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23rd March 2020

Women in the Spotlight – Terri Ellington

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Northern Powerhouse Investment FundNPIF - BEF & FFE MicrofinanceTees Valley Combined Authority LEP

To continue our ‘Women in the Spotlight’ series, Terri Ellington, Founder & Director of NPIF investee business Ellington Timepiece talks about her biggest role models and the best pieces of advice she had been given on her business journey.

–         Explain your role in the business and what your business does?

I am the founder and director of Ellington Timepiece. From the beginning of my journey I have been the jack of all trades, from web designing, photography, designing the watches and collections, the packaging, marketing, and many other roles. Ellington Timepiece is a limited-edition watch line that was created from my bedroom on a laptop. The watches are limited to only 100 of each colour, creating a special gift for the customers.  As part of our brand’s ethos, we help raise awareness for mental health as this is something that I have struggled with since I was in my teens. I named the first collection after my dog, Sheba, who helped me to be able to live my life again after struggling with agoraphobia. We help raise awareness through our watches and accessories. We recently created our inspiration bracelet line which have the following quotes engraved on them: “you are enough”, “never give up” and our recently sold out “you are loved”.

–          How has NPIF helped your business?

NPIF has allowed me to take my business to the next level. This included a professional website, T & C’s to make the website and business compliant, to employ a specialist accountancy firm which then helped me to go limited and it also allowed me to engage a brand marketing expert.

–         Do you work in a male dominated industry and, if so, would you say it’s impacted your career?

The watch industry is very much male dominated. However, this has not had a negative impact on me or my business as I have received so much support from both men and women in the fashion industry. As a young female entrepreneur, I hope to inspire other females of all ages that, despite what industry you are in, you can achieve when you really want something. I have learnt from the best over the last two years with some great guidance and help from a range of people.

–         Who would you class as your biggest influence/role model/mentor and why?

There are a few who come to mind, but my biggest influence, role model and mentor is my dad. He has been a huge help in growing my business and also me growing as a person. I have openly spoke about mental health in the past. I still struggle with anxiety and there are days where I question myself and feel extremely nervous. With his support I have been able to continue what I am doing. I look up to a lot of female businesswomen, including, Dragon Den’s Deborah Meadon, Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel, and Audrey Hepburn. In the fashion industry it’s amazing to see the female power behind the designs and the creations that are made.

–         What is the best and most inspiring piece of advice you have been given on your journey to far?

The best advice that I have received is to have your very own list of disciplines. These have helped me through my journey which includes quiet time and self-assessment and have helped me to remember how far I have come. As entrepreneurs I believe we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to achieve our goals, but I believe it’s important to remember how far you have come from that initial thought and where you are now.  Other advice I have received has been to schedule breaks and treats for yourself which is really important for your emotional wellbeing. You also need to learn to forgive yourself. I believe it is easy for entrepreneurs to get wrapped up in feeling guilty about the smaller things and end up being very frustrated with themselves. We all have our ups and downs in business it’s important to remember that we aren’t alone in our journey.

–         Would you say more needs to be done across all sectors to create a better gender balance?

I believe over the last few years there has been a change in the gender imbalance, as more women are becoming involved and helping to inspire others into their respective industries which is having a chain reaction across all sectors. However, a lot more needs to be done but it’s definitely starting to create momentum.

–         What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day to me is a celebration for women from all walks of life, from different cultures, beliefs and industries. It’s a day for empowerment and to help support one another.

The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.

Business Enterprise Fund is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN: 726237)

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