Winning women

Wrendale’s Hannah Dale leads quartet of female entrepreneurs to latest business honours

 

Women in the greetings industry are definitely winning as there have been honours for Wrendale Designs’ founder Hannah Dale, MiMi’s owner Julianne Moore, Sandra Jervis, owner of Creative Cove, and Georgina Fihosy, founder of AfroTouch Design.

Hannah earned the silver award in the Business Woman Of The Year Medium (£10m-£25m turnover) category at the recent National Business Women’s Awards, as well as being a finalist in the International Woman’s Award, and Northern England Business Woman Of The Year sectors.

Above: Hannah Dale with her award, and receiving it at the ceremony
Above: Hannah Dale with her award, and receiving it at the ceremony

“I’m very proud to have been honoured with Best Business Woman Of The Year silver award – I think that makes me second best!” Hannah laughed. “I had a fantastic night and met some truly inspirational women so feel very privileged to have been given this award.

“I am surrounded every day by my own team of inspirational people and feel slightly guilty taking the credit with awards like this as I absolutely couldn’t do it on my own, and all of our successes are down to their hard work and dedication. So, as always, I dedicate the award to our Wrendale Family as a thank you for being so amazing.”

For MiMi owner Julianne, her Wokingham greeting card, gift and clothing store was named Community Business Of The Year in the town’s inaugural awards run by the borough council, with the staff recognised for their unwavering commitment to serving the town, going above and beyond to ensure customers feel at home while browsing.

The nomination entry described the team as “one of a kind, lovely and deeply caring”, even offering glasses of water to those who could do with refreshment, and added: “Wokingham wouldn’t be the same without them.”

Above: MiMi’s proud Wokingham team and Julianne accepting the honour
Above: MiMi’s proud Wokingham team and Julianne accepting the honour

A delighted Julianne, who opened her first store in Hartley Wintney in 2012 then the Wokingham branch in 2019, and her team make sure everyone feels welcome and there are chairs for partners to sit on or people who pop in “just for a chat” or need directions.

She said: “A huge congratulations to our MiMi Wokingham team – we’re thrilled and pride ourselves on customer service and being a safe space in the town.

“A big thank you to whoever nominated MiMi because awards like this are really, really important to the local community. We’re still on cloud nine for the recognition.

“There are so many diverse businesses and people that do amazing things so to get to know who they are at awards like this, it helps us to pass that knowledge onto everyone else as well. Everyone’s just buzzing.”

Above: Sandra Jervis has a Welsh Enterprise Award to add to her Retas trophy
Above: Sandra Jervis has a Welsh Enterprise Award to add to her Retas trophy

In Lampeter, Creative Cove owner Sandra was stunned to have added the Best Local Stationery & Craft Shop Ceredigion trophy to her shelves, having picked up the inaugural Retas Award for the Best Independent Greeting Card Retailer Of The Year – Wales back in the summer.

“I’m absolutely chuffed to have been given another award,” Sandra said, “this one, I had no idea about until the organiser, SME News, got in contact with me so, thank you to whoever put me forward for it!”

The SME Welsh Enterprise Awards winners were announced this week having returned for its seventh outing to highlight the hard-working small and medium enterprises in the principality.

Above: Georgina Fihosy (right) meets Jessica Huie as a Precious Awards finalist
Above: Georgina Fihosy (right) meets Jessica Huie as a Precious Awards finalist

And then there’s Georgina, who was one of three finalists in the Creative Business Of The Year category at the 17th annual Precious Awards, run in association with Santander, which put the spotlight firmly on women of colour as entrepreneurs and leaders. The winner was Shakaila Forbes-Bell from Fashion Is Psychology.

“It was an amazing evening,” Georgina said, “and a room filled with inspirational women of colour across different industries. I met Jessica Huie mbe, who opened the first doors for black British greeting card publishers back in 2007 with Color Blind Cards, and showed there was space on the High Street for cards with images that reflected our community.

“For my business to be recognised in this space was an honour and I left the event filled with gratitude and joy.”

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