The might of Metis Women continued gathering momentum last week with the launch of our next group in Maidstone. We can’t believe how far we’ve come since our first meeting last year in Faversham, and we were thrilled to welcome over 40 women through the doors – another sell out!
We kicked off the meeting with a brief overview of how we came to be – as a reminder: Metis is the Titan goddess of wisdom and good counsel, and this really embodies what we are trying to achieve – an environment where working women can get together and support and offer advice to each other, with the overall aim of growing our businesses.
All of the attendees then stood up to introduce themselves and their businesses; it never fails to amaze us that there are so many amazing female entrepreneurs with all varieties of businesses right on our doorstep!
We were delighted to welcome editor of Kent Women in Business magazine, Hilary ‘balls of’ Steel as our special guest speaker to mark the launch of our new meeting.
We knew we’d be in for an interesting talk, and Hilary didn’t disappoint – she led us through her transformation from a ‘safe’ career as a linguist and IT support manager into a successful entrepreneur, which began in a brothel in Eindhoven wearing a white coat and toting 34kg of permanent hair removal apparatus – of course, where else would it begin?!
As is common with many women in business, Hilary now wears several hats: as well as an editor, she owns an aesthetic clinic and is still actively involved in training practitioners of hair removal; she is also founder of the Kent Independent Traders and Kent Women in Business Awards, as well as director of marketing and business development for Kent Ideas Ltd. But rather than juggling all of her roles – as many of us do – she wears them all with pride and they all add value to each other, which takes some doing. Her talk was witty, fast paced and a lesson that success can come in the most unlikely ways!
After a break for coffee and networking (‘Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to speak to three people you haven’t spoken to before…’), together with fabulous cupcakes created for us by Britt Whyatt (aka She Who Bakes, huge thank you, they were delicious!), we reconvened for the Collaboration spot.
We took a slightly different tack from our usual format, where a member poses a question regarding their business to the group for feedback and advice. This time, Deborah Turner from You Image Consultancy facilitated a discussion about the importance of collaboration itself. Collaboration seems to have become one of the business buzzwords of 2014, but what does it really mean? What kind of things did the group need help with? More importantly, did they feel they could access this help?
Finally Caroline Love ran her commitments spot, a unique feature of Metis Women designed to keep us on track with our personal and business development. Watch this space for updates on who’s been successful in achieving their goals!
The Maidstone meeting will be a permanent fixture on the Metis calendar, although the venue is changing. The next meeting will be on Friday 13 June, this time at The Orchard Hotel, Spot Lane, Otham. You can book tickets here: http://www.metiswomen.co.uk/events/