Crème de la crème! 13 top female achievers honoured at 2020 Successful Women Awards

By Staff Reporter [email protected]

Published: December 11, 2020 | Updated: 12th December 2020

Top female achievers – including five from Dorset – have been honoured at this year’s Successful Women Awards.

The winners of 11 categories, plus an overall winner in the Successful Women Award, were announced at a virtual ceremony last night.

The Dorset successes were:

  • Independent Food and Drink Retailer Award: Sally Poole and Lou Condie, Bliss Food Co (Swanage).
  • Innovation Award Winner:  Sunny Bird, The Perfect Dress Company (Bournemouth).
  • Public Speaking Award Winner: Alexa Noble, Smart Finances (Poole).
  • Sustainability Award Winner: Claire Meyer, The Gap Project (Dorchester).

The Successful Women Awards were launched to celebrate and showcase the work and businesses of successful women across the South West, and beyond.

This year’s keynote speaker was Alison Edgar MBE.

Luke Simon, Founder and CEO of School in a Bag, the Successful Women Charity of the year, also took part in the virtual ceremony.

Gill Donnell MBE, Founder of the Successful Women in Business Network and organiser of the awards, pictured left, said: “The business world is full of hugely talented and successful women who not only run businesses, or work in demanding roles, but they often also juggle caring responsibilities at the same time.

“This year the impact of the pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on women, particularly those running their own business.

“These awards recognise and celebrate the success of those women and their positive impact on the wider community.

“Congratulations to all of our wonderful winners.

“The standards of this year’s applications were even higher than in previous years, and the judges were extremely impressed by the quality and commitment of those applying.

“This year, our winners came from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and London.”

The full results are:

  • Business Mother (sponsored by Perceptions Marketing Ltd).

Winner: Natasha Beatty, Fresh Kitchen Cookery School (Hants).

  • Entrepreneur Award (sponsored by Margo & Mya).

Winner: Sam Charles, Float Digital (Cornwall).

  • High Business Growth (sponsored by The Business Toolkit).

Winner: Maddy Alexander-Grout, My VIP Card (Hants).

  • Independent Food and Drink Retailer (sponsored by Fordington Gin).

Winner: Sally Poole and Lou Condie, Bliss Food Co (Swanage).

  • Innovation Award Winner (sponsored by Tracey Rickard Web Design).

Winner Sunny Bird, The Perfect Dress Company (Bournemouth)..

  • New Business (sponsored by Humphries Kirk Solicitors).

Nicola Schellander, Nicola Schellander Glass Design (Devon).

  • Professional Services  (sponsored by HJ Accounts Management).

Winner: Laura O’Driscoll, OD Talent Solutions (Somerset)..

  • Public Speaking (sponsored by The Message Maestro).

Winner: Alexa Noble, Smart Finances (Poole).

  • Reinvention (sponsored by Cameron Jones Financial Management).

Winner: AnYes van Rhijn, The Reinvention Mentor (London).

  • Social Media (sponsored by House of Colour, Bournemouth).

Winner: Jennifer Corcoran, My Super Connector (Devon).

  • Successful Women (sponsored by Successful Women Ltd).

Winner: Susan Kabani, Ugenie Hubs (London).

  • Sustainability (sponsored by RT Promotions).

Winner: Claire Meyer, The Gap Project (Dorchester).


Take a bow, Dorset – more info on the winners from our county

  • Sally Poole and Lou Condie, Bliss Food Co (Independent Food and Drink Retailer)

Sally and Lou bought the Bliss Food Co restaurant in October 2017, having worked together for over 14 years. They have built Bliss into the jewel in the Swanage food scene that it is today. Bliss has a unique, welcoming atmosphere with beautifully cooked, locally sourced food including a specials board, hosting dishes of freshly caught Swanage Bay fish.

  • Sunny Bird, The Perfect Dress Company (Innovation)

Sunny launched the Perfect Dress Company in December 2019, creating a new space in the fashion industry with dresses designed to slim and flatter all shapes. She has since gone on to launch a range of Secret Slimming dresses, her jewellery range Darcy Rose Meaningful Jewellery and a collection of Bump to Baby dresses for the maternity and beyond market.

  • Alexa Noble, Smart Finances (Public Speaking)

Alexa is married with four children, including triplets, and runs two businesses. She coaches and mentors a large team of aspiring business owners to be successful using traditional methods as well as social media. She is co-director with her eldest son in a property investment company, offering unique coastal inspired co-living spaces in Dorset.

  • Claire Meyer, The Gap Project (Sustainability)

Claire is proud mum to four children, as well as CEO and co-founder of Meyers Estate Agents, Lettings and the Meyers franchise group. Her business helped create and develop The GAP Project, which is aimed at helping people in and around Dorchester looking to improve their mental health and wellbeing through ecotherapy and gardening.

  • SWIB is a membership organisation for women who want to grow their businesses or develop their careers, with the support of other women, at regular networking as well as professional and personal development events.

These are currently being held online via Zoom.

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