That day I sat breastfeeding my son and came up with my initial idea of a wearable baby nail file, I never thought 4 years later I’d be collecting a national business award. We launched Baby Nails in October 2015 after lots of hard work, committing to it financially and my husband’s impeccable support through the design stages to produce our multi-award winning Thumble® that you all love so much today.
I was notified in May that I’d been shortlisted as a Mpower finalist in the Rising Star category. Eek!!! This category recognised “starting a business can be a slow and challenging process, but sometimes we see someone who has made a quantum leap; Someone whose ambition and drive has captured the imagination of others and who has achieved a high level of success in a relatively short period of time”.
Judging this year’s awards were a panel of top parent entrepreneurs. No pressure!! Nicola Huelin, multi-award winning business coach, founder of the Mpower awards, and mum of four said “we’re so proud of every single mum in business. All of our finalist are winners – indeed every woman who takes courageous steps to live life on her terms, no matter what shape that takes – homemaker, career-committer or business-builder, is by definition a winner. These awards are part of celebrating those in the early stages of starting and growing a business they love, in a way that’s right for them and their loved ones. Something to be recognised and celebrated both here in the UK and around the world”
Now it was time for me to book my gala dinner tickets, sort out overnight accommodation and decide what to wear (!!) for the main event on Saturday 23rd June at The Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury. Here I would join fellow mums and like minded people in business to celebrate everyone’s journey so far!
Unfortunately the day before the awards event due to a recent operation my husband (and business partner) sadly wasn’t well enough to join me. So, at the 11th hour a very good Mummy friend Sarah, stepped in and we made our way to London the following day, enjoying a cheeky can of GnT on the train.
The Gala evening started at 6.30pm with a welcome drinks reception and a photo of us both looking glam on arrival . Dinner begin at 7pm, followed by the inspiring awards and then we partied!
When the Rising Star category was announced the nerves set in. Luckily no acceptance speeches had been made so at least if I did win I wouldn’t blurt out a load of nonsense! Lucy Griffin-Stiff Founder of Starting Conversations® was the sponsor for my category and also a local Mummy we later discovered, living only 15 miles down the road from each other. When Lucy read out my name as the winner I was in total shock and froze to my seat. I then blubbed all the way to the stage. I really did not expect to win being against so many other fantastic Mum’s in business.
Lucy was so friendly and following the awards evening sent me this lovely quote “Rebecca is such a deserving winner. Her business, an idea developed while on maternity leave, has seen incredible growth in a short space of time and her product is now sold by some big names in the market such as JoJo Maman Bébé. Rebecca has created a successful, growing business that she can manage alongside her family life in a way that works for her. It’s so important to recognise and celebrate the Mum’s in the tough first years of business, their work can often go unrecognised and the Mpower National Business Awards, which I’m proud to be a co-organiser and Judge for, are beginning to change that.”
The evening ended up in the hotel bar (after responsibly taking my award and certificate to my room) with fellow award finalists, having a good natter and enjoying “one” more GnT for the road.
Being the winner of a national business award is obviously a huge achievement, especially when you’re announced a winner amongst the many hundreds of women who entered. Awards like these celebrate parents who manage the difficult task of juggling business with family life. However it has given me (and my husband) a work-life balance that I feel very fortunate to have and it pushes me to work harder everyday!
So today I had my award win covered in the Stamford Mercury, our local newspaper. Winning this award has not just helped to put Baby Nails on the map but makes all the hard work worthwhile and it’s great recognition for our small family run business.
Baby Nails was also announced last month as a finalist in this year’s Mercury Business Awards where myself and my husband Mark are hoping for a win in this years ‘Best New Start-up’ category on Friday 21st September.
We hope my Mpower Rising Star Business Award is the start of many more to come!