Victoria Shears of The Rustic Food Company shares ‘What winning Woman Who has meant to my business’…

What winning Woman Who has meant to my business

I’ll be honest. After two years as a finalist I was reluctant to enter the Woman Who awards for a third ‘lucky’ time in 2018. My confidence had been drained by a toxic employer a few years before and despite being a natural saleswoman, selling my own skills and achievements was something far outside of my comfort zone. But I knew I had to – I felt a great affinity towards Woman Who as my business had been running a similar length of time and I felt we’d grown alongside each other. Their values and ethos were the same that I advocate towards my business, so as daunting as the prospect of the judges’ interview was, I sent off my application and hoped this year would be different.

And it was. No-one was more surprised than I was to hear my name announced as the winner. I was overwhelmed with emotion and completely unprepared for what was to follow.

Since winning, my confidence in my own abilities has soared. My award, photo and certificate secured pride of place in my shop and became quite the ‘talking point’ with my customers.

Within days I felt I’d transitioned from ‘shop girl’ to credible business owner and that all my hard work and efforts had been recognised.  With that came an influx of new customers, both shop patrons and new contract catering clients. Business is booming and, although the hours are longer to meet demand, you won’t find me complaining. Running my own business was the best decision I’ve ever made. Entering the Woman Who awards comes a close second.

I can’t recommend the Woman Who network enough and am so very grateful for all the exposure my business has received each year – especially since winning the award. I urge anyone thinking of entering these awards in 2019 to go for it. Be brave, leap out of your comfort zone, tell your story, hold your head high and seek the recognition you deserve. You’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Watch Victoria on stage after the announcement of her Award 

Nominations for the 2019 Awards open on Monday 5th November

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