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Caroline Cook, Membership and Events Manager at Merton Chamber of Commerce shares with us what inspires her and things that make her motivated.
Merton has always been my home; I was born here, went to school here, got married here, live here, and now work here. But being a part of the Merton community has always been more than a job. Seeing my local area flourishing is something that I take great pride in. Through my role as Membership and Events Manager at Merton Chamber of Commerce, I have had the pleasure of being directly involved with many businesses within the local community, and I have seen many of them grow from independent start-ups to successful businesses with multiple employees.
All my time in the borough of Merton has given me a wealth of local knowledge and connections which I can share on a daily basis with our members. These contacts with local businesses are massively important, as being surrounded by great people can help both upcoming and established business find solutions to almost any problem. And in Merton I am proud to say there is no shortage of great people.
Connecting people has given me an insight into the world of networking. The biggest piece of advice I give to people who perhaps struggle with networking, and especially those young people who often don’t have many contacts in the business world, is just say‘yes’! Throwing yourself into as many opportunities as possible is the quickest way to link with like minded business people and find out what avenues you want to pursue. In my experience, Merton has always been full of inspiring people who can help you grow and achieve your aims; all it takes is time and a good attitude to find these people.
There are two local women whom I find especially inspiring.Diana Sterck, our CEO, works tirelessly to support businesses; build rewarding partnerships and help develop those people she works with; especially the younger team members who have gone on to grow and develop in the business world.
The other person is my daughter. She always takes a great deal of pride in her work, and has an attitude of determination with anything she is involved in.Despite only being a part of the business world for two years, she always puts effort into networking with her peers. It is normal for young people to worry about their inexperience when first joining or starting a business, but showing that you are prepared to listen and truly engage with your peers goes a lot further than having a lot of years in an office. And as her Mum I couldn’t be prouder.
Tricia Cusden, Founder Of The First Pro-Age Makeup Specially Made For Older Women, Look Fabulous Forever shares with us what inspires her and things that make her motivated.
Look Fabulous Forever
Sixty-Five is not an age at which most women start businesses, especially ones like mine which, five years from launch, is a very successful online retail operation with a worldwide customer base! The idea for Look Fabulous Forever, a beauty brand with makeup and skincare specifically formulated for older faces, grew out of two frustrations. The first was the fact that I couldn’t find products which worked well now that I am older and the second frustration was that the beauty industry can only sell me something with an ’anti-ageing’ label attached. My motivation was to engage with older women with different and better products and with an inclusive and celebratory message around ageing. As such we are the first true pro-age beauty brand.
What Inspires and Motivates Me
We are so delighted that we decided to dip our toes into retail with a shop in Wimbledon’s Centre Court Shopping Centre and very much hope it will become a permanent fixture. We’ve now offered over 700 fabulous makeovers to customers old and new, some of whom travel many miles to visit us. I find the personal contact I now have with our vibrant, lively and fabulous older female customers very inspirational because every day they confirm that we are filling an enormous gap in the market. These women have often followed the Look Fabulous Forever story from the beginning and give me their heartfelt thanks for all that I am doing to combat the profound ageism in our society. As you can imagine this motivates me to keep flying the flag on behalf of older women in whatever way I can.
My Advice to Younger People
We are all living much longer lives. My own baby boomer generation is the first to know that we’ll very likely live into our 90s. My advice to the younger generation is to plan for this longevity with energy and enthusiasm. In my 71 years I have had 3 distinct careers, as a school teacher, as a management trainer with my own consultancy, and now as a digital entrepreneur. In the last six years I have built a business which now employs nearly 20 people, including my two daughters, on a full and part-time basis. My current role brings together everything I have learnt in my long working life and has without a doubt been both my most enjoyable, exciting and satisfying business incarnation to date. If I tell you that last year I was at the Oscars in Los Angeles with my two daughters because three of our Look Fabulous Forever products had been chosen for the Oscar goodie bags, perhaps you will understand why!
Here’s to the precious mother figures in our lives. The mums by blood and the matriarchs who’ve helped pave the way. They deserve nothing short of thoughtful this Mother’s Day. Here’s our guide for gifts you can discover CLICK HERE