Member Spotlight 

Each month we profile four of our members so that you can find out a little more about everyone in Women that Connect. 

Chloe Clark 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
I am a Sports Massage Therapist and I have been in business since September 2018, and full time self-employed since August 2019. It’s been an interesting couple of years, having a broken arm just one month after going self-employed was certainly challenging, then of course the two lockdowns happened. I’m still here and still working despite all that. 
 
Why did you create Astral Fitness? 
I chose Astral Fitness because of the Latin word Astra, meaning star, after my many star tattoos. Astral is an extension of that word, relating to a non-physical realm of existence, and I felt that massage, although physical, quite often leaves people feeling in a better emotional state afterwards. My logo is also a star to reflect the name. Stars have five points, as does the human body; head, two arms, two legs, as well as the human hand, having five points/digits. Adding my favourite colour of green to the mix, it all came together. 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
Solving pain, that happens quite a lot. Inspiring someone to be stronger, achieve more in their own life and believing in their own physical capabilities. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
I used to be a jive dancer, dancing four or five nights a week, I was often part of the dancing displays at vintage shows and weekenders. I came third at a jive competition at a rockabilly weekender. I danced several times with the world’s best jive dancer couple; I learnt how to dance the male part competently as there was a shortage of men to dance with, so I was ‘the man’! My husband doesn’t dance so it has slipped away from my life for now. 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
My husband, Rowan. He taught me that I deserve nice things, a happy and fulfilled life. He is my biggest cheerleader and I would never have taken the leap to qualify as a Sports Massage Therapist without his unwavering support. 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
My maternal grandmother, Mabel. She passed when I was fifteen, just where I was at an age to be curious about her history and wanted to hear about it first-hand from her. She was one of twelve children of a Scottish family, which fascinated me, and was missing half of one of her fingers, which she would never say much about, other than it predicted when the rain was coming! I have since researched her maiden name and found my family tartan because of that but would have loved to have learned more from her. 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
Now that’s a tough one, because it has changed depending on my age and life at the time. When I was a teenager, I loved ‘Dirty Dancing’ so much, because of the dancing and music and I would dance along with them. I loved the historical detail of ‘Titanic’, which reignited my love for learning about the past. ‘The Green Mile’ was the first film that made me cry in the cinema and still moves me today. And I particularly enjoy watching ‘Brooklyn’, because of the strength of character of the female lead to step into the unknown, make her own life, regardless of the familial and societal pressures placed on her. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Do not undervalue yourself. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
I am in the process of launching a VIP Massage Membership, which I am excited about as it is the first of its kind, that I know of, in Hinckley. I am hoping to branch into teaching massage in the future as I love passing on my knowledge, to which my clients can attest. I am passionate about people understanding their bodies and why they go wrong and how to fix them and stop it from happening again in the future. 
 
Clare Farrell
 
 

Akila Mandhu 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
Hey, I’m Akila and I am a beauty therapist who has been in business for over 20 years. I am a Dermalogica skincare expert and Lycon waxing guru. I have a passion for helping others feel confident in all aspects health and beauty. 
 
I am a skincare specialist who is really passionate about helping clients achieve and maintain their best skin. During skin consultations I address clients’ personal skin concerns, taking into consideration aspects of their lifestyle such as exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress. I put together a bespoke morning and evening skincare regime for clients to follow at home. I treat aging, pigmentation, young adult/adult acne, rosacea, eczema, dry/dehydrated, oily and sensitive skin. 
 
I use the most advanced products & technologies at Be Exquisite for the best skincare results. In salon treatments, I offer include hydradermabrasion, microdermabrasion, LED light therapy, non-surgical face lift facials and oxygen facials. During and after treatments, I provide clients with the support, tools and products to enhance their skin, ensuring that they leave the salon hydrated and glowing. 
 
I have also recently introduced the Advanced Nutrition programme to Be Exquisite, a range of skin supplements that are designed to support healthy skin and enrich overall wellbeing. I recommend clients use specific supplements such as Skin Youth Biome, Skin Omega, Skin Vitamins C, Skin Clear Youth Biome, Accumax or Collagen Support during their skin consultation. 
 
Non skin treatments I offer include luxury shellac, precision Lycon waxing, manicure/pedicure, Indian head massage, reflexology and eyebrow threading. 
 
Why did you create Be Exquisite? 
I created the name of my business Be Exquisite because it reflects the high standard, personalised and advance treatments that I offer my clients. 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
My greatest achievement was when I opened my salon in Brisbane, Australia in 2002. I gained further knowledge and experienced new and innovative techniques in skin care. I know the importance of trust between the therapist and client, and I use my skills and expertise to aid and enhance the beauty routine of my clients. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
I am also a fully qualified Nutrition therapist and Seamstress. 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
My husband has been a great inspiration and a huge part of my success. He always taught me if you ‘fail to plan, you plan to fail’. Never give up, keep searching and stay focused! 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
I would have loved to have dinner with Princess Diana because she was my icon. I also loved the way she carried herself and the beautiful gowns and dresses she wore with beautiful colours. She was a big inspiration. 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
Home Alone, the main character Kevin McCallister reminds me of my son and he makes me laugh. I always look forward to watching that film during the Christmas period. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Research and invest in yourself. Have a goal and a plan. Don’t give up, be consistent, focused and don’t be surprised when business changes. Remember why you started your business and stay motivated. Try to get yourself onto enhancement courses and read! There is so much free information and courses available online. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
I’m hoping to increase more virtual services, for all the clients that are unable to travel because of the climate/lockdown. Also, to gain more clientele and focus on new treatments such as hydrodermabrasion and Led light therapy. I will also be introducing micro needling. Eventually I would also like to employ a therapist to join me in developing my business and thereafter focus more on networking and one to ones. 
Louisa Sando Patel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dawn Warrington 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
I am the Operations & Risk Manager at Northfield Wealth Ltd. I work closely with Clare Farrell and the team to ensure that we meet all the regulatory requirements and that our advisers provide the best financial advice to our clients. 
 
I joined Northfield Wealth in September 2020 but have worked in financial services since leaving school. I have had many roles in this sector including mortgage adviser, underwriter, packager and Customer Relationship Manager but my passion lies in the compliance. 
 
Northfield Wealth is an Independent Financial Advice Firm whose sole goal is to help as many people as possible achieve their financial goals, whether that be by arranging a mortgage or providing pension and investment advice. We recognise that everyone has a different goal in mind when they come to see us and that their goals may change over time, and I am proud to be part of a company that is so focused on helping clients.” 
 
Why did you create Northfield Wealth? 
Northfield Road in Hinckley was where the business owners Clare and Mark lived at the time the business was set up in 2013. They have since moved to a new house but the name has stuck and the brand developed over time so they decided to keep with the brand Northfield. It was originally called Northfield Wealth Management, but the structure of the business changed so Clare used this opportunity to simplify to just Northfield Wealth. 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
Keeping our heads above water in 2020! We have done this by adapting to working from home and doing client meetings via zoom. We didn’t furlough any staff and this meant that we could provide more support to our clients who were worried about the markets impacting their investments and pensions. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
I can belly dance and you will sometimes find me shimmying in my kitchen when cooking. I used to be able to shimmy across a room balancing a book on my head although I am not sure I could do that now! 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
My parents. I realise that is not a single person, but they have both taught me so much. The lessons were not always appreciated when I was growing up, but they are certainly valued now. 
 
My Dad taught me to be confident, how to solve my own problems and to never give up. I found it very frustrating growing up that he would not just give me the answers I needed and instead gave me the tools to find the answers myself. I still go to him for advice now. 
 
My Mum who has taught me to never be afraid to try new things, to pay attention to the small details and to accept that sometimes the mistakes we make occasionally create better results than what you had originally planned- if they don’t, they are a lesson.. 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
At any other time, I would have probably answered this question with a celebrity of some description (probably Michael McIntyre for the entertainment over dinner) but with Covid my outlook has shifted, and right now I would like nothing more than to have dinner with my parents, who it feels like I haven’t seen for a lifetime (video calls don’t count!). 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
This is the toughest question yet, in fact myself and my husband often have this conversation. I think it might have to be The Green Mile. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Have a plan but don’t be surprised when it changes. Business evolves as your client needs change. Above all, enjoy it. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
I am about to embark on a new qualification which Northfield Wealth is supporting me through. We will continue to help as many as possible achieve their financial goals and are looking to welcome some new team members to help us support even more people. We also determined to break that trust barrier that people often have with Financial Advisers. 
 
Lisa Bacon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Louisa Sando Patel 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
I’m a copywriter and content writer. My services include writing Google-friendly website content, product descriptions (including Amazon, Etsy and eBay), blogs, email marketing and newsletters, social media profiles and posts. I also write video and audio scripts, leaflets, brochures, press releases and magazine editorials. This month I’ll be celebrating my 7th business birthday! 
 
Why did you create Bright Owl Copywriting and Communications? 
I chose ‘Bright’ to symbolise ‘creativity’ and the ‘Owl’ is an ancient symbol for ‘wisdom’. Originally, I wanted to call my business ‘Wise Owl’, but I discovered this was a dating agency for older people, which would’ve led to some very interesting web traffic! 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
My two biggest client successes include writing the Bank of London’s website and event blogging for S&P Global. In 2018, I was a finalist for the Leicester Mercury Women in Business Awards. But on a more personal level, I’m very proud of the fact that nearly all of my long-standing clients have stayed with me over the past 12 months, despite the pandemic. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
I once skydived above the Fox Glacier, New Zealand at 12,000 feet. 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
Not one but two; my Mum who passed away last year, always told us to keep following our dreams. My Dad has run several businesses, so his advice has been invaluable over the years and I have acquired his strong work ethic too. He’s definitely my rock and best friend. 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
My Grandad. As a highly successful businessman, I wish I could’ve shared my own business journey with him, as I know he would’ve been very proud. Sadly, he lost his life to cancer in 2007. 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
‘Life is beautiful’ by Roberto Benigni. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Network - connect with as many different people and businesses as possible. Always give more than is expected of you, no matter how small your client’s business may seem, because they will remember you as their business grows. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
I am supporting an increasing number of Marketing Managers in bigger businesses as their outsourced copywriter, and I’m looking to offer this type of support for more companies. I’ve also started to build a pool of talented copywriters and blog writers to help me support a wider range of industry sectors. 
 
Gerri Moore
 
 
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