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Claire Menzies

Female Founder Spotlight: Claire Menzies

6 March 2021|Latest Posts, Meet the Successful Founder

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Claire Menzies
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Claire Menzies

Claire Menzies is Chairwoman and Founder of Bristol-based creative collective the Istoria Group, encompassing 3 creative companies and 2 ‘incubator hub’ start-ups. Claire’s professional experience spans 30 years in the creative sector and includes senior roles at agency giants MICE, C-Beck and a board level position at RTH Group. Claire’s current role at Istoria Group allows her to combine a career-long passion for entrepreneurship and sustainability, alongside 12 years as non-exec director of circular economy experts, International Synergies. Claire is a Fellow of the RSA, mentors a diverse range of entrepreneurs across creative and industry-wide sectors and is a sought-after speaker and writer on the circular economy and sustainability best practice.

What would you love to share to encourage other women to start their own company?

Know your value. Don’t let anyone cast doubt on your ability to be successful. Tell all your trusted friends and capable colleagues about your plan – listen to feedback and take note of well-considered and research-based advice. Find a mentor in the early stages and then take that first step.

What are your top 5 tips for entrepreneurial success?

1. Follow your north star – have a big vision

I relate to this in so many ways. Your north star/big vision must be in constant sight, no matter if you’re thrown off course when things go wrong (which they will). Your north star is your very foundation, your compass and your guiding light – it will help guide you through times of real uncertainty and onward to success.

2. Be determined

You must be determined and focused if you want to keep moving forward towards success. There will be challenges along the way and you will experience a lot of uncertainty and fear about how and whether to take the next steps. Always remain determined to move forward. 

3. Be prepared to adapt and embrace

No matter how carefully you plan, something may go wrong, so be prepared to adapt your plans. And don’t try to be all things for all aspects of your business – embrace your value and expertise then surround yourself with the experts you need to be truly successful.

4. Leverage time and ideas to promote wellbeing

Research your competition and their successes and don’t waste time trying to reinvent proven results in any area of your business. Be savvy, be better at whatever works, stay lean and resilient and you will preserve more than you realise – you will keep on top of personal energy too, so you won’t burn out. Best business practice and personal wellbeing are directly linked to sustainable success.

5. Don’t take it all too seriously

Work with clients and people you respect and enjoy – life is too precious not to! Where possible, try hard and discipline yourself to stress a little less. Laughter and positivity strengthen your emotional and mental wellbeing and when you feel good it helps to keep those tricky characters from getting to you. When you laugh you light up your true sense of self and that will take you a long way.

IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Claire Menzies
IWD Inspirational Female Founders Spotlight: Claire Menzies

Who are the 5 women who inspire you the most?

1. Eleanor of Aquitaine 1122 – 1204, Queen of England and France 

2. Rosa Parks

3. Katherine Hepburn

4. Gloria Steinem 

5. Ellen Sirleaf Johnson 

What is you favourite saying/inspirational quote?

“A feminist is anyone who recognises the equality and full humanity of women and men.” 

Gloria Steinem

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