Daring to be different: Women leading in Amble

Posted on 25th March 2024 | in Business News , Community

To recognise International Women’s Day which is usually celebrated at the beginning of March, The Ambler is keen to shine a light on some of our local female entrepreneurs. Rebecca Phillips is a development specialist, consultant and coach who has recently moved to Amble. In this article, she takes a look at six creative women, each of whom lead and inspire in their own way.

So many local women are leading and running businesses in Amble, but they are doing things often quietly and in their own way.

I noticed this when I moved to Amble just over a year ago. I think some of the women don’t even see themselves as business leaders, but their actions prove otherwise. They create an income, support others and boost the region.

As part of International Women’s Day, I wanted to shout about their talent. The Apprentice shows one way of leading, but these women show another! There are too many to profile in The Ambler, and so I chose business women I met when I first arrived, who I would call Creative Entrepreneurs.

What did I discover? They are all: Courageous leading their way, Authentic leading with values, Talented continuously learning, Driven and always adapting, Generous lifting others up.

Ellie Davison-Archer
Ellie, a local screen printer is recognised nationally, with her homeware featured in Vogue and Country Living Magazine.

Ellie Davison Archer

But Ellie and her partner saw that there was a need to find and promote other local hand-makers products and has set up another business called Forage.

A new business takes lots of trial and error, but underneath her calm, quiet energy, Ellie is a strong and committed leader, determined to work together with all artists to build and grow the business.

To relax, Ellie loves to walk at Druridge Bay, sit with a drink at Brewis Taproom, or a bowl of the Fish Shack’s langoustines, watching the sun setting.
foragelifestyle.com    elliedavisonarcher.co.uk

Gillian Lee Smith
A locally acclaimed artist, Gillian Lee Smith has run her successful art-school business for over 10 years both online and locally in Amble and the region.

Gillian Lee Smith

Gillian is a pioneer in her field – building her business based on strong values, taking risks to experiment and grow as an artist, and then creating an inspiring space for others to develop their own way. This personalised approach means that her courses, retreats and mentoring programmes sell-out fast, attracting local and global artists from USA, India and Australia.

For inspiration, you might find Gillian sketching in the harbour or popping into the Taj Mahal or Fish Shack for a fishfinger sandwich.
gillianleesmith.com  Instagram @gillianleesmithartist

Norma Arthur
Norma brought together her diverse management and teaching experience to run the Amble Pin Cushion which she bought with her husband in 2015 and has since won multiple awards.

Norma Arthur

There is a lot to Norma’s specialist business! She draws on her huge talent along with her team and local professionals to provide bridalwear, alterations, materials and courses for crafters to enjoy – to name just a very few.|

Norma is always on the look-out to develop new parts to the business, which attracts people from all over the North-East and Scotland. The next plan is to appoint a new apprentice who would love to learn the trade and help the business grow further.

When you don’t find Norma in her shop on Queen Street, you might find her buying her favourite soup in the Farm Bakery or popping into Lawrence’s for that thing you always need.

Helen Cutts
Helen and her husband run PEC, the long-established family run upholstery business on Amble Industrial Estate.

Helen Cutts

Helen learnt the trade from her mother-in-law and has kept learning with degrees and technical courses as well as from her highly skilled team.

It is clear that Helen is focussed and determined, even if she feels a bit flaky every now and then!
And her own creative talent is evident, trialling new things, partnering with others in the showroom and holding Saturday rummage mornings for locals to buy ends of stock – a walk into an Aladdin’s cave!

Helen leads to make a living and to enjoy life, and so you may find her and trusted assistant Mabel the dog sneaking a sausage at Kayleigh’s Kitchen.

Paula Turner and Frances Anderson
Paula and Frances are successful international artists who work all over the world, but are probably more well known locally for running Dry Water Arts – an Arts and Cultural Hub which puts the community at the heart.

Frances Anderson and Paula Turner

They lead a business that doesn’t focus on profit, but on building a community that connects and touches people’s lives.

Since 2018 they have used their base in Fender’s Yard to not just exhibit artists work, but to help us experience a varied range of art forms and creative activities – from dance, visual arts, film to music and much more.

They lead some of the major events in the town such as ReKindle, and help shape the likes of the Christmas procession. How they lead is inspiring – bringing people together, seeing possibilities and making things happen.

A little downtime might include a quick dip in the sea and then a warm up at the Brewis Brewery Taproom – a popular spot with our female leaders!

If you are a female leader and would like to talk through how you lead, please contact rebecca@fluentconsulting.co.uk for a free taster session in collaboration with Dry Water Arts in April/May

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