I started this week attending a networking meeting for ladies running businesses in Shropshire. I was blown away by a roomful of women with so much zest for life, passion for what they do and so many ideas. What was particularly heartening was a session where any girl with a business problem explained it to the room, who then openly and wholeheartedly offered advice, help, contacts etc. A "community" in the real sense.
In the middle of the week we finally got the cast of my seven year old daughters ankle, fracture now healed. She was so desperate to get out of the hospital, put a whole pair of shoes on and get straight back to school. She was so excited that, even though she has a limp as her leg muscles are all wasted away, she does not have a huge plastic boot to drag around and might just have half a chance in a game of tig. No taking it easy or feeling sorry for herself for her.
My final inspiring woman was a young lady I met at a community day at Ercol School and Technology College in Telford on Saturday. A couple of 13 year old girls were studying my stall and the party bags I make very closely. When I got chatting one was very shy and almost shot away in surprise when I said hello. Her bolder friend then explained that she was doing textile design as a subject, which she loved and was trying to work out how I had made the base of my bags, as she wanted to copy it in the bags she was making from recycled clothing for her GCSE course. I showed her how each style of bag was made and she was soon bubbling with enthusiasm and questions and obviously has a real love for fabrics and making things. What really impressed me was her thirst for knowledge and learning, at a time when it would seem most people have written off our youngsters as rioting, looting hooligans. My husband teased me that I was telling all my secrets to potential competition and I do hope so. Perhaps a fashion designer of the future. I chatted later to her Mum who is justifiably very proud of her daughter and so kindly came over to thank me for my time. I made very few sales on the day but meeting this young lady made it all worth while.