Ipswich shop owner among UK's top 100 female business women
- Credit: Adrianna Keczmerska
A woman from Ipswich has been named one of the UK’s most “inspirational and dynamic female entrepreneurs.”
Cathy Frost, 57, has been running Loveone on St Peters’ Street for the past fourteen years.
She has been included on a list compiled by f:Entrepreneur, a campaign which seeks to share and highlight stories of successful female business owners.
Cathy says her inclusion on this year’s line-up was “a really nice surprise.”
She is passionate about supporting other independent businesses owners in Ipswich and remembers how she first started Loveone after leaving a career in local government.
“I followed my heart and went into interior design, and I was supported along the way especially by women. Then when I had the shop, it became obvious that I could showcase other women,” she says.
“We do have male artists here, too, but it tends to be women who gravitate towards us.
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“I had a lady in the other morning. She's a really talented artist, and I’m kind of helping her through her journey of how to market yourself – how do you do packaging? What do you put on your labels? It’s drawing on what I’ve learned after 14 years running a business.”
The shop stocks homeware, plants and gift items from designers from Suffolk and further afield.
Being a woman in business has never been easy, she says.
“But I think women are getting better at self-promotion. I think collectively, when you get a number of women together, it does give you that little bit encouragement and support. You think, well, she’s done it. What can I learn from her?”
Cathy was instrumental in setting up the Saints community interest company a number of years ago with a friend. This supports the street markets, and gives people the opportunity to try their hand at business.
“I’d say probably 80% of the stallholders are women,” she says, “and I think that’s nice. We've had a few stallholders say how friendly the market is, and it’s given them the encouragement they need to try other markets.
Cathy also mentors at West Suffolk college, giving advice to art students about how to sell themselves as artists.
“It’s about giving something back. That’s what this entrepreneur program is about. It’s not all about being a successful retailer, it’s about helping other people along the way.”