Louisa was there at the very first Business Woman’s Network and continues to support the events today.
Read her business journey here:
My adventure into self-employment started 14 years ago, and it was partly due to necessity as I had to stay at home to look after my first child. At first, I was aided by some web designer friends who helped teach me the basics of website building and design.
You know what? I absolutely loved doing it and it highlighted to me that I had something of a flair for it. This led me to begin creating sites for others and as you need online marketing to get your website noticed, I naturally got involved in online marketing. I mean, you can’t just cross your fingers and hope people find you online.
As I got further and further into marketing websites, I tried my hand at SEO (search engine optimisation) and social media. To my delight, I found that I loved this too!
With my new found skills, I volunteered for Dancing Giraffe, this year’s BWN chosen charity. This is where I cut my teeth with WordPress and found my social media skills really produced significant results in a relatively short space of time.
This inspired me to create my company 4 Contact UK to offer my services. We quickly filled our diary with work and went on to work for a global commodities and diamond broker, creating a large e-commerce site and producing banners that featured at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival!
I then encountered my first real disaster. A major client folded owing thousands and left 4 Contact UK in an unsustainable position. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and here we are 2 years later and Gold Gems Media is now in existence and fighting fit and ready to help clients to achieve their online goals.
Recently, I was asked to help promote the Essex Businesswoman’s experience event in Leigh-on-sea on social media and in just 4 days, I managed to create a real buzz surrounding the event and swell the numbers attending by a healthy amount.
I started Gold Gems Media in May this year, but began working in this line of work nearly 3 years ago.
Creating something from nothing. It’s so fun and I’m absolutely in my element. I get a buzz from seeing results, so I track everything so that I can see the real value and return on investment that I can provide for my customers.
I work with my life partner and sometimes it’s difficult to have the right work-life balance, but we have always worked together over the last 11 years of being together, so any problems are normally short-lived.
I’ve been networking for over 8 years now and I’ve made some great contacts and friends. However, it’s not just about business. It’s a real social experience and it’s fun! Networking gives me confidence as I’m a people person at heart and I love the interaction, because working online and from home lacks that human touch.
I attended The BWN’s 1st networking meeting 7 years ago and I was hooked. The women were just like me! Intelligent, interested in similar subjects and so sociable. It felt more relaxed and less pressurized than other networking groups, so for me the BWN is always my starting place when I start a business. The women there give me the confidence to pursue my dreams.
By helping my clients grow their businesses, ours will grow too. That’s what’s behind my logo: a tree growing, maturing and producing fruits (the growth of a business and becoming successful).
The company name is finding the hidden gems in marketing and turning them into gold! It has a personal double meaning, combining my surname and my children who are named after precious gems.
Website Link: http://goldgemsmedia.co.uk/
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/LouisaGS
Everything begins as an idea. However, what use is an idea if you don’t follow up with action.
Let me tell you my story in a nutshell.
I left a well paid job in the City in October 2013 to research my first business idea – setting up a recruitment and selection training business supporting hiring managers to protect their businesses against financial, legal and reputational risk and support candidates through the interview process and ultimately getting that job offer.
I was really passionate, enthusiastic and driven – that’s all I needed to start a business right? Okay I wasn’t completely naïve I knew starting my own business from scratch was going to be tough and I’d probably end up doing longer hours than my days in the city.
I was right – I spent most of my time writing up fantastic training programmes, workshops, courses, materials, manuals, setting up a website, writing hundreds of content rich pages, wrote regular blogs and great and interesting newsletters. I even spent my time writing three books and was co-author to another.
However, I quickly ran out of time and yes you guessed it…money. I was trying to be a marketeer, an accountant, a book keeper, a programme designer, a credit controller, business developer, an administrator and the list goes on and on. I was very much working in my business.
Being a naturally cautious person and starting a business don’t exactly align well and after testing the first business idea for about a year I felt I’d taken enough risk and decided to go back to work. After all I was a better employee than a business owner.
I’m a great advocate for positively framing an experience that didn’t get the desired results. I learnt so much about what was actually needed to run a business and since going back to work I’ve supported two start-up businesses in the city with hundreds of employees each. In fact one of the businesses had 150 employees working on the website alone! So I don’t feel so bad about not be able to achieve my ambitious objectives.
Having understood how much work, effort, energy, time and money it took to start a business I was open to the idea of a business with low set up costs, low risk and a business model that had the potential of creating a residual income in the longer term. Do the work once and get paid over and over again. I really liked the idea of the residual income so I joined Utility Warehouse as a distributor and was able to do this along-side the day job.
One thing I did enjoy and very much wanted to continue to do to grow my Utility Warehouse business was getting out and about locally to network with other business owners. I really understood the value of good networking skills and really enjoyed building relationships, building trust and credibility. Much better than cold calling!
One networking event that particularly stood out from the others because of its personal development master class was The Business Woman’s Network. When you attend one of Mandie’s events you know you are going to be made to feel welcome. Mandie goes out of her way to connect businesses and keep you up to date with local and relevant news and events.
However, it was impossible to find a networking group to fit with the Monday to Friday 9 to 5 job. So after much searching for a group that met at weekends I was about to give up on the idea. However, a friend of mine suggested I write a post on Facebook.
“I’m looking to gauge an initial interest in setting up a local (Colchester) networking group on Saturdays. Yes I know your weekends are very precious! Would really welcome your views, opinions or suggestions please?”
Little did I know at the time Mandie (the founder of BWN) had already put her plans to launch new networking groups across the UK into action – Get Paid to Network. Mandie responded to my post minutes after I’d hit send.
“I would be more than happy to discuss. I’m actively looking for people who want to get paid to network.”
The thought of actually setting up my own networking group really excited me and even better to get the support, guidance and mentoring from an already successful networker and business coach and to do all this under an already successful brand.
We met in June for a coffee and I attended the June and July BWN events in Five Lakes, Maldon and started generating the interest and creating some noise about becoming one of Mandie’s new coordinators– there was no stopping me! I’ve got to say it’s probably the easiest decision I’ve ever made in business (apart from joining Utility Warehouse of course!). I know Mandie is genuinely passionate about the success of everyone she works with and that shows in everything she says and does.
I am so excited to be starting out on this wonderful journey knowing I have so much support around me.
“Had a fabulous time yesterday at the North Essex Saturday Business Woman’s Network event with Networking No No’s & Know How Master Class. Met some lovely ladies and learnt a massive amount from Mandie” Louisa Goldstone-Smith – Colchester Scentsy.
“Such a good morning…well done Dawn for organising…you were amazing!” Lydia Adams of Lydia’s Luscious Lashes.
“Fabulous time at the first BWN Saturday morning networking group. Feel honoured to be part of this special group of inspirational women. Huge thanks to Dawn who I watched buzzing around.” Kerry Rose, Forever Living Products.
“Dawn is definitely the hostess with the mostess!” Jo Jarvis, Utility Warehouse.
“It was a fab meeting Dawn – and great to meet Mandie Holgate. Picked up lots of brilliant advice. Looking forward to the next event” Jenny Thackray, SMARTPA.
Hope to see you at the next event 24th October – How to be an Effective Leader with Cherry Allen, HR, Training and Coaching Expert.
Here our international marketer and Media personality and master class presenter for our Five Lakes Crowne Plaza event speaks about her career, and why you shouldn’t miss this event!
“My grandmother use to say “Kubi, reach for the stars, and you might just get the moon”. I took her words literally, and as a child I couldn’t stop dreaming big. Before branding entered my life I was consumed with dance and it was only after suffering an injury to my knee that I changed direction.
Once they told me I could no longer be a semi-professional dancer, I figured, if I couldn’t be in-front of the camera, I would at least rule behind it!
Reach for the stars, and you might just get the moon…
Granny was right…here’s my portfolio;
So, by the time I was 21 years old I graduated with a BA Hons in Commerical Music & Marketing and secured two internships, the first was in the UK with MTV Europe and the second was with Blue Flame (Puff Daddy’s Marketing & Advertising Agency) in New York. Fast forward 19 years, Lord I am getting old 🙂 and I have developed an international career with a focus on consumer marketing and branding. Working across Entertainment, Fashion, Sports and Lifestyle brands my resume includes Nike, Blackberry, L’Oreal Professionnel, Justin Timberlake/Sony BMG, Manchester United Footballer Rio Ferdinand, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Sleek Hair, OHTV, MOBO Awards and the Sex & the City Movie Premier.
Today, I still have an international career but now I juggle it with being a mother to Angel, my very talkative 3 year old daughter. When I am not on mummy duties, I tend to be in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean or the Middle East, helping consumer brands to internationalise their proposition. Most recently I have been working in the Caribbean with Jamaica National Bank and Caribbean Fashion Week. This summer I am launching Malaysian Fashion House Mimpikita into the UK market, e-tailer DFNG into Africa and one of Asia’s biggest F&B (Food & Beverage) brands into the US market. I am a “money girl” and simply love helping my clients to commercialise their brands – to turn their ideas into a financially successful venture. Delivering brand audits, capacity building, strategic planning and brand deals, I can honestly say…I love my job.
As life would have it, 20 years after injuring my knee, I now have the best of both worlds as a Brand Consultant and Media Personality. Presenting and producing business related TV and radio shows has made me an award winning media personality, and it’s amazing because now instead of doing pierrette’s, I get to use the power of the media, to empower you!”
To say we are excited about Kubi speaking for us, would be an understatement, So spread the word, and lets rocket your success too!