Tag Archives: Mumpreneurs

Thank you Motoring Mums

A floral tribute by Katherine Stayt in Chichester
This post is for Motoring Mums everywhere on Mothering Sunday.

I’m talking about the many Mums and Grans across the UK who use their cars to ferry multiple children to school and then to their respective ballet classes, Scout groups, language lessons and lots of other places during the week.

Children with better social lives than their own, let’s also remember…

I’m talking about Mumpreneurs who turn their home into a business to supplement the family income for starters.

Their kitchen table becomes a business desk, their bedroom an office and their sitting room a call centre; heading off to weekly networking meetings to sell their products and feed the UK economy. To then return home and collect school children or just be there to welcome returning family, cooking meals and all that entails.

I’m talking about community-minded Mums that use their cars to take care of relatives and neighbours who need their help. To ferry them to hospital appointments, dentists, opticians, hairdressers and to do their shopping for them.

I’m talking about the many noble Mums who pretend that Lime and Soda is really their favourite drink at parties or restaurants because they know someone has to drive home sober and they have to be up early the next morning…

Thank_youIn summary, motoring Mums are the unpaid everyday chauffeurs for the family but without the bill at the end of the journey. They keep the family wheels turning and Mothering Sunday is our opportunity to say THANK YOU MUM.

We think you’re wonderful and our family life is the richer because of what you do.

Whereas if your Mum is no longer with you, as is the case for me, Mothering Sunday is a sad day as well as an occasion to remember all she did. And to wish I’d done a lot more to thank her when I had the chance…


Two Top Vans for Van Woman

vanwomanWhy is it that vans are still seen primarily as a male preserve when so many females run their own business today?

I know many florists, mobile caterers, garden designers, courier services and Mumpreneurs who all need and rely on vans to do their job.

And whilst vans aren’t designed to be head-turners, when it comes to practicality, surely we all know to put size, affordability, ongoing economy and reliability at the top of our shopping list?

Which is what we asked Van Monster, experts in this field, to tell us about their top two vans for women.

There are so many reasons why you may be thinking about leaving your beloved car in the garage and getting behind the wheel of a van instead.

Perhaps you work in an industry that requires you to transport a large number of items from A to B at once, or ply your trade as a home decorator and need your tools and equipment close at hand 24/7. No matter the reasons, here are a couple of top vans that are available right now that you are bound to love driving for miles and miles.

Ford Transit

The Ford Transit is one of the most recognisable van ranges across the UK, as well as one of the most popular if statistics by Auto Express are anything to go by. It was the UK’s best-selling van of 2013, with a total of 44,143 units sold last year. This eclipses the Mercedes Sprinter, which came in second place with 19,154 units shifted throughout the past year.

Drivers have a diverse selection of Ford Transit vans to choose from as well. This ranges from the practical and spacious Ford Transit Custom mid-sized van, which is great if you are a florist offering a delivery service, to the very economical Ford Transit ECOnetic model – a perfect set of wheels for those long-distance deliveries.

Mercedes Sprinter

We have already mentioned the Mercedes Sprinter a little earlier, but we would be doing this impressive van an injustice if we didn’t delve further into its many standout features. Depending on the model selected, you can receive between 95bhp and 190bhp of power by getting behind the wheel of a Sprinter van. All of this power will come in handy if you often carry heavy loads in your vehicle, such as transporting furniture to auctions perhaps?

Opt for a Mercedes Sprinter 313 CDI LWB and this phenomenal power is coupled with the fact that the vehicle can achieve an average of 35.3mpg — making it one of the most economical vans around at the moment.


If you’re looking to save even more money, there are van dealerships across the UK currently offering used Sprinter vans at affordable prices. This includes Van Monster, where some of their second-hand Sprinters on offer have minimal miles on the clock and have only left the production line a few years ago.

FOXY wins Online Business Award

Much to my surprise and pride I picked up the Online Business Woman of the Year Award last Friday in Arundel on behalf of FOXY Lady Drivers Club.


Being an online business I’ve been more used to online Award competitions nominating occasional accolades by email.

On this occasion it felt so much more special and rewarding as it involved talking to local hero and Awards compere Sally Gunnell whilst giving me the opportunity to explain FOXY’s philosophy, on behalf of women drivers, on the night.

I remember being asked at a Mumpreneurs Networking meeting in Lewes earlier that day if I had a speech ready, should FOXY win. ‘Not a chance’ was my honest verdict and fairly obviously, to all there on the night, I didn’t have a speech rehearsed!

As it happened, the Online Business Award category was sponsored by CapGemini, a huge company that specialises in business consultancy, technology and outsourcing services and their Senior Manager, Kevin Reed, handed over the impressive certificate on the night.

I have since read up about Capgemini’s ambitions to recruit more women into IT, echoing FOXY’s efforts to do the same to attract women into the motor industry. With young women outperforming young men at GCSE level in STEM subjects the potential for female talent is obvious but clearly few STEM-related industries are managing to get a female friendly career message across to young women.

As I see it, the message that careers in IT and the motor industry are equally challenging and rewarding for either gender is one that needs making early on in education. Both sexes need to understand the benefits of working together – a business partnership as in marriage, each have complementary strengths and talents to bring to the table. And this message must include students’ parents who are key influencers but often seem to hold old-fashioned and stereotypical views about masculine industries being forbidden zones for females to enter. Far from the truth!

Let’s hope there is something that FOXY and Capgemini might do together to challenge this gender thinking in future…


Woman of the Year 2012 Awards

FOXY is sponsoring the Business Woman category at the Woman of the Year Awards 2012.

Nominations for this popular category include
Abbe Denness
Charlotte Briggs
Cheryl MacDonald
Cheryl Rickman
Christina Bassadone
Dawn Gracie
Jane Hames
Jen Trew
Jo Gilham
Jo Yates Smith
Joyanne Williamson
Lucy Ames
Meg Fenn
Michelle Marcar
Orla Lambe
Rachel Boyle
Ruth Anscombe
Sarah Thompson
Sonia Martin

Good luck everybody. The lucky winner will be announced at the Awards ceremony on the 30 November at Avisford Park Hotel.

The event has been organised by Johnston Press Southern Events in connection with the Mumpreneurs website. It has received high profile publicity in Sussex so far. The main event sponsor is The Body Shop and the evening promises to be a lot of fun, hosted by well known TV broadcaster Fred Dinenage MBE.

Put this in your diary quick ladies. One of the must-attend occasions, even if you haven’t been nominated this year, I’d say.

I am looking forward to it very much and delighted to be involved in raising awareness of the impressive economic contribution so many worthy women are making to the West Sussex economy.