Swanky Maison was founded by busy working mothers, Emma Sharman and Cath Harrison. Like many career women, once their children came along, Emma and Cath found that they needed flexibility and fulfillment and the only answer was to come up with a venture for themselves. They were forever guilty whether at work or at home and were fed up with missing out on the important things in life: sports days, nativity plays, class assemblies and helping out on school trips. Looking to improve their family lives, Emma and Cath put their heads together (over a number of glasses of wine) and came up with a plan.
That plan was Swanky Maison; a business that they could run by themselves, for themselves, an idea that would help pay the bills but offer a better work/family balance, a venture that would combine their skills and experience with things they are really passionate about.
"We're thrilled with how Swanky Maison is progressing. We love the products we find and the fact that they are so unique and not found on the High Street. We also really enjoy meeting so many interesting and enthusiastic people - they are truly talented designers and dedicated to their craft.
Of course, we still work very hard but only because we love it so much. We make a great team, support each other's endeavours and gladly provide cover if one of us needs to take a little time out to be with their kids. Our biggest problem, of course, is trying not to buy more than we sell!"
The Swanky Team now comprises:
Graduating with a degree in Commerce and a professional qualification in purchasing, Cath spent over ten years working for Magnet, in purchasing and product management, sourcing a number of suppliers, increasing profitability across a number of categories, whilst ensuring maximum product placement and communication within a vast retail network. Cath is responsible for product management and liaising with the growing number of designer-makers featured on Swanky Maison.
Graduating with a degree in Business Studies and Marketing, Emma spent over ten years in market research, using customer insight to advise high profile clients such as Channel 4, BP, Cow & Gate and Legal & General on their marketing strategies. Emma then spent three years working as an Online Marketing Consultant for a digital agency specialising in e-commerce, helping clients such as Lindam, Munchkin UK and Burgess Pet Care to realise their online potential. Emma oversees all design, website development and marketing for Swanky Maison.
Although he doesn't like to shout about it, Mark Woodcock is a true genius when it comes to Internet Marketing. One of the few clever people who saw the potential of the internet from day dot, Mark has been living, breathing and loving all things to do with the web for more years than he'd care to admit!
As well as previously owning a portfolio of successful online businesses, Mark has gained extensive experience of Internet Marketing and e-commerce working in-house as an SEO and Web Manager for a number of large companies, including Abbey Vet and Minky Homecare, and as a consultant advising digital agencies wanting to expand into Internet Marketing.
We're lucky to have such a successful individual on the team, overseeing our online marketing strategy.
When it comes to Social Media and Online PR, there's no better person for the job, in our opinion, than our very own Lindsey Watson. She has an uncanny knack for embracing brands and becoming their online voice and she immediately understood the Swanky Maison brand and our ethos. Lindsey is a Business Studies graduate with over eight years experience working as a Buyer, Product Manager and Internet Marketing Executive. She has worked with some of the major UK grocery retailers and manufacturers and, prior to working with Swanky Maison, was responsible for marketing a very successful e-commerce business with an annual turnover of Â£3m. Lindsey is responsible for our Social Media strategy and working with Mark to promote Swanky Maison via SEO, Social Media and Online PR.
Holly is best known in the office as Wonder Woman. So called due to her unfailing attention to detail and superior organisational skills (her desk is a colourful display of to do lists and post it notes) but mainly because she always responds to our never ending last minute and urgent demands with a smile and a 'can-do' attitude. For this we love her dearly as we know we can be hard work!
Holly's ability to deal with everything we throw at her comes from years of account management working for many clients on their website development and always delivering fantastic customer service.
With the patience of a saint, Holly oversees and co-ordinates all website design and development.
Adam, or Mr Fix It as we prefer to call him, is a God send! Adam is our website developer and there's nothing technical this man can't do. Or if he can't do it he'll find out how. Adam has worked in website development for many years and has built numerous websites in this time. Now he embraces the Swanky Maison challenge and although he has an aversion to all things flowery he copes well working in a team that embraces and sells such pretty things.
Having gained 'A' levels in Photography, English Language, English Literature and Media Studies Aneysha went to work in retail as a Visual Merchandiser for a well known brand before deciding it wasn't for her and taking freelance commissions for photography and copywriting projects. These days Aneysha prefers all things online and has a passion for internet marketing, blogging and design.
Aneysha is our Swanky Design Diva, working quickly and enthusiastically to create lovely designs at the drop of a hat and we couldn't do without her. However, we love her more for her bottomless sweetie drawer!