Laura Beattie

Laura Beattie | Careaux

Laura Beattie

I am the co-founder, alongside my sister Rachel, of luxury, ethical womenswear brand Careaux based in Manchester.

Careaux create timeless, classic dresses that change to fit each woman's unique shape, style, size and lifestyle. The Careaux dress has a hidden zip around the waist which allows the dress to completely separate into a top and a skirt and then be reattached. This enables the dress to have a different size top to bottom or the same size throughout. Not only that, the tops and skirts can also be interchanged to create different styles, colour and fabric combinations. All handmade locally in Manchester.

However I do not come from a business or fashion background. I went to an all-girls school where I failed all but one of my A Levels. I then completed a Foundation Year at Manchester Metropolitan University, followed by a History degree achieving a 2:1. I then went on to study for a Graduate Diploma in Law. After University I worked as a volunteer for the Citizens Advice Bureau and then as a tutor for the educational charity The Tutor Trust, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Rachel had the idea for Careaux when she was fourteen and as soon as she told me I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do and, even though I have loved doing what I have done throughout the years, knowing this has stayed with me and is still what I feel today.

I have Cystic Fibrosis and I am currently on the double lung transplant list. I am passionate about raising awareness for Cystic Fibrosis and Organ Donation. I was a part of the national NHS campaign during Organ Donation week last year. With Careaux we have also created two dresses for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust highlighting the amount of medication people with Cystic Fibrosis take and also highlight the issue of recycling plastic - with each dress having sequins made out of recycled plastic and laser cut medicine bottles as well as ethically sourced fabric and recycled plastic fabric.

Rachel Beattie

Rachel Beattie | Careaux

Rachel Beattie

My name is Rachel Beattie, I am twenty-three years old and I am co-founder of luxury ethical womenswear brand, Careaux with my sister and best friend, Laura.

From an idea when I was fourteen combining my love of fashion and Maths we have created a world first dress.

Careaux creates timeless, classic dresses that change to fit each and every woman. The Careaux dress has a hidden zip around the waist which allows the dress to completely separate into a top and a skirt and then be reattached. This enables the dress to have a different size top to bottom or the same size throughout. Not only that, the tops and skirts can also be interchanged to create different styles, colour and fabric combinations. All handmade locally in Manchester.

I was studying for my GCSEs and my two favourite subjects were Maths and Art. I have always loved clothes and for my Art project I decided to create a dress with my Nana who had been a dressmaker since she was fourteen as well. She spoke so passionately about the importance of quality, fit and tailoring each outfit to the individual, I fell completely in love with the dressmaking process from start to finish. Alongside this I used to borrow Laura's clothes, but as we were very different shapes, it never used to fit, it was either too big on top or small on the bottom or sleeves were too short or skirt was too long. This brought to the forefront of my mind, how each and every one of us were different - our own, shape, style, personality and lifestyle but clothes had not changed and do not accommodate this fact. One night ten years ago I had the 'lightbulb' moment for Careaux, as soon as this happened I told Laura and it has been our sole dream and focus to make the Careaux dress come true.

However, we did not know anyone who had ran a business and we had not run a business before, therefore we started researching and learning as much as we could. I carried on with my GCSEs, A-Levels and I then went on to study Maths at The University of Manchester. During my time at University I worked for a charity called The Tutor Trust as a primary school tutor to tackle educational inequality and also completed an actuarial internship at a big 4 firm. In my third year at University, I studied abroad in North Carolina and this gave me a chance to delve deeper into the Maths behind Careaux looking at Combinatorics (the number of different ways you can combine different things) for e.g. number of tops and skirts to make Careaux dresses. When I returned from study abroad after years of searching we found our first dressmaker in 2016 and developed the dress for the next two years whilst I was apart of the Natwest Entrepreneurial Spark accelerator programme in my final year of University.

I graduated with a first class Masters of Maths in 2017, soft launched Careaux late 2017 to test the idea and we then launched our bespoke services in July 2018. As well as being on an actuarial graduate scheme at a big 4. In the last 6 months, we've been lucky enough to create pieces for Royal Investitures and I have won the Barclaycard Everywoman in Retail Innovator Award, The EVAs Young Entrepreneur One To Watch and have been named on the Northern Power Woman Future List 2019. We have just launched our kickstarter campaign to pre-order the debut core collection and will be launching the e-commerce site this year proudly supported by The Princes Trust. I am also a Code First Girls, STEM and Pankhurst Centre Centenary City Ambassador.

Danni Sears

Danni Sears | News UK

Danni Sears

Following a Drama degree at Birmingham University, I did work experience at the BBC and Two four productions, before joining a brand new local radio station in Exeter.

There was no rule book so I had free reign to get involved in music scheduling, reporting, events and promotional activity. What I found most fulfilling was seeing how important we became to the local community, everything from opening school fetes to turning on the Xmas lights and doing numerous fun runs for charity.

I then moved to London and worked at GMG Radio on Smooth with radio legends like Simon Bates and Mark Goodier; before moving across to Bauer where I moved into commercial programming and was responsible for being the key link between editorial and Sales; this involved working on Magic, Absolute and Kiss answering client briefs, writing scripts, storyboards, directing videos, working with talent and editing. I also taught myself how to produce trailers at the weekend, so that I was capable of doing the whole end to end process- from answering a brief to having a video live or a radio trail on the air.

I then wanted to broaden out and step out of my comfort zone into the world of magazines; proactively I spent time with Art Directors, writers and Shoot directors to learn their crafts in addition to my day job. The hard work paid off and I ended up being promoted to manage a team of cross media producers who worked on large scale multi-platform partnerships. After 5 years at Bauer I then moved to News Uk, where I started by running a Project management team before a promotion to head up a team of Commercial editors, a role which taps into my broad creative background – at a time when my company is diversifying in platforms.

Anila Chowdhry

Anila Chowdhry | Freelance at Channel 5's The Vine Show & The Telegraph

Anila Chowdhry

Anila Chowdhry is an award-winning Presenter and Producer.

Since the age of 15, she has gone from conducting work experience at local radio stations and newspapers, and interviewing influential people like MP Sir Charles Kennedy in Parliament and Jon Snow in the Channel 4 newsroom for her YouTube Channel, to working for the world’s leading media companies including the BBC, ITV News, The Telegraph, ITN and Zee TV.

Anila has presented and produced across TV, Radio, and online, breaking major news stories like Brexit, the General Election, Grenfell and the Manchester and Westminster terror attacks.

She has hosted live debates on the topic of the day and interviewed many inspirational and influential people including MPs, experts, celebrities and real people. And she uses her platform to raise awareness of the work done by various charities, predominately focusing on equality, eradicating poverty, empowerment, and supporting the next generation.

Anila is passionate about creating a well-informed electorate, promoting gender equality, and furthering the development of humanity.

Dulcie Pryslopski

Dulcie Pryslopski | Maggie Semple Ltd

Dulcie Pryslopski

From as young as I can remember, I was always accompanied by a sketchbook and box of colouring pencils.

The gift of being creative always came naturally to me and would enable me to shine afar in school, earning extra house points for my "beautifully presented" homework, although being a factual catastrophe! What I never understood was why despite entering all the Art competitions at school and aspiring to win a Blue Peter badge, I always somehow missed out and never won anything. What I soon realised, with the encouragement of my number one fan Mum, was that it was not about the winning but about my own personal gains from these experiences. Winning would one day, hopefully arise as a result of my hard work and positivity recognised by inspiring others which is why I’m so pleased to be nominated for the WATC Rising Stars award.

A fond memory is my preparation for non uniform days at school. Feeling restricted by wearing the same clothes each day, non uniform days were like birthdays to me. I would edit my outfit the night before and feel excited to showcase my favourite jeans and accessories to the world the following day. I never conformed to the trends and would often stand out like a sore thumb with my hair horns and sunflower jeans but I felt special and felt like the real me. It didn’t go a miss either as people would start to enquire what I planned to wear next much to my dad’s dismay when I demanded I needed to buy something new for each occasion to make my fashion statement. It was nice to be recognised for my fashion flare and use this as an opening conversation piece with people I wouldn’t normally speak to due to the social hierarchy at school. It somewhat helped me to find my place at school and gave me an identity which is something I aspire everyone to have today through their clothes.

A milestone moment was my acceptance as a student at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. I remember so clearly filling in my application and my teachers telling me just how competitive it is to earn a place there. This was reinstated when I dropped my huge, heavy portfolio off on the top floor having walked up 5 flights of stairs to get there. As a large group of us waited eagerly, we were informed to "not get our hopes up as only one person out of every forty candidates will get in". As others looked away in dismay I thought to myself that someone has to get the place and why shouldn't it be me when there is no reason for why I shouldn't! I have the work ethic, skills and evidence to show that i'm suitable - it's just down to the opinion of the judges which could go either way quite frankly. I decided in that moment that after years of lacking confidence and doubting myself that actually I was at a point of my greatest self appreciation and happiness. I finally valued myself confidently as a creative and whether I got in or not was just a bonus - even if my further education depended on it! Thankfully the judges acknowledged this and believed in me enough to offer a place to start the foundation course at CSM. This was sealed with the recognition from my school that I also achieved 100% both years for my A-level art work placing me in the top 10 students in the country for Art. Against all odds, my journey as a fanatic art student began and it was here that I discovered my passion for Graphic Design and later graduated with a degree in this at London College of Communication.

As I approached my final weeks as a student, I was contacted out of the blue by my Photography teacher from my secondary school about their troubles to fill a maternity cover position. She asked me if I would apply as they thought that I could be the answer to their problems. It then occurred to me that I hadn’t studied for a teaching degree and therefore wouldn’t stand a chance at getting past the interview but apparently this wasn’t the case. Aged 20, having had no experience with working with children, I found myself CRB checked, now interviewing for the role. I knew I had the artistic knowledge and dedication needed plus the belief from the Arts department so decided to go for it. I interviewed alongside 5 qualified teachers for the position but defied all odds once again and was offered the position of Art and photography teacher at St Martin’s Secondary School. I began this role just three days after finishing university, with all my prep time squeezed in over the weekend! What's more, my three month contract extended to a complete school year and I raised my previously slacking GCSE Art group’s grades by two levels to achieve their target. This was my greatest achievement, knowing I helped to inspire such a young group of people and help them to achieve their goals to help cement their future.

Fast forward to my role now as Creative Director at Maggie Semple Ltd where I get to achieve great things on a regular basis with a whole network of talented, inspiring women. I swap and change daily between my two loves, Fashion and Design; conjuring up anything from the latest window display to new designs for the Semple Collection. I have a love of anything that sparkles or oozes colour and it's great to know that now, our clients do too. Time and time again, I listen to how our clients feel that they should hide their bodies and blend in by wearing black to conform to their corporate environment. But why should they? We live in a modern world where we are encouraged to be the best we can be and if that’s done by presenting on stage in a powerful pink dress, then so be it! We should be supportive in allowing women to feel confident in what they wear and move past the stereotypes which often suppress our ambitions. We are here to go against all odds and make our mark in the world as individuals. I certainly have and it’s great to know I am here making a difference to help grow women’s confidence to unleash their achievements too.

Casey Elisha

Casey Elisha | Casey Elisha Books & Love Thy Fro: The Musical

Casey Elisha

Casey Elisha is a London based self-published author whose aim is to diversify the scope of children's literature.

She released her first title, Love Thy Fro, in December 2015, which was met with positive reviews from platforms such as The Voice and Madame Noire.

Aimed at 5-8 year olds, Love Thy Fro is about a young girl named Kemi who loves her beautiful, big, curly, afro hair. A simple book with a simple message, the book aims to teach girls the importance of loving themselves and embracing their “non-typical” hair from a young age.

Casey went on to create I Am Festival, a children's literary festival that took place at Deptford Lounge in July 2016 and July 2018. Full of stalls and workshops, the event provided a space for children and parents to discover diverse reading content they may not have known about before, as well as to be able to participate in workshops that promoted and supported empowerment. It was at the festival in July 2016 that Casey released My Empowerment Journal, an introductory journal for children encouraging them to be creative and express themselves.

Since then, Casey has gone on to release two more books; My Mummy is Superwoman was released on Mother's Day in 2017, and My Daddy Does was released on Father's Day in the same year.

Casey most recently added the title Executive Producer to her name as she adapted Love Thy Fro into a musical. Sponsored by ORS Haircare, the production debuted at Theatre Peckham in October 2018 for Black History Month. Following a successful private showing, Love Thy Fro: The Musical went on to sell out all 6 shows.

“All children deserve to see themselves in books and on stage. Little black girls need to see themselves centre stage. It inspires, it empowers, and it shows them they matter in a way they don’t always see. I want my work to show these children they matter.” - Casey.

Georgina Bobb

Georgina Bobb | Connect2TV Coaching

Georgina Bobb

Georgina Bobb is a London based Freelance Broadcast and Television Production Coordinator, Entrepreneur, Speaker, Media Trainer and Mental Health Campaigner with 13 plus years production experience working within broadcasting, television, online video production and marketing.

Within her 13 years experience she has worked as a Junior Production Manager, Production Coordinator, Production Secretary, Post Production Secretary, Production Assistant, Logger, Junior Researcher, Archive Researcher and Runner in Television creating international and UK based content across all television genres. She has also Directed, Produced and Production Managed various Music Promos, Live Events and Commercials that have been broadcasted internationally as well as being screened online.

She has worked with various mainstream celebrities & artists as well as accumulating over 50 TV broadcasting credits working on prime time entertainment and factual entertainment productions for various broadcasters and independent production companies such as BBC & ITV.

Whilst working in television she has created and developed a TV-specific employability business, Connect2TVCoaching providing clients with CV and cover letter writing consultations and mentoring as well as employability workshops, training and networking events. She has received great feedback in which clients have gained interviews and paid work placements at companies such as the BBC, Lime Pictures, Love Productions and other independent production companies as a result. A Ravensbourne Graduate in Content Creation and Broadcast & from a non-traditional background she is passionate about specifically engaging and empowering disadvantaged young people enabling them to develop both personally and professionally giving them the opportunity to gain paid employment within the industry. Qualified with a Level 3 Award in Education and Training she has delivered several TV and Media specific employability workshops through Connect2TVCoaching enabling over 100 prospective candidates to gain invaluable industry career advice.

One of Georgina's treasured moments in her career thus far includes receiving her first award nomination under the category of Rising Talent at the Screen Nation Awards - a ceremony that celebrates diversity within film and television. This event was sponsored by both the BBC & ITV and was broadcasted on ABN TV.

Georgina is a passionate mental health campaigner who stands up wholeheartedly for equality for those who experience mental health conditions and believes that with a mental health diagnosis you can still be a respectful and successful member of society and can achieve great things. She also has appeared on The BBC Victoria Derbyshire show on BBC Two and BBC News Channel alongside BAFTA award-winning Actor Adam Deacon discussing mental health as part of a 'Living With Bipolar Disorder' segment. The Independent, The BBC News Website, New Magazine and also Channel 5 News at 5 has also featured Georgina on her personal experiences with mental health. She is currently a media volunteer with Rethink Mental Illness a mental health charity. She is also currently studying a Level 3 in Understanding Mental Health.

Gina Thompson

Gina Thompson | Warner Bros TVP

Gina Thompson

Gina Thompson is an exuberant yet empathetic Digital Media Assistant for Warner Bros TV Production.

Having worked with Warner for 1 year, Gina's technical focus has chiefly been in areas within the digital space such as, Content Creation and Production, Social Media Ideation, Strategies and Campaigns, Online and Offline Marketing, SEO, PPC and Traditional Web Management. In this role, Gina championed and supported social media campaigns and output for TV shows such as Channel4’s 'First Dates' and 'First Dates Hotel', BBC’s 'Nine to Five With Stacey Dooley', ITV’s brand new 'The Big Audition', and more. Delivering digestible and engaging content for the audience, with a forethought approach in an ever evolving space.

Prior to Warner Bros, Gina worked as a Make-up artiste for the luxury beauty brand Yves Saint Laurent, in its flagship stores in Oxford Street, London. Representing the brand in store, supporting customers and driving sales.

Born and raised in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, Gina's 'big move' to the UK has been one of her bravest achievements yet. Whilst studying Film at the University Campus Suffolk, Ipswich, Gina expressed her passion in people with an imperative need to get young adults have vital discussions - from goals, ambitions, self and career development and most importantly, mental health and in doing so, a safe space, 'Make A Mate' was born.

Gina's peers have often described her as a 'go getter', 'special' and 'reliable', she prides herself in her quality relationships with people. Her compassion has led her to volunteer for and support The Cancer Research UK charity.
Once a pageant Queen, Gina has held the title of Miss Big, Bold and Beautiful, London, with all proceeds to the Sue Ryder charity.

Outside the cooperate space, Gina spends time honing and developing her other passions such as TV presenting/vlogging, gastronomy, networking and a recently acquired hobby, boxing.

Occasionally appearing on your TV screen as a supporting artiste, extra or an audience member, her love for the Arts, the Entertainment and TV industry is still as captivating to her now as it were a young, hopeful, girl child in Nigeria.

Isabella Silvers

Isabella Silvers | Hearst UK

Isabella Silvers

Isabella is an award-winning Digital Associate Editor in Hearst Content Studio.

After interning around the industry, Izzy landed a digital role at InStyle.

In 2018, she was named one of PPA’s 30 Under 30 young journalists to watch for her work at Hearst, including titles such as Cosmopolitan, ELLE and more.

Part of Hearst’s Diversity & Inclusivity Steering Group and BAME network, Izzy is passionate about increasing diversity and inclusivity in all areas of the industry and was shortlisted for Hero of the Year at the European Diversity Awards.

Juliette Nicholls 1

Juliette Nicholls | Pineapple Audio Production

Juliette Nicholls 1

An award-winning, high-achieving radio producer who successfully creates station sound, imaging elements and promotional trails for Heart’s biggest national campaigns.

Clients include Sky (the biggest UK commercial radio partnership to date), Netflix, Disney, Santander, Sony and Sainsbury’s.

Juliette is a positive and tenacious individual who has built contacts, grasped opportunities and achieved a dream role. 9.8 million listeners hear her production every week and working for Global, she is part of a company named Campaign's Medium Business of the Year 2017.

She was named in the Radio Academy's 30-Under-30 Awards in 2016, and again in 2018.

She is also the Director of 'Pineapple Audio Production', which specialises in the production of podcasts, including LBC's 'For The Many', Metro's 'Mentally Yours', the Project Love Podcast, the Popbuzz Podcast, the Cardiff Blues podcast, The Apprentice: Qualified and the Influential Women Podcast.

She achieved a sponsored place to attend the Radio Days Conference in Paris in 2016, representing under-30’s working in radio - and was invited back to the 2017 conference in Amsterdam and 2018 conference in Vienna.

She strategised and leads ‘The Network’ - Global’s internal networking group - managing events with guest speakers including CEO’s (Pearl&Dean, MediaCom, The Lighthouse Company) and experts in language, personal branding and communication.