HSBC interviews Woman in Business Ceri Heathcote

We’re extremely proud that our old colleague Ceri Heathcote has been featured in HSBC’s Women in Business interviews. Here is their blog:

This week’s Showcase features Ceri Heathcote who has successfully run Heathcote Communications and Online Fashion Marketing for two years.

Over to you Ceri…

How did you get started in online fashion marketing?
I had always wanted to be a fashion designer but for one reason or another, I ended up studying Environmental Life Science at university before working in a variety of different roles including sales, customer services and management.

I started my own fashion website when I got a bit bored on maternity leave, I then started a blog to promote the website. A price comparison website contacted me to see if I would like to write their fashion blog for them and it all went from there. I set up my own website and blog offering writing and marketing services and I started getting enquiries. I now work on a combination of my own websites including some fashion blogs and a clothes swap website plus writing, marketing and PR work for clients. I basically taught myself how to do it all by setting up and promoting my own websites.

Describe your proudest business achievement and your most challenging time?
Winning my first contract with a high street retailer was one of the highlights. There hasn’t been one specific challenging time, it has been a constant challenge, as a working mum, in terms of managing my time and prioritising. I haven’t had many holidays, weekends or days off since I started the business (on the other hand, I am always able to pick my children up from school and I really love what I do).

What is the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
Many years ago when I worked in a call centre my supervisor told me to ‘Just do it’. You can spend ages analysing whether something will work but you never really know until you try. I used analyse a lot. Now I just try it and see without investing too much time or money. If something looks like it is working, I can then invest more time and resources in it.

What two business people (past or present) inspire you and why?
Saffia Minney, founder of People Tree. Saffia has created a profitable ethical fashion business but her background was in marketing and publishing. She worked on a magazine for four years where she discovered that she loved promoting social and environmental awareness and action through advertising and communications before starting her company which has become an industry leader and innovator in ethical and eco fashion. I try to promote ethical and eco fashion through my business in as many ways as I can.

Sally Vanson, Managing Director of The Performance Solution Training Consultancy and Executive coach, I worked for Sally for three years at the Performance Solution. It was Sally and the Neuro Linguistic Programming training that I completed with her that helped me to understand that I could achieve anything that I wanted to. Unfortunately this led to me leaving my role at The Performance Solution to start to my own company but without the experience and self confidence that I gained, I would never have achieved what I have today. Sally also taught me how it is possible to run a business while being completely ethical and sticking to your values.

What are your three favourite blogs or websites besides HSBC Women In Business? – I think this is just such an amazing resource for ethical fashion companies and those who would like to start an ethical fashion company. – Susie Lau’s fashion blog has a huge following worldwide. It was Style Bubble that first inspired me to start blogging and I still read it regularly as Susie knows just about everything that is going on in fashion, she also has a great writing style and puts together some great outfits.
Posted by HSBC Women In Business 30-Apr-2010 4:02 PM BST

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