.uk for more information

Hidden Figures/Hidden Talent – Marva Williams

fullsizerender

Name:              Marva Williams

Business:         Puriskin by Vanessa Blake Cosmetics

Website link:    www.puriskinbyvb.com

 

 

Having had several years of success in the telecommunication sector,  In her mid-thirties Marva, was looking for a change of direction and something closer to my heart. Her grandmother was diabetic and did not fare well with the foot products that she was prescribed.  Marva, wanted to find a non-greasy solution that would bring relief to her dry, sensitized feet which she would not only enjoy using but which would also provide effective, long-lasting relief without any sticky residue.

Marva had learnt from her grandmothers’ stories of her homeland Guyana that visiting a doctor was a luxury and that many parents and grandparents, would crush, boil and blend plants to make remedies for their ailments. As a child Marva had found these stories fascinating and as a grown-up, this fuelled a new direction of focus for Marva and her skin care story began. Marva now develops products for people always keeping the consumer need in the front of my mind, over the last year I have been doing lectures and training courses around the UK.

puriskin-general-2

Marva, what is the inspiration behind Puriskin?   My first inspiration is a personal one.  Creative and driven environments and personalities tend to intrigue and influence me and I would say my grandmother was my greatest inspiration.

Having resettled to the UK from Guyana in her 40s during the sixties she was faced with many challenges in a new culture as she strove to achieve her ambitions for her and her family. which she did with incredible success.

Puriskin is a labour of love for me and a problem-solving exercise.  I want people who had Skin issues to have nice products that they loved. It is about people loving their skin.  I am passionate about making a difference in people’s life.

What are the key foundations of your business?  At Puriskin by Vanessa Blake Cosmetics, we use natural ingredients and I love developing and formulating products that are not just wholesome and healthy to use but are as effective as many of the expensive beauty brands in the market-place for delivering noticeable benefits to skin.  We get ideas for developing products for people’s needs by talking with our customers and listening to feedback. We get the most pleasure when a customer comes back to us and tells us their stories on how our products have benefitted them.

How has your business grown since you first launched?  It has grown slowly, but what we have been able to do is build relationships with our customers and we find our customers purchase from us on a regular basis.

What have been your biggest struggles since launching?  Getting people to know that there is a product that could help them out there.  As a small business getting your voice heard in the beauty market, is the hardest thing.

What have been your greatest achievements?

  • Winning #WOW award at the end of 2016
  • When a customer comes and tells me who the products have helped them.

as-featured-a4-nh-upd

What differentiates you from your competitors?  We make all our products In-house, we do not contract manufacture. We talk about performance skincare. A product has to do what we say it is going to do otherwise it does not see the light of day (get released to the public).

How would you encourage someone who wants to use your service?  I always tell people there is no harm in trying, I am always explaining to customers that we are not reinventing the wheel, we are going back to ingredients that were used in centuries gone by. Natural products I believe are the way forward.

What are your goals for your business over the next few years?  To keep listening to customers and develop products that solve customer issues. To develop a strong retail base so it is easily available to customers.

What is your message to the reader?  Never give up, I always say the impossible is always possible. Dream Big.

THANK YOU

nicola-2Thank you Marva, for the interview.  We love the connection and inspiration your grandmother was for you.  Keep her legacy alive through your work.

 

If you want to be part of the Hidden Figures series, please contact info@marketingwithlove.co.uk for more information

First they came ….

As you celebrate this Christmas holiday, I reflect on conversations I have had over the past few days about international politics.  Brexit, Trump, Syria and even Cuba.

At this time of change, people are feeling uncomfortable. For many, this feels like uncertain times; the personal changes that will occur in their lives, the anticipation of pain in their lives, the frustration at the lack of control.

However, I believe that this time in history is your opportunity for greatness.  It does not have to be celebrity/fame greatness (unless that is what you want), it is a greatness of self-awareness.  I have a strong belief in a person’s personal power and I believe that this moment – this time in history, is a perfect excuse and reason to propel yourself into a life that builds and does not destroy you.

Of course, I know that to be in the position to make a difference, it takes bravery and courage, because, in demanding change, you are confronting the status quo of inertia; a willingness to accept the current situation and having a feeling hopelessness.  However, for me that is not acceptable, you can and must do your best.

Do you remember or know the poem First they came … 

poem_by_martin_niemoeller_at_the_the_holocaust_memorial_in_boston_ma

Many people complain that the demise of our society is in a large part down to the ‘ruling classes‘.  I disagree.  The demise of our society in a large part is down to our own sliding scale of acceptance.  Our personal inability to recognise our inner power and the grace we have to create change,  So as you live each day and believe that you deserve better, figure out what better looks like for you and start the process of achieving it.

http://projectyourself.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SunGazing.jpg
Copyright: http://projectyourself.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/SunGazing.jpg
My personal final thoughts
Deep in thought
Deep in thought

If you want to see a difference in your life, please stop and consciously think about what you really want to see in your world and life and then go about the process of making it happen.

Do you really think it is easier said than done?  REALLY? 

Well try not living your life and see how that feels?

Do not allow your power to die with you.  Take action and take control of the possibilities of what you can create today!

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

It is like the universe is daring us to …

I have not watched the news in a long time. Simply because of its determination to ensure that every soul in this country is a recipient of negativity, hate, and anger.  However, last night (after watching The Apprentice), I left the TV on to get an idea about what is happening in Aleppo, Syria. The pain is very real for those individuals experiencing that crisis.  But on watching that footage, it sparked in me a reality/feeling/thought that I had never experienced before.

grand_universe_by_antifan_real1
Photo credit: https://tribesofcreation.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/as-old-as-the-universe/

I believe that the UNIVERSE is daring us to make a change.  Bear with me as I try to explain my position.  Many people look at the universe as a container within which we reside.  We view it as this vessel that stores our stars, moon, sky, earth and ourselves.  However, we do not truly consider, that like us it has its own set of laws. If we can believe in the butterfly effect;

 “A butterfly could flap its wings and set molecules of air in motion, which would move other molecules of air, in turn moving more molecules of air— eventually capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet.”

Then surely the universe has its own set of rules to which we are not adhering to.  I believe that the increasing negativity, hatred, and wars are the UNIVERSE’S desperate attempt to push us in a direction of love, patience, cooperation, and connection.  In the UNIVERSE, we are tiny, yet our actions here on earth are causing hurricanes somewhere else.

Constantly we are faced with the question, what would I do if ….?  Well today, start with realising that you are not powerless to create change.  You can start by showing love to yourself. Accepting that you are capable of creating a better society, through the love you demonstrate to yourself, which will naturally radiate to others.

The crisis in Syria, is not a Syrian problem, it is a world’s realisation of the way we treat each other.  The crisis in Syria is not bad, it is awful, and if we are not careful, the next time it could be you living that reality.

My personal final thought
Deep in thought
Deep in thought

My hope for this post is that it reaches people who can read more than more words but feel my words and sentiment.  For the reader to take action and for us all to realise that LOVE is powerful and as strong a word as HATE.

My name is Nicola and this is my blog!

Competition Time! #NicolaLovesLife

Merry Christmas, Season’s Greetings, Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka and all that wonderful stuff!
I invite you to enter my
#NicolaLovesLife ChristmasGiveaway

 

As Christmas day approaches, I reflect on the wonderful year and great businesses I have had the privilege to meet, represent and encountered. I know that Christmas is not always, peace, happiness, and light for all.  So in the spirit of sharing the joy I have received throughout the year,  I have pulled together a few of the amazing emerging brands I have encountered and am running a bumper Christmas Giveaway.  Worth over £230 with some of the most amazing premium and growing independent businesses.

  • The competition runs from 11th December – 17th December 2016, midnight GMT
  • One prize, one winner
  • NB:  This competition is open to UK Residents only.
  • No cash substitution

THE COMPETITION IS CLOSED.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FUTURE CONTESTS, PLEASE FOLLOW AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG.

ARAPINA – GUILT FREE HAMPER

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The contents of the Arapina Guilt Free hamper includes:

  • 3 handmade & award winning Greek preserves
  • 2 varieties of free from or low in pasta from brands whom we share the same ethos and pathos with
  • 300g of organic whole coffee beans
  • 250g of our finest dried fruit and nuts
  • 300g in total of our decadent chocolates
  • A cute box of Organic Pink Himalayan Salt Rocks (Great for pinching into the fruit and nut mix!)
  • One re-usable jar of our crowd favourite pistachio protein ball mix (makes 2 and have fun making it by just adding coconut oil!)
  • One 750 ml bottle of Spartico sulphite free organic red wine

All encased  in a white metal cutout box totally re-usable and easy to lock!

 

Butterfly and the Bee

dsc00065

A selection of manmade preserves.  Flavours include:

  • Rasberry, Apricot & Citrus Zest
  • Sweet Orange, Honey, and Vanilla
  • Pear & Vanilla seed

 

Etieno 

dsc00081

 

Puriskin 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Puriskin Gift Set includes:

 

Toulou Organics Skincare

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Toulou Organics Skincare gift pack will include:

 

To enter the competition, complete the form below:
  • The competition runs from 11th December – 17th December 2016, midnight GMT
  • One prize, one winner
  • NB:  This competition is open to UK Residents only.
  • No cash substitution

THE COMPETITION IS CLOSED.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FUTURE CONTESTS, PLEASE FOLLOW AND SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG.

My Small Business Saturday Blogging Competition Winner Part 2

 

How to maximise on Small Business Saturday in 2017

Hopefully, you have read my previous posts pertaining to my Small Business Saturday Competition.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In part 2, I want to share with you some of the tips you can employ, to help you maximise on Small Business Saturday 2017.

  • Build your database. Throughout the year you would have received calls, enquires and definitely sales.  Remember to capture and store safely and appropriately basic details of these interactions.  Collate first and last name, along with email address and maybe mobile numbers.  You can use tools like Mailchimp or Constant Contact to help you manage this process.  On the next Small Business Saturday you can reward those customers for their loyalty, with a special offer or discount.
  • Share your story with your local press. Connect with the local media and let them know about any special activities you have going on for local residents.
  • Do your research. See what your local council or MP is doing to encourage customers to your area.  I personally travelled from Essex to Streatham, because of something I saw on Facebook from  their local MP.
  • Share your story with your sector press. Within your sector there are always publications which are read by fans and enthusiasts of your sector. Share your story and offers with them.
  • Show off that you are part of the campaign. Small Business Saturday UK is about energising local economies.  If you have a High Street presence, put up posters so that people can identify you as part of the campaign.  On that day, many people are deliberately seeking small businesses to support.
  • Collaborate.  With other small businesses.  Host an event or sponsor something to help a specific sector within your community.  This demonstrates the power of successful small businesses within your community.
  • Work with Bloggers.  Do not underestimate the power of working with bloggers to help you spread the word and increase brand awareness.
  • Make it obvious. Plan your 2017 Small Business Saturday activities.  It is a day to celebrate, so make it obvious, and make your store extra welcoming and engaging.
  • Don’t be afraid to run out of stock. This is an opportunity to take additional orders, capture details and deliver later

There are also national press coverage and campaigns for you to be part of.  Visit Small Business Saturday website for details and additional tips.

 

MY PERSONAL FINAL THOUGHTS

Deep in thought

I hope you enjoyed this two part post of my Small Business Saturday Challenge and Competition.

These tips were generated through my own personal experience on Saturday 3rd December 2016.

I have been spurred on to make this an annual campaign and I already have friends, who want to participate with me. If you want to nominate a business, follow me on any of my socials or here to find out when the details for entry are released.  Hi, my name is Nicola and this is my blog.  Enjoy!

My Small Business Saturday Blogging and Competition Challenge

Okay, I am sure you would agree that this is my blog and I can do what I want with it?

So I have decided to address one of my big frustrations and that is BAD CUSTOMER SERVICE.

On Saturday, I will be out and about doing some Christmas Shopping from small businesses (or as I like to call them emerging brands).  I will be shopping with my own cash and will be coming back at the end of the day to share my experiences with you, the good, the bad and the ugly.

small-business-saturday-uk-2016

However, here is the twist, the business that I judge to have the best Customer Service will receive a prize of Free PR for one whole month.  (If you did not know I work  in marketing, but this blog is something I do for my own pleasure.)

The prize will include:

  • A free press release written and distributed
  • PR Consultation of over 3 hours, where you can identify which publications are right for you and how to build that important relationship.
  • Feature on my blog to reach over 1000 followers
  • You may even get a trophy 🙂

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Term and conditions of the competition are simple:

  • You can nominate a business below, explaining what makes them stand out in the marketplace.
  • We will visit as many independent small businesses as possible and judge based only on the criteria of Good Customer Service.
  • We will look at how you not only treat us but also how you treat the other customers in your store.
  • The shopper judging you may be one of my work colleagues or myself who will visit you at any time throughout the day – Saturday 3rd December.
Next step

Do you have a business you would like to nominate? Just send me a link and details of the business below.  It could not be simpler.

We look forward to meeting as many of you as possible!

Celebrating Small Business Saturday and supporting emerging brands!

Deep in thought
Deep in thought

Hi, my name is Nicola and this is my blogging world!

I am loving this space and hope you like some of the content too!

Thanks for visiting!