I couldn’t believe how nervous I felt on the short journey to The Oxford Belfry on Friday night. I’d spent all day getting ready, deep down feeling I wouldn’t win, so I really couldn’t understand why I was shaking so much stepping out of the car.
I’ve never been nominated for an award before.
I’ve been a mum for more years than not. Against the odds. I’ve put everything I have into bringing them up. Building my businesses during school hours to make sure they have everything they need – financially and emotionally. It’s not been the easiest of lives, but I know people who have been dished up a worse plate.
I’m nothing special.
I was honestly amazed to get to the semi-final and completely shocked to be one of five ladies to make it to the final. This was an opportunity of a lifetime to get dressed up and enjoy the limelight for a few hours. I do not take opportunities lightly – this was no different!
Over the last few years I have met some very talented ladies who make jewellery and clothing. I’ve been trying to find a reason to invest in their handiwork for sometime – getting to the final was the perfect excuse. Many ladies commented on my outfit on Friday night, so here you go girls, you can now get the look from these wonderful British designers!
My dress is handmade by Phoebe and her team at Henry Hunt in Somerset. Her clothing is absolutely stunning. My dress is beautifully made, with not one bad stitch. It was comfortable all evening and was very light. It was made to my measurements and fits like a glove. Henry Hunt is a name to watch out for.
My bracelet is the handiwork of Maria Bellhouse. She makes wonderful bracelets with and without charms to match your outfit. She is a lovely, hardworking lady.
My earrings were handmade and designed by Angela Smith. Her jewellery is beautiful. I showed her a picture of my dress and she handmade five designs for me to chose from.
My hair was created by Sophie Nolan – I cannot recommend her highly enough!
The photographs were taken by Cherry-Ann Ballatyne – not only is she a fab photographer, she is also a great coach in how to stand.
These women are inspirational and very talented. I was so proud wearing their designs on Friday.
Drumroll please…. here is a video of the winner announcement.
As you can see, I didn’t win – but I’m proud to say my friends were the loudest! We were sat right at the back, yet their voices carried right to the front. Their support has been immense. In fact the support from my friends, family, customers and colleagues has been amazing. I’m not sure they realise how much I appreciate it.
Congratulations Cathy Dunbabin and good luck for the national finals in January.
Thank you to Tara and the Venus Awards team for a journey I will never forget. I have had the fortune to meet some inspiring women over the last few months. Some of whom I will remain friends with. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity I am so blessed to have been part of. Thank you!