I was asked recently if I would like to create some written work to accompany an art exhibition at Vout O Reenees by the artist Cheli Mula. It was a very inspirational project and I ended up writing poems to accompany Cheli’s art works.
One poem, Stations, is based on Cheli’s photographs of the things and places in the outside world a novice nun entering an enclosed convent told her she would miss the most.
My second poem, Commute, is inspired by Cheli’s photographs of eyes that were originally exhibited as billboards opposite each other in a railway station.
I’m very happy to announce that Brick Lane Tales, an anthology I have a short story in, will be published on November 30th this year. The short stories were chosen as part of a competition, and each one had to mention the Bow Bells and explore certain themes. My theme was ‘wealth and poverty’ and I wrote about a City trader.
I’m interested in the way London has always attracted people to trade and still does today, and how the flow of money alters the evolution and physical fabric of the city. As someone who grew up on Brick Lane, I’ve seen a lot of change first-hand.
Here is what Brick Lane Publishing say about the book:
“A mysterious man destroys a stranger with one whispered sentence; a lonely
little girl pines for her absent mother; a drug-addled rogue trader dodges
trouble; a hopeful, young Bangladeshi struggles in vain to fit into a vast and foreign city; and can a person be famous and not know it?
These are just some of the remarkable tales of everyday Londoners as they
fumble with their flawed lives. Each story in this collection is the result
of Brick Lane Publishing’s short-story competition, and explores the East
End’s rich diversity.”
Tabitha in Spitalfields Market with her award for Greenest Trader 2011
I had some wonderful news this year when I found out I had won an Award for Greenest Trader 2011 given by the National Market Traders Federation, the oldest trade body in the UK for market stallholders. I regularly run a stall at the famous Old Spitalfields Market on Sundays – it’s where the old fruit and vegetable market used to be, and I remember visiting it in those days when I was growing up in Spitalfields in the early 80’s. It’s a wonderful market to trade in as well nowadays as it’s enclosed, bright and spacious, has very enticing food stalls and restaurants and lots of exciting events and activities going on. The other stallholders are great fun and sell all kinds of interesting products, especially handicrafts, jewellery and clothing. I won the Award because of the nature of the products I sell and the fact that I transport my goods by bicycle – no carbon emissions there! I wasn’t able to go to the Awards Ceremony so the award judges were kind enough to visit my stall and present it to me in person this December: thanks again to the NMTF for doing that!
I was lucky enough to be invited to read at the Idea Store Whitechapel on Tuesday 13 July.
I read along with authors Daisy Goodwin, Uchenna Izundu and Bobby Nayyar. This was for the launch of a two volume paperback capturing London in all its diversity, consisting of brand new stories for each of London’s 33 boroughs. The video shown below was produced by Charlie Sen.
A budding entrepreneur is flying the flag for Stepney after securing her place in a national competition that rewards brilliant business ideas with free trading space at local markets.
Tabitha Potts, 39, was shortlisted to the semi-finals after her business www.mimimyne.com – an ethical online store for families who want to grow up green, wowed the judges.
Tabitha noticed a lack of online stores selling eco-friendly organic baby clothes so decided to set up her own.
Now she has won ten days free trading at Old Spitalfields Market as part of the competition Make Your Mark in the Markets, in which she was one of 71 shortlisted traders in the UK.
“This competition is a fantastic opportunity for me and the business, and could help propel it to the next level,” she said.
Tabitha’s success puts her in with a chance of winning the overall prize of six months’ free trading, and the support needed to set up their business.
During trading, she will be visited by the competition judges who will assess all aspects of the business.
Eric Graham, manager for Old Spitalfields Market, said: “Tabitha demonstrated that she has what it takes to turn an idea into reality.”
With the help and support from East London Small Business Centre, Tabitha won a start-up loan from Deutsche Bank to build her website.
Mimimyne has also been nominated for several business awards, including the Thames Gateway Business Awards, the Archant Enviromental Award 2009 and Women on their Way 2010 and will soon feature as a British Library Business and IP Centre success story.
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (20th of February 2010)
TABITHA POTTS OF MIMIMYNE SHORTLISTED AS A LEADING WOMAN IN HER FIELD
Although women-owned businesses are on the increase there still aren’t enough female role models, is the claim of the leading women’s organisation, Women on Their Way.
Most people still think that the majority of businesses are run by men due to the stereotypical images that we see all around us. That’s why Tabitha Potts is delighted to be short-listed for the prestigious National Women on Their Way Awards 2010 in the Online Business Award category.
Women are equally qualified to run businesses as men but also need more opportunities to connect and do business together.
The competition this year has been particularly tough so it’s a huge honour for Tabitha Potts to be short-listed. Tabitha is a mother of two very interested in the environment and good design. When she started looking online for products for her children and realised that there were not many websites aimed at families which combined a strong design ethos and environmental awareness, she came up with the idea of creating an online shop to do just that. She started her company Mimimyne, showcasing the best in UK and European eco design for kids, in September 2008, and it has been expanding its range and developing a loyal customer base ever since. Tabitha has run the business single-handed while caring full-time for her two sons (aged 7 and 5) and doing a part time job alongside it.
Since her company started trading, Tabitha has been a Runner-up for the Mum-Entrepreneur of the Year 2009 and a Finalist in the Archant Environmental Awards and the Thames Business Gateway Awards. She has been featured in the Daily Express and the Sunday Times Business section as well as in various well-regarded design blogs. She has presented a session on selling online at the Everywoman conference (www.everywoman.com) and also runs a regular ‘Mumpreneurs Meetup’ for fellow entrepreneurs in East London which is sponsored by BT Tradespace. One of the products she helps to promote, the Splat Chair by Spinifex, has been exhibited in the V&A Museum of Childhood!
There are four short-listed candidates for each award and the winner will be announced on Friday 19th March at the Women on Their Way Annual Awards Lunch taking place at Aston Villa Football Club, Birmingham from 11.00 to 15.00.
The awards event is in its second year and aims to connect women through the UK, to inspire and to increase their self belief.
The Women on Their Way Awards is the brainchild of former Apprentice Candidate Jo Cameron and her Co-Director Lisa Ibbotson.
Jo Cameron added “we are delighted that Tabitha Potts has been shortlisted. There are so many amazing women in the UK who don’t always recognise the impact they have made and it is my absolute privilege to be inspired by so many incredible women. We are very much looking forward to announcing the winners in a few weeks time”
This year the judges include Gill Fielding and Caroline Marsh of TV’s Secret Millionaire and other esteemed women from both the public and private sectors. They will be judging the shortlisted candidates over the coming weeks.
There are twelve awards this year including Start Up and High Growth Businesses, Online Business, Woman in Finance, Law, Transportation, Construction/Engineering, Woman in The Community, Public office, The outstanding contribution to Women’s Learning and Development, Young Woman in Business, Outstanding New Product and Woman’s Advocate. This year the coveted prize for the overall Woman on her Way is a weekend away for two included flights and accommodation to Milan.
Tickets are priced £65+VAT each or £600 +VAT for a table of ten places. With up to 500 guests it provides opportunities for networking and to meet other leading and aspiring women.
Last year’s winner of the Legal Award, Laura Kearesley added ““I was thrilled to win the Women in Law award last year; it was a real honour. It was a fabulous day, where I made some really good contacts. Since winning the award and the subsequent publicity I have also been approached by other potential business partners, so it has been really positive for me personally and for business!”
– ENDS –
Press Contact for Tabitha Potts/Mimimyne
Tabitha Potts, Director (Me Me Mine Ltd trading as Mimimyne)
Phone 0208 133 0961
For more information on the Women on Their Way Awards please contact Women on Their Way press office + 44 (0) 870 2626 555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Lisa Ibbotson on Tel: 07968 368630 email email@example.com
Photo of Tabitha Potts courtesy of Ian Billinghurst
The Everywoman Conference was a very inspiring day for me. I was speaking on a panel, “Build Your Online Presence for Business Success” with two entrepreneurs I really admire, Paula Wynne of Remote Employment, Carol Savage of MyDish. Judith Lewis of i-Level was the panel moderator.
Paula Wynne talked about her business Remote Employment, which helps remote workers find jobs, how it is important for businesses to ‘punch above their weight’ (making sure your website is professional and attractive, for example) and making sure your search engine optimisation works right from the start. She also talked about how important it is to work hard at PR.
Carol Savage gave a fantastic account of the tough time she had facing the Dragon’s Den with her MyDish concept (helping people share recipes with each other) but showed how it was worth it in terms of publicity and increased visits to her site. I am planning to get on it straight away and share some of our family recipes: I’m lucky enough to have some of my mother’s already printed in her Pauper’s Cookbook but as most of my family are good cooks there are lots of family standbys I’d like to share with others.
Judith gave a very useful analysis of how important it is to build a good online presence on the web, pointing out that if you don’t put yourself on the web, someone else will, and talked of the importance of monitoring what other people say about you online. My talk was about how I have built up a presence online using Twitter, BTTradespace and Facebook and I mentioned some of the tools I have used to make it easier and quicker.
We also listened to some great talks, including Allegra McEvedy’s sometimes hilarious story of her life and adventures as a chef. Her main points were that you should build a great team, that hard times define you, that respect is important (never treat people badly) and that you should enjoy what you do. There were also some fascinating panel discussions and workshops, I didn’t have time to attend everything but all-in-all it was a very enjoyable and thought-provoking day. I will be back next year!
The National everywoman Conference 2009
Wednesday, 18th November 2009
Business success comes from creating winning ideas, learning new techniques, sharing experiences and making them work for you. Join us on Wednesday 18th November at this year’s National Everywoman Conference and you will be giving yourself the space and time to do just that.
You will hear winning ideas from inspirational speakers, as well as attend Masterclasses that will teach you how to be a more creative thinker, work on your leadership style and plans to promote your business and raise your online profile. And of course you will be able to network and share ideas with over 300 like-minded business owners. If you’re a woman running or interested in running your own business, you can’t afford to miss this! I will be presenting on the topic of online networking and marketing, can’t wait…
Last year I was asked to be a guest speaker at the launch of a Leicestershire-based charity, Giving World Online, who put businesses in the UK in touch with charities who can take their unwanted business surplus stock or equipment and redistribute it to those in need. The charity has been a fantastic success and the founders Rama and Sujata have just been given the Leicestershire Woman in the Community Award at the Leicestershire Women of Achievement Awards 2009 – well done Rama and Sujata! It was great to meet everyone and I was thrilled to be able to speak there and talk about how businesses can be more ethical in the products they well and how recycling can keep business waste out of landfill. It’s the first time I’ve spoken in front of so many people so I was a bit wobbly at first, but hopefully this video will interest you if you want to know about green business, or recycling!