Liverpool Liver Building

Working in the Liver Building – a milestone for Gingerhead

For me, the Liver Building has always been particularly special. I love its architecture, I have worked near it, dated outside it and nearly married my husband in it. My wonderful grandad used to say I’d set up my own business one day, and work in it. My last ever conversation with him, several years ago now, was about the Liver Building, where he had once worked too.  I had a lump in my throat when his hopes for me became reality last week, as I went into the Liver Building for a first discussion with a new client there. Sometimes working with a team as close as Gingerhead can feel more like fun than a job, but coming to a meeting in the Liver Building felt like joining more than a century of Liverpool’s business elite. We are delighted, excited and ready to work.  The Liver Building is currently being extensively refurbished, and at last will be open to […]

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New season for Dash and Gingerhead

Independent Liverpool Restaurant and Bar Dash joined our growing portfolio as a new client this month.  As an independent business, we’ve always loved working with other independents. Over the last few years we’ve worked a lot in food and drink and Dash is a game-changer for Liverpool’s independent food and drink scene. We’re delighted to be starting work with them.  From the moment you enter through Dash’s grand stone doorway you know that you are in for a special experience. Their stunning interiors, professional and friendly staff and delicious food is seriously impressive for a business founded just under a year ago by four local lads from Liverpool.  We’re often asked about what kinds of services we provide. Our answer is simple. We’re here to help you make your business successful. For an independent restaurant, that means understanding the daily challenge of getting people through the door.  The team behind Dash is fantastic and they deserve a visit whenever you’re […]

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Orange cupcake with sparkler

It’s our Birthday! A message from our Head Ginger…

The first thing I want to say is thank you! To our investors, clients, supporters, family and friends, to everyone who has helped us in our first three years, and to my wonderful gingerheads.  Anyone who has set up their own business will tell you that getting through the first few years is tough. But boy is it tough. It is a level of pressure unlike anything else, I would never do it again. But I would never change it.  60% of new businesses fail within the first three years. Having just celebrated our third birthday, I can honestly say I’m surprised the failure stats aren’t higher. I have seen some very good businesses go under this year. I am incredibly grateful that we’re still here.  We faced some expected and unexpected challenges. In a female-led business, two of the key team members falling pregnant within two months of each other can hit a business hard. I know some businesses […]

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Gingerhead offers (and gets) the benefits of real flexible working

Companies often offer flexible working, but if it is ever taken you are left feeling guilty or mistrusted. When you are working from home people seem to imagine pyjamas, biscuits and Netflix.  When in fact, the opposite is true. Trapping your creatives in a rowdy open-plan office with bored, clock-watching co-workers is like taking the wings off your aeroplane. In my old jobs I would often end up taking my work home with me in order to do it in the evening. This would eat into family time, and leave me tired and less effective next day. Now I am a Gingerhead I can work from home. I can fit my work and my family life together in a way that really works for both. I am much more productive, and much happier. I often end up doing more hours, but they are all my best work. Being part of a small company can sometimes be nerve-racking, but it’s fast-moving, exciting […]

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Then along came Gingerhead…

A little over 100 years ago, working in law was not an option for women, who did not even qualify as ‘people’. Fast forward to now and it seems that while women account for more than 60% of the legal workforce, and are welcomed as pupils and trainees, they can only progress so far. Less than one-fifth of partners in the top 10 UK law firms are female, and at barrister and judge level the stats show an even more favourable position for men. Before my son was born, my own experience of working in the legal sector was of a heavily male-led environment. Whilst I always met my targets, it was not a career path that I found particularly rewarding: the hours were long, the work required ever-increasing levels of repetitive drudgery, and the pay was terrible! To add further insult, my earned commission was once given to a male colleague.  I never felt I was given the opportunity […]

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Reflections on running a small business when pregnant…

Clients hire successful-looking agencies, so when I shuffled into pitch meetings very pregnant looking like Shrek’s granny… Some women blossom in pregnancy. I didn’t. Running a small business when pregnant can be brutal. Here’s a few highlights of my last nine months: Pregnancy hormones: they made me want to cry ALL THE TIME. Or lie in bed eating chocolate. Baby brain: getting off the phone from a client and realising that I had no idea what we had discussed. Stuff that wasn’t in the diary: you can’t schedule the medical aspects of pregnancy. I found myself writing tenders from my hospital bed. First impressions: shuffling into meetings in maternity dungarees, then shuffling out again for the toilet.   And six tips for other pregnant small business-owners:   Don’t panic: when else in the life of a small business can you plan for changes 9 months in advance? New clients need to believe in you, it may not be the best […]

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Is it still a rich man’s world?

After a year of the #MeToo movement, the Young Women’s Trust reports that ‘It’s still a rich man’s world’. Sexual harassment, gender pay gaps and discrimination are rife. It got me thinking… I’ve had some wonderful employers with clear pay structures and fair recruitment and promotion processes, and some… less exemplary. I was once asked in an interview: ‘are you planning on having children?’ I didn’t take the job. In another organisation, a senior manager drunkenly approached me at a work party to share his view that women fell into two categories, ‘those you would f*** and those you wouldn’t’. #HimToo? A friend of mine was even told to wear heels and a dress to progress – she already outperformed her higher paid male counterparts. Most women have such horror stories. As the CEO of a female-led company, it may seem that I have an agenda. I don’t. I simply believe that people should be judged in work on their […]

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Remember why you started…

I always knew that I wanted to run my own business. I never expected it to be like this. I’ve been lucky to know many professional, clever, talented and high-performing women in my career. I have also witnessed a number of them passed over for promotion or dismissed in some way after they had children. While on maternity leave, I had a moment to reflect on my career. I was incredibly driven, ambitious, loyal, and worked whatever hours I needed to get the job done. But I had no idea how to work, be successful, and be a good mother. How do we have it all? Then my lovely eldest daughter was born, and she became my muse. I set up my business to show my daughter that with hard work, talent, the right attitude, and the right people around you, you can achieve amazing things. My little gingerhead has taught me so many things since, but one of them […]

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