The Founder

 
Janet Kirlew | Women's Magazine

Journalist, writer, entrepreneur, speaker and awards judge

 
 

“I created the first issue on a very old laptop with barely enough memory to save a basic Word document, with a redundancy letter hanging over me and 3 pence in my pocket”

It all started when I first tried my hand at design, back in 2002, inside a broom cupboard. My chair couldn’t fit inside, and my computer was so ancient it looked like something from a science museum.

I love designing things from scratch. I built my first website over a 7-month period and learning how to code and upload files to the FTP server gave me great satisfaction. (Yes, I am a bit of a techie and proud of it.) Seeing the site go live was a fantastic moment for me.

“I am a bit of a techie and proud of it”

I went on to start my own business, designing price-list boards for beauty salons in London. Later, I worked in various boring office jobs, but found it difficult to help someone else make their dream come true while my own skills went unnoticed.

In 2012, I moved to a new area and wanted to find women to dress my windows, plumb in my washing machine and do some electrical work. I knew a few outstanding tradesmen, but the feminine approach was more appealing. I started to wonder where these women were and how I could hire them. After a fruitless search, I knew I had to do something about it.

This is when Women in Trade magazine was born. The UK’s only publication focusing on women in trades and crafts across all industries.

It was a brave thing to start a new business venture with no capital, but I did not see it that way back in 2013. I was often asked “why trade”? Well, I wanted to help women get over the feeling that to be in trade they must look and behave in a certain way.

Women in Trade has changed the face of women in trade! It’s no longer all about hard hats and hi-vis vests. We cover a huge range: from cheese making to interior design, calligraphy to cobbling, plumbing to virtual PA services.

Our values

 
 
 
 

Holistic …

We approach issues on a ‘self and soul’ level – looking in an honest, holistic and compassionate way at women’s motivations and the pitfalls they face, giving a voice to multifaceted aspects of contemporary life. The issues we cover – such as mental and spiritual health, wellbeing and self-help – are the building blocks of a more fulfilling life, as we all try hard to create a balance. I believe that: “If you love what you do, that same energy will flow through whatever you do, and people will notice you.”

Impactful…

I was faced with a lot of negativity when I started out, but I have truly changed the way we think about the word ‘trade’, with people telling me they had forgotten certain things were a trade. I am pleased that, since I published back in 2013, companies are starting to highlight the women who work for them. I remember asking two well-known brands if they would like to advertise with us, and although there was no response, within a few weeks both had adverts with a woman doing a traditionally male job. It made me smile and I like to think we had inspired them!

My favourite highlights…

Featuring the likes of Alex Polizzi host of Hotel Inspector, Cherie Blair our former first lady, interior designer and ex-dragon on BBC One’s Dragons Den Kelly Hoppen, Sarah Beeny and former Wimbledon champion, Annabel Croft and of course, our first printed copy of Women in Trade December 2018. Amazing!

 
 

Alex Polizzi aka

The Hotel Inspector

featured in our Winter 2016-2017 issue

HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY

 
 

What I love…

Chamomile tea, sitting in my garden, walking with the deer’s in the magical woodlands of the Chiltern Hills, double chocolate ice cream for the stressful days, and as a mental stimulation puzzling, yoga and hiking.

Dislikes?

How much time do you have? Haha! Cruelty to humans and animals.

The most courageous thing I’ve ever done is…

Founding Women in Trade and defying gravity through skydiving and gliding amazing and freeing experiences.

I cannot live without…

My Nutri Ninja smoothie maker. I love the healthy injection of the kale, pear and banana mix!

I am grateful for…

My lovely friends and gorgeous loving partner Mark and for financial freedom!

I believe that…

Everything is energy so you can change the way you feel by changing the energy around you by thought and intention. If people copy what you do, it’s because they admire you and want to be you, so be proud of that.

 
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Janet : )