7 June 2021|Female Founder Spotlight, Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder
We love to champion female entrepreneurs and as part of our Female Founder Spotlight series, we caught up with the inspirational Ami Robertson, founder of Woman & The Wolf, a photographer and mentor with a passion for female empowerment who has a story of survival that is the epitome of resilience.
A conversation starter around all things feminism, self worth and healing, she is an advocate of open discussions around mental health banging the drum for more collaborative discussions supporting women to speak out without fear of judgement and is passionate about empowering women to feel more confident in showing up and being seen. She is an advocate of us all celebrating ourselves rather than attaching our self worth to others and waiting for them to celebrate us.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
In all honesty, life for me has been anything but straightforward.
A true creative at heart, I have built my successful business from my love of photography combined with my mission of helping other women in business to feel they can confidently and creatively represent themselves, with the full force of their individuality.
My drive for empowering others comes from my own story of feeling powerless. Having been in an abusive relationship for 6 years and being crippled by anxiety, a mental breakdown and suicidal thoughts, I know what it’s like to not have a voice. My personal struggles spurred me on to develop my business, tapping into my creative outlet that helped me feel whole again.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
My business name embodies everything I am and believe in – The Woman and the Wolf – named after a creature that I truly admire for its intelligence, instincts and fierce loyalty to its pack. The Woman and The Wolf is my way of owning my story and the sense of strength and power that I’ve discovered lies within me, and I know I’m not alone. I meet women every day who have experienced abuse, hurt, ill health, challenges of every kind, but there is such resilience and beauty within them.
I am passionate about inspiring female entrepreneurs to love and reflect who they are in their own branding – encouraging them to discover and release their inner wolf. Celebrating yourself, rather than creating some brand persona that you’re not, is exactly what I’m after. Every woman is an individual inspiration, full of power, creativity, intelligence and beauty of their own. My job is to showcase that.
How did you achieve awareness?
In all honesty, it was incredible real life face to face networking event across the UK that allowed me to really connect with others and find my pack– these connections not only grew my network – which led to more and more clients, but also gave me the power and believe to find me again, to keep going and to grow my dream business- these networks truly gave me strength and stamina in the face of adversity.
In addition, social media and blogging has also been key to growing awareness of who I am and what I stand for. My sympathetic and empowering approach to portraiture, along with my own journey towards confidence, helps me to encourage clients to push through their anxiety and resistance around becoming the face of their brand so I can then take photos that truly represent their business story. My style continues to be recognised as it is a far cry from the usual corporate and structured photography that is used in business and this is because I don’t feel that those photos tell the full story or grasp the personality needed to engage client’s audiences
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
I really started to fully focus on my business in 2020, after overcoming a breakdown. I was all fired up and committed to putting myself and my passion first again- then Covid hit and as my bookings disappeared, my mental health plummeted again as the world shrunk into 4 walls – and my ex started up his harassment again. With a restraining order not forthcoming, my mental health started to spiral into dark places. However, having learnt some tools and techniques in therapy to manage my mental health I instead decided a focus on a challenge – this was exactly what I needed, so I set about a 630 miles on the South Coast path, walking over 20 miles a day for 5 weeks, in a 38 degree heat wave -raising £5.5k for Women’s Trust. This was the most gruelling and painful thing I have ever done in my life, but it resulted in me feeling strong and powerful, reconnecting to my inner wolf – allowing me to believe that I can now do anything I put my mind to.
What are the key successes?
As a result of digging deep and reconnecting with my inner wolf and building my resilience back up, 2020 ended up being my most successful year to-date, despite the pandemic. As well as undertaking over 100 photoshoots within a 6-month period when it was allowed. I also mentored photographers, helping them to achieve success and feel confident about what they do, taking some of my work online.
What are your plans now/for the future?
I wants to continue to help small businesses, especially those run by women, to feel more confident about taking up space within their industries and my business tackles the fear of being noticed. I am eager to help more women be seen, heard and supported in their careers. I now have further plans to move into mindset coaching by the end of 2021 as I delve deeper into the psychological side of building confidence.
As there is only one of me…. I am also passionate about sharing my style and approach through mentoring other photographers in business development, creating a powerful ripple effect of self belief there, strengthening an industry which, led by creatives, can often lack commercial focus.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
It’s crucial that you love yourself and overcome any self worth challenges you may have in order to stand proud and celebrate who you are.
Can you share you top 5-10 tips for entrepreneurial success?
Start to discover your inner wolf: Believe in yourself and celebrate yourself – remind yourself daily that you can do this.
Stop apologising for your mistakes! We all make them and that’s how we learn. What isn’t helpful is when we punish ourselves mentally over and over again for messing up.
Find your pack! Wolves are fiercely protective. You can choose to build or become a part of a whole community of strong, intelligent, wise, compassionate people. When we give and receive peer support in this way, we find the courage and self-belief to take the next step…
Connect within – Have time to reflect, journal and/or meditate – give yourself dedicated time to think about you and your life, your journey, your dreams, your energy…
Celebrate You – it’s key that we celebrating ourselves rather than attach our self worth to others and waiting for them to celebrate us
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most?
Maddy Shine @maddy.shine
Ellie Kime @theenthusiastandco
Ink & Paper @inkandpaper_ldn
Natalie Watts @nataliejweddings
Kirsty Hulse @kirstyhulse
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quote?
My favourite quote is “begin with the end in mind” Franklin Covey
What are your social handles and website links so our readers can connect with you?
Website – https://www.thewomanandthewolf.com/
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/thewomanandthewolf
Instagram – @the_woman_and_the_wolf