An honest and down to earth podcast for business owners and wannabe business owners looking at all aspects of how we blend business and pleasure and all of the other dross that life as human beings throws at us. Expect topics like whether we should work on holiday, dealing with imposter syndrome and daring to ditch the secure job with a regular income and go it alone, all discussed with a series of amazing guests who know exactly what we are talking about. Listen to Two Northern Lasses for inspiring, informative and entertaining content delivered in a real, down to earth northern way.
In our final episode of the Season (sorry Series) 1 we close off with a load of questions from some of our listeners and guest an a bit of reflection! We will be back in the new year with Series 2 and more brilliant guests!
Amman is a Yorkshire Lad, living in Manchester and founded Music for Pets which is the home of brands Relax My Dog and Relax My Cat lovingly described as Petflix! Love it!!
He started with just £1k and found a musician in El Salvador for around £200 to create the first lot of music which they tested on the musicians dog who had noise anxiety.
Interestingly but not surprising really when you think about it different music appeals to dogs and cats. It's all down to changes in musical arrangements, instruments used, sounds, and frequency. It's kind of like meditation and visualisation - cos they have TV too!!! The TV for cats is more 'high twitch' ie birds, squirrels, Chipmunks - what cat wouldn't love that?
As a business they are constantly asking for and receiving feedback from their listeners (ok, the owners of the listeners) and bizarrely they do actually get trolling type stuff such as "the music made my dog shit on the carpet" but they also get really heartwarming stuff like "can I play the music at my dogs funeral?"
It's a really interesting concept and we are not the only ones to think so. they have had 20 million listens worldwide.
So listen to this episode and find out more - in fact get your pet to listen too - why the hell not?
In this episode we chat with the lovely Maryanne Scott AKA The Branding Photographer.
After meeting only a week ago when your very own 2 Northern Lasses attended a branding shoot of their own we thought that you might be interested in what Maryanne has to say so we set about persuading her to come on the podcast. To be fair she didn't take too much persuading because she had met us and already had figured out what a down to earth pair we are!
Much like she does with all of her photography clients, we clicked (pun intended!!) straight away because she put us at ease and appreciated fully the fact that lock down lard was an issue (for Jayne, not Michelle who has admirably stuck to her Slimming World (other diets are available) plan throughout 'these unprecedented times').
So, Maryanne has dabbled in various jobs and careers over the years but always had a love of photography and was able to start taking this seriously when her lovely husband bought her a 'proper' camera for her 28th birthday. She did it alongside her other job as a corporate insurance broker for a while then took the leap into making her dream her full time career! Who wouldn't want to do that?
So, she has a great business model and is so much more than just a photographer, she writes blogs, provides her followers with engaging and useful content and she runs a membership model called Visibility School where members get access to a professional shoot every single month! Visibility is everything whatever business you are running because people buy from people you know! True story!!
Wait for the game at the end! Loving the cucumber chat!!
Find out more about Maryanne and her business here
We don't think we have met more of a people person than Mandy before, she just oozes positivity and spreads it around to everyone she meets. She's just one of those genuinely lovely people, a general good egg to have in your life!
She has so much to say, we could actually do an entire series on her. Unfortunately we only got 40 minutes and you know how we like to waffle on so our convo with Mandy really did feel as though it had been cut short. But we are sure we can get her on again, or she might even be persuaded to start her own podcast one day! Watch this space!
The start of Mandy's career was pretty straight forward, work for the council, study an accountancy qualification.........
Then like many others do, Mandy realised she didn't want to do that so she quit! She walked out of that building and straight into a car showroom where she talked herself into a 4 week unpaid trial in car sales (despite being a woman!!). After 4 weeks she was the top sales person and got a job working with people and the rest, as they say is history.
There is so much to Mandy's life and career having experienced the lows of anorexia as a teenager and cancer as an adult and the highs of a great career that she loves, buying a cat whilst drunk and raising over £3million for various charities since 2004.
Listen in to find out more about all that plus her job with Bibis, her job with Topic UK magazine and the spin off Yorkshire Business Woman and how she met her newest friend The Yorkshire Shepherdess. And more....
Facebook: Mandy Taylor and Charity Angels
Regular listeners may recognise Juliet as she was our guest host a few months ago, during lockdown. And it has taken this long to get ourselves sorted so she can be a guest.
Juliet is very much the creative type and has loads of 'pots on the boil' so to speak. She has had a challenging year to say the least but has maintained her love of creativity throughout and continued to inspire others in all sorts of ways (you'll have to listen in to find out more).
And find out more/keep in touch with Juliet here
Website Home & Blog: www.thecuriouscreativeclub.co.uk
Facebook: The Curious Creative Club
You may have noticed that we seem to have knack of getting genuine down to earth guests on our podcast and that couldn't be truer of self proclaimed 'brand activist' Danny Bulmer.
Daniel Owen Bulmer (first time we have ever discussed a guests middle name so had to get that in there), or Date of Birth, as he is known in certain circles, started his career working for a creative brand agency although not on the creative side of things as you might expect, but on the account management side so was the one to go out and meet with clients, win business, take a brief and then pass that brief clearly and concisely to the designer or other creative within the business to execute. He says himself he was every graphic designers worst nightmare because he had the ability to throw his own thoughts in there because he can do that too.
Danny has always been the creative type even right back in his school days and he believes that everyone has some form of creativity in them. And he may be right because even our Michelle has been trying her hand at a small arty project recently inspired by previous guest Juliet who actually runs creativity groups and workshops. Make sure you are following our social media channels as she has promised to post a picture of her creation.
Anyway, we digress, back to our guest. So, after working for a boutique town centre agency Danny decided to go it alone and set up his own agency, Date of Birth - you get the link now? He did this successfully for a number of years before he decided to give something different a try and decided to set up a rural co-working space (yes this sounds familiar because that is exactly what our Jayne has just done, in fact at this point in the podcast she is thinking 'OMG what have I done? What went wrong?') but Danny assures her that he will share all his learning from his time which was 5-6 years ago - see a genuine guy who just wants to help people! We just love that!
After seeing out his three year lease Danny came out of the co-working space feeling somewhat battered and bruised, it had been a difficult time and he had lost a fair amount of money. It seems he hasn't really looked on those times with affection but talking to us reminded him of those proud moments that did come out of that time. He started his foodie brand The Cure Charcuterie which is all about Great British snacking - think the snack equivalent of craft beer, in fact eat the snacks whilst drinking craft beer! He also held loads of great events that brought local brands together and Co-Up was also the birth place of a few more successful brands, so it wasn't all bad, he just needed the reminder. Honestly, being a podcast guest can be like therapy (we are not suggesting that it is an alternative to good quality therapy mind, that would be ridiculous and totally irresponsible!)
So anyway, talking of therapy and different ways of dealing with things Danny has struggled with anxiety and depression in the last few years which led him to his latest bright idea (yes, he is full of them) which is Good Footing. On top of the current day job as a brand strategist and creative direction consultant he helps creators think, do and make good things. He basically runs workshops that take place in the great outdoors whilst walking with the aim to inspire people to think creatively in order to help solve big problems. With the added bonus of instilling positive mental and physical wellbeing. What's not to love about that concept? In fact, during the last few months it has been pretty difficult but he is currently putting things in place to launch In Good Company - a netwalking event in September! That's next month! How blummin' exciting!
For more info see https://www.linkedin.com/in/dannyobulmer/
Say Hello to`Melissa Roberts, our youngest ever guest to date. At the age of just 21 Melissa has a fire in her belly that betrays her youth, she is just so bloody sorted and is such an inspiration to us and other people that are more than twice her age (we know!!!), as well as anyone else who firmly believes they want to follow their own path because she has had the guts to do just that and it is seriously paying off for her!
At school Mel didn't really know what she wanted to do and didn't really enjoy any other subjects other than business but nevertheless for the last time in her life she bowed to outside pressures and went to college to study A Levels, and then she didn't. She gave up part way through year one and decided to go to Kirklees College to study a BTEC in Business which some might be under the misconception that this is a bit of a cop out and that a BTEC doesn't have as much value as A levels! Well they would be wrong then wouldn't they? We believe that people should take their own path in life, how many guests have we had on who are doing or have done, what they feel they should do and not what they actually want to do? Plenty, so it is particularly refreshing to meet Mel who absolutely has set off on her own path and that path, so far, seems to be leading to great places. While she studied her BTEC she also worked two and a half days a week at a local marketing agency and this stood her in good stead when it came to starting her full time career as she had a head start on her peers.
But she didn't just settle for employment, of course she didn't. Growing up surrounded by entrepeneurs inspired her to start her own business with a friend at just 18 years old and she has not looked back. Beanie Media offers web design and development as well as social media advertising to family owned manufacturing businesses and they do it well! This is where Melissa's youth is firmly on her side, you may say she has an unfair advantage (read the book), because she is bang up to date with the latest technologies and because she has a genuine geek streak when it comes to all things tech and digital media she is constantly learning and guess what? She then passes this knowledge on to her clients to ensure they get amazing results!
Melissa also prides herself on solving real life problems through technology and this has led her to her latest venture Kidcrowd which is a platform that gives parents of partygoers an alternative to buying a token gift (tat) that ends up hanging around the home, not getting much use and ultimately goes to landfill. We have all had that 'that'll do' moment when buying a gift for our kids to take to a party right? Well no more! Kidcrowd is on a mission to reduce gifting wastage, and let children use their own savings to buy the gift they really want. So as a family friend, grandparent or partygoer we can use the money we would have spent on said token gift and pledge it to the birthday boy or girls crowd fund, so they get to put the money together and buy something they really want. How good is that? If you agree take a look at the website here https://kidcrowd.co.uk/
We wish Melissa all the best in her career and business, she really does deserve it and we really hope her story inspires other young people to follow their own path and get on the exciting rollercoaster that is self employment. There is no need to wait until you are in your 40's like we did, although that is fine too - obvs!
To connect with Melissa get onto LinkedIn which is her favourite social media platform for business and connect with her here https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-wojarski-roberts/
And to find out more just give this episode a listen!
David is - wait for it - An academic, having studied a PHD in Psychology, Director of Sensible Soccer and a Research Consultant at Manchester United Football Club. It's fair to say he is a busy man but these days his life is much less busy and much more settled than it has been in the past.
As a Lancashire lad growing up in Burnley, like many lads he was an aspiring footballer. His dad managed to get him into a local Catholic school which had a good reputation for being a 'good football school' despite the fact that he wasn't Catholic at all. Actually his Dad met the headmaster of the school in the local pub (where most of us Northerners form many friendships).
Back in those days football wasn't the way it is now, the money was nowhere near and they didn't offer academy places to the youth, though many clubs did have Under 16's sides and David was lucky enough to play for Burnley and Blackburn at that level. He was also offered a YTS (Youth Training Scheme for you youngsters) at Blackpool but he turned that down and stayed on at school to study A-Levels. Trying to balance a football career with full time studies didn't really work well for him and he found himself fledgling at both rather than excelling at one or the other. He had basically compromised and this was a wake up call for him.
He went on to get a job in a local paint factory and then in the Warburton's bread factory (best bread ever btw - northern lasses opinion and nobody paid us to say that!) and he played football for Accrington Stanley (who are they? - another 80s reference, when did we get so old?). His friends by this point where at Uni so he was basically living the student lifestyle whilst trying to carve out a football career, again, not the best combination.
What sport had done for him though was allow him to meet a load of people he probably wouldn't have otherwise met and this enabled him to get a 'proper job' in an IT firm and he stayed in this industry for about 12 years, that's where he met our Michelle - what a lucky fella! He was still paying football at this point but was approaching his 30's and realised that when football was no longer an option for him he didn't want to be stuck in that particular day job.
This revelation led him to start studying coaching which then fed his interest in the psychology side of sports so he went on to study that via an Open University Course whilst he worked part time in community clubs and schools. One of these clubs at the time was of particularly interest to the academy scouts (academies now exist by this point) who came along to see the players and spotted the coach (we love this part of David's story). So he then went to work at Bury FC and met their Head of Psychology who inspired and encouraged him to go to University and finish the degree where he did his dissertation entitled Talent Development and Serial Winning (Manchester United Football Club) which ended up getting published - you might say he got noticed.
After this he worked for quite a few football clubs then was poached to golf for a few years where he went on world tours and led a very busy and hectic life. Then something amazing happened, something that he describes as the best thing that ever happened happened, his son Jordi (now 7) was born and that lifestyle became unsustainable as he didn't want to be away more than he was at home.
Next step, lecturing at Universities, consulting in various sports and setting up his own company www.sensiblesoccer.co.uk, a business that distributes football supplies to clubs, schools and the general public.He also became a Research Consultant at Man Utd FC which sounds like such an interesting role and involves David and therefore the club being at the forefront of sports technology - you are going to have to listen to find out more!
We know what you're thinking 'what's Sanctum Healthcare'?
Well, in short it is a registered provider of mental health and addiction services based in Cheshire.
And that is all we are telling you, you will have to listen if you want to know more won't you?
So anyway, Jonathan is one of the founders of Sanctum and his journey to this is long and varied. "Aren't they all" we hear you shout! Well, yes they are but this one is even more long and varied than usual.
After leaving school at 18 before he took his A Levels, Jonathan was lucky enough to get a job through his Dad selling some sort of techy thing that we don't really know what he means, but it doesn't really matter now anyway. He spent 13 years working in IT and loved the sales side of things but not particularly the tech.
He also loved the 'jollies' that came with a sales career back in the day which don't tend to happen much these days. However, the 'jollies' were not great for a guy like Jonathan who soon discovered that he was suffering from issues associated with poor mental health, namely alcoholism and anxiety. Having no off switch often left him partying way longer than his colleagues did and eventually as these issues, and age, caught up with him, he found himself on a downward spiral. He lost his driving licence and therefore his career took a nose dive which then changed his lifestyle and his relationships.
In December 2006 his dad staged an intervention and sent him to a rehab centre in South Africa where he spent 4 months and managed to stop drinking and taking, what he describes as 'mind and mood altering substances'. After this he went from strength to strength setting up a couple of very successful businesses but then disaster struck and he relapsed, he started drinking again and he carried on drinking for three and a half more years.
Listen in to find out more about how Jonathan went from helping himself out of alcoholism to helping his high earning clients recover from their struggles with things like alcohol & substance addiction, depression, anxiety, eating disorders and many others.
If you want to find out more about Jonathan and what Sanctum Healthcare offers then you can visit the website at https://www.sanctumhealthcare.co.uk/ although you won't find much there as what they do is super discreet to protect the reputation and anonymity of their clients. There is more info on Linkedin here https://www.linkedin.com/in/jonathanedgeley/ and get this, you can even just pick up the phone retro styleee and call him on this number 07832 964126.
We hope you enjoy listening to this episode, we loved recording it and managed to still have a laugh despite the sensitivity of the subject.
Feedback welcome as per!
Michelle and Jayne
Lisa is a really interesting woman and has had a varied career as have many of our guests but what stands out about Lisa is that whilst taking a career break to raise her children she realised that finding her way back to her once loved career had become much more difficult than she had first thought it would be. Then she realised something else - she wasn't alone! And instead of sitting back and letting this happen, she took action and then co-wrote a book to show the rest of us how to take action too.
We have both been reading this book and wished we had discovered it sooner, it has some many helpful tips and inspiring stories in it. Give this episode a listen to find out how Lisa came to be doing this and what she is up to these days.
As ever, we would love to know what you think.
Oh, and buy the book here - you won't regret it.
PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING!!!
No not really, just wanted to get your attention! The audio in this episode is a bit dodge in places, bear with it - we are recording in lockdown after all and silly Jayne thought she would risk it for a biscuit and record in her new office that doesn't actually have wifi yet. Jayne says sorry!!
So in this episode we have not only, one of few non-northern guests (this isn't a strategy btw, we welcome inspiring people from anywhere) but Jennifer is our first overseas guest (to be fair though she does now live in the north of England after she met her hubby way back when at a Halloween party in the big smoke!!)
Jennifer is Director and co-owner of Sharp Ahead - a B2B (that means business to business in case you didn't know) digital marketing agency based in Reading and Leeds (like the festivals) and weirdly 3 employees in Blackpool - who knew Blackpool was the hub of digital expertise? Well turns out Jayne did!
So, have a listen to find out how Jennifer came from Stateside to London to up North and accidentally fell into her career and then her latest venture by being in the right place at the right time. We are pretty sure that she is just being all modest on us and a fair bit of hard graft came into it too.
If you want to find out more about Jennifers business here is the link.
In this episode we chat with Janet Bebb from Social Progress all about her career and her business how it came about and what they do to help people either learn to manage their own social platforms or manage them on their behalf.
We also chat cake, specifically carrot cake (Costa has the best in case you were wondering - Janet has tested them all) and about her crazy cat Earl (named after the tea).
If you want to know more about Janet and her business then one of the many links below can put you in touch.
In this episode we discuss Natalies career journey from a background in graphic design and secretarial roles, meeting our Michelle at Apple, and the following years that led her, at the age of 43 to train to become a fitness coach and personal trainer.
If you want to find out more about Natalies business and even join us 2 northern lasses on our own fitness journey then have a look at the links below
When our Jayne first saw Deborah speak at a local business event she spent the hour nodding like the Churchill dog. It is not often you hear a speaker who really connects with you and says the things that you are thinking, but with Deborah this is what you get. She is a fantastic public speaker and just oozes confidence and authenticity and it is this down to earth yet authoritative manner that has her connecting with her entire audience from the get go.
Deborah has a varied business offer, all of it based around helping people to be the best and most authentic version of themselves, to communicate effectively and unleash a personal brand that has impact, memorability and style. She does this through 121 mentoring, public speaking, workshops and of course her very own podcast that she launched last year - On brand with ....... Give it a listen, it is really very good. In fact we were a little nervous before this interview, you know, interviewing a pro and all that. It was fine though, it's just like having a chat with friends, it just happens to be recorded so you can join in too.
But Deborah's road to where she is today, as is usually the case with our guests, was not as you would imagine. She actually studied Law for 6 years (we know!!!) at university and became a lawyer but having then realised that she had a major passion and an untapped skill for communications she switched career and went to work in marketing at Lancashire County Cricket Club -- yes it was in the day when Freddie Flintoff was in his prime and no we are not jealous of Deborah at all - honest!!
A successful marketing career ensued and she ended up starting her own business Deborah Ogden Ltd almost 10 years ago and the rest, as they say, is history.
If you want to find out more about Deborah and her business listen obviously, and then take a look at the links below, in the meantime we will leave you with one of our favourite quotes that Deborah uses and one we should all remember -
“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” - Dita Von Teese
Which we translate to mean BE YOU!!
Victoria is the proud owner and the main hydrotherapist at House of Hound Hydrotherapy in Scissett, Huddersfield. They provide all sorts of services for dogs and their owners from rehab after an operation to fun swims and man trailing events. Who knew such a thing existed eh? Well we did obviously, but not until we had met Victoria ourselves.
You regular listeners will know that Michelle has 'Max the Dog' and so she went along to Victorias opening event in 2017 and met her there, she then took the third co-host Max (although he doesn't speak much) to a scenting workshop, and then another - he loves it you know (secretly Jayne thinks it is Michelle that loves it not Max!!).
Victoria's career journey is what we often describe as 'not the straightest of paths', going from childcare to a probation officer to then setting up a business is not an easy route but so far has been really rewarding and allows her to work with her favourite dogs.
If you're a dog owner, or even if your'e just a little bit intrigued - have a look at the links below to find out more....
And also here are the links to the two charities that Victoria mentions....
This weeks guest Charlotte has lived such an interesting and exciting adult life. Being married to Darren Hughes who Co founded Cream, CreamFields, Homelands and We Love Space on Sunday’s IBIZA, saw her using her textile design degree to build up a phenomenal range of branded merchandise which on the back of the iconic Cream brand gave her and Darren a super successful business which took them to festivals all over the world and most notably had them spending 6 months every year in Ibiza. Charlotte admits that they didn't really realise at the time how successful they were which just goes to show how down to earth Charlotte is and this really comes across in this episode.
But when kids came along Charlotte decided to move her family back to her hometown of Huddersfield to be near her mum and they bought the house that then became their business.
The Scarlet Hen at Norfolk House is Yorkshire’s Finest Boutique Retreat. It is a luxury holiday home (Charlotte's ACTUAL home when there are no guests) in a Georgian Mansion House in Huddersfield for sophisticated hen parties, girls getaway weekends, family celebrations, team building away-days and spa retreats. It sleeps 10-20 guests in 4 floors of luxury accommodation including 3 beautiful reception rooms, an indoor hot tub and in-house spa treatment rooms. Check it out on the links below, it really is amazing and one of the reasons that it is such a beautiful house with thoughtful touches throughout is Charlotte's interior design skills and impeccable taste obviously. I mean just look at Jayne and Michelle''s boring looking Zoom backgrounds in comparison to Charlotte's! Zzzzzzz!!
It isn't just about the house though because Charlotte ensures her guests have the best time and even helps them create their own bespoke itinerary during their stay by adding such things as a private chef, life drawing classes, afternoon tea, murder mystery, cocktail master class, karaoke, flower crown making, chocolate workshops, bath bomb sessions and Decleor spa treatments. Lush!! They also have really close links with some of the other amazing local businesses such as Erics restaurant, Holmfirth Vineyard and The Scullery.
The life drawing classes are really popular with the Hen parties (can't think why!?) and Charlotte actually teaches these classes herself. Having gone back to university when returning to the UK and successfully achieving a teaching degree followed by a stint teaching art and design at a few local colleges she is more than qualified to do so and of course her passion for design comes across - even in a non visual recording such as a podcast for instance!
As we recorded this episode amid the Coronavirus crisis we discuss the impact this has had on Charlotte and the business and what she has been doing in the background to ensure success when it is over. Rest assured Charlotte's entrepreneurial spirit will win out and she WILL find a way to make it succeed as she has done so many times in the past by coming up with amazing ideas and bringing wonderful experiences to her guests. We have every confidence that this will be the case and we can't wait to attend an event at Norfolk House ourselves confident in the knowledge that we will get an amazing experience and that a percentage of ours and every guests booking goes to the local charity Pennine Domestic Violence Group which provides support to victims of domestic violence and abuse.
Hope you enjoy! Millions of links here for you to find out more about everything we discussed.
Well what can we say about Lidia? Well firstly, she is clearly a very busy and very driven lady which is undoubtedly something that has been passed down from her dad as she grew up seeing him really make something of himself, his tale is literally a classic rags to riches one and you cannot fail to be inspired by his story. He came to the UK from Italy with nothing, worked in the mines and made some 'danger money' which he invested in an ice cream van he then sold imported Italian produce from to the growing Italian community each evening. He continued to invest everything he made and the family now own two of the best Italian restaurants and hotels in Huddersfield - links to which are below.
Lidia grew up in a big traditional Italian family, surrounded by amazing chefs both from within and outside of the family. Not many people can say they went to Uni and avoided the kebab shop, knocking up a quick pasta dish at 3am for their housemates - but Lidia can. Clearly the passion for food was in her blood but she didn't really want to enter into the family business and studied Business, Marketing and French at university.
However, dad had other ideas, of course he did, and being a persuasive kind of guy and having a requirement for someone to really put Da Sandro's restaurant and The Briar Court Hotel on the map and Lidia having the newly acquired skills from her degree, into the business she went, and there she remains almost 30 years later. The family also own and run Prego Restaurant and The Waterfront Hotel & Venue in Brighouse and have set up, owned or had a hand in various other successful venues such as Ciao which Lidia set up with her brother.
It doesn't stop there though, Lidia and the family do a lot, and we are talking A LOT to help the local community. The Brighouse canal clear up was Lidias brainchild about 7 years ago and continues to be part of the wider community clear up to this day, she also volunteers with Food4Hope which is a Brighouse based charity that feeds the homeless (obviously in this case with restaurant quality Italian meals) and since lockdown happened in the UK 5 weeks ago and still going at the time of recording they have switched to feeding the housebound.
So it comes as no surprise to learn that during this enforced lockdown where restaurants and hotels are closed, Lidia has found herself with a bit of time of her hands and her love of cooking and sharing that love with others was having to take a back seat.
Egged on by her teenage daughters she has recently launched Lidias Italian Kitchen on facebook and instagram where she shares time served family recipes in a relaxed and friendly manner, often with a glass of wine in hand. We are loving the recipes she is sharing and are definitely giving them a go, give her a follow and send in pics or videos of your own efforts for a bit of fun.
Hearing Lidia talk about food during this interview was so inspiring and we are definitely craving a night out in a great restaurant when this lockdown is over, and we want to go to Lidias for tea of course!! Meanwhile, we will have to settle for watching the videos and doing our best to create the meals at home. All the links are below if you want to find out more
When the lockdown was even threatening to hit, Claire and her husband Brendan had a plan! They always have a plan which is great right?
So as the crisis rapidly approached us here in the UK the owners of The Lifestyle Studios in Scissett, Huddersfield were busy making plans and considering 'what if?' which meant that when some social distancing rules came into play early in March they added more classes to their member timetable but cut the number of people able to attend down to just 8, changed the class plans so people were working solely in their own areas and with their own equipment. Following each class, they would disinfect EVERYTHING and go again with the next 8. It was a great plan.
Then, the inevitable happened and the government announced that all gyms were to be closed one Friday tea time and true to form, yes you guessed it, they had another plan. They spent all that night getting together their equipment so that they could lend them to their PT clients and they could continue their sessions online, they were all given separate collection slots on the Saturday morning so were able to kick off with their online PT sessions really quickly. They did the same for their class members and have been successfully running their usual classes via zoom for over a month now. Unbelievably and to their credit, they have not lost a single member and they maintain the community that they have worked hard to achieve over the last 7 years.
We just know they are going to be in an even stronger position once the lockdown is lifted and no doubt they will have yet another plan! A class for any non members that have developed bad habits and lost any fitness they did have might be one to consider Claire!! We know at least one person that would be up for that! 😀
If you want to know more about Claire and her businesses here are the helpful links for you
What a lovely fella Jeff is! Anyone who knows him will agree we are sure, how could you not?
In this 'locked down' episode we have taken to Zoom to record with self confessed insurance geek Jeff who works for Spencer Hayes group - a company by the way who are doing loads to help out people during this time, client of theirs or not, so are worth looking up on LinkedIn - here is a helpful link https://www.linkedin.com/company/spencer-hayes-insurance/ check out their forum that they have set up, its very helpful and very nice (you can see why Jeff works for them!)
Due to the situation we are recording remotely and editing ourselves so apologies for the poor audio (mainly from Jayne and her shit laptop!). Anyway, you can hear it so it's fine right? We are going with it, just don't turn it up too loud.
If you need to talk insurance with the guy who bloody loves it then find Jeff on these links
Hope you enjoy - despite the issues
What do you do when someone you know wants to know more about your podcast, how and why you set it up and is considering starting her own? Well, you get them on as a guest host of course! We are here to lift others more than ever so why wouldn't we share our limited knowledge?
Few challenges though, the main one being we are in lockdown (well pretty much) so needed to figure out how to record remotely, we did this. Secondly, as we are now skint due to Covid19 stealing all our income we needed to manage without our beloved producer Alex, we did this too (albeit nowhere near as professionally as he does obviously).
So, this is just a short episode, us reminding our listeners why we started in the first place and how things have evolved over the last 4-5 months. But above all delivering our message - things change, and that's OK!
To learn more about our guest host, Juliet see the below links
Website Home & Blog: www.thecuriouscreativeclub.co.uk
Facebook: The Curious Creative Club
We decided to record this episode as a bit of a practice at recording remotely due to the situation we find ourselves in. We recorded this episode on Thursday the 26th of March via a zoom call so apologies if the audio is a bit rubbish - can't be helped!
Obviously there are a lot of negatives surrounding this situation but we have tried to focus on the positive side of things, and we have also thrown in our moments game to add in a little lightheartedness.
Hope you enjoy it
Michelle & Jayne
In this episode we are chatting with Peter Sargent who is a consultant around investment for local businesses amongst other things which you will find out about as you listen but he also volunteers at The Welcome Centre in Huddersfield (www.thewelcomecentre.org) which is a really worthwhile cause helping local families and individuals in crisis with food, toiletries and other essential items as well as providing advocacy, guidance, and support to address underlying issues.
We just need to mention at this stage that this episode was recorded about 3 weeks ago and at the point of airing we are in the midst of the Corona crisis and 3 days into lockdown in the UK. We did consider holding off on releasing it until we are on the other side of the crisis but then we decided that in and amongst the terrible situation we all find ourselves in that our listeners may be in need of a little light hearted entertainment. So if that is what you are looking for, this is for you - there is no mention of the C word in this episode although we are working on bringing you some 'bonus' episodes where we will discuss it but as always we will be finding the positives in the situation and trying our best to keep our sense of humour too.
Anyway, back to the lovely Peter! Born and bred in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire just like our lovely Michelle was, his education choices were initially made by his mum based on which college would enable him to get a free bus pass. Not the cleverest kid at grammar school he managed to scrape through his O-Levels and went on to do A-Levels and inspired by his teachers 'Piggy Bower' and Mr Addy began to love education at last. He then went onto university, the first in his family to do so like many people from his generation, and then drifted into teacher training but left part way through.
Following a short stint in the potteries of Stoke-on-Trent he found himself back home and managed to land a job as a trainee accountant where things were very different to how they are now, they didn't even use calculators! We know, can you believe it? He ended up dealing with the employees of businesses that had become insolvent and from there built up the insolvency side of the practice he was working for. What follows is a very successful career in insolvency including setting up his own practice and all the ups and downs that go with owning your own business.
After selling his business in 2005 worked for a bigger practice for another 10 years on a part time basis which enabled him to take up a part time role with R3 Association of Business Recovery Professionals through which he met many politicians and influential business people which then led to a meeting with Richard Charlesworth from Charlesworths in Huddersfield and then to where he is today helping local businesses get investment.
On top of all this Peter feels a need to give back to the community so volunteers at The Welcome Centre providing support to all sorts of vulnerable people via the food bank. If you want to help then you can always donate a few tins or dried food to the trolleys they have on the way out in most supermarkets.
Lots of other random things are discussed throughout this episode including out usual moments game and other nuggets so listen in.
You can connect with Peter on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/peter-sargent-60b06429/
If you want to know more about Jaynes new business go here
After our little opening chat where we talk about an event we went to recently put on by The Huddersfield Giants which was fab and really inspiring we talk with Lesley Ellis about her career and her aspirations with a surprising twist in the middle. We met Lesley through the podcasting world as we use the same producer (producer Alex) and having heard her story we thought you might like to 'meet' her too. Lesley is about to launch a podcast in just a few weeks and we will share the links to it as soon as we can.
Lesley started her career in finance in sales type roles whilst she was also a singer in a band then realised she had written a song describing a life she didn't really like. Bus as a lot of women do she felt stuck in the job because the benefits were good, the maternity leave was good etc etc. And after having her first two children she went back to a different type of role which involved helping others which she loved. Baby number 3 came along and after that maternity leave the role had changed again into a coaching role and then training which again Lesley loved. Unfortunately it wasn't to last due to the financial crash in 2008.
Having gained all those people skills, she went to work as a mentor for children in care at the local high school which was really about being school mum and giving cuddles and hot chocolate. Anybody doing a job like this will know how difficult it can be to leave work and work and so Lesley had to make the difficult decision to leave because it was affecting her relationship with her own kids.
So obviously the most logical thing to do after these two career paths is to set up a catering business isn't it? Of course it is!! She made loads of foods from scratch spending 18 hours a day catering for an event but no money!
Here is the surprising twist, Lesley and her family took part in a TV series back in 2017 called 'Back in time for tea' hosted by Sara Cox. For anyone who hasn't heard of it or seen it, the family are basically living as they did in 'the olden days'. Over the course of 8 weeks during the summer their house was transformed (not to mention cut in half) to initially a house from 1918 then over those weeks through the decades back up to 1999. Imagine going back to a time when there were no mobile phones, no TVs, no internet etc etc. Most of us can't live without our phones for a day never mind 8 weeks! Since recording this episode we have started watching the series and it is so good. We can't believe how the family handle everything that is thrown at them, especially the kids, though Lesley insists there were definitely some tantrums and the producers were kind in the edit. We still think the kids handled it all amazingly! Give it a watch - it is really good!
So leading on from the TV show Lesley has done some TV and lots of radio interviews so now is starting her own podcast called The Midlife Manifesto with Lesley & friends. Having effectively been middle aged through each decade Lesley has a perspective that none of us can have and truly believes there has never been a better time to be middle aged than right now. Her friends are middle aged too and are doing mad things like taking up Kayaking and cycling in bizarre places. Having more time and less stress than ever before and getting to this stage is to be celebrated which our Michelle wholeheartedly agrees with - Jayne not so much but she is younger than they are so hasn't got there yet! Although the f*ck it bucket is definitely a thing for all of us and many people we have met. Give Lesleys podcast a listen but be warned, you may need tissues!
Music by Outsider https://www.facebook.com/outsiderbanduk
Deborah Ogden's podcast www.deborahogden.com/on-brand-with
When Andrew came into the studio to record this episode, we have to admit, we were a little more nervous than usual. Why? Because he has his own podcast and therefore he is a pro and we are not. We needn't have worried, we both know Andrew so it was just as relaxed and informal as all our other chats. Here is a link to Andrews own podcast by the way https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/anchor-podcasts/the-tingle-zone-with-andrew-miller you can also find it in the usual places - Apple, Spotify etc etc.
So, in this episode we are talking about Andrews career and university journey - he studied a maths degree in France, in French, I mean who does that? So it is fair to say he is pretty good at maths (and French!). So the natural path for someone with amazing mathematical skills would be an accountant right? Well Andrew thought that would be boring so he landed himself a job with KPMG, not knowing anything about them, and became an insolvency practitioner and that is what he did for a large part of his career.
Now however, he is a multiple author and business enjoyment guru. You can find out more about the books and Andrews business here https://www.businessenjoyment.com/. Do you might be wondering how the heck he made the switch from an insolvency practitioner in an enormous company to setting up his own business helping people to enjoy theirs and writing books - well listen in to find out!
Just as a side note, we both know Andrew because we attend his group sessions called Breathing Spaces (https://www.businessenjoyment.com/breathingspaces) and we will be honest - because that is who we are - we only went to the first one because it was free! But we both loved it and we have been going now for about a year. It is basically a great tool to remind yourself why you are in your business, so you don't get carried away with the financials and stuff and to make sure you actually enjoy it (they are our words, not Andrews). We have met some amazing people through the groups too, people we wouldn't have met otherwise who have enriched our lives - god that sounds so soppy but it is true so we are leaving it in! Anyway, waffling - you should give it a try. Definitely!
We hope you enjoy this episode, it is a little longer than usual because we couldn't shut him up! No really, Andrew is a very interesting man - you'll see!
MUSIC FROM OUTSIDER https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCx6iRazzKgr_GyhEriXvJSg
PRODUCED BY ABSOLUTE MEDIA (HUDDERSFIELD) http://www.absmedia.co.uk/
We had such good feedback from our initial getting to know you episode that we decided to do another. Plus we play the game with our guests every episode but why should they have all the fun eh? Indeed!
So here is another of our ramblings playing the moments game for your pleasure!
We are talking with Vicki Walker about her journey from her school days into her career in corporate finance, the ups and downs, the good times, the hard times and the giggles (lots of giggles) along the way.
Vicki helps businesses secure finance for all sorts of reasons, maybe a new premises, sometimes to pay the VAT or tax bill. Lot's of people automatically think to go to a bank if they need finance but using a finance broker can often get you a better deal so it is worth investigating.
So, back in the day when you could leave school at 16 Vicki was, in her own words, not particularly academic and spurred on by the fact that all the fun people had left and it was a bit shit (her words again) she left school after a couple of months in sixth form to get an apprenticeship. What follows is a somewhat rocky road to where she is today, she got there, she went back, she blagged a bit, she maybe leaped too soon and she failed (learned) at it but what she didn't do was give up!
She went back to employment but vowed that one day she was going to have another crack at it. Then when she got made redundant from her 'secure' job and it seemed there wasn't a better time to have another crack at self employment and having learnt a lot from last time and the few years in between she was in a much better position to make a success of it.
Despite her partners insistence that she try to get a job she even managed to talk one recruiter, not only out of employing her but at filling the role completely. It is clear that Vicki's natural and honest way with people has enabled her to build a network of contacts that has helped her to make a success of her business.
Vicki leaves us with this piece of advice for anyone considering "If you do it and fail, don't worry about it. You can still have another go!"
Good advice Vic! Thanks for chatting and for the giggles!
Thankyou to Outsider for the music - find out more here
In this episode of the Two Northern Lasses podcast we are chatting to Ellie and Grace, two sports mad fellow lasses (one northern, one midlands! Posh!?) about their journey in the sporting world from when they were young children and how even at that age, disappointment can somehow define the paths we take as adults.
Both recall their work experience whilst at school done with professional football teams, the coaching qualifications they both have and Ellie's desire to coach a local girls football team, hopefully we can make that happen, connections are always good!
On the subject of university to real life we talk about the support they had from Loughborough University in finding a job in their chosen field which as it turns out was not that great. We are not sure if this is typical but we intend to find out and if by discussing such things we can address these issues then that would be amazing.
Ellie is currently working as a Postie (post man, post woman - what's the PC term these days? Who knows?) and has applied for a post graduate position with the Post Office, fingers crossed she has heard something about that by now, come on PO bosses, you need to snap this girl up before someone else does. She is driven, fit and smart - what's not to love? She doesn't feel at this point in life that she will end up in a career that uses her degree and do you know what? That's OK! Most people don't!
Grace on the other hand has landed herself a role working with English Boxing (yes she has met Anthony Joshua and yes, us two old birds are jealous!). In what seems is typical Grace style she didn't really like it when she started (she is not good at dealing with new stuff!) but is really pleased she stuck it out and is now totally loving it! And obviously she is building a career from something that she is passionate about and most people don't manage to do that either.
What strikes us when we chat with Grace and Ellie who's early childhoods, teenage years and university days pretty much mirrored each other is that despite the fact that they are both on different career paths now, they are both happy doing what they are doing and yes, you guessed it, that is ultimately what is important in life!
They are both very much actively involved in sport and fitness and we discuss their foray into Instagram, now they are not exactly influencers but their page is all about fitness and nutrition shared in a real and down to earth way - no pouty big butt shots around here - and that is something that we, as two down to earth lasses ourselves, wholly celebrate. Check out their Insta page here https://www.instagram.com/_eg.fitness/ and see if you can spot us on their too! Did we mention that we recorded this episode in the gym after doing a session with them - try being middle aged and training with two super sporty 20 odd year olds! Oooff!! And Ellie wants us to come back for more!
We finish the podcast with our usual getting to know you segment using the moments cards so you can get to know the people behind the voices a little more. This tends to be when the more personal side of things comes out and we ended up discussing how sports injury can really affect your mental health and this happened to Grace when she had to stop playing football through injury, the importance of discussing these things can never be over exaggerated and sharing our experiences genuinely does help others.
Hope you enjoy listening!
Today we are talking with Victoria Brennan who is a personal and professional development coach who we met at one of the many amazing networking events that take place all over Huddersfield and the local area regularly. We mention often how we both have attended these events and every one is different so if you do go to a 'networking thing' and hate it then give a different format a go and find your own tribe. We did, it is where we found each other and we haven't looked back.
We find from Vicky's ice breaker questions that there was a catalyst that made her decide to make a change in the form of a holiday and it seems this is not unusual and also happened to Michelle, we wonder how many other people have had their light bulb moment whilst having some down time?
Having worked in the charity sector for years and years in various different roles, all enabling people to evolve it is a natural step for Vicky to become a coach and she recently made the leap from employed to self employed. So, for all those wondering - what do you study at school/university if you want to be a coach? Theatre Studies and Creative Arts!! Say whaaaatt??? Yes, Vicky is yet another one of those people who didn't go on to make a career out of what she studied. It happens! A lot! She tried a few things before she hit upon the idea of a career helping people with a little push from good old Mum! So let's just take a moment here to say to anyone who might be reading this who is being pressured into deciding what you want to do with your life in 10 or even 30 years time - IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU CAN'T DECIDE, IT DOES NOT MATTER IF YOU GET IT WRONG, WHAT MATTERS IS THAT YOU ARE HAPPY AND IF YOU FIND YOURSELF DOING SOMETHING YOU DON'T ENJOY YOU CAN (AND SHOULD) CHANGE IT!
We talk about how being coached is becoming a lot more popular and people are being more open about using coaches and other such services which in turn helps make it more popular. There are not many people on this earth who wouldn't benefit from being coached in some area of their lives at some point in their journey and as Vicky says, finding the right coach for you is massively important.
We all know how important it is becoming in the workplace for businesses to offer more than just a salary and the standard benefits to it's employees, and coaching would be an amazing benefit for employers to offer. One area where Vicky is passionate is helping people returning to work after a long term absence such as maternity leave. Everybody who has ever taken a break to have a child has a story about their return to work and many are not positive, many worry the last few weeks of their leave away rather than focusing on their time with their child, and many worry that when they get to work something will have changed and the job or the place may be different. Add that to the logistical nightmare that you are about to experience and it is no wonder we get overwhelmed.
Well guess what, a coach can help you with that and the investment in yourself is sooo worth it. Find Vicky using her Sunday best name on her website here, on Facebook here, and on Linked-in here and make that investment in yourself or even better, your employees.
In this episode we are talking to Jac from Positive Earth Furniture, her and her partners passion for recycling, and their business that has come out of this passion. Jac lives her life close to nature (hence the title) so we felt it was important that we didn't confine ourselves to the studio for this one, the outdoors is Jac's natural environment so we went to the woods at Storthes Hall, Huddersfield and consequently there are some slight audio issues so apologies for that.
We discuss Jac's creative journey and how she got to where she is now which has most definitely not been a straight road as with a lot of people we have come across whilst doing these podcasts . She studied interior architecture at university but her dad sadly passed away during her studies, she did manage to successfully complete her degree but felt the pull to go home and grieve when she graduated. Consequently her creative side was put aside in favour of a career in hospitality followed by a career in sales & customer service but she always remained passionate about helping people.
This passion led Jac to one of her many 'trades' as a Reiki healer so we talk about what Reiki is and how it feels to receive it, the past stigma of any kind of 'voodoo healing' and how that stigma is breaking down which can only be a positive thing for everybody. Another of her trades (along with her partner Dave) is Positive Earth Furniture, which creates stunning and sustainable furniture made to order to the customers specifications, which is highly recommended by Jayne having been a previous customer of theirs. They have a Facebook page which can be found by clicking here and are available on Etsy and E-bay as well.
And for those of you interested in living closer to nature yourselves, take a look at the Facebook group Positive Earth Community which is a place for sharing ideas, services or products which are aimed towards looking after our planet, ourselves and each other.
We leave you with one final thought on your impact on the planet. You can't do it all but every little thing you do can make an impact so don't look at it as a massive change - baby steps!! Oh and if you can recommend a good shampoo bar for Michelle let us know!!
In this first short episode of the brand new 2 Northern Lasses podcast, we talk with Producer Alex about what this podcast is about, why we are doing it and just who the heck are these two northern lasses who have appeared as if from nowhere.
Listen in to learn more from Michelle Cowan and Jayne Adamson to find out what you can expect over the coming months.
In this episode Two Northern Lasses are on the go! We decided to buy a hand held recording device and try combining Michelle and Max the dog's walk in the woods with recording a podcast. So that is podwalking right? Is that even a thing? Well, if it wasn't it is now.
So today you are hearing a couple of ramblers, in every sense of the word. We are talking scenery, career choices, job applications, authenticity and celebrating significant birthdays whilst walking through the woods on a cold winters day.
We meet lots of other walkers and dogs along the way as you will hear, there is something about walking that makes you speak to strangers which is nice isn't it?
Anyway, you'll hear enough rambling when you listen so we'll not go on!
Have a listen and let us know your thoughts on podwalking - should it be a thing? Or not?
In this episode we speak with award winning Rugby League player Danny Brough, about his career path so far, the trials and tribulations he has faced since deciding at a young age that a career in rugby was the path he wanted to take and what is next for him as he prepares to begin his testimonial year in 2020.
Danny is currently in his second season playing for Superleague club Wakefield Trinity having had a very successful career so far in rugby league with, shall we say, a few hiccups along the way. No career is ever plain sailing but with grit and determination and an unwavering desire to prove the naysayers wrong, Danny has proved that tenacity wins out and if you really do want something enough, with focus and effort you can make it happen.
He has many accolades under his belt including being the most capped player for Scotland, winning the Man Of Steel Trophy in 2013 and winning the Albert Goldthorpe Medal 3 times! His proudest moment was winning the Challenge Cup with Hull in 2005, something which he would really like to do again and he firmly believes that Wakefield have the squad to do this in 2020.
Watch this space to see what other achievements Danny can scratch up whilst he is still playing, he has no plans to retire from the game despite being 37 next month (Jan 2020), and who knows, perhaps he will end up on a reality show such as I'm a Celebrity and give the world outside of Rugby League an opportunity to see just how competitive and focused he really is.
Testimonial events are as follows:
12th January 2020 = Testimonial game versus Hull KR - standard tickets as well as hospitality and boxes are available via the club shop or website. Or you can email Kay at email@example.com
8th February 2020 = Opening Dinner at Cedar Court Hotel Wakefield with Pete Emmett and Lee Briars - tickets available at £50pp by emailing your very own Northern Lass jayne at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Keep an eye out for more events coming soon.
In this episode we talk with Producer Alex (also known as Alex Mullen) from Absolute Media UK Limited at his studio based in Lockwood, Huddersfield, about how he made his passion into a career – with a few bumps along the way.
Alex has been passionate about singing and music all of his life and is the master of accents as you will hear. This led him to be ‘on radio’ and he has been doing that for almost 30 years starting off doing voice overs for radio ads. He has seen radio change dramatically over the years but by embracing the changes and adapting his offer is lucky enough to have survived these changes running his own successful studio still doing voice overs and buying radio time for his clients.
More recently he has added podcasting to his offer and therefore here we are. Michelle met Alex purely by chance when she was thinking about starting this podcast a few months ago and as a local lad he loved the idea of 2 Northern Lasses so after meeting us both he agreed to be our producer.
We delve into the theme tunes of our lives, the music that we love and we learn something surprising about Jayne’s dubious I-Tunes library which for some reason Michelle finds hilarious!
Have a listen – let us know what you think.
Come on admit it, how many of you have now got that song from King and I stuck in your head? No? So it is only me (Jayne) that lives life in a musical and always has some random song playing as the backtrack to their life then?
In this episode we (Michelle and Jayne) are being asked a series of questions by producer Alex so that you can get to know the people behind the voices and also so we can get to know each other a little better.
The questions are from a card game we found online called Moments. We actually bought the one for couples which you can buy here, but you can also get them for kids or for families. They are a good ice breaker and we imagine would be good fun to play at family occasions like Christmas Day which is fast approaching.
So we are learning about each other, talking about families, childhoods and other random things as dictated by the cards which were totally random so we had no clue what we were going to be asked.
Give us a listen and see what you think.