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Ambitious Women; Let’s hear from Jackie

18 Jul

Name | Jackie Taiwo

Tell us a random fact about yourself | I taught myself to play the piano when I was 12 and was pretty good for a few years, but I haven’t touched a piano in over a decade now.

What is your current occupation? | I work full time building my new business, Melariche (, an online makeup & skincare catering to women of colour. On any given day, I may be working on web design, marketing & sales strategy, brand curation, operations management, social media…the list goes on and on. We launch in August, so everything is super busy, but it’s so fulfilling to work on a project that you’re passionate about and believe in.


Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman?| Most definitely. I’m always in pursuit of a goal I’ve set for myself whether that be in my personal life or career related. What’s interesting though is how I have been able to jump onto new opportunities without looking back. I studied engineering college, but decided to work in corporate finance after graduation. After working a few years, I then decided to pursue a joint law-business graduate degree (thinking I would move into business role within the entertainment industry), and by second year of grad school decided I just had to leave the country and was hired by an international law-firm willing to relocate me after graduation. I was able to transition at each stage because I did not believe my path was limited by my current experience at that time. And I think having ambition is being able to see a vision for yourself beyond what society or your environment says you should do.

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? | I think my ambition was engrained in me early by mother, who passed away in 2002. My mother was born in the deep south in the height of Jim Crow (quite literally born on the land her grandparents were enslaved on), but she was not someone who let her circumstance limit her vision. At 19, single and pregnant, she moved to the New York by herself to give her family more opportunity. She worked hard, got married and was able to buy a home with ten years. Fast forward to 1981, five kids later, a single mother now, she decided to get her bachelor’s in nursing while pregnant with me and graduated with a degree from one of the best nursing programs in New York. I watched her step up in the community whenever it was needed. Our local HeadStart program needed a bus driver to take local kids (including myself) to the school. With six kids, a full-time job, she made to time to volunteer to drive that bus. I can name countless instances where she was first in line to help those in need. Like so many black women, she all did this without seeking recognition and was not incredibly vocal about her achievements. I doubt she would have even called herself ‘ambitious.’ She did what she thought was necessary to provide for herself, her family and her community. But her ability to see & create opportunity has had a big impact on me. She did not let her struggles define her and that’s a powerful mindset. In my toughest times, I think this type of ambition has been so powerful in motivating me to push on.

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What is your biggest achievement to date? | My 4-year-old daughter has to be my biggest achievement. She’s beautiful, super smart and headstrong. Outside of that, I would say quitting my job as a corporate lawyer after 5 years. Yes, quitting was a huge achievement for me. I was so unhappy and not living in my purpose but I was incredibly afraid to quit. Overcoming that fear was huge feat and I’m so proud that I was able to do it. Fear can really cloud your ambition, so letting that go was a major step for me and has allowed me to progress to where I am today – one month away from launching Melariche!

What is your long term vision for yourself? | My vision is massive. I want to grow Melariche into a ‘Sephora for women of colour’ and really shake up the beauty industry which has ignored women with darker skin for far too long. I want to eventually build Melariche stores all around world. Our tagline is ‘Celebrate Your Beauty’ because our brand represents beauty in all colours and sizes. Women are constantly told that they need to a look a certain way in order to be beautiful or to be successful. I want to challenge that notion by encouraging women to look however they want, wear whatever makeup they want, do their hair however they want, and that’s okay and beautiful because it’s YOU and you have been and will always be enough. Live life on your own terms and break the mould!

It’s also incredibly important to give back and I’d like to start a program that empowers vulnerable women to see possibility beyond their immediate struggle and pass on the mindset that my mother gave to me.

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? | I’ve given up a lot of my time. I work on Melariche in every free moment because there is always something to do. The to-do list never ends. This unfortunately means I struggle to be present when I’m with my daughter and husband, and at times I’m afraid I won’t feel the effects of this until years later. But my husband is incredibly supportive and every day I block out time that is just for me and my daughter (working on putting the phone down!).

What advice can you give to other ambitious women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? | Optimism. Remove the word “can’t” from your vocabulary. The power of being positive cannot be understated. Talk about your vision confidently – even if you don’t have the resources – focus on what you can accomplish and make a growth plan and believe in it.

Also, I think it’s important to pause and set aside a few days to literally write down your 3-year or 5-year plan, whether it’s for your business or career.  Write down what you want to achieve and be as detailed as possible about how you’re going to achieve it – force yourself to be realistic, take note on your strengths and include a plan to work on your weaknesses. Have someone you trust read it and to help determine if the plan you’ve set out will actually get you the results you seek. Also, write down contingencies for each stage, knowing that even if you execute your plan perfectly, sh*t happens beyond your control requiring you to pivot. But when that time comes you’ll be prepared because you know there’s a plan B.


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Ambitious Women; Let’s hear from Nadine

23 May

Name | Nadine Robinson

Tell us a random fact about yourself | I broke my nose in secondary school whilst doing a ‘backdrop’ (which is a trampoline move). However, when I went to the doctors to get my nose checked out he said that I made it straighter… I never knew it was bent?! Moral of that story – keep control of yourself in all situations.

What is your current occupation? | I am currently a student. I am studying English Literature and Media at London South Bank University. With that being said, I consider being a mother my full time job.

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? | I would consider myself to be an ambitious woman – 100% I would. I feel that I am a woman who strives to excel in all aspects of life.

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? | Looking back on my younger years I would say that I have always been ambitious. However, my confidence was not a high as some may have believed. During my teenage years I competed in a variety of sports and I feel that made me appreciate and understand the idea of what it meant to be ambitious and determined. Bearing this in mind, it also showed me what is expected of me if I want to be the best at what I am doing. However, I would say that I came into my own once I learnt how to be unapologetic about who I am as a person. I think this is something that comes in time for most people. For me, I started during my process of creating and failing in the blogging world. I attempted to create a blog about my thoughts and feelings on my life and the world around me – but because I was not 100% happy or content with who I was it became a bit of a battle opposed to an enjoyable journey. Fast-forward to 2013 when I started a brand new blog – now entitled Three Reign – I feel I have not only found my voice but I have learnt to be a woman who stands in her truth unashamedly. This for me was my turning point. Once I got to this milestone I began connecting and networking with other talented creatives. This in turn spurred me onto seek opportunities out that would help me reach my future goals within the writing world. Consequently, I got offered some amazing opportunities, such as having a piece of written work published in an American anthology called Love Letters to Our Daughters. All in all, I gained not only the confidence but also the awareness that I am capable of obtain my dreams if I remain true who I am.

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What is your biggest achievement to date? | My biggest achievement will always be my beautiful children. But if I have to choose a specific moment in relation to my writing, it would be having a piece I wrote The Blood Runs Deep during the #BlackLivesMatters movement read during a Black Lives Matters Campaign by the creator of Ain’t I a Woman Collective – Ella Achola. The reason for this is that I don’t read my poetry out loud so to hear it come to life and read in such an emotive manner truly moved me.

What is your long term vision for yourself? | My aim is to go into teaching. On the creative side I would love to publish a book of poetry and affirmations. Hopefully this is something that will organically manifest in the coming years.

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? | I have and am willing to sacrifice my time and energy. We truly do not realise how time and energy is invested making your dreams a reality. I know in the long run that investing in myself with only benefit me. In addition, I am willing to sacrifice a part of myself; as with writing I feel it is important to insert a small amount of who you are into each peace.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? | I would remind them that they have NOTHING to lose! At the end of the day if you never try then you are letting yourself and the world around you know that it is perfectly fine to reside in the realm of failure. We are all capable individuals and for this reason we should never doubt ourselves. Whatever, you feel that your purpose is pursue it, fight for it and create it one day at a time.

Places you can find Nadine

BlogTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Google+

Ambitious Women; Let’s hear from Chylo’e

11 May

Name | Chylo’e

Tell us a random fact about yourself | I have over 30 Mac Lipsticks… Lipstick is my thing!

What is your current occupation? | I ‘m a mumprenuer as I run a social enterprise and I am just about to embark on another exciting business venture, but I am a Fashion Merchandiser by profession.

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? | Yes, Yes and Yes! My thing is you have to go after what you want as nothing is ever handed to you on a plate, and if it is, always question it!

Through different obstacles in my life I have learnt that nothing is impossible or unreachable; so don’t be afraid to aim high and always believe in YOU!

I also align myself with other ambitious and successful women as I believe you’re only as good as the company you keep. I hope to pass these gems down to the next generation of females coming up.

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Have you always been ambitious? | I was raised in a single parent home where I saw my mother work her ass off, and achieve more than some two-parent homes…so to be ambitious is all I know!

She instilled in me, and my sister that nothing is impossible as long as you put your mind to it and work hard. So in her memory I always said I was going to be a success, no doubt about it!

But there was a point in my life just before turning 30 and after the loss of my mum that I started to doubt myself and my abilities. I let fear over shadow my natural confidence.

This was the point where I stared to question my achievements thus far. I asked myself “should I be further ahead?” and all that jazz that normally hits when you reach a milestone, and people start telling you where you should be in YOUR life.

But what helped me get back on track was I started to read more, especially books of inspiration. I began to focus on speaking positivity into my life, and that shifted my way of thinking, which then shifted my way of behaving.

I thought to myself…  “what was the worst thing that could happen to me if I challenged my fears?” NOTHING! But if I didn’t challenge myself I would continue to live a life of frustration and un fulfillment.

A big lesson I learnt very quickly is that there are no limits to the mind except those we acknowledge.

And then a blessing happened and my son arrived, I knew I had to be the best mum possible to create and sustain the life that I had always dreamt of. And four years later I am doing just that!

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Chylo’e and her son Ethan

What is your biggest achievement to date? | My biggest achievements to date are my son, and quitting a 12-year career in Fashion merchandising to pursue some of my long term goals and passions, which I feel were being stifled working a 9-5 job.

With more time on my hands I am now able to focus on building my personal brand alongside working on my social enterprise BelEve UK. BelEve UK is a sisterhood; a place for young girls to come, learn, be inspired and find a sense of belonging, through different platforms.

What is your long term vision for yourself? | My biggest goal is to be the BEST me possible, while remaining happy. It is also so important to live YOUR life on YOUR own terms, and by YOUR own standards.

Another vision is to continue to empower, and advocate everything it means to be a woman through BelEveUk and the other businesses I run, and for this to be heard nationally. We have an event on the 15th May  @ Box park called BelEve Girls rock, which is a platform for up and coming female musician to showcase their talents! I would love for this event to be as big as Black Girls Rock as it has so much potential!

And last but not least, I have a long term vision to run style workshops that teach young women, especially mums like myself how to be stylishly confident!

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? | I have sacrificed a pay cheque!

This has been challenging, as my outgoing didn’t reduce inline with my income!!

But I just put my faith in God that He would provide. Apart from God I had to be stricter with my budgeting, eating out and spontaneous shopping sprees. All these things had to be cut down to a minimum and trust me I already had enough clothes to last a few of us a life time!

But when your backs against the wall, you push harder and become more focused. I had to become more creative. For example, instead of watching TV when I got home, I would sit for hours sorting through and uploading old and unworn clothes onto eBay; creating another source of income.

 What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? |

Believe in YOU!

Act in spite of fear!

Never let mistakes define who you are!

Dream big and never stop short of reaching the top!

Have a plan but don’t be to rigid with the direction it takes you in, as sometimes the best opportunities come from the worst situations!

Places you can find Chylo’e

Twitter | Instagram

Ambitious Women; Let’s hear from Mica

20 Apr

Name | Mica Whyte

Tell us a random fact about yourself | I have never had a nosebleed

What is your current occupation? | Journalist and Menswear Product Manager

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? | I would most definitely class myself as an ambitious woman. My thing is, if you don’t try, you’ll never know. There have been opportunities that I have taken, that I haven’t been successful at, but I felt better knowing I tried something new. I see it as having more knowledge on an area that I did before I trying.

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? | From a young age I’ve had goals that I wanted to achieve. From wanting to be an English teacher to a professional Netball player, I always worked on being one of if not the best at that craft. As I got older, those goals and dreams changed for me, but I’m still connected to them in some way. I studied Fashion Journalism at University and for the past 13 years; I have played Netball every Tuesday in my local adult league.

What is your biggest achievement to date? | I have had many achievements that I am really proud of, but the biggest for me is creating my own magazine as my final major project at university. I created a fashion and lifestyle menswear magazine called, XY.


What is your long-term vision for yourself? | My long-term vision is happiness. It is so important that in everything you do, you remain happy from within because it will shine on the outside. I have a few areas that I want to conquer. The first is to be a successful freelance Journalist having worked published at various publications, one of which is in New York. The second is to have my own shop selling different brands for men, women and children. The third is to be an inspirational public speaker to young people across the world.

 What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? | To do what I love, I sacrificed a decent paying job. I worked my four weeks notice but didn’t have another job to fall back on. All I knew is that I had to get out of the environment that I was in. In hindsight it wasn’t the sensible option, it was a selfish move as my boyfriend and I were saving to buy a house; but I knew deep down that God would make a way, I knew he would allow doors to open that wouldn’t have been possible if I stayed where I was and that’s what happened.mica

 What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? | I can’t stress enough not to give up, even when it seems really tough or money isn’t flowing. Do what you have to do but never give up. I say this because I gave up. I got my Fashion Journalism degree, but for a long time, I left it on the mantle piece and never picked it up. Thankfully, now I have been given that opportunity to fulfill my goals and I know my success may not happen overnight, but now that my eyes have been opened, I’m not going to stop.

Another great way to pursue your dreams is to travel when you can. I have found seeing how other people live and how other countries operate, have given me inspiration to achieve my goals. If you have a creative mind like me, this could come from seeing how people walk, how they talk, a colour, a smell and lifestyle. Keep a diary so that you don’t forget these ideas.

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Mica’s Wedding Blog

Mica’s Fashion Blog

Recent articles written by Mica


Ambitious women; Let’s hear from Annika

16 Nov

Name| Annika Spalding

Tell us a random fact about yourself| I’m an outgoing introvert. So, at first glance you’ll assume I’m shy and timid, but within a few minutes of talking to me it will be quite the opposite.

What is your current occupation? | Mother, writer and university student.

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? | YES!

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? | I have always had ambitions, I can remember being really young and having big dreams like going to university, teaching and being a best-selling author. I have an optimistic outlook and love to try new things, but there was a point in my life where I was ruled by anxiety and low self-esteem. It didn’t completely stop me because I still achieved what I wanted to, but it certainly hindered me. A turning point for me was a couple of years after my mom had died and a job in the paper caught my eye. I was 20 and had worked my way up to being a manager in a bookies, but this job in a women’s organisation was one I had always wanted to do. Domestic violence was an area of interest and even though I didn’t have the employment experience for the role, I decided to go for it anyway. I started on my 21st birthday.

Another turning point was a little over two years ago, in the first year of singlehood and I was still consumed by anxiety and low self-worth. I decided to go to a spoken word event that I had seen on Facebook, something I’d never been to but was intrigued by. That one night changed everything. Being in the company of creative people was inspiring, and I began to take my writing even more seriously than I had before. After attending that event in July 2013, I opened up an incomplete word document that I’d been working on for some time and that month I finished my first book. After that, everything changed.

What is your biggest achievement to date? | This is a hard one, really. I measure my success by the quality of people and experiences I have in my life. I’m a mother so anything and everything to do with my children feels like a big achievement. Parenting isn’t easy, although it isn’t meant to be, but I embrace it regardless and do my best to be a good role model for my children. I’ve published a few books now, spoken at events and even been on the radio, but more recently I’ve started University. I’m really proud of that because I never thought I’d be able to. I mean, I’m 29 now so I’m not quite sharing the same experiences as some of the other students, but it’s amazing that I even get this opportunity to pursue a dream I’ve always had. I believe everything happens for a reason and if I had tried to go to university at 18, I would have failed because I had so much going on at that time.

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Photo Credit: Paul Stringer

What is your long term vision for yourself? | I just want to be happy – and I am. I am on this journey of self-love and self-development, and although I’m not entirely sure where I’ll end up, I know I will be happy. I’m conscious that my children are watching and learning first-hand from me what it means to be a woman in this world, so this motivates me to be authentic and focused on building a legacy for them. I want to continue to follow my passions and have creative freedom at every step I take. I’d like to be known for my personal self-love journey as well as my writing, because they go hand in hand and I like to inspire others.

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? | If I’ve learned anything so far in life, it’s that people are temporary. Everything is temporary really, but some relationships with people aren’t meant to last forever. As you start to experience things and begin to better yourself, you soon realise who is holding you back and who is growing with you. Not everybody will be comfortable with your level of growth but a true friend wouldn’t hinder you. I used to worry too much about what other people thought and whether I fitted in, but I’ve since worked hard on my self-love and learned to validate myself. It’s all very well living to please others but what about you? Why not try and please yourself? I’m not a massively emotional person and I’ve learned not to take everything personal. I’ve lost and gained friends over the years, and I am grateful for all the lessons I’ve learned. Not everybody will contribute positively to your life and I’ve allowed some friendships to dwindle because I recognised that there had been a shift. I want to focus on my children, writing, university, promoting self-love and raising awareness of domestic violence and mental health; if anything or anyone compromises any of that, I’m just not interested.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? | Just do it. Time is the one thing we spend and can’t earn back. So why waste it procrastinating? Sometimes we’re just as scared of getting it right as we are of getting it wrong. I think it’s better to try and see how you get on, rather than always wondering “What if?”. Even if you fail, it’s not actually a loss because you then know what doesn’t work and can try something else. It’s all about perspective. So, don’t think about all the reasons why you can’t do it. Think about all the reasons why you should. It doesn’t have to all happen at once, you just have to start.

Annika’s Social Media | Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Ambitious Women; Let’s hear from Shantel

9 Nov

Name | Shantel Rousseau

Tell us a random fact about yourself | Sounds incredibly strange but occasionally I pluck my eyelashes (cringeworthy, I know!). I have long thick lashes and sometimes they grow out of wack – so I pluck the ones that aren’t aligned. I sound crazy, don’t I?! Haha!

What is your current occupation?| Blogger at Simply Shantel & Style Consultant

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? | Honestly, I’ve always been ambitious – always wanted to exceed and have certain things but on my own terms, I’m pretty hard-headed like that haha.

What is your biggest achievement to date? | Other than graduating college and starting Simply Shantel – I would say the year I spent doing B2B sales. Direct, cold calling and door knocking sales – it would hard and in the beginning I had a couple of emotional moments, but I got through it and it was the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Shantel Sept 22-5

What is your long term vision for yourself? | My long term vision professionally is to expand my personal brand, Simply Shantel is to grow and develop it further than just the online blog. I’ll be launching my YouTube channel shortly and after that I would like to collaborate further with brands that I align with. A capsule collection then an online store and then a contributing piece in a magazine. Personally, in the next coming years I’d like to buy a property in either Chicago, LA or Miami – get married, have children, relocate to either London or Paris for a bit etc haha!

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision?| Time & Money – I think that’s always the common thread with anyone that’s building/pursuing something. The methods and goals might be different but ultimately, that’s always the biggest sacrifice. Also, security – the security and safety of not building and being an entrepreneur; You can’t have fear and run your own company, it’s like oil and water – it doesn’t mix.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? | I would say feel the fear and do it anyways. It’s so basic and blunt but it’s the only advice that’s 100% truthful from someone who’s been there. I would also say it is critical to your success and development to be around people who are also building their own businesses/empires/brands etc. even if it’s not in the same industry (which would be ideal) it’s important to be around other entrepreneurs. The network is invaluable and no one will really understand your joys and pains like your peers. It’s also advisable to be around those who are doing exactly what you want to and/or smarter than you. If you’re the smartest person in the room – you need to find another room and you are truly the sum of the people closest to you – make sure they replicate what you want for yourself.

Shantel’s Social Media | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest | Website

Ambitious women; Let’s hear from Jacque

2 Nov

Name| Jacque Amadi

Tell us a random fact about yourself | I’m currently learning Korean, and I plan on visiting next year!

What is your current occupation? | Currently I do a lot of stuff, ha! I own a digital marketing boutique, but I also am an infopreneur, and an online shop owner.

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? | For sure! I think it’s possible to design your life to align with your vision, and everything I do is to reach my ultimate goal of being able to uplift and employ young women like myself.

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? | I’ve always been driven to succeed, although there was a short period in college where I wasn’t very motivated to do much of anything. As a former straight A student, college was a huge change and I did give up. I didn’t drop out, but mentally I just didn’t want to be there. However I found my calling in entrepreneurship when I started making and selling bow ties on Tumblr (random, I know) and my passion was renewed! I ended up opening up an online vintage shop and things only went up from there.


What is your biggest achievement to date? | My biggest achievement? I left my full time job a few months ago, and just recently I finally started making as much on my own as I did there. That’s huge for me!

What is your long term vision for yourself? | Being able to employ other women of color. I don’t care what I’m doing, as long as I’m able to hire those who aren’t always given a fair chance.

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? | I’ve sacrificed money for sure! But now, I’m willing to sacrifice time.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? Remember that life is short. This is morbid but you never know what will happen tomorrow…so do what you can while you’re still here!

Jacque’s Social MediaWebsite | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Ambitious women; Let’s hear from Leah

9 Oct

Name Leah Binham

Tell us a random fact about yourself I was born 4 weeks premature and weighed the same as two bags of sugar and to top it off my head was massive (still is haha).

What is your current occupation? I am a Visual Merchandiser for home, fashion & beauty and I am also a Lifestyle blogger. For anyone who doesn’t know what a Visual Merchandiser is, I basically implement windows and in-store schemes from the painting, floor covering (glorified decorator/cleaner) to styling, positioning and branding. I also deal with POS such as banners, ticketing, and window graphics which are used for brand events and sales. I coordinate and put in place the launch of beauty/perfume window display promotions on a fortnightly basis.


Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? YESSIR I do I do I do  oooooooooo haha… no doubt about

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? I have always wanted to succeed in everything I do and I have ALWAYS gone for what I want no stopping me.  I wanted to move to London I did it, I wanted to be a Visual Merchandiser I did it and I always wanted to go to New York I DID IT ALL. I don’t believe in talking about things all day long just get your behind up and go do it.

What is your biggest achievement to date? My biggest achievement has been losing nearly 5 Stone, changing my lifestyle, becoming vegan and taking hold of my own happiness.

What is your long term vision for yourself? My long term vision is to maintain HAPPINESS 100%, live a simplistic lifestyle and buy bananas by the box every week. I also want to take over the healthy food scene with my brand Cakes & ish. Cakes & ish is a plant based food brand which uses no wheat, dairy, eggs or refined sugars. My biggest aim is to show people that they can have the foods they want but just in a healthier and much more beneficial way. So keep a look out for my funky, cool and quirky food spot one day!


Display table at the Cakes & Ish taster evening in September

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? If I am really honest I would say that in trying to achieve my vision over the past 2 years or so my social life has been pretty non-existent. I had always wanted to go to New York so back in September 2014 I saved every penny I could for 4 months, all I did was work, gym and home. So interacting with other people was very minimal but it was necessary to do the things I wanted to achieve personally. My vision never ends at one exact point, my vision is the type of life I want to live so I will do everything I can to make it happen and keep it happening.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? If there is something you want instead of listing why you can’t possibly get it find out how to get, then work out how to keep hold of it. We waste a lot of precious time telling ourselves that we CAN’T when that whole time you could be doing what you said you couldn’t. Be yourself, trust yourself, arm yourself with knowledge and become the master of your craft. Remember only we can achieve our goals, dreams and ambitions because it all comes from within.

**Leah is a new friend of mine but since we started speaking we instantly clicked. Since then we speak practically everyday. I love her personality and positive vibes. Her vegan brand is going to do so well! I know it. Check out her awesome blog too for all things vegan and healthy. Make sure you show her some love!**


Me and her friend helping out at her recent event

Leah’s Instagram 



Ambitious women; Let’s hear from Chika !

28 Aug

Name: Chika Woodward

Tell us a random fact about yourself: I can speak Fijian. I lived in Wayasewa Island in Fiji when I was 17.

What is your current occupation? Owner/operator of Monpe Japanese catering service and a teacher of Japanese language and drum kit.

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? I am very ambitious to some extent. I would be even more so if I wasn’t married.

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? Yes, I always had some sort of idea and plan. I would usually have to act on it straight away. Even if I was in school, if there was something I had to do, I would skip school and go and do it.

One time I got on the train to go to school and ended up in the middle of Tokyo. The journey took 2 ½ hours and a £60 train fare just to visit this place I wanted to see. I went places like Harajuku for amazing crepes, visited funky clothes shops etc. and then went to see a man who I was seeing at that time. Then I went home at night like I had just come home from school!

I’m not sure if that’s ambition or me being a selfish woman! Ha!

What is your biggest achievement to date? It’s difficult to say which is the biggest. I moved from Japan when I was 20. I had 2 children. Started teaching and carried on studying.

I had the opportunity to go on a free trip to Paris to compete in the EuroMusic Contest in 2014. Going to Paris was such a great thing to happen to my band. We came #1 in England for this online voting EuroMusic contest (please note: completely different from Eurovision!). This contest was organised by a French lady called Romy and her team. She managed to succeed in crowd funding to make it happen. (Check Euro Music contest 2014 for more info). Basically, they paid for all 10 finalists from Europe and flew us to Paris to stay in an amazing country house. We were fed well and played in an amazing venue! Unfortunately we didn’t win but if we did, we could’ve gone to Greece to record our music in an award winning studio with a swimming pool! It annoyed me that the band from Germany won because they didn’t even look happy! I would’ve been kissing, hugging and thanking everyone in the world if I had won!

I also have my own catering company. These are all big achievements in my life.

What is your long term vision for yourself? I’d love to have my cooking range in shops for people to buy and cook Japanese food at home.  At the moment, I’m working on the packaging and once I’m happy with it, I’ll start knocking on doors! Not many people cook Japanese at home in this country so my mission is to spread Japanese home cooking to Britain. It will be nice to see my cooking sauces in people’s kitchen.

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? There are so many things I would have done differently if I weren’t married. I got married when I was 20 and had my first child at 21. I love the fact that I am still 37 and my children are old enough to cook meals for me! But I can’t be selfish now and put myself first. I tend to choose things that I can do while taking care of them. Things I learnt as I got older is that there’s always a solution to a problem. If I had to work but I needed to take my children somewhere, I would find the best way to do both.

Planning is the key! No need to give up what you want to do because you have children, you just need to be more flexible and organised. There’s always a solution.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? It is normal to be scared if you are starting something new or making a huge change in your life. I am lucky that I don’t panic or worry about things. But I know a lot of people do worry. You start thinking about obstacles and the tasks then it becomes too much to handle. As a result, you become too scared to act on it. If you are that sort of person, preparation helps MASSIVELY! Read everything, do research and ask people who are already in the position you want to be in. Have a trial. For example, if you want to be a journalist, find someone who is working in that area and shadow them or volunteer to find out what it is like and gain new experience and skills.

If your dream seems too big, just take it one step at the time. Writing a plan helps. Get a large paper, put your goal at the top and write everything you need to do to reach that goal. Cross out things you manage to do. You can then see clearly when you’re making progress towards your goal.

I am happy when I’m doing something I enjoy. At the end of the day it’s not all about money, is it?

Ambitious women; Let’s hear from Natalie A

3 Jul

Name: Natalie Agyeman-Asubonteng

Tell us a random fact about yourself: My flexibility is off point! I can’t touch my toes.

What is your current occupation? I currently work as a Creative Assistant for a media company.

Would you class yourself as an ambitious woman? Yes I do, but putting that ambition into practice is not always easy.

Have you always been ambitious? If not what was the turning point for you? I would say that I have been but to a certain extent. It probably wasn’t until summer 2009 that I really started outwardly being ambitious. I finally realised after my degree that knew I wanted to go back into fashion

What is your biggest achievement to date? Being the founder of an outreach initiative in Nottingham called 1-Reach.

What is your long term vision for yourself? The dream is to be a fashion designer. I want to own my own label. One that encourages people to be individuals, rather than blending in with the crowd. I want to empower people through my designs and improve their confidence through the values and ethos of the brand. I also want to inspire people to pursue their dreams through my own journey and through others via my blog (which I really need to keep on top of).

What have you sacrificed or willing to sacrifice to achieve your vision? Time. Time is one of the biggest things I have had to sacrifice. I’ve had to put time aside to perfect my craft mentally and physically. I’ve been doing some short courses since November last year in fashion design and pattern cutting which have been very beneficial.

I also sacrificed comfort at one point. I was in a secure job and I felt like I had to take that leap of faith and leave because I felt like it wasn’t helping me pursue my dream to fashion.

What advice can you give to other young women that want to pursue their dreams but are afraid to do so? Know what YOU want to achieve in life. Don’t go by what your friends, family and other loved ones want you to do. Once you know, as Shia Labeouf says and Nike ‘JUST DO IT!!!!’. Don’t doubt yourself. Be confident. Also… Plan your time properly (sooooo important)!

Thank you for reading. Be sure to check out Natalie’s social media pages!

Natalie’s Blog – Pursue:Inspire: