Derbyshire women in business: B2B

Women in business

Women in business - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

4 Derbyshire women who excel in the business world.


Founder - Design 44

What's special about your business?

Design 44 strives to help small businesses have a retail platform in which to expand and sell their products. Design 44 was opened in 2013 and has grown and become one of the best independent lifestyle stores in the Midlands, helping hundreds of small businesses. My drive and passion comes from having worked in the design industry for over 8 years and being a designer and buyer myself.

What do you love about your job?

Working with small businesses and like minded people as well as sourcing, the very best designled gifts and interiors from British designers and Scandinavian design brands which has become a true passion of mine. I love interior design and love merchandising the store in a contemporary way, using trend driven shop displays so that the store reaches its full potential and continues to succeed.

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What keeps you focused?

At the moment the focus is on the relaunch and move of Design 44's permanent store into the intu shopping centre. We have had a overwhelming response and successful pop up store which was so well received that we took the opportunity to open a permanent store here. This store opens on Friday 6th March and we cannot wait to continue to grow our business here in Derby.

Lower Mall intu, Derby DE1 2PL


Managing Director - Pride and Joy Uniforms and Workwear

What's special about your business?

We've gone from dressing brass bands to producing staff wardrobes for multi-million pound coach operators and I put this down to our oldfashioned values and customer service. We are genuinely interested in our market and over the years I have endeavoured to gain knowledge and understanding of their needs. This means we can offer a unique perspective on their staff uniform and add a twist that might not have been thought of before. We don't sell our products, we create solutions. Add our niche team coach accessories services, and it makes me a very proud MD.

What's the best piece of business advice you have been given?

My first job was in a bank and my manager said "You will never make anything for yourself by keeping quiet." In 2003 a female customer said "Every now and then give yourself a pat on the back as a business owner you deserve it, no one else will understand the challenges you conquer, only you."

What do you love about your job?

I love to see my work on a motorway when I see a nice executive coach driven by a smart driver. That and winning a sizeable contract I didn't think we'd ever get!

4a South Street North, New Whittington, Chesterfield, Derbyshire S43 2AB 01246 454447


Director - Gravity Digital Ltd

What's the best piece of business advice you have been given?

I've received many words of wisdom during my career, but one thing that helped shape who I am today is 'always be humble'. To be honest, I didn't really know what that truly meant, I thought it was considered a bit passive but it's actually great business advice. Leading with humility helps you to be confident, never arrogant - nobody likes to deal with someone who thinks they know everything! Humility also leads to building lasting and trusting business relationships.

If you could go back and tell your 13-year-old self something, what would it be?

From an early age my parents always encouraged me to be strong, independent and ambitious. That's something that I am very proud of - although it also reveals a stubborn side. I would advise myself to be patient and a little less impulsive.

What keeps you focused?

As a marketing agency, we work with many companies and each is different. Whether working on a website, creating content or delivering a digital marketing campaign, when I am working, I am focussed!

The Mill, Lodge Lane, Derby DE1 3HB 01332 416555


Group General Manager - MVIS Ltd & Bartco UK Ltd

What's special about your business?

Our staff are what makes us different in our industry. Focusing on our team's development, we give them opportunities to grow and upskill, making them more proficient in their roles, expanding their skill set and bringing many of them enormous job satisfaction. As a result, our staff retention rates are a huge source of pride for us, with many staff having stayed with us for the entire of their career.

What do you love about your job?

I love being part of an industry that is in the process of drastic change. The Highways industry has traditionally been very male dominated, however companies like MVIS are hoping to affect change from within by encouraging our female team members to progress and develop in the industry. By putting ourselves at the forefront with this endeavour, we hope to set a good example to women everywhere that there is no industry that is off-limits, no matter how male dominated it has been in the past.

What keeps you focused?

Success, passion and being organised. Organisation is the key to a focused mind. Coupling this with the competitive drive for success keeps me very focused.

Brookfield Industrial Estate, Units 6-8, Brookfield Way, Tansley, Matlock DE4 5N 01629 580570


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