International Women’s Day (IWD) has been celebrated for well over a century, originating during a time during great industrial expansion and population growth, over 15,000 women marched through New York in 1908 to demand better pay, shorter hours and voting rights.
Whilst great improvements have been made since then, IWD highlights where work still needs to be done across the world and demands an acceleration to gender parity and acts to celebrate the achievements of women.
The campaign theme for International Women’s Day 2022 is #BreakTheBias – when thinking of inspirational business leaders, we’re often shown images of men in suits, however, the reality is that inspirational female business leaders are within a stone’s throw.
At Metquarter, we’re proud to work every single day among inspiring women who have led the way, carved out inspiring careers and are a force for good – keep reading to hear about some of the female-fronted businesses which we’re honoured to have at Metquarter.
Say It With Diamonds – Charlotte Donoghue & Steph Porter
Like many good businesses, Say it With Diamonds started from home – friends Charlotte & Steph decided to start a small venture together, using the power of Facebook and Instagram to sell their products – within hours of listing the first design, the orders were already flooding in.
Coming up to 6 years in business, Say It With Diamonds has grown exponentially and is a true Liverpool success story – with 19 employees and countless other jobs supported through supply chains, Charlotte credits its success with focusing on high quality products and world class customer service – by understanding that customers are looking for an experience rather than just a transaction, Charlotte and her team ensure that they make every effort to make the experience memorable.
Learn more about Say It With Diamonds here.
Urban Calm – Nicola Byrne
Urban Calm does exactly that – allows customers to experience calmness and tranquility in the city, without having to trek miles away to a far off resort. Owner Nicola Byrne founded Urban Calm and over the past 13 years, it has become the North West’s go-to beauty destination across three locations in the city.
‘Me-time’ and a wealth of experience are the two key factors for Nicola and her team – offering a place where you can escape and submerge yourself in self-care activities, whilst being looked after by their talented and fully certified staff.
The hundreds of fantastic reviews across Treatwell, Tripadvisor and Google, combined with the 30 full and part time staff that Nicola’s business supports, Urban Calm has developed into something that helps people look and feel good, both inside and out of the business.
Find out more about Urban Calm here.
Art Quarter Liverpool – A Collective Of Artists
Art Quarter formed back in 2015 with a goal of changing how we view art – it has long been seen as inaccessible or expensive for regular members of the public to enjoy or purchase art, with no traditional space on the high street to experience art or meet the artists behind the work.
Currently made up of 13 artists, 7 of which are female, Art Quarter is a collective, where the artists themselves actually run the shop and are on hand to talk through the stories behind their work.
Being a sole trader can be isolating, expensive and difficult and the collective enjoy coming together to share skills, connections and enthusiasm for the craft. Art Quarter really is a prime example of how something can be greater than the sum of its parts and how people and ideas can come together to create something meaningful for the community.
As well as supporting the 13 artists behind the collective, the business supports dozens of jobs through supply chains.
Learn more about Art Quarter here.
Kids Cavern – Tracey Shelvey
Husband and wife duo Danny and Tracey Shelvey founded Kids Cavern over 30 years ago and since then, have grown it to a worldwide operation. As early adopters of using the internet to sell their products, the team rapidly expanded their portfolio, selling into China, the USA and the Middle East.
It’s not all online though, even throughout the pandemic, the family-run business understands the importance of bricks and mortar stores when selling luxury products – family operated businesses always tend to offer a level of friendliness and quality experience that chains can’t, and their customers enjoy the experience of shopping as much as they enjoy the products themselves.
Their level of attentive service is the reason why they’ve retained customers since the very start of the business – parents who bought designer products for their children 30 years ago are now becoming grandparents and are re-entering the market for the goods that they sell – with different generations of the family all working in the store, it makes sense that they now have different generations of customers too!
Learn more about Kids Cavern here.
Francesca Couture – Francesca Kearns
Since launching back in 2008 at Liverpool Graduate Fashion Week, Francesca Couture has grown to be a real staple of the Liverpool fashion scene – initially making dresses aged 19 for girls wanting something gorgeous to wear on a night out, her client list has grown and now includes celebrities including Michelle Keegan, Alesha Dixon and Helen Flanagan.
Taking residence with us at Metquarter back in 2013, Francesca Couture has made a name for itself as the go-to bespoke fashion boutique for Liverpool ladies – garments are made in its UK studio as and when they’re ordered, ensuring exclusivity and preventing someone else turning up to your event in the same dress.
Quality and attention to detail is the key factor for Francesca and her team – as the majority of items are made to order to their customers’ specific measurements, this allows Francesca to develop close relationships with her clients.
See more of her creations here.
Cricket Fashion – Justine Mills
Originally launching in 1991, Justine Mills and partner Gerard Mannix began Cricket as a menswear boutique, before moving their focus to high-end ladies fashion in 1999. Since then, as the co-founder and buyer, Justine has grown Cricket to be a hugely respected name within the industry – even being one of the first and very few retailers to stock Christian Louboutin shoes and accessories.
Its fans and customers include Vogue’s editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Coleen Rooney and Michelle Keegan. Justine has gone on to be recognised by the British Fashion Council as part of their selection committee and one of their representatives across the world of fashion.
As well as being well respected within the fashion industry, Justine is highly respected among her staff, who she works closely with and personally mentors – something which they find incredibly valuable and has helped the store retain their talented and knowledgeable staff.
See more of their collections here.
Plan your visit to Metquarter here.