On the 9th June I headed over to Sofitel, London St James for the Marie Claire Future Shapers Live event.
The theme for the day was playing to your strengths and the programme was jam packed full of interesting and inspirational women speakers.
I hadn’t been to one of these events before so wasn’t really sure what to expect but; it was fabulous to spend the day with like-minded people and I came away feeling super inspired and with a head and notepad full of ideas.
The day kicked off with a keynote panel session with Trish Halpin (Editor-in-Chief of Marie Claire), Rosena Allin-Khan (Labour MP for Tooting), Brita Fernandez Schmidt (Executive Director of Women For Women International), Victoria Pendleton (Olympic champion and jockey) and Stephanie Phair (Chief Strategy Officer for Farfetch). The conversation focused on what the workplace looks like now, their personal experiences and how we can set ourselves up for success in what we want to achieve.
All of the women on the stage had amazing stories to tell and showcased the sheer determination to achieve their personal goals without losing sight of who they were and what was driving them to succeed.
One of the main things I took from the session was to not let setbacks or other peoples negativity deter you from what you want to achieve.
“when a door closes, find a window with a crack in it and smash through the window” Rosena Allin-Khan
Breakout Session – Starting a Business from Scratch
There were three breakout sessions to choose from but I felt this session was most relevant for me as Marketing Mixology is a relatively new venture.
The session was facilitated by Tracy Ramsden of Marie Claire with panellists Pavan Ahluwalia (Pavan Henna), Anna Gibson (Micro Scooters UK) and Rachael Flanagan (Mrs Bucket Cleaning). The panel had down to earth honest advice and although all three businesses were very different the advice coming from all three was very similar – seize any opportunities that come your way, build relationships and focus on your passion.
“you’re learning lessons all the time, you need to look at your mistakes and figure out how you are going to solve them and avoid them next time” Rachael Flanagan
Lunchtime Inspiration Talk – Aimee Bateman
Aimee’s passion for what she does really shone through in this session which focused on finding your ‘why?’. We were all encouraged to take a step back and think about why we are doing what we do, really breaking it down so you could see what makes you tick.
This session also encouraged us to get to know ourselves a bit better to help create an authentic personal brand. My favourite bit of the session was thinking of three words to describe yourself (mine were empathetic, honest and loyal) this task really got you thinking about your personality and what makes you tick.
‘The biggest prison we live in is the fear of what other people think – if we change that mindset, we can be whatever we want to be” Aimee Bateman
Afternoon Session – The Power of You
This was the session I was most looking forward to as it was all about harnessing your individuality for career success.
Again facilitated by Tracy Ramsden (who was amazing throughout the whole day), the panel were Emma Gannon (author and podcaster), Coral Garlick (Brand Me Collective) and Jasmine Hemsley (wellbeing expert, chef and author).
I really liked that all three panellists had different personalities and careers as I felt everyone in the audience will have related to at least one person on the stage in one way or another.
The conversation was very much around owning who you are and being as authentic as possible which is important regardless of whether you are working for yourself or a business.
It was great to hear Emma say that you don’t need to do everything at once as I think sometimes you can put so much pressure on yourself to be perfect at work, life and everything in-between. I also really like she is leading the charge on changing the view on being a jack of all trades, as you can pick up such diverse skills in the workplace now it a shame to pigeonhole yourself in to just one job.
There was also more spiritual side of the conversation to and as someone who has a vision board it was lovely to hear Jasmine talking about manifesting and putting out what you want in to the universe.
“Own that you can be good at multiple things” Emma Gannon
Afternoon Session – Boost Your Profile
The focus of this session was all about building your personal brand and although I feel it was aimed at people who work from themselves the topics covered and advice given could easily help people working in organisations to.
Facilitated by Marie Claire’s, Lucy Pavia (also super amazing!) the panellists were Purvi Farahi (J&J Consumer) Olivia Wollenberg (Livia’s Kitchen) and Hollie de Cruz (London Hypnobirthing).
Purvi had some excellent advice for networking and finding a person you aspire to be and finding out how they got where they are, but the main messages were to have no fear and ask for help if you need it.
Olivia and Hollies passion for what they do really shone through and it was fabulous to hear of businesses that started in their homes becoming such a success. The key being the amazing customer service they provide and that they are essentially the brand and the driving force despite the grow both businesses have seen.
“Love what you do, it will help you to grow your business organically” Olivia Wollenberg
For the closing session Trish was joined by Alesha Dixon (eek!) – thankfully I managed to resist the urge to sing any Mystique songs at the top of my voice.
Alesha came across as really a really genuine person and was very honest about the highs and lows she has faced during her career. The story about her moment on Strictly when she knew everything was going to be o.k was lovely and did put a little lump in my throat.
Confidence and fearlessness radiated from Alesha and she approaches everything wish such tenacity and that was my main takeaway from this session and is something I am going to try and bring to my everyday life.
“The universe only wants good things for us – you just have to be fearless.” Alesha Dixon
As well as fabulous talks there were fab pop ups where we could go and be glammed up and pampered.
As you can imagine these freebies were in high demand but I manged to sneak in and get a hand massage which was incredible and a lovely hair stylist from Headmasters gave me an infinity braid which I am desperately trying to re-create at home.
On the way out all delegates were handed what I can only describe as an epic goodie bag full of skincare, haircare, make up and other treats. The Neutrogena Hydro Boost facial serum is delightful!!
All in all it was an amazing day and I will definitely be booking tickets for next years show and who knows maybe one year I’ll be speaking at the event *puts this on vision board and starts making plans on how to get there*.