Monday, September 18, 2017

‘Everyone Should Be Able To Do What They Love…And Now I Do!’ - Jane Clappison; The Make Up Academy

Jane Clappison is a pro in every sense of the word! A professional make-up artist who has been working in the industry for the past fifteen years, in areas such as film and television, to make up counters and college – She has now turned her hand to another area of the industry and started her own training centre; The Make Up Academy.

Jane Clappison - Founder of The Make Up Academy
Prior to starting her own business, Jane’s most recent job was teaching as a make-up lecturer at a further education college, but found herself losing the love she once had for the job; ‘I love teaching and I love make up, but I had taught for over 12 years and it had changed dramatically in that time and not for the better.’

She always had a dream of starting her own academy, but it wasn’t until last year that she decided to go for it;

And it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.’

The Make Up Academy
We all know starting a business can be terrifying, and Jane certainly felt apprehension towards the leap she was about to make, but getting in touch with our team at The Women’s Organisation was the first step that Jane took in her journey…

‘I got in touch with The Women’s Organisation online and they got in touch the very next day. They set me up a meeting with Huda, who became my Business Adviser. I don’t think I could have made my dream a reality without her help and support, and it certainly wouldn’t have happened as quickly!’

‘At the beginning, I was nervous, excited, scared and doubtful…But determined!’

And determined Jane would have to be, because a big change was happening in her life. As she had given up her job, she faced a barrier of financial insecurity to overcome; ‘I had given up a full-time job where I’d been used to receiving a steady income for the past 12 years, so to go from that to nothing was difficult, worrying and stressful! But thankfully I had some financial support from my family, which I am extremely lucky and grateful to have.’

The practicalities of running a business where the next barrier that Jane faced, but with the support of Huda, she found this easy to navigate! As a new entrepreneur who hadn’t run a business before, everything was new to Jane and the support she had from Huda was crucial.

‘Huda went through the various steps that I would need to take to legally register my business, and helped me look at tax, insurance, cashflow and health and safety. She helped put it into an order that felt achievable and not like an unknown mountain of work!’

Some of Jane's handiwork! 
The Make Up Academy launched in October 2016 and has its home in the heart of Liverpool City Centre on Old Hall Street and it is a beautiful space! Here Jane runs Level 2 and Level 3 make up courses, both of which are fully accredited by the Vocational Training Charitable Trust (VTCT).

She says; ‘So far things are going really well! I’m still only in my first year, but I’ve had some amazing students who are now working in the industry and that’s just the best and most satisfying feeling!’

And she can now begin to reap the benefits of being self-employed which is fantastic for her and suits her lifestyle; ‘The best thing about running my own business is being in complete control of it, doing it the way I want to do it and not being tied to the daily grind of 9 to 5. I feel a lot more in control of my work/life balance now.’

Starting her own business has been a massive learning curve for Jane and she has had to overcome many barriers, but she has faced them all head on. Jane told us; ‘I’m not the most confident of people, so to do this has been quite a challenge and stressful at times, but I’ve had the most amazing support from my family and friends, and I really believe in what I’m doing.’

‘Huda and The Women’s Organisation have been brilliant, Huda was so supportive but also firm!’

Jane in action! 
‘Now…It’s all about moving forward with The Make Up Academy! I genuinely want my students to have the best experience at my academy, to learn the skills they need to break into the industry and have a successful and fulfilling career…’

And she gave us some great words of wisdom that we think anyone can take away with them…

‘It’s not just about running a business. This is a passion of mine. Everyone should be able to do what they love, and now I do!’

If you'd like to find out more about The Make Up Academy, you can do so by getting in touch using the contact details below!

Email -

AND - If you've been inspired by Jane's story and would like our support to turn your business dream into a reality - get in touch! Email us on or ring 0151 706 8111

Meet One of the Newest Members of Our Team - Ellie Vick!

If you've popped into 54 St James Street recently, you may have had the pleasure of meeting one of the newest (and smiliest!) members of our team. Ellie is a member of our Admin Team and operates Reception - and after four months we can't really remember a time that Ellie wasn't here! So, we thought this would be good time to catch up with Ellie and find our a bit more about her and how she ended up with us at The Women's Organisation. Have a read and be sure to give her a hello when you visit us ... 

What’s your full name and where are you from?

Eleanor Vick and I am originally from Wallasey on the Wirral.

Tell me how you first found out about The Women’s Organisation and become part of our team?

I first found out about the women's organisation via social media, and I attended courses and kept my eye out for job opportunities on the website. It was an organisation that really appealed to me, I have been a member of the Women's Equality party from the beginning and was brought up as feminist, a place championing women's rights on a grass root level is something I really wanted to be a part of.

What kind of things have you done prior to coming to The Women’s Organisation?

I completed a degree at the University of Sheffield in History and English Literature, working two jobs to fund myself, one in the very glamorous role of a night club cleaner and one as a disability assistant (helping students with disabilities get the most out of their university experience). Following on from university I worked at the National Museums of Liverpool (the Walker Art gallery and the Museum of Liverpool). I took up a 6-month placement at the galleries in Edinburgh which was such a wonderful opportunity to work in one of my favourite cities! However, due to funding cuts the job couldn't be made permanent so I moved back to the Wirral and I took a job as a Wedding and Events coordinator at a Hotel. I decided that my future didn't lay in the hospitality industry and made the decision to focus solely on achieving a job I wanted. Which is how I came to apply for this role at the Women's Organisation.

What has surprised you about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The diversity and complexity to the influence that The Women's Organisation has, not just a local level but nationally and internationally. The many branches to the organisation astounds me. Perhaps more so, the staff each hold a multitude of roles and all play a part in achieving the goals of the organisation. The passion and unity of the office is something I have come to really enjoy working within.

What’s the best thing about working at The Women’s Organisation?

The people by far. It would be nothing if each staff member did not actively participate in the values and aims of the organisation. It's an inspiring place to work.

Could you describe one of your typical workdays?

Reception is the first point of call for the organisation and the building, so it can be a very fast paced place to work. Queries come in all forms - phone, email and in person. As receptionists for the whole building, we greet and direct all visitors to the building, so knowing the building and its occupants is crucial. With many tenants and virtual tenants, we deal with their post, take messages on their behalf and answer any queries they may have. Other aspects of our role include setting up internal/external events, processing room hire enquiries, helping with projects within the organisation and any other admin related tasks that crop up on daily basis.

What might (someone) be surprised to know about you?

Perhaps that I have a qualification in archery!

What do you do when you aren’t working? 

Most of my time off is spent with friends and family. We are close knit family but are scattered all over the country so I enjoy travelling to see them. I enjoy visiting galleries and museums around Liverpool and beyond! Most of my travel trips evolve around art! I love travelling, I can never get away as much as I would love to but I am always planning my next adventure!

Thanks Ellie and welcome to The W.O family!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Enterprise Evolution Team Help Gwrp Llandrillo Coleg Take Home National Award!

Last week the Enterprise Evolution team returned to our HQ with some fantastic news – Gwrp Llandrillo Menai Coleg (GLLM) who we have been working with for the past 18 months, had been awarded the Further Education Team Enterprise Award for our work in Thailand with the British Council and Thai Department of Education.

The 2017 National Enterprise Educator Awards, celebrate the UK’s top enterprise and entrepreneurship educators annually.  This year the awards ceremony took place Glasgow, during the Gala Dinner for the 12th International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference  which was being hosted by Glasgow Caledonian University.

The Further Education Team Enterprise Award was sponsored by Cobweb Information – the company that bring us the all-important Cobra information sheets! Representing the team on the night were Christine Evans (Head of Commercial operations, GLLM), Penny Matthews (GLLM) as well as our very own Lisa McMullan from Enterprise Evolution.

Enterprise Evolution have been working to support  Grwp Llandrillo Menai Coleg in  developing a new approach and curriculum for student enterprise and entrepreneurship in vocational education and in designing and facilitating staff development programmes. 

This work has been piloted following approval by the British Council Thailand (BCT) and the Thai Ministry of Education’s Office for Vocational Education Commission (OVEC).  Plans are to roll out the programme and activities nationally.

We were delighted to have received this award as part of the team with Gwrp Llandrillo Menai Coleg! We’ve been working hard in Thailand for the past eighteen months and it was fantastic to have this work recognised by the National Enterprise Educators Award.

We also wish our best to the highly-commended organisations in the Further Education Team Enterprise Award category – Barnsley College Enterprise Team, Barnsley College and Leeds City College Enterprise Festival and Leeds City College.

It was a fantastic evening with a great outcome for both the Enterprise Evolution team and Grwp Llandrillo Menai Coleg, so thank you to everyone involved!

Enterprise Evolution is the boutique consultancy service of The Women’s Organisation.  For more information about our work visit their website.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Who Joined Business Club At Our Sunny Summer Social?!

Last week marked one of our favourite events of the year, it was the Business Club Summer Social! ☀☀☀

Last Wednesday we hosted our Summer Social at the fantastic Baltic Triangle location, Constellations and what a great evening it was!

We had a room full of business women inside the beautiful, light space at Constellations and we all agreed that it was great to have a change of location and shake things up a bit!

Sponsors of the event, MSB Solicitors kindly provided us with welcome drinks so whether that was a gin and tonic, glass of wine or a soft drink, everyone felt very looked after! So thank you to MSB for that! J

As always, the Summer Social was a purely networking evening, but we did get the chance to hear a few words from Wendy Evans of MSB Solicitors about the type of work that they do, and also we heard an incredible story from our featured business, Emma Purchase of Sweet Pea & Little Wolf who shared her experience of the evening on our Facebook page the next day!

Here’s what Emma had to say;

‘I got to spend the evening with the amazing Women’s Org again last night at Constellations in the Baltic Triangle, for their big Business Club Summer Social, where I met a whole bunch of inspirational strong women!

The Women’s Organisation has always been a great source of strength and support for me, I’ve gained an enormous amount of knowledge about starting up my own business. I basically got told to give up on trying to start my own business at every turn, as I had no capital, no previous experience of starting up a business and because I was a single mother who was and still is struggling financially.

For me, this is a few of the reasons why I wanted to start up my own business! I’ve always took a challenge on with gusto. And if that means skipping a few meals for me to pay for stock or to get to the nest level for my business, or being up every morning to work on new designs and more ideas, then that’s what I’ll do! I have this force that pushes me to achieve the best for my girls, to show them you can make something of yourself from getting your head down and working day and night!

I especially take great strength from pursuing this crazy venture as a single mum! So, thank you to everyone at The Women’s Org, you all do a magnificent job! And to everyone who also has ideas of a venture, or a dream of something different, start NOW! Push the boundaries! Take that risk, start your own magnificent, bold, life-changing journey. Good luck!’

How amazing is that?! And for us, THAT is what Business Club and indeed The Women’s Organisation is all about! The evening was spent networking away with women just like Emma! Who have taken the chance and changed their lives. And we couldn’t be more proud and honoured to spend time with them all!

So! If you came and networked with us at our Summer Social, thank you! We hope you had a lovely time, we know we did! And thank you again to our event sponsor; MSB Solicitors!

If you want to find out about MSB, you can do so here! And if you’d like to find out more about Business Club and becoming a member, you can do so here!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

'Change It: Progress to Success' is BACK and Recruiting for the Next Cohort! 🙌🙌

We have been helping the women of Liverpool ‘Change It’ through our confidence-building programme, and we are now delighted to announce that we are recruiting for our next cohort.

Losing confidence in life happens to everyone. Our self-esteem is affected by the way we feel about ourselves, the way we think, whether or not we feel worthy or valued. ‘Change It: Progress to Success’ is designed to help you see your true potential and turn that potential into success. Whatever age, background or stage of life you are at, this programme will help you build positively for your future.

‘Change It: Progress to Success’ covers many topics including becoming more assertive and breaking negative thinking habits in order to develop a more positive outlook in all aspects of life. ‘Change It: Progress to Success’ enables you to identify the clear and practical steps to take in order to build a better world for yourself at work, at home and in relationships.

The dates and venues for the programmes are:

Fountains Children's Centre, Fountains Road, L4 1QH: 14th September, 1-3pm

Granby Children's Centre, Eversley Street, L8 2TU: 15th September, 1-3pm

The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB: 20th September, 10-3pm

Life Rooms Walton, Eevred Avenue, L9 2AF: Wednesday 1st November, 1-4pm

The Women's Organisation, 54 St James Street, L1 0AB: 7th November, 10-3pm

Speke Venue: TBC

Feedback from previous programmes include;

‘Wow – what a great course! If anyone wants to break out of their current way of thinking, go on this course.’

‘The course has been thoroughly enjoyable, informative and insightful.’

‘A fantastic course that has helped me in many different ways. I have my bad days, but I now have the strength, confidence and knowledge to deal with it. Thank you!’

And another of the women who attended 'Change It' wrote an open letter to share with those who are thinking about attending, read Maureen’s story here.

If you are a woman and would like to book a place or find out more about the programme, please contact our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email

If you are an organisation and would like to refer someone onto the programme, or contact a member of the Change It team about opportunities, please contact a member of our engagement team on 0151 706 8111 or email

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Join MSB and Business Club at Constellations For Our Summer Social!

Just one week until our favourite event of the year, the Summer Social, and we are delighted to announce that we will be joined by special guests; MSB Solicitors who are kindly sponsoring this event!

Tickets here!

This year, we are inviting you all down to the fantastic Baltic Triangle location; Constellations on Wednesday 23rd August from 5pm-8:30pm

There will be some drinks and nibbles for you all as you arrive and the whole evening will be dedicated to simply networking! And we’ve got our fingers crossed for some summer sunshine so we can be out in the garden catching some rays whilst we network!

There will also be the opportunity for you to pitch yourself and your business in 60 seconds as always, and The Women’s Organisati

on Business Club team will be on hand networking alongside you and making sure you are meeting exactly who you need to meet.

Tickets here!

SO! What are you waiting for? You can grab your ticket from Eventbrite, and join us and MSB as we network, the Summer Social way!

See you there…

Thank you to our event sponsors MSB Solicitors for making this event possible! 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Networking Was Super Speedy At #WOBizClub

Speedy networking! That was the theme of last week’s Business Club event and boy was it speedy! We had a room full of business women who turned up raring to go and they didn’t disappoint.

To kick off with, our Training Coordinator; Bernie Cox, welcomed everyone and introduced the idea of speed networking, as some of our guests hadn’t taken part in anything like this before. Bernie also gave us her own networking tips and tricks, such as remembering to always give 2 business cards instead of just the 1!

After the welcomes and introductions and with everyone familiar with the rules, it was time to get networking! Half of the woman moved around the room every five minutes, whilst the other half stayed in their seats, this meant that in under an hour nearly everyone had spoken to each other!

Each pair was given 5 minutes to speak to each other, and once this was up, it was time to say goodbye, exchange business cards and move onto the next person, giving our business woman a real challenge of staying focussed and on topic!

We had some fantastic feedback from the event like this…

‘I have met some amazing people! I came in feeling really nervous but left feeling really excited. Thank you!’

‘Friendly, inspiring and lovely to meet lots of people open to the idea of sharing and collaborating!’

‘Really good fun and helpful. It was my first networking attempt and I think I managed not to mess up!’

‘Really good opportunity to meet interesting people in a relaxed atmosphere’

So, all in all, our speedy networking was a success!

Thank you so much to all of the business women who attended and networked with us. It definitely got us in the mood for our next event...

The Summer Social at Constellations on Wednesday 23rd August, see more details and grab your tickets here!