There are inspirational women. And then there’s Hayley Southwood!
I first met Hayley about 6 years ago when she owned an ice cream van (amazing story) and served my kids at Waddesdon Manor. I thought she was all kinds of lovely and we got chatting and she told me her incredible journey to the van and I loved her so much I featured her on my blog. That was IT!
Fast forward 5 years and we are now the best of friends, inspiring each others lives in the best possible ways. For me, she’s “that” friend, who, every time you’re together you charge each other up in the most incredible way – encouraging, inspiring and empowering each other to live the best life. Coincidentally, she’s ALSO the friend who can make me decide to get some extra spur-of-the-moment piercings at Maria Tash – not to mention frequently grateful for the kegels I’ve ever done, we laugh THAT hard! Yeah – a pretty ruddy amazing human and a total friend for life! Hayley lives with her husband Paul and their two teenage boys. These days, the ice cream van (Betty) has evolved into the “OMG – I could literally buy EVERYTHING in here!” Southwood Stores and I’m proud to be part of her Southwood Social Hub – a group of incredible women – sharing knowledge, inspiring each other and lifting each other higher. Reaching your full potential is what the hub is all about, it’s also what I’m all about so I want to shout about it – LOUDLY!
How did Southwood Stores / Social Hub come about? What inspired you to dream it up? It took me until my late 30’s to actually feel like I was doing something I felt truly passionate about. I opened my online lifestyle store 4 years ago and the hub quickly followed as I realised there were plenty of women in the same situation as me. Women starting new businesses, learning on the job with nobody to talk to about the ups and downs.
What makes your businesses different? My businesses are truly unique because they are built around me and my passions. The hub is like no other networking community I have ever come across. I have created a safe environment where women really support each other.
If you could go back and reassure the new-mum-you – what would you like her to know about the parenting journey? Oh my goodness I would love to go back and tell myself that I was doing a great job, don’t worry about schools and just enjoy the ride!
Best piece of parenting advice you were ever given or would love to pass on? Be reactive … deal with problems as they arise, don’t worry about what you can’t change or predict.
What’s your secret to the elusive work/ life balance as a parent? How do you juggle it all? I would just say I have always been in the moment. When I was at work, I was fully about work and when I was with my boys I was full on mummy mode. I have loved every single stage of my children’s childhood. I worked really hard to make sure my career worked around my boy’s lives too. Creating businesses that allowed me to be fully involved in their lives.
What or who inspires you?
Strong women inspire me, honest women who are really authentic.What would you most like to achieve that you haven’t already?
Oh I love the idea of my business forever growing and evolving. The future always excites me. I would also love to involve my husband somehow in my business in the future.
Describe the “you” 5 years from now?
I am really excited about the next 5 years. My boys will both be finished uni and building their own lives. I would love to be financially free to travel more with my lovely Husband, Paul. I would like to have staff running the shop on my behalf. I would still be head buyer of course!
With regards to the hub, in 5 years time I would love to see all the members of today fly and be as successful as they dream of. I would like to be doing more speaking events and spreading the hub love far and wide. I would like to be hosting huge inspirational events.If you’re thinking of setting up a small business, setting up a small business or HAVE a small business – or if you’re a working woman who wants to get inspired by incredible souls – a sisterhood all ready and waiting to build you up and help you reach your full potential – check out how Hayley’s Southwood Social Hub could work in YOUR world and inspire and empower you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of! Exciting times!