BIG NEWS FOR BIG SMALL BUSINESS
I’m excited . . . !
That kind of frenetic excitement that nudges you awake in the morning with a “this is happening . . . !” prompt.
Today I want to share with you our line up of speakers for Big Small Business. Because trust me, they are pretty darn INCREDIBLE.
Mine and Laura’s intention with Big Small Business was to create a roster of speakers who feel like they could be YOU. All of our speakers have built their businesses from the ground up. They are hard-working, entrepreneurial and smart, and importantly, they are no different to you or I.
Most of our speakers have businesses which are five years old or under. Their knowledge of starting a business is directly applicable to where you are most likely at today.
And if you are further along? No problem. Our keynote speaker with over a decade of experience will be able to lend a guiding hand in shaping your long-terms goals for your business.
If you have a dream you want to chase, a pivot you want to make in your career, or simply a knowledge progression you are looking for, then Big Small Business may be just the conference for you.
I hope you’ll enjoy meeting the entrepreneurs who are making up our speakers and panelists! And I would LOVE to meet you on April 1st if you can make it to the first Big Small Business conference.
MEET THE ENTREPRENEURS
WHO IS SPEAKING AT BIG SMALL BUSINESS?
MEET OUR KEYNOTE SPEAKER – KRISTINA KARLSSON, FOUNDER kikki.K
There are rare few emails which create a physical reaction in me, but when I received the confirmation that Kristina Karlsson, founder of kikki.K would be our keynote speaker I jumped OUT of my chair and ran around a little bit in my office.
Totally playing it cool.
As regular readers of The Elgin Avenue will know, kikki.K is one of my very favourite brands ever. And not just because of its stunning stationery. I feel, as I imagine many of you do too, a true connection to kikki.K via the brand’s start story, and via its overall brand ethos.
Over ten years ago Kristina dreamt of starting a business which coupled Swedish design with helping others to realise their dreams. At first Kristina aimed to earn $500.00 per week, and do something she loved.
kikki.K now has over 80 independent boutiques around the world, and at peak season employs over 800 people!
Kristina knows what it is like to be you – the dream-chaser, entrepreneur and small business owner. Kristina started from scratch with kikki.K and has grown it to become a global company.
Moreover, kikki.K is a brand with a generous, beautiful and honest soul. Kristina is one of the most inspiring people you could hope to meet, and I know that sharing Kristina’s story, will help you to shape yours. Having Kristina as our keynote speaker is a real honour, and I hope you will find huge inspiration in hearing her share her journey.
ELIZABETH ELSEY, FOUNDER ELIZABETH SCARLETT HOMEWARE
You may already be familiar with Elizabeth Scarlett homeware via the gorgeous array of embroidered wash bags and cushions you have most likely seen on some of your favourite Instagram accounts.
Elizabeth Scarlett is the go to lifestyle brand for those in search of chic homewares and gifts.
Following a foundation year at Central St Martin’s, Elizabeth dived into a business degree before turning her hand to fashion merchandising, design and sales. With experience under her belt, she was quick to pick up her paintbrushes and start creating what soon became the first Elizabeth Scarlett Collection in 2015.
Mesmerised by embroidery and on a quest to bring a softer more colourful touch to the home, Elizabeth’s products quickly resonated with her consumers. From candles to wash bags and notebooks to luxury quilts, Elizabeth’s collections all feature her hand drawn motifs that are inspired by her travels around the world. They are currently flying off the shelves at of Graham & Green, Fenwick, Amara Living, Fortnum & Mason as well as 50+ boutiques in the UK, Europe and the US.
2017 is set to be another busy year – May will see the launch of her third collection – Natural Beauty – and she is currently working on exciting charity partnerships and beauty collaborations.
Elizabeth is one helluva inspiring businesswoman, pairing an incredible creativity with a huge business drive.
HOLLY SCARSELLA, FOUNDER PAMPELONE CLOTHING
Holly Anna Scarsella is an entrepreneur and philanthropist, and all round kick-ass businesswoman.
Resortwear brand PAMPELONE Clothing launched in 2015 and has since grown the brand to 200 points of sale, in 18 countries. You’ll recognise PAMPELONE’s signature resortwear for its crisp cottons, paired with beautiful tumbling embroidered designs.
Holly has recently been named by Forbes Magazine as one of their 30 entrepreneurs under 30 for 2017 (I know!). Holly also dedicates her time to charity, sitting on the development board for Tender charity and is also a close supporter of mothers2mothers charity.
I have had the pleasure of hearing Holly speak at a conference before and I can confirm that she is one of the most motivating people you could hope to meet.
Holly’s passion for business is totally contagious, and I hope you will love learning from her journey, as I have.
KEVIN LATOUF, FOUNDER THE WINE BUTLER
Kevin is a wine expert, entrepreneur and former England cricketer. He is also an all round lovely guy!
Whilst competing in Australia, Kevin had his first taste of organic wine on a trip to a winery, during some down time.
For Kevin, one taste was enough to become hooked to the cleaner, more flavoursome taste of organic wine. When his sports career came to a close, Kevin dove straight into the wine industry, travelling, researching and curating organic wines from around the world.
Kevin’s passion became the basis for Wine Butler, an organic wine subscription business sharing the finest organic wines from around the world.
Launched in 2016, Wine Butler has fast become a leader in the organic wine movement, and enjoys an ever-growing subscription list of happy customers. Most recently Wine Butler was featured in GQ and even counts a Rolling Stone amongst its fan base!
Kevin is passionate about educating people as to the benefits of drinking organic wine, and absolutely adores sitting down with fellow entrepreneurs to talk big dreams.
I am lucky enough to call Kevin a close friend, and I can share with you that time in Kevin’s company is always equal part relaxed and inspiring! Plus, he always brings great wine to the party!
JENNIE HOGG, FOUNDER LOIS AVERY
Jennie Hogg was an Associate Partner at a City law firm when she left the profession to follow her heart.
In October 2016 Jennie launched Lois Avery, a brand of dreamy Italian cashmere, that allowed her to fuse her passion for style and travel.
Importing from Italy but selling worldwide, Lois Avery has received great support from Jennie’s native Australia, the US, the UK, Ireland and Europe.
Lois Avery has fast become a favourite of style publishers, growing a loyal following of world-famous bloggers and press. Most recently Lois Avery was featured in Stylist magazine as one of the items every woman’s wardrobe needs.
There is nothing quite like the feather-light touch of a Lois Avery cashmere shawl, or the dreamy promise of travel and adventure the brand evokes.
Jennie knows first hand what building a business takes, and moreover knows what it is like to change careers entirely.
If you are thinking of pivoting your career, or finally pulling the trigger on that dream business you want to pursue, then I hope Jennie’s story will help give you a nudge in the direction you want to go in.
AMANDA START, FOUNDER THE ONLINE STYLIST
As a UK life and style blogger, Amanda is known as a digital influencer for women seeking attainable luxury in their everyday wardrobe and lifestyle choices.
Amanda lives on the South Coast with her family and Instagram-friendly pup Biscuit.
Formerly from a Finance background, Amanda now spends her time providing regular inspiration via her blog and social media channels to those who appreciate small daily luxuries, timeless wardrobe staples and who believe in the power of great coffee and good quality cashmere!
Amanda also regularly hosts blog workshops at hero.
Amanda is a sought-after blogger, partnering with quality lifestyle brands including The White Company, Anthropologie, and Jaeger amongst many others.
Whilst Amanda works with some of the world’s leading brands, she is also an avid supporter of small businesses, as well as running her own enterprise in The Online Stylist.
Amanda will be sharing her take on how smaller brands can look to work with digital influencers.
ELLA GREGORY, FOUNDER COCO’S TEA PARTY
Coco’s Tea Party is a lifestyle blog dedicated to providing attainable style inspiration for fashion-savvy young professionals.
Blogging throughout her studies at the University for the Creative Arts, Ella watched the digital revolution take hold of the fashion industry. And after graduating with a First Class BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Journalism she took a leap of faith and decided to focus on Coco’s Tea Party full-time.
Since then Ella’s been lucky enough to travel around the world and has worked with a host of respected fashion and beauty brands including Ralph Lauren, Boden and Clinique.
In 2016 Ella published her first e-book, 10 Things I Wish I Knew When I First Started Blogging, How To Avoid Common Mistakes & Launch A Successful Lifestyle Blog.
Ella still resides in London, and can often be found watching Nora Ephron movies, Googling British Shorthair kittens and singing along to the Nashville soundtrack.
SARAH WILLIAMSON-JONES, FOUNDER POD & PIP
After 14 years working in the corporate telecommunications world, managing research and customer experience improvement projects, Sarah decided it was time for a change from corporate life and a fresh challenge.
With a love for the countryside and all things botanical, floristry was beckoning.
Pod & Pip was launched in 2016, the idea being simple: a different bunch of fresh seasonal flowers every week to be delivered on a Friday – hence ‘Friday Flowers’.
The range has since expanded and bouquets will be delivered nationwide from March 2017.
Pod & Pip also run flower workshops in an idyllic riverside setting, learning basic floristry techniques.
Sarah is testament to how possible it really is to change your career path for something which sparks your creativity, and excitement every day.
If you’ve been in a career for years, and feel like it is time for a change, I hope that listening to Sarah’s transformation story will help to give you the confidence to pursue your Big Small Business dream.
Needle has fast become one of the most exciting new fashion brands to come out of Britain.
Following a career chapter working in product development at fashion giant L.K. Bennett, Lizzie found a design partner in Emma Baressi, formerly of Burberry, and decided to pursue her dream of creating a fashion label of her own.
Specialising in beautiful knitwear pieces to wear all year round, a Needle piece is instantly recognisable for its elevated quality and clever use of colour.
Needle has developed a loyal customer following, as well as cultivating relationships with a core selection of quality stockists, including an exclusive collaboration with international fashion retailer Anthropologie in 2016.
Do you have ambitions of starting your own label? Lizzie is sharing her journey from the very beginning, to her you to shape yours.
HANNAH MCINTYRE, FOUNDER HANNAH’S B&B
Hannah opened her namesake boutique Bed & Breakfast Hannah’s B&B in 2015.
In its two years since opening, Hannah’s B&B has won glowing reviews from publications including Condé Nast Traveler, The Guardian Weekend and Psychologies Magazine, amongst many others.
A destination getaway, Hannah’s B&B has fast become one of the most sought-after boutique hotels in the UK.
In 2015 Hannah launched Two Bare Feet, luxury self-catering accommodation in the heart of Winchester.
In 2016 Hannah evolved the product offerings at Hannah’s B&B to include day-long wellness retreats, co-created with renowned yoga teacher Gemma Nash.
Hannah is an incredibly inspiring entrepreneur. Having started her own boutique B&B in her mid-twenties, Hannah proves that age need not be a gauge of how successful your business can be, or how far you can stretch your dreams. Hannah is one of the most impressive young entrepreneurs I’ve ever met, and she is sure to deliver fantastic advice at Big Small Business on April 1st.
GEMMA NASH, FOUNDER BLOSSOM YOGA
Gemma Nash is the founder of Blossom Yoga, a mother of four and wife.
With thirteen years experience, Gemma is a highly-respected yoga teacher and has helped hundreds of students to fall in love with the practice.
In 2016 Gemma extended the breadth of her business, co-creating day-long wellness retreats with Hannah McIntyre, founder of Hannah’s B&B.
Managing business, with a busy family, Gemma is an expert in the pursuit – and education – of balance.
AND THEN THERE IS LAURA AND I!
MONICA BEATRICE WELBURN & LAURA TURNER, CO-CREATORS OF BIG SMALL BUSINESS
MONICA BEATRICE WELBURN – THAT’S ME!
If you are reading this piece, then perhaps you are already familiar with The Elgin Avenue, and my six+ years in this little corner of the internet. Nowadays I identify myself as a lifestyle blogger, and (when I am feeling business-y) a multi-hat-wearing creative entrepreneur.
There are many business avenues I pursue outside of The Elgin Avenue, so perhaps you’ll be interested to learn of the various roles I have outside of blogging.
I am passionate about helping others to pursue their life and business dreams, as I am mine.
As the founder of The Elgin Avenue, I have worked with some of the world’s leading commercial brands, including Bobbi Brown, Anthropologie and Banana Republic, amongst many others.
Two years ago I launched my independent consultancy business, helping fellow small business-owners to shape their journeys.
As well as guest-lecturing at prestigious Universities around the UK, including Condé Nast College and Winchester University, I lend mentorship to a small group of students.
In 2017 I am expanding my business to include my first product line.
I can most-often be found clutching a takeaway coffee cup, scribbling ideas and to-do lists in a notebook, and wearing yoga leggings (both to the gym, and everywhere else).
Big Small Business is not only my ‘business baby’, it is also a platform for me to share my entrepreneurial journey with you. I will be compering talks throughout the day, as well as sharing my own Big Small Business journey.
Laura Turner is the founder of hero shop in Stockbridge, a beautiful independent store, online destination and event space. In its two years since inception, hero has outgrown its store space twice, and now occupies a key retail position, four times its original size, along Stockbridge’s cosmopolitan high street.
Laura knows first-hand what it feels like to pivot your career. Having begun her working life in the City, followed by six years at home with two young daughters, and most-recently embarking on an entrepreneurial adventure with hero, Laura is aware of the challenges and triumphs which come with running your own business. There’s also been a more recent addition of a new baby!
Now into its third year of trading, hero is growing faster than ever, and not just in store. Hero is expanding its hugely successful run of educational workshops, as well as exploring its first product line.
With a ‘no regrets’ attitude, Laura is living out her business ambitions with intention.
Do you remember my interview with Laura when she opened the first hero store? I can’t believe how much has changed since our paths first crossed! Not to mention the fact that we’ve now created this conference together.
Laura has always been an incredibly inspiring person to spend time with, and I can’t wait for you to meet her on April 1st!
AND THERE YO HAVE IT – THE WHOLE BSB GANGE IS HERE!
That frenetic excitement I mentioned at the beginning of this post? This is what it is all about.
I spend my days at the moment visualising what it will be like for a conference full of big-dreamers, entrepreneurs and small business owners to listen to this incredible roster of speakers and I just get so excited at the thought of that growing community.
I hope that every one of our Big Small Business attendees will feel inspired, and motivated following the conference, and that they will make friends and even business connections on the day too.
Big Small Business is the guiding hand and community Laura and I would have loved to have had when we first started our businesses.
We hope in our speakers sharing their journeys, they can help you to shape yours.
Here’s to you dream-chasers!
Love, Monica x
Photography of Laura and I by the wonderful SarahLou Francis