IWD 2022 campaign theme this year is #BreakTheBias. International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day has been observed since the early 1900s when women marched through the streets of New York! The United Nations first celebrated the day in 1975, but the day was really reinvigorated in 2000 with the launch of a website and dedicated resources and themes for this annual event.
The day has been marked in Cranleigh before, in a number of ways, but 6 years ago a new startup called Admin Lab presented at the Arts Centre, as part of a networking event organised by the Chamber of Commerce, to share their experience of launching a business as 2 female co-founders.
That business may have changed name, but is still going strong today as Marketing Lab (us!). We would definitely admit to being just a bit nervous about presenting at that event, as the business was so new. But looking back now we realise that this is what so often prevents women from starting their own businesses, or shouting about their successes is the fear of imposter syndrome! Thankfully we supported each other and presented as well answered questions from women who were thinking about doing what we’d taken the leap to do only months before.
Having started as a kitchen table start-up, and winning our first client as a result of a Chamber of Commerce networking event, we’ve continued to develop the business to a point where we moved to a shared Shed Quarters with another female business owner in Cranleigh, before taking the leap into offices on Cranleigh High Street. But circumstances around the pandemic and homeschooling (which honestly seemed so much harder than running the business at the time), meant a re-think on the office, and currently, we’re back to being settled in our home offices.
We continue to work with clients to advise, create and project manage their digital marketing with a focus predominantly on Social Media Marketing. The range of services offered has also created the opportunity to collaborate with a number of other female-led businesses – nearly all of which are based within a 5-mile radius. These companies and freelancers may not have a presence on our High Street, but they are thriving and providing opportunities for women to continue to utilise their expertise and knowledge, on their terms. We love these collaborations and it’s great as a smaller business to be able to join forces with talented local women.
International Women’s Day provides the opportunity for these unseen or hidden businesses to share their story with their communities and to shine the light on the on a successful business community here in Cranleigh.
We’re so pleased we took the leap and managed to silence those voices that questioned whether we could do it and have never looked back on starting our business. We’d also recommend that if you’re about to start your own business there is lots of information available from Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce, and a great place to meet people only too happy to share their experiences with you.