Following the success of our last swishing evening and after lots of requests to have another, it’s on Wednesday 5th March!

What it is:

  • everyone who comes donates at least one item of “pre-loved” ladies clothing still in VGC, plus accessories, shoes and good quality children’s clothes too
  • after time for wine, nibbles and cupcakes swishing is declared open
  • all donations are available for others to buy at a fixed cost of £3 per item or £1.50 for accessories
  • TW MIB and stylist Lynne Meek of Styling Matters will be on hand to let you know what suits you
  • all proceeds are donated to local charity chYps, which provides hospice and respite care to Kent children within their own home, helping the family stay together

***Click here to book!***




Meet a member – Elma McElligott of Acupuncture Space

Elma McElligottName:  
Elma McElligott

Businesses:  Acupuncture Space Clinic

Mum to:  Aiden 25 & Niamh 23

What is that you do, and how long have you been in business?  I am an Acupuncturist and I started in 2007. I have an established clinic in Bexhill and recently joined The Courtyard Clinic Practice in the town of Crowborough where I also have lived for the past 12 years having lived in Pembury before that.

What did you do before you started your business and what led you to setting up?  I have been a Registered General Nurse with Midwifery training for the past 29 years.  I have worked mainly in the area of Women’s Health, which is also my speciality within my Acupuncture Clinic.  I was a unit Sister in Pembury hospital, Tunbridge Wells for just under 5 years.

A growing dissatisfaction with the stresses, strains and time constraints of working in a large hospital setting, coupled with a wish to give more quality time to my patients. I had acupuncture to help me with a personal health issue as I could no longer work the long 12-hour shifts and then decided to retrain as an acupuncturist. It was the best thing I have ever done!

When did you start coming to TW MIBs and how do you benefit from it?  My first meeting will be on March 6th 2013! I am looking forward to meeting women who understand the challenges of being self employed, as it can be somewhat lonely when you run a business by yourself and it will be great to have contact with other self-employed women.

What have been your greatest achievements so far?  Getting my practice off the ground and seeing it develop as I had envisioned with the satisfaction of helping my clients towards a better quality of health and wellbeing. I have wonderful clients and nothing gives me more pleasure than to help them to feel better.

What have been your biggest challenges and learning curves?  It was quite daunting to be working by myself having been employed in the NHS for many years. Getting to grips with my computer and laying out my website myself has been a massive learning curve!

And how do you find balancing motherhood and a business? How does it compare to your “previous life”?  As a mature mum, I do not have the same stresses as someone just starting out with a young family and a new business. However, I have always combined work and family life and it is not an easy balance whatever your age or stage!

What are your goals for the next year?  My business goal would be to grow and develop my Crowborough practice to the point where it would be my main Clinic. Personally, I want to develop the pregnancy and fertility aspect of my practice as I have been seeing more clients in this sector of late and I am booked to go on the necessary CPD to deepen my knowledge in this area.

Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?  I don’t normally plan more than 18 months ahead. Life tends to get in the way in my experience! Ideally, I would like to have my own acupuncture clinic and staff in either Crowborough or Tunbridge Wells.

Your top tips for other mums considering starting a business?  

  1. Regularly return to your base plan and tweak things as necessary.
  2. Expect the unexpected, it’s not always a bad thing and can often be an opportunity in disguise!

And finally, tell us something about yourself that we might not know  I am originally from Limerick in Southwest Ireland, have lived in the UK for 29 years, and have three Chihuahua/Bichon Frise crossbreed dogs that are completely crazy. 

Find out more about Elma…
Visit Acpuncuture Space website  –  Twitter
Special offer for TW MIBs:  Initial free consultation 20-30 mins long for current members registered in the TW MIBs Directory. Please phone me on 0758 4434976 to arrange.

Interview date: 20th February 2013

Summer drinks – Wednesday 8 August

Summer Drinks - for mums in businesscome and join us for a drink and a chat


As it’s the summer holidays, this month we’re just having informal networking drinks and if you’re a mum with a business or if you’re in the process of setting one up, it would be really nice if you could come for a natter – if you’ve not been for a long time or have been thinking of coming along but haven’t yet done so, please come, it would be lovely to see you.  It’s a really friendly group and we always have new faces.   If you’d like to come please just click here to see the invitation and RSVP so that we know to look out for you.

As it’s just drinks there’s no charge for non-members this month. If you know another mum in business who might be interested in getting involved with TW MIBs they’re very welcome to come along too!

If you’d like to find out more about who’s who before you come, you can see all of our members in our directory.

June 2012 Meeting – Confidence & Assertiveness for MIBs


“No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent”

Eleanor Roosevelt 

  • Getting your own way, no matter what?
  • Getting people to do things they don’t want to do?
  • Using sarcasm?
  • Ignoring people?
  • Keeping quiet for fear of upsetting people?
  • Saying ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’?

Does any of this sound like you? 

If so, at our next meeting on Wednesday 20 June, we have guest speaker Katie Day talking to us about Confidence & Assertiveness for Mums in Business.  ADVANCE BOOKING REQUIRED

What we’ll be covering  


  • What assertiveness is, and is not
  • How assertiveness relates to confidence
  • How to change your energy drainers into energy givers by changing how you react and interact
  • How to create a win/win situation most of the time
  • The benefits of being a woman in business
  • Being clear about your point without being sidetracked
  • Being equal with others and retaining your uniqueness
  • Dealing with conflict
  • Being able to reach workable solutions to difficulties
  • A win/win result
  • Treating yourself and others with dignity and respect

About our speaker Katie Day is a fully qualified Business & Personal Coach, Personal Development Trainer and Image Consultant.  She has 17 years experience of working with private, public and education sectors on personal presentation, self development, diversity, work/life balance and corporate social responsibility.

Having run her own company from 1989 training corporate clients in the power of personal presentation, Katie then went on to run self development courses for the same clients concentrating on goal setting and assertiveness.

Katie worked for The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development from 1995 to 1999 running self development courses and guiding the Bank through the maze that is Diversity. In 1999 Katie joined Business in the Community working primarily with City clients on Diversity issues, specialising in gender diversity. Katie has also worked with clients on their corporate social responsibility agenda for 6 years.

Her clients include a long list of names you’ll recognise, e.g. BAE Systems, Citibank, Credit Suisse First Boston, Gallaher Group, JP Morgan Chase, Kimberly Clark Europe, Shire Pharmaceuticals, The Berkeley Group, The Mears Group, The Sony Corporation

Spaces are limited therefore advance booking is necessary.

When Wednesday 20 June 2012, arrive 7.30 pm for an 8 pm start

Where Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells

How much free for members, £15 for non-members (refundable if you join TW MIBs within 7 days after the meeting).

May meeting – who’s coming

At our next monthly meeting on 2 May we’re going to be discussing Facebook for business, and also touching on Pinterest, followed by informal drinks.  We’ve got lots of people coming to share their experiences and find out what else they could be doing and how.  Here’s the attendee list so far (bold indicates a TW MIBs member).    At the time of writing this there is just one space left so if you’d like to snap it up please click here to book your place!

In the spirit of the subject, there’s also currently a “like ladder” on our Facebook page where everyone who’s coming to this meeting can share a link to their FB page and like everyone else’s.

  1. Aisling Mathieson, The Great British Wedding Company
  2. Alison Jeffries, Aromatherapy Works
  3. Amy Biddle, The Black Dog
  4. Andie Haycock, Thomas Haycock Interiors
  5. Barbara Yeo, Just Dog Photography
  6. Boo Brittle, Angharad Llewelwyn Bespoke Cakes
  7. Brigid Godwin, Unity Yoga
  8. Caroline Ort, Powder & Glow
  9. Carolyn Gordon, Waggatails
  10. Chloe Simmons, Do4Kidz Danceworks
  11. Christine Draper, Complete Care Midwifery
  12. Claire Covarr, The Bijou Bakery
  13. Claire Thomas, Thomas Haycock Interiors
  14. Claire Witz, Painted with Love & chair of TW MIBs
  15. Elle Ulliott, Tunbridge Wells Hypnobirthing
  16. Emma Buchanan, Array of Cakes
  17. Emma Chambers, Complete Care Midwifery
  18. Emma Howitt
  19. Holly Sharp, Holly’s Hats
  20. Janet Penny, Hushabye
  21. Jennifer Barlow, Mad Hatters Fancy Dress
  22. Julie Mitchell, Seodra Ltd
  23. Justine Hodgson-Barker, BarkerBourne
  24. Karen McClure, Garden Design
  25. Karen Murdoch, Yummycard
  26. Katie Craig
  27. Katie Whittingham, Equinox Wealth Management
  28. Kim Watson, The Flower House
  29. Louise Sabine-Dean, The Creative Decorator
  30. Magdalena Jameel, Forever Living
  31. Michele Duke, Michele Does Style
  32. Natasha Furner, EasySwitch.org.uk
  33. Nicky Silk, Silk Interiors
  34. Nicky Thomas-Davies, Jumping Juniper
  35. Nicola Samels, Usborne Books
  36. Rachel Gilbert, The Great British Wedding Company
  37. Reshma Field, Buss Murton
  38. Sally Burton, Bakelicious
  39. Sam Barton, Requisite Logic
  40. Sarah Harris, Sarah Harris Manicures & Pedicures
  41. Sarah Playle, Fit for a Princess
  42. Sharon Keown, Eightoaks
  43. Steph Goldiman, The Vintage Cup
  44. Suzie Corrigan, Sole to Soul Massage
  45. Tina Hall, Sprinkles & Swirls

May meeting – Facebook & Pinterest for business

At our next meeting on Wednesday 2 May, we’ll be having a discussion and information sharing session followed by informal drinks in the bar.  Members have voted that they’d like to talk about how to use Facebook and Pinterest for business, so that’s what we’re gonna do!


What we’ll be covering It will be an informal discussion evening to find out what we’re all doing in this area and what works and what doesn’t from our experiences, so we’ll go with the flow but we’ll be covering things like:

  • Facebook page vs person
  • New timeline and page features
  • How to get, reach, retain and engage likers
  • How to promote using Facebook, including paid advertising – whether / how / when to
  • Useful page applications
  • How often and when to post
  • How to integrate with your website, blog and other social media including like buttons, embedding timelines etc
  • Pinterest – how and why to use it
  • Using Pinterest to build and complement your branding
  • Pinning from your website
  • Pinterest as a networking tool

Spaces are limited therefore advance booking is necessary. Click here to find out more and book your place.  

When Wednesday 2nd May 2012, arrive 7.30 pm for an 8 pm start

Where Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells

How much free for members, £15 for non-members (refundable if you join TW MIBs within 7 days after the meeting).

Next meeting – How to protect your brand, products and IP


At our next meeting on Wednesday 4 April, TW MIB member and Intellectual Property Lawyer Sarah Playle will be talking to us about how to protect our businesses.

What we’ll be covering Sarah will be covering common questions facing small businesses, including

  • The different types of Intellectual Property (IP) rights that exist and how they can help protect designs/brand names/business names etc
  • How to register design rights and trade marks , rough costs and whether it’s worth it
  • How to deal with people who have copied either products or names, and how not to!
  • How to avoid infringing third party IP rights
  • Some of the common myths surrounding IP that always cause confusion.

Networking There will also be introductions at the beginning of the evening and time for informal networking after our speaker.

Spaces are limited therefore advance booking is necessary. Click here to find out more and book your place.  

About our speaker Sarah qualified as a lawyer in 2000, specialising in Intellectual Property law.  Intellectual property law covers trade marks, copyright, design right and patents. She worked in private practice for 4 years before working at Virgin Enterprises, the company that owns and controls use of Richard Branson’s VIRGIN brand.  She subsequently moved to Unilever where she headed up their UK trade marks team.  She now does consultancy work for several private practice firms and produce precedents and “know-how” documents for LexisNexis, an organisation which provides guidance and support services for lawyers.

When Wednesday 4th April 2012, arrive 7.30 pm for an 8 pm start

Where Spa Hotel, Tunbridge Wells

How much free for members, £15 for non-members (refundable if you join TW MIBs within 7 days after the meeting).

Next meeting: Speed Networking – BOOKING REQUIRED

After lots of requests we’re holding another of our very popular speed networking sessions on Wednesday 7th March.  They’re the perfect place to meet other local mums in business, promote your services and products, and build links on a one-to-one basis – at our last session in November we had 50 local MIBs from all sorts of backgrounds and businesses, and in various stages from setting up to well-established.

Because our speed networking sessions are usually bursting at the seams, and to make sure there’s a good balance of business types, we’ve introduced advance registration and ticket purchase for this event and there is a limit of no more than 3 people from any one business type e.g. cake bakers or accountants.  It works on a first come, first served basis and at the time of writing we’ve already have 32 bookings so the remaining places are limited and we’d recommend booking your ticket ASAP!


Next meeting – Wednesday 1 February

There are 101 advantages to running your own business, especially as a mum.  But let’s face it, we’re all ultimately in it for the money and would generally like to be making as much profit as we can from the time we have available.

So at our February meeting we’ll be looking at the age-old tricky question of how to get our prices right to maximise both our sales and profits to make all the effort and dedication worth it, with an excellent, experienced guest speaker Tony Buddin of Best Business Events and formerly Business Link.

To find out more and RSVP, please go to our meeting page.

Next meeting – Wednesday 4th January

A couple of months ago we took a poll to see what our members would like to start the new year with and the result was overwhelmingly stress management – how to cope with the pressures of motherhood and running a business without starting the day with a pounding heart, let alone getting to the other end without several glasses of wine.

So we’re starting 2012 with an interactive stress management workshop run by Leilani Mitchell of the Link Centre.  Leilani is a qualified counsellor and a UKCP registered psychotherapist and runs a successful private counselling and psychotherapy practice in Sussex.  Working with individuals, couples and groups on a wide variety of issues she also supervises a variety of Counsellors and Psychotherapists in the south-east and is co-founder of The Link Centre and also works with businesses applying her knowledge of Transactional Analysis in an organisational context.

Find out more and RSVP on our meeting page.

TW MIBs Christmas Charity Raffle in aid of ChYps

At our December meeting next week (yes it really is nearly December and you know what that means!), we’ll be having a raffle with all ticket sales donated to chYps, the TW MIBs official charity which provides in-home hospice care to local children.

We asked if any of our members would be able to donate a prize, and what a generous lot they are!  Take a look at these…

  1. A wash, cut and blow dry worth £40 by hairdresser Ashleigh Richter
  2. A husband and wife straightforward will worth £395 + VAT by solicitor Reshma Field of Buss Murton
  3. A reflexology treatment worth £35 by reflexologist Dee Mortimer
  4. A personalised memory book worth £28.50 from Julie Pinnell of Priceless Treasures
  5. 4 tickets for the Trinity Theatre Cinema over the Christmas period worth £30, donated by Louise Wright of ChYps
  6. A portrait session worth £75 by photographer Janet Penny
  7. An interior style guide for your home by Justine Hodgson-Barker of BarkerBourne Design
  8. A Shellac or Mavala manicure worth up to £31 by Sarah Harris
  9. A dog portrait photography session worth £50 by Barbara Yeo of Just Dog Photography
  10. A week long bootcamp worth up to £65 or 2 free classes by Sarah Playle of Fit for a Princess
  11. A boxed set of hand-painted little personalised initial wooden hearts made especially for your family to hang on your Christmas tree worth up to £31 by Claire Witz of Painted with Love
  12. A prime position banner advertisement for your business on a TW MIBs e-newsletter in 2012 worth up to £40
  13. A half term of free Talking Tots classes and membership pack worth £40 by Jane Parker of Talking Tots  (please note classes are only suitable for pre-schoolers but the prize can be transferred to a friend!)
  14. A delicious christmas cake baked by Boo Brittle of Angharad Llewelyn Bespoke Cakes
  15. A hand-sewn notice board made by Nicky Silk of Nicky Silk Interiors
  16. A 12 year old bottle of white burgundy donated by Julie Mitchell of Seodra Silver Jewellery
  17. A 2 hour session in Array of Cakes‘ kitchen donated by Emma Buchanan.  You will have the opportunity to decorate 12 cupcakes in a theme of your choice and take them away after – perfect if you have a special occasion on the horizon
  18. A mini-style consultation for you and a friend by Michele Duke of Style on Your Doorstep.

What’s that I hear you say?  Where do you buy tickets for a chance to win these amazing prizes? 

Well, we’ll be selling tickets and the raffle will be drawn at our next meeting, but if you’re unable to come and would like a ticket or ten, please email me!  Tickets will be £1.00 each, or a strip of 5 for £4.00.  Compare that to the prizes and that’s a pretty good investment!

I’m probably duty-bound to say that these are summaries of the prizes available and that some of our amazingly kind donors may apply restrictions, which will be notified to the prize winners as appropriate, so I’d better say it just in case!