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Women Who Create /  Ebonie Allard. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Ebonie to the blog to add a punch of power to the start of your week with her infectious energy and entrepreneur enabling skills. Read on to hear the totally inspiring story of how she turned her life on its head to become the business maven she is today and how she helps misfits like many of us to get to where they want to be in their creative business lives!

Tell us a little about your background…

I’ve never had a proper job. I started out in the film / tv and events industry. I have a degree in scenic art. After working hard and partying harder I would burnout and then take myself off on yoga or fasting retreats around the world. I swung on that pendulum for a while, then in 2009 I started a business called My Girl Friday. A series of unfortunate events meant that I ended up in five figures of debt and living out of my car while bootstrapping a startup. Through pure determination and a willingness to do whatever it took I made the business a success. In 2011 I had 17 freelancers working for me, and while on the outside it all looked great, it wasn’t. A longish story shorter, I jacked it all in and moved to Bali and when I came back I started my current business as an Entrepreneur Enabler.

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

I’m really clear on my WHY, and what my version of success looks and feels like. I check in with my Value Filter™ every day. I schedule my week to include fun things; getting out in nature & seeing the people that matter to me first and foremost.

What two things can’t you live without?

My iphone (I run my whole business from it) and real conversations, the kind where you see & hear the other person completely.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Nature and being in silence. I absolutely love people and stories and the bubbling of creativity, but it starts with a pause which I really connect to alone, out in nature.

What is the meaning of ‘creative’ to you?

To me, ‘creative’ is using my imagination, staying curious and becoming aware in new or different ways.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

I’d love to write a story of maybe a chapter each with all sorts of creative people like Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Moran, Vivienne Westwood, helena bonham carter, Tim Burton, Emma Watson – oh gosh, I could go on forever with people I’d love to have involved in this… oops

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

Not really, I do like a good notebook and pen.

What is the best thing about running your business?

The freedom, and the woman I’ve had to become in order to make it work.

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

Opening the box to the first order of books fresh from the printers…

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey

Endeavour to know yourself, to make peace with all of who you are, and then choose to become someone that you are proud of.

Thank you Ebonie! Find loads more over on Ebonie’s blog here or check out her super active facebook page here for daily prompts and offerings x

Women Who Create / Amy Buxton. This week I am happy to welcome self professed bookworm and dog mama Amy to the series!

Tell us a little about your background…

Ok, so I have always been a total bookworm, ever since I was a child and dearly wanted to be a writer, ever since I read the Worst Witch series by Jill Murphy. That secret ambition stayed with me all through high school and then I went to university and studied English, as I think I was about to accept that I needed to be a teacher. I took a left turn by taking a junior job at a publishing house when I was 30 and finally found my inner strength to go it alone a year later and I’m now a freelance writer!

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

I’m a creature of habit, so before I work, I need to have a coffee on my desk (the ultimate cliche), my dog in her office basket, a kiss from my husband and a quick scour of newspapers online. When that’s all done, I’m ready to go!

What two things can’t you live without?

My husband and my dog! As a bonus, my hubby makes all the coffee, so two birds, one stone.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Anyone, anywhere that is doing something for themselves! Self-employment is scary, so you go humans!

What is the meaning of ‘creative’ to you?

Having unique ideas and finding a platform that works for you, to help you express them. It can be anything from angry graffiti through to fine art or creative writing, as long as it gets your idea across, it’s creative and successful.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

I’m quite dystopian, so I would probably be willing to give a limb to science if I could write a TV series with Charlie Brooker!

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

A novelty virgin Mary pen that my mum gave me!

What is the best thing about running your working for yourself?

Total creative freedom and regular hug breaks with my dog and husband, who also works from home! Oooh, endless toast runs too!

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

Honestly? Getting my first paid freelance gig! It will always remind me of how far I’ve come and that I really committed to something scary and challenging. It wasn’t anything groundbreaking, but it was amazing to see my first freelance byline.

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey…

Keep the faith! You embarked on the journey for a reason and you need to use that initial impetus to sustain your determination, even when things get tough or look like thy aren’t moving as quickly as you want them to. Your self-belief will make other people believe in you and that leads to clients or customers!

Yeah! Thanks Amy.. you can find more over on her website here x

Women Who Create / Chloe & Abigail Baldwin

Welcome to the first instalment of Women Who Create Things Their Way series series 2. This year we are moving forward with the project and growing as we go. Adding new faces, skills, areas of expertise and experiences and inspiration to the fold. After a short break over the festive holiday we are back with a fantastic mix of interviewees!

Let’s kick things off with the creative duo Buttercrumble, a design and illustration company who aim to make you smile with their gorgeous playful design and super on it work ethic!

Tell us a little about your background…

We grew up in the sunny seaside town of Scarborough and have always loved art and design. Our Granddad worked as a printer in the town which meant we had a surplus supply of paper to scribble and paint on! From 2013 to 2016 we worked towards and completed a degree each in Graphic & Communication Design at The University of Leeds. We fell in love with the city and here we gained valuable experience working for marketing and PR agencies, and design studios. All of these experiences have enabled us to work on our passion – Buttercrumble!

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focussed and happy?

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! It’s really important for us to plan and manage our workflow to ensure we can achieve the best possible results for our clients. We believe that great design can only be built on strong foundations.

What two things can’t you live without?

Chocolate (sweetness is our weakness) and beautifully designed visuals!

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

We take inspiration from all around us. You can’t force inspiration; you just never know when it’ll strike!

What does ‘creative’ mean to you?

To be creative, be prepared to think outside the box. Be wild or go home! It’s always easier to rein back a bonkers idea than build up a safe idea. Take these ideas and then be inventive.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

We love to collaborate with people from other disciplines as it’s interesting to see the different harmonies design can create.

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

Our diary – the most effective thing to organise our design work.

What is the best thing about running your business especially as a duo?

It allows you to reach out to clients on a more personal level. We love getting to know others and hearing their stories and how we can help them!

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

Graduating together with a creative degree has been one of our proudest moments. Being the first people in our immediate family to have degrees made it a proud moment for them too.

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey

It’s so important to be sisterly to one another as supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours. This said, don’t be afraid to shout about your own success and celebrate every tiny victory!

You can find more from Chloe and Abi over on their website or via social media x

Women Who Create / 2016 Round Up

Hello! Happy Monday Folks! Today’s post is a bit of a fan-girl recap of a years worth of inspiring interviews and what’s to come for the ‘Women Who Create Things Their Way’ blog series.

When I started this series a year ago I had no idea it would become such a huge part of the future of Super+Super… and would help move my business towards a new direction and inspire so many of you! But it has and I am thrilled at the wonderful response these interviews have had from all who have been following and tuning in on a fortnightly basis to read about the creative businesses, stories and continuing journeys of the women who have so kindly taken part this year.

It was nerve wracking at the start reaching out to these super talented peers and inspiring women who I have admired from afar to ask them to take timeout of their busy schedules to be part of such a personal project… but I have been continuously overjoyed when emails have returned with a huge YES! In the past 12 months I have had the pleasure of sharing so much amazing advice, experience and inspiration from them. I hope it has inspired you to continue perusing your passion projects and working towards creating the dream business you are looking for. This series has definitely kept me grounded and helped me realise that continuing to build a solid creative community is central to the future of my creative career.

So what’s next?

Over the next couple of weeks I will be re sharing all the posts from this years series on the S+S facebook page for you to catch up on or recap any interviews you missed. There might just be a little gem in there to help inspire your 2017 plans! I have also begun to email new creative peers to ask them if they would like to get involved in the new 2017 round of interview posts… eep! The format for next year will stay much the same, I may update a few of the questions slightly but on the whole simple seems to work best.

However… I’d love to hear from you! Do you have an inspiring peer or a creative business owner, designer, artist etc that you’d love me to reach out to to be part of our women who create interview series? Someone you know or have admired from afar but haven’t felt brave enough to reach out to ask for advice (heck i’m starting to sound like a dating service now!?!) Anyway you know what I mean.

Another thought… Would you like to see a Facebook group created for the ‘Women Who Create’ Community? Where we can all share advice, posts and information to help and inspire each other’s creative business journeys? Its something i’ve been thinking about for a while but would love to know your thoughts!

And lastly… If you would like to stay up to date with the release dates of the next series (jan 2017 date tbc) or to be informed about the exciting new creative event I am launching next year with 5 fellow creative women in business you can pop your name on this dedicated email list to be the first to know all the info and have access to tickets etc.

Once again a huge thank you to all the amazing women who create things their way, who have made this project such a continuing inspiration to me and those of you who follow the series, by sharing their experience and knowledge with us.

If you’d like to drop me an email about any of the things I have mentioned in this post or other creative business related things drop me a line at Hello@supersuperhq.com

Find all the interviews below!

Quick links to page 1 of the Women Who Create interview series

Quick links to page 2 of the Women Who Create interview series

Quick links to page 3 of the Women Who Create interview series

Amy x

a collage of photos of all the creative women who have taken part in the interview series

Women Who Create / Ana Valls. Today I am happy to introduce the lovely Ana aka Coco Wawa Crafts to the blog. One part sewing fanatic, one part small business owner this lady’s colourful and joyful projects are infectious AND her jersey yarn selection rivals anything i’ve seen online! I look forward to seeing lots of exciting original patterns and collaborations from Ana.

Tell us a little about your background…

Hi Amy! So I am actually (or was till just a month ago) a writer and journalist. I studied Journalism at uni in Spain, where I come from, and worked as such for more than 10 years… Then, 4 years ago I discovered sewing just by attending a workshop here in London at Sew Over It and it was love at first sight… I was looking for a new hobby and little I knew it was going to become a 24 hour business and that it was going to take over my life completely! So two years ago I created Coco Wawa Crafts, an online fabric and yarn shop, first selling only on Etsy, and then opening a proper website, www.cocowawacrafts.com, a year ago. I also blog in there about my makes, post sewing and crochet tutorials and the most exciting part, I am about to launch my first sewing pattern this month of November (yay!).

tools-2

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

As I am a perfectionist and have suffered in the past from anxiety, I take my work very seriously, but even more my free time. I have learned the hard way that working non-stop doesn’t help me or those around me, so as soon as Miss Perfectionist (as I call my other self, hehe) wakes up or as soon as I feel that anxiety feeling creeping up inside me, I stop, go for a walk, for a swim, read a book, sit down to knit or to sew something for myself or just watch a movie or meditate. This way I can come back the next day with my strength restored and also accepting that you can do anything, but not everything.

What two things can’t you live without?

Apart from my partner, I can’t live without sewing and reading. (Or ice cream from Oddonos in London and peanut butter, heheheh).

working

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Instagram is just amazing and love scrolling down and discovering something new every single day. It is incredible the talent out there! Also love Pinterest and overall, I find inspiration from movies (50s, 60s and of course, French, Wes Anderson) and books (fantasy, Nordic crime…).

What is the meaning of ‘craft’ to you?

To me craft is that thing made with love, with your hands, either using them as tools or to use other tools. Something that is not perfect, but beautiful. Something you have put your heart on. And in my case, craft is that thing I dreaded when I was a kid and thought I was not good at. So guys, don’t listen to that negative voice that tells you you are not good enough, because you are at whatever you put your mind into.

tools

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

Mmmmmm, that’s a good question. I would love working with a fabric manufacturer or fabric designer such as Cotton+Steel to create a capsule collection of sewing patterns + fabric kits. One can dream, right?

fabrics-i-sell

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

It doesn’t inspire me by itself but my sewing machine is EVERYTHING

What is the best thing about running your *business/blog/working for yourself?

Even though it is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, I love my freedom. The fact that I can wake up very early, go to the gym, come back home and start working, stop in the middle to go for a quick walk, coming back and thinking I need some new fabric for a project so popping out again… Just that freedom of movement, that can also lead you to work too much, which it is usually the case, but won’t change it for anything.

yarn

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

My first sewing pattern realising in November. It’s been so so so much work but I am also so so happy to have done it. I have learned a lot from my mistakes and hopefully this will be the beginning of many more!

portrait

Thanks Ana! Find more on the Coco Wawa blog or via Ana’s IG here

Women Who Create / Els Pontin. This week I am super happy to introduce Els Pontin to the Women Who Create Things interview Series! I was introduced to Els through a peer and have been lucky enough to work with her as my creative business coach for the last year and let me tell you it has been life changing. I’m sure you will love this weeks post!

Tell us a little about your background…

Hello! I’m Els and I’m a Creative Business Coach.

I help creative women entrepreneurs move from a lack of vision to clear, purposeful action – to build and grow brilliant yet balanced businesses. For the last fourteen years I have worked from within and led businesses – everything from boutiques to internationally acclaimed, globally admired technology companies.

Despite this successful career path, I wasn’t following my purpose. I wanted to spend my every waking hour working on the things that made me and others thrive – that created energy rather than depleted me. This started a journey of self discovery, transforming my skills and superpowers into a coherent plan! That plan turned out to be coaching, and last year I qualified as a Professionally Certified Coach with iPec (Institute of Professional Excellence in Coaching)

els ponting and OhNoRachio

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

Absolutely! Firstly, the space in which I work and create needs to be clear of anything that isn’t beautiful or clutter free.

els pontin studio

That being said, I’m sometimes best working with ambient noise such as a coffee shop or outside in the sunshine. It makes me get far less cabin fever.

What two things can’t you live without?

Cheese. And prosecco. Oh god…and dark chocolate! (Sorry! I know it’s supposed to be only two but I just can’t chose!)

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

The people around me. Usually inspiration strikes when someone tells me they’re stuck on something, or, when they tell me they’ve spotted something I must read.

els ponting coaching

What is the meaning of craft to you?

A handmade, non mass produced expression of love, that is unique and special. Something that has memories stitched within it, and a story behind it. My most favourite day crafting was a willow wreath making course in Somerset one Christmas. It was magical.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

I would partner with Amy to invent an incredible retreat for brilliant, talented creative women, who want to craft, laugh, eat great food and plan for success in their businesses.

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

My iPhone. It’s attached to me most of the day.

What is the best thing about running your business?

The freedom! No more doing what someone else tells you to do. The ability to create from scratch.

els ponting coaching

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

Standing on the same stage Steve Jobs stood on over in California with the Global training team I’d been selected for and had spent three weeks with. I will never forget that moment. It was a moment that showed me just what I was capable of, and that nothing, absolutely nothing will hold me back ever again.

If you are feeling the sparks of inspiration after reading Els post perhaps this is the push you need to take some action and drop her a line! If like me you run a small creative business but are a little bit stuck, demotivated or lack a future plan I cannot recommend working with a creative business coach enough.