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Tameside Creatives Networking

Last week I posted about networking  and how it helps to keep you motivated and “sane” especially if you are a sole trader and work mainly from home.

Today I am writing about a networking event that I run along with Shilpa Mistry – and before you ask no we are not related it’s a question we get asked quite often when we go to the same events :).

The idea came about after I returned to work in Tameside after a year of working from a studio in Reddish.  In my 12 months working in the Stockport/Cheshire area I found that Stockport council had a thriving Creative Industry and were actively promoting “creatives” in the area and as I had a studio there I was invited to attend their monthly events which I found really useful and got to meet and work with other like minded individuals.

However, moving back to Tameside I found that there was no support/meeting in the area (other than the established BNI’s B4Bs etc) and found myself to be really isolated working from home and not having as much contact with the outside world other than online via twitter, facebook etc.  I tried to find help and funding from the local council but unfortunately they were going through cuts etc.  So having come to a bit of a dead end Shilpa and I decided that we would do something ourselves and in our own time.  

So with my list of  “creatives” database and Shilpa’s expertise in finding a venue we launched Tameside Creatives Network in May 2011 at Costa Coffee.  We didn’t really know if anyone would be interested in coming along as it was mainly aimed at creatives (although everyone is welcome).    I am pleased to say that we have gone from strength to strength in the last 7 months that we have been running the event and we have members who have been coming from day 1 – so we must be doing something right.

We get people from all types of businesses – photographers, cake designers, graphic artists, web designers, solicitors,  a member of staff from Tameside College the list goes on.

The photographs below were taken at todays networking and as you can see the event is relaxed and inviting and there is no pressure to hard sell it’s very informal – which is exactly what we envisioned and we couldn’t have done it without the support of the people who attend our meetings so from both me & Shilpa I would like to say a very big THANK YOU to everyone who has come along and supported us and hopefully we will get to meet many more new businesses at our future events.  If you would like more information or would like to come to one of our meetings please have a look at the Tameside Creatives Network website or alternatively you can contact me here via the contact form. 

Thank you for reading my rambles and if you have any thoughts please do leave them in the comments box.

Women In Business & Networking

Starting your own business is daunting in itself but to be a woman starting out can be even more frightening especially if you work from home and don’t have a “office/work place” to go to.  It can be very lonely and isolating.  

When I started my business I had no idea the amount of support and networking events that are out there.  Some are specifically catered to women,  others are more corporate businesses, business clubs etc.  There are too many to name.  

In my first few weeks of setting up I received a lot of help and advice from The Tameside Business Family run by the local council in Tameside.  This was great in getting to know the practical side of things like tax, book-keeping etc but didn’t really help with connecting to other people in business.

Whilst attending one of the Tameside Business Family events I met Sue Willett.  Sue introduced me to a lovely group of ladies who meet once a month in Uppermill, Saddleworth at The Riverside B & B .  The group has been meeting now for nearly 2 years and I have been lucky enough to be a member.   We all come from different sectors of business from tax, insurance, solicitors, marketing, holisitic therapy etc.  We meet once a month to discuss, plan and see what we have all been up to what we can do to help each other.  It’s a very relaxed and informal meeting and there is never any pressure to bring business to the table as is the case in some networking groups and that is one of the main reasons I like going to the meetings.

Yesterday afternoon we held a open evening and invited other women in business to join us for an informal meeting.  It was a great success as we had over 40 women come along.  Below are some of the photographs of the ladies who attended and a group photograph (not all members present) taken by Tiger Photography.

 

Riverside Ladies

L-R: Shilp Mistry,  Deborah Davies, Me, Julia Sheard (our leader),

Claire Holland,  Tracy Barlow, Amanda Longden, Christina Aspinall,

Dot Birchfield, Rebecca O’Donnell.

Riverside Ladies Network Open Evening 2

Riverside Ladies Network Open Evening 1

Riverside Ladies Network Evening 3

As you can see from the photographs the event was a huge success.  

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