Great new UK lifestyle startups!

I thought I would share some of my favourite new UK lifestyle startups with you.

Firstly, for all you gourmet foodies out there is Flavourly, an artisan British food delivery business.

Secondly, if you need a fashion fix check out discount fashion site Lux Fix

For luxury homecare products head over to Urban Apohthecary London

If you are searching for personalised gifts at affordable prices, check out or for hand designed, quirky products

Don’t fancy lugging back pet food from the supermarket? Then try Pet Shop bowl

Finally, for all you social butterflies check out and grab yourself a bargain deal for an impromptu night  out!






Local Business LaunchPad – for Tunbridge Wells and beyond!

I  am delighted to be the Co-Founder of an exciting new venture called Local Business LaunchPad ,  which should be going live by early June 2014.

Our membership service will provide a platform for local startups and SMEs to connect with the service providers they need and rate them, advertise projects,  quickly find any resources they require or request bespoke business support including research, virtual PA services, website and logo design,  business coaching, PR/social media assistance and legal/financial advice.

Clients will be offered an initial free consultation to find out where they are at with their business and advised on the services they need at a price they can afford.

The site will also feature an online booking facility and business events calendar.

Members will be invited to  exclusive workshops, seminars  and networking events and we hope to introduce many more incentives and benefits in the coming months.

Many businesses like to work with local talent and the Tunbridge Wells area has a thriving freelance community ready to help you.  Why go to Odesk when you can find a local freelancer and meet up for a coffee? Our favourite coffee shop  is Fine Grind in Tunbridge Wells High Street.  As well as great coffee there is free wifi and the owner Matt is a treasure!

If you would like to register your interest in Local Business LaunchPad, please go to our website:

For further updates, watch this space!

Tale of a startup and the birth of a new business idea!

When I decided to start Bijou Concierge I had no idea where to find affordable service providers and it was a steep learning curve.  I recently teamed up with a local Business Consultant/Coach and together we are in the process of launching a new business venture to help boostrapped startups. I will keep you posted!

Apart from enlisting the first class services (with affordable prices!) of the fabulous Adam Smith from Smokescreen Creative to design my logo/business stationery and create my website, I did virtually everything else myself.

I selected the photos for the website (and nearly had to take out a second mortgage!), wrote the website copy, set up my social media profiles on Twitter and Facebook, joined Google Communities, online networking groups and so on.  I now have an extensive database of resources that I can tap into to help startups as well as my little black book of contacts that enable me to act  as ‘fixer’ to my more affluent clients.

I have acquired reams of information about setting up a business on a shoestring,  researched the startup scene (especially tech startups),  am familiar with virtually every lifestyle brand/service/must have item on the planet and have ‘connected’ with anyone and everyone that can help me offer the best possible service to my clients (present and future).

I confess that I  have yet to go along to any local networking meetings as I feel overwhelmed by the sheer number but will probably start with the local Mumpreneurs as I have heard they are a friendly bunch.

I will leave it there for now but do get in touch if I can be of any assistance.




Charity poetry anthology for Macmillan Cancer Support

As well as the day job, I am also a published poet, short story and flash fiction writer.

In 2011 I instigated/co-edited a best selling poetry anthology to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. The book titled ‘Soul Feathers’ (after the Emily Dickinson poem ‘Hope is the thing with feathers/That perches in the soul’) was a number 2 best seller at Waterstones (blush!).

With contributions from well known poets including Benjamin Zephaniah, Bob Dylan, Maya Angelou, Seamus Heaney, Carol Ann Duffy plus classical poets from the past and other published/previously unpublished poets, the book was a huge success.

If you would like to purchase a copy, you can buy it from most leading bookshops including Waterstone’s, WH Smith or direct from Indigo Dreams, the publisher.