This week, in honour of International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March, we’re casting a spotlight on some of the wonderful and inspiring women behind successful and innovative businesses in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. First up in our series of interviews is Amanda Winwood, founder and MD of Made For Life Organics.
Work hard but well and …. Don’t be apologetic about taking some time and space from the day to day to go and think. Women often feel guilty about this. We need to allow ourselves some stillness and space because life should not be a treadmill but a glorious rollercoaster. – Amanda Winwood
Back in 1999, Made for Life Organics (then known as Spiezia Organics) became the first UK company to achieve 100% organic certification across the entire collection from the Soil Association. Amanda has pioneered creating accredited products and enforcing accreditation for beauty products across the Soil Association. Amanda is also the founder of the Made for Life Foundation that supports people facing cancer.
Who are the most important women in your life and how have they influenced you?
My Mother who challenged the system way ahead of her time. And my two daughters – Hannah and Molly and also my sister, Kate. I learn from them every day. My sister Kate who is the CEO of Bosence (alcohol and drug rehab centre) is my biggest honest critic and supporter. She’s taught me about strength, resilience, fairness and honesty and has always been there – through thick and thin.
I also love friends and mentors Romy Fraser who founded Neal’s Yard and Jill Stein. Both have been incredibly honest advisors.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Being at the forefront of changing spa attitudes towards people with cancer and instead of turning people away; empowering spa therapists to throw their spa doors wide. When we started 96% of spas were turning guests away and within 18 months it’s down to 70%. I’m proud to be part of that movement. I’ve seen how it changes lives.
If you were to turn back time and give yourself one piece of advice before you started your business what would it be?
Have a plan and set up board meetings with a number of executive directors so you don’t just answer to yourself and you get strategic advice and support. Don’t grab at every piece of business. Make sure you check how it fits with your plan and also your values. And …. make sure you have big pants of power at the ready!
The theme for International Women’s Day this year is #balanceforbetter what do you think businesses can do to help achieve this? Are there steps that you are taking in your own business to achieve greater balance?
I think some of the steps above help achieve better balance because they enable you to be more strategic as opposed to running around like a headless chicken! That’s exactly why I’m doing the above. Also, if you have clarity and communicate this well then, your team are all on the same page too.
Work hard but well and …. Don’t be apologetic about taking some time and space from the day to day to go and think. Women often feel guilty about this. We need to allow ourselves some stillness and space because life should not be a treadmill but a glorious rollercoaster.
In our International Women’s Day Interviews series, we also spoke with Katherine George, founder of Oh So Social and Gail Irvine of Dynamo Healthcare Training, Emily Stevenson from Beach Guardian, and Vickie Heaney founder of Vickie Heaney Printmaking. Keep your eyes on our news stories as we share the experiences of more local business women and entrepreneurs over the coming day.