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. 

Lisa Bacon 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
Lawyer – been at the same firm since I left school at 16 ! 
 
Why did you create SHB Solicitors? 
The name SHB (Salusbury, Harding and Barlow) is made up of the 3 initials from the 3 firms that merged several years ago. 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
Managing to keep the business going through the financial crash in 2007/2008. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
I have two dangly bits at the back of my throat instead of one and a webbed toe – weird right ?? 😊 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
The senior partner of this firm when I started as an office junior in 1983 – he taught me to always try my best and don’t think that any job is beneath you. 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
Got to be Gary Barlow – shallow I know !!!! 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
Love Actually. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Don’t try to be something you are not, always be yourself. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
Retirement? Just kidding! It’s got to be to survive the Cov-19 crisis I suppose ☹  
 
Clare Farrell
 
 

Mel Gamble 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
I manage the Together Against Cancer Health & Wellness Centre in Leicester. I became involved with this charity because I strongly believe that if we help and supporting people with cancer with all aspects of their health they will have a better outcome. I’ve been working with people with cancer since 2002 and involved with Together Against Cancer since 2008. 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
Opening the Health & Wellness Centre in October 2016 and winning the Spotlight Award for Best Cancer Service in 2017. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
No, I think I’m a very open person, although if it was anything it would be that my husband Stephen, invited one of his patients – a lady with cancer to come live with us. I suppose you could say he brought his work home with him 😊 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
I left school with no qualifications and married at 18, it all changed when my manager at the time who was called Mr Rose (I was doing odd jobs in a shop/office) one day gave me a typewriter and said learn to type and I’ll give you a job. Off I went to college and enrolled on a typing and bookkeeping course. I passed both with distinction and he gave me a job in the office. That led onto all my qualifications since……. 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
My mum, so I can tell her how much I love her. 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
Pretty Woman. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Hard work pays off and always treat other people how you would like to be treated. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
We are growing rapidly and the time will come soon where we will need to move to larger premises, ideally with some outside space. 
Louisa Sando Patel
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Vicky Anne Mayes 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
I am the principal of The Vicky-Anne Academy of Dance and we have been in business for 27 years. 
 
Why did you create The Vicky-Anne Academy of Dance? 
I just used my own name 🙂 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
I think the fact that we are still thriving speaks volumes and also seeing students achieve their goals is of course always a pleasure. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
Mmmmm maybe that I’m an Elivs fan 😂 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
My grandma - she told me that in life people are either a lesson or a blessing - I’ve had my share of both! 
 
If you could have dinner with one living or non-living person, who would it be and why? 
My mum as I miss her so so much and Tom Jones 🤪 
 
What is your favourite film of all time? 
The Holiday. 
 
What is your best advice for people starting out in business? 
Follow your dreams and never forget why you started - if plan A doesn’t work plan B is sometimes better. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
We will continue to encourage and mentor our pupils to be confident, happy and sparkly as always ⭐️⭐️ 
 
Lisa Bacon
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Louisa Sando Patel 

What do you do, and how long have you been in business? 
I’m a copywriter and content writer, which means I’m trained to write a variety of different styles of marketing content. My main services include Google-friendly website content, blogs, email marketing, social media profiles and articles. I also help businesses find the right marketing messages for their printed materials, such as leaflets, brochures, eBooks and magazine editorial. I started my business in 2014, so I’m currently celebrating my sixth year! 
 
Why did you create Bright Owl Copywriting & Communications? 
I chose ‘Bright Owl’ to symbolise ‘creative wisdom’; the word ‘bright’ suggests creativity and the ‘owl’ is an ancient symbol for wisdom. Originally, I wanted to call my business ‘Wise Owl’, but this happens to be a dating agency for older people, so it would’ve led to some very interesting web traffic! 
 
What do you think has been your biggest achievement since launching your business? 
Client-wise, one of my biggest recent successes was the opportunity to write the Bank of London’s website. 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 I succeeded in making my business portable – in 2015, I travelled the globe for 4 months, supporting my clients across several time-zones. 
 
Is there something most people don’t know about you? 
Whilst backpacking in India in 2003, I briefly met the Dalai Lama, who gave me his blessing. 
 
Is there a single person who you have learned the most from in your life? If so, what did they teach you? 
My Dad – having run several businesses over the years, he often shares invaluable business advice 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 - he was a very successful businessman and I wish I’d started my business while he was alive, 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 – forge relationships with lots of different people and always give more than is expected of you, no matter how small your client’s business may seem. When your client’s business grows, they will always remember you and reciprocate. 
 
What's next for you and your business? 
I’m building a pool of talented copywriters and blog writers with experience in a wide range of industry sectors. My aim is to provide copywriting services for as many clients as possible, no matter what size of business. 
 
Gerri Moore
 
 
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