Strong, Brave & Kind Women: My Female-Founded Business Journey - Readymoney Beach Shop

Strong, Brave & Kind Women: My Female-Founded Business Journey

Victoria Clark

As we approach both International Women's Day (8th March) and Mothers' Day (10th March here in the UK), it feels like the perfect time to reflect on the strength, bravery, and kindness that define women everywhere. Female-founded businesses are a core part of Readymoney Beach Shop and in a world that feels increasingly hostile towards women's rights (I'm looking at you Alabama...👀), it's more important than ever for women to celebrate and uplift each other. 

Victoria walking on the beach at Readymoney Beach

My female-founded business journey

For me, this time holds special significance, not just because of what's going on in the world generally but because of my own journey as a business owner. As you might know if you've read the shop's origin story (link here), I embarked on my entrepreneurial path as a mother to three young boys brand new to the world of self-employment. Navigating the complexities of balancing running your own business with family responsibilities has been quite the learning curve.

Having trained as a solicitor and worked hard over the years to climb the career ladder, the decision to step away from the legal profession wasn't easy. Yet, life had its own plans, and a number of factors which I won't bore with you, including a significant family event prompted me to reevaluate my priorities. In 2015, I made the bold choice to "retire" from law and we relocated to Cornwall as a family. Like many women, once I'd had children, I faced tough decisions about how to prioritise my life amidst competing demands, in my case including a husband who travels a lot for work.

The birth of Readymoney Beach Shop wasn't initially driven by a lifelong dream of owning a shop at the seaside (despite what the plot of many living-the-Cornish-dream chick-lit novels might make you wonder), but rather a serendipitous set of coincidences which aligned with my desire to make a positive impact in my community. Little did I know how this venture would ignite a passion in me for supporting local artisans and creatives, while particularly championing female-founded businesses.

A women flexing her arm like the wartime poster

How we support female-founded businesses

My commitment to supporting small, women-led businesses has been ingrained in the Readymoney Beach Shop ethos from day one. I'm proud to say that 70% of suppliers to the shop are female-founded businesses (shop our female-founded collection here) and 80% of those hail from Cornwall and Devon, an equally important part of my business strategy to shop local.

Our Mothers' Day collection isn't just for mothers or for daughters, it's for those strong brave and kind women whoever they are and whatever they are to you. I love sourcing our products. I love getting to know my suppliers, sometimes virtually, even better when I can meet them in person. I love hearing their own stories of how and why they built their own businesses.

Almost every product on our shelves tells a story of resilience, determination, and creativity. I started my business from the kitchen table (well more accurately from a rather wobbly folding wallpaper table...) and so many of these small female-founded businesses run their businesses, often as a a bit of a side-hustle, from their own dining tables, sheds or sofas. I'm lucky enough to now have my own dedicated office space at home but there are still days when I have to clear piles of stock from the dining table so that the boys can do their homework or eat their dinner.

Victoria rearranging stock on the shelves at Readymoney Beach Shop

But it's not just about women

From handmade crafts to artisanal goods representing levels of creative talent I can only dream of, so many of the items we sell represent the dedication and passion of the women behind them. By choosing to support these businesses, I'm not just purchasing products; I'm investing in dreams, empowering other women, and strengthening our local community. We're an all female team in the shop too, entirely by chance I might add but the sisterhood is strong with us for sure!

I also believe I'm teaching my own boys an important lesson about the role of women in business: there's no Apprentice style high heels and slinky dresses here, you'll currently find me in jeans, jumper and chunky boots, transitioning to denim skirt, flip flops and a t-shirt in the warmer months. My boys love that I own an ice-cream shop: when they talk about me to their grandchildren, they won't tell them about how I was a senior associate solicitor specialising in serious injury claims, they'll tell them I had a shop on the beach and they got free ice-cream on tap (and drinks, and cakes, and snacks....). They are learning from the business too, my eldest son is studying GCSE Business and at recent parents' evening his teacher highlighted how my son uses the shop as a real life example in so many aspects of the course and it really helps his understanding. That's a real life lesson right there.

A woman holding a placard which says women

So, as we celebrate International Women's Day and Mothers' Day, let's not only honour the incredible women in all our lives but also recognise the contributions of women in business. Behind every successful venture, there's a story of courage, sacrifice, and unwavering determination. Together, let's continue to uplift, inspire, and empower each other, because strong women, brave women, kind women— they're the backbone of our society.

Victoria holding a mug which says strong women will change the world

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