HAYLEY Kellard, from Stalybridge, was recognised by businesswoman Jacqueline Gold, CBE, for her success as a female entrepreneur and awarded with a prestigious #WOW badge.
The 35-year-old, who set up her own business in August, was one of three winners selected by Jacqueline after she entered Women on Wednesday, a competition launched by Jacqueline in 2011 to celebrate the growing number of UK female entrepreneurs and businesswomen.
Women on Wednesday (#WOW) takes place every week and is run through Jacqueline’s Twitter page. When selecting the winners, Jacqueline looks for businesses that are interesting, that have strong brand values and that she thinks have potential to grow and succeed in their industry.
She looks for quality products and services, well designed websites and entrepreneurs who demonstrate good business acumen and who have spotted a gap in the market that meets the consumer’s needs.
Hayley launched Happily Rustic in August after struggling to commute to her job as a buyer for an electronics firm in Manchester city centre due to suffering from ME and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Having always been very ambitious, Hayley did not want to not work at all so decided to start her own business from home, which is close to the town centre, selling handmade wood slice photo gifts, including plaques, keyrings and Christmas tree decorations.
The wood slices are sourced from a local tree surgeon and are personalised with customers’ photographs.
Hayley is delighted to have been chosen by Jacqueline and is really excited about developing and growing the business.
Hayley, who advertises her goods on social media, has received orders from America, Canada, United States, Hong Kong and all over Europe.
“I am always optimistic and dream big, but have been shocked how quickly it has taken off and how many orders I have received,” she said.
Hayley has turned her garage into a workshop where she varnishes, sands and drills the wood that is cut to size by a tree surgeon from Dukinfield.
She said: “The fifth wedding anniversary is wood so they are popular for gifts and I also did hundreds of Christmas decorations.
“It has been amazing and gone so crazy I have had to get family and friends to help.”
Jacqueline Gold said: “Happily Rustic provides an array of wood slice photo plaque products from coasters to decorative ornaments to fill your home with happy and fond memories. Hayley’s work ethic and passion for her business sets her apart and I wish her every success in the future.
“For me, #WOW is all about inspiring and celebrating female entrepreneurs. My vision is for women in the UK to come together, celebrate their strengths, skills and fantastic businesses, and do all that they can to inspire other women to realise their potential.
“The WOW community is a fantastic network which offers female entrepreneurs the opportunity to share advice, support each other, trade and most importantly celebrate their successes!”
For more information about Happily Rustic, visit their website www.happilyrustic.co.uk
For more information about Women on Wednesday, visit www.jacquelinegold.com/wow/wow-about/