With 2/3 of our team comprising of females, it probably comes as no surprise that we think women are awesome 365 days of the year, but today being International Women’s Day, we get to celebrate them even more!
Here at The Print Box, we work with a lot of bloody brilliant women, all achieving great things, and making massive strides in paving the way for the next generation of women. We have to admit, we take their awesomeness for granted, as we work with them on a regular basis, so we wanted to take some time out to find out a bit more about them, and really celebrate their success.
We’d be here all day to introduce you to them all, so here are a selection of our female clients, all from different backgrounds, all with different stories to tell, all an inspiration.
Co-founder and Head of design at Walnut Wasp
After working for a number of year with agencies in Glasgow, I co-founded Walnut Wasp, a creative agency joint venture with my partner David in 2014. We've been growing - slowly! - since then, and we're now a team of six!
Honestly, most small business owners probably feel this way, but the biggest achievement so far has just been keeping the lights on for four years. Though, the coolest job we've ever had was being flown to Copenhagen to shoot promo for a whisky company. That was pretty amazing. Also, we threw an office Christmas party for the first time in December past, which was a really fun milestone. We're in that phase currently where the main stress is trying to fulfil the demand that we've managed to generate, without stretching ourselves financially. Growing pains, I think is the term!
On the side, I run an urban photography business called Rooftop Mosaic - it’s super fun and we only shoot a handful of projects a year. I love being in charge of my own destiny, and regardless of the pressures, I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Co-Founder & Curator of Brave Your Day Ltd
A qualified Community / Social worker, I’ve accumulated over 32 years working life in the charitable sector in Glasgow and London. My career has been a mish-mash of diverse experiences with the most marginalised and invisible people in our society. Each person has taught me so much about life, being human and surviving.
Over the years I’ve lived in a mental health recovery therapeutic community as a practitioner, I was part of the small team that set up the revolutionary ChildLine Scotland, and I’ve run safe refuge spaces with women and their children fleeing violence, abuse and traffickers. These are all things I’m incredibly proud to have been part of.
In my thirties I created an award-winning design board game called, ‘Vamos-Let’s Go Women’. It was born in refuge with girls and women, to inspire feminist kitchen table conversations, to strengthen self-awareness and empowerment. I raised £400k finance investment to develop it from design prototype to a product selling in shops across UK and USA. It was the days before online sales and social media! :) During this time, I was tracked by the Financial Times, as a woman start up entrepreneur for a year and crowned ‘Queen of guerrilla marketing’.
In my late thirties I confronted the loneliest and scariest time in my life, facing death and dying by supporting my then partner to have his best death at home. This was a life-changing chapter for me where I experienced the isolation and grind of grief, depression and battling daily suicidal thoughts.
In my forties I bumped into my soul mate Colin at Queens Park gates and my life instantly changed! I ran my first 10k, learnt to ride a bike, got married in a Highland Gothic ceremony and climbed 11,000 feet up the Matterhorn in Switzerland.
Last year I turned 50 and my life adventures continued. Within months I was made redundant. Intuitively Colin and I knew it was time to set up Brave Your Day, a company with a mission to change our own lives, the lives of others and the world around us to have more bravery in our days.
I now acknowledge and celebrate my low life points and terrifying fears alongside what I learn from my daily bravery fieldwork with like-minded warriors.
Photo Credit: Kris Kesiak https://kriskesiak.com/
Nail Artist & Owner at Beauty Beehive Ltd
I have been in the nail industry 11yrs, and owner of Beauty Beehive for almost 6 years!
My biggest accomplishment? The clientele that I have managed to attract with my skills.
Also, winning the title of Scottish & UK Nail Tech (2015 & 2016). I know that I am too hard on myself in terms of business, and I want everything done for yesterday! But I think that’s what keeping pushing me to achieve more and continue to succeed!
Founder and Facials at 33Dowanhill
After much ummmming and ahhhhing and general scared dithering, I opened 33Dowanhill in April 2016. It was a huge leap of faith and a massive learning curve. I wanted to offer something completely different to the skincare market - a skincare studio that is focused on the client’s needs, and not what I wanted to sell! I chose to be completely independent and not align myself with only one brand. I believe that women need somewhere that they can feel relaxed - not somewhere that is flaw focused. A space where clients can experience the very best of treatments using a curated selection of truly amazing products from natural and organic products to the latest in scientific skincare wonder.
I have been lucky enough to travel the world and experience and learn different facial techniques. I love making sure that each and every client feels taken care of, is given unbiased advice, and most importantly leaves feeling positive about their skin, understand how to continue that post facial glow and implement effective routines for themselves.
It has been amazing to see the response and my first year went better than I could ever imagine. At the same time, I also managed to have a baby (great timing!) and discovered exactly how tough I really am. I was responding to emails and phone calls when Zach was just 2 days old. It was extremely difficult but, I managed the thing that women do best... juggling! I have also been extremely fortunate to meet and train some incredible Facialists. Giving truly talented women a space to work where they are valued has been an important step in the growth of the business.
So far, I'm loving 2018 and I’m working on launching some exciting new ideas - which I cannot wait to share!
Owner & Baker at Moonbow Bakery
I started Moonbow Bakery in 2017, eager to create unique, delicious cakes with a real focus on exciting flavours and textures. I’ve been lucky enough to make cakes for birthdays, baby showers, weddings and events, as well as providing wholesale cakes. I think the most rewarding thing has to be when someone books a wedding cake - what a lovely job to be trusted with! Running a business from my home kitchen has been challenging but without a doubt it was the best starting point for me and allowed me to find my feet. I am currently working on a new venture taking Moonbow in a different direction, but in the meantime, I’m still blogging all my baking on Instagram!
Owner at The Body Toolkit Retreat
In 2014 I took a gigantic leap of faith and started my own business, The Body Toolkit, a first-of-its-kind health retreat in the Scottish Highlands.
Three and a half years later, the retreat’s welcomed hundreds of visitors, has won two awards, but the thing I’m proudest of is how much people have benefitted from the experience. It’s been consistently described as life-changing from day one, and that still blows me away.
The biggest struggle was keeping the faith at the start. I remember a business advisor crushing the self-belief that I’d managed to muster with one negative comment. But things like that can be gifts in disguise; it put a lot of fire in my belly to prove them wrong. Luckily that’s what I did, thanks to the wonderful people who have visited the retreat, in all seasons, and have absolutely loved it.
Gemma Claire Lang
Creative Director at Love Those Lashes
‘Gemma Claire Lang has been making the world’s lashes and brows fabulous for almost a decade.’
I first found my flair for lashing in 2010 whilst living in Sydney, Australia. In 2012, I moved to London and developed my craft even further with the help of some of the leading names in the industry before bringing them home in 2014 to open my first salon with sister Erika!
We set out with a clear vision - to spark a change in how Glasgow gets ready every morning, and to bring not only unrivalled glamour with attention to detail, but also happiness and self-confidence to everyone that walks through our door.
Achieving this has not been without hard work and passion. I’ve curated three spaces to fit the needs of our clients and the brand. On top of this, I’ve established the nationally accredited "Lash & Brow Academy” nurturing the next generation of Lash Princesses. None of this has been without struggle and sacrifice, but when I see the effect our treatments have on our clients lives, it makes it all worthwhile.
Glasgow Ski & Snowboard Centre
I manage an exciting outdoor Ski Slope with fabulous Bar, Cafe and function facilities. We provide an outstanding programme of Ski and Snowboard education, which encourages participation from 3yrs up-wards, developing skills from recreational to competition at GB and National Team Level. With a strong team of 65 employees, our aim is to deliver fun, affordable access to winter sport for all.
Owner of Vanilla Blush
I design specialist underwear for people who have undergone major body disfigurement surgery and as a result have an Ostomy. I have a background in Fashion, from Brown Thomas, Dublin and Neuro Intensive Care Nurse, I am grateful to be able to mix my two passions after, years of illness lead to my own Ostomy surgery. Vanilla Blush launched in 2008 and is now represented in 8 European countries. In 2011 we had our first range listed as a Class 1 Medical Device, and in 2014 we launched our pioneering innovation with Hernia Prevention and support also available on NHS prescription. We now have a large team of people committed to bringing medical devices in to Ostomy Care, and passionate about research.
Mandy Gordon a.k.a. ‘The Body Sculptor’
Personal trainer and Creator of Cyclebox.
I woke up one day and decided “this is it”. I was coasting through life and living a comfortable existence with my family, who make me SO happy, but I needed something else. I needed something to set my soul on fire, something that I could put all of my energy into. I had been doing my own training and this always left me with the incredible feeling that I was ready for anything and made me feel more alive than I had ever felt. I started writing for Caledonista and started to get a lot of emails and questions about my training and my nutrition. People started to ask if I could train them. So, I went for it, and that’s when I decided to become a trainer.
Just before I started my 6-month personal training course, I ruptured my Achilles tendon, a nasty injury which led me to have some screws and a plate in my leg. I wore an air boot and was on crutches, but I didn’t let that little setback didn’t stop me from completing my course! If I’m honest, I believe that my life experience, trying out different training systems and finding my own way in health and fitness taught me more about myself than any qualification could.
I set up in my garage – I only had one spin bike and one punch bag and that’s what I trained on every day. That was the game changer for me. I cycled and I boxed every day and within 8 weeks, my diary was full of clients. I started to see incredible results by changing the way they trained and, most importantly, the way they fuelled their bodies.
I went on to train to become an ‘Advanced Boxing for Fitness’ coach from the Ricky Hatton Boxing Academy in Manchester. That was when I felt that ‘this is it’ moment – this is what I was born to do. From there, I decided to set up a studio where I could train more people and that’s when CYCLEBOX was born! We ride… We box… WE TEAR IT UP!!
These are my parting words: If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask which seat, just get on!
And I’m never getting off this rocket ship, all aboard!!!
The Body Sculptor x
Follow Mandy on Instagram: cyclebox_and thebodysculptoruk
Ailsa Hurst & Pauline Hunter (née Stevenson!)
Owners and managers of Ocho Spa
Ocho Spa is the brain child of two best friends who love what they do. We started up in April 2010, with no idea about the journey ahead of us. We've struggled through overselling Groupon vouchers, (1377 full body massages to be exact!) flooding, which shut us down for 2 weeks over our first Christmas season, 7 day weeks, 12-14 hour days, a lot of tears and come out the other side with an amazing team of girls who we couldn't do any of this without, 2 awards for Best Spa/Day Spa in Scotland, and a wonderful regular client base, many of whom we count as friends. What we always wanted was a place where every person from any walk of life could come and feel relaxed, cared for and comfortable, and we think that's exactly what we have achieved in the last 8 years!
Jennie, Anna & Winnie Wu
Owners of Wudon
We’ve always loved food, and grew up in the restaurant industry, with our Dad owning his own restaurant, so when the opportunity came up 9 years ago to open our own place, we jumped at the chance! You’ll find Wudon Noodle & Sushi Bar on Great Western Road in Glasgow's West End,. We’re really proud to say that our menu is influenced by our mum's home cooking and, of course, our love for food!
People always ask us what it’s like working so closely with family. To be honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way. It probably helps that there are 3 of us, so when things go down to a vote, there’s always a majority! Our business is such an integrated part of our lives, sometimes we forget it’s work. As three young mums, we’ve had to learn to juggle work with parenting, but it’s made a whole lot easier when you know there are two other brilliant women who’ve got your back. Whether that means picking up the kids, giving some advice, or just to understand that life can be hard, it’s definitely helps keep us going!
Singer, Songwriter, Actor
With a successful career expanding several decades, there have been many high points! I’ve opened and toured with several international artists including Tina Turner, BB King, Bryan Ferry, Burt Bacarach. One of my best-known songs Careful, was covered by Will Young.
My first record deal was with EMI/Capitol circa 1990, and in total, I’ve released nine albums including The Same Sky and God's Home Movie (the 25th anniversary this year), and I now have my own record label, Randan Records. In addition to writing and performing, I also produce work for other artists - sharing my expertise and experience.
In a recent departure from music, I made my acting debut at National Museum of Scotland in my play Careful at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, garnering many 5 and 4-star reviews. It was written with Lynn Ferguson and directed by Maggie Kinloch, and went on to successfully tour Scotland!
In addition to this, I’m extremely proud to be an ambassador and patron for Nordoff Robbins, Switchboard and the Clutha trust.