LAUNCHING:

Sapphire

Bates

01.

What is your professional title, purpose or passion?

I’m the founder of a worldwide online membership platform for female founders, creatives, freelancers and anyone striving for a life outside of the traditional 9-5.

My everyday purpose is to grow my business whilst utilising the freedom and enjoyment that comes from being self-employed, no easy feat when your business is growing day on day and you could easily spend 18 hours a day doing things your business requires from you!

03.

What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?

I wanted to be Steve Irwin and hunt poisonous snakes in the outback (also known as a zoologist), that was seriously what I wanted to do up until I was about 12. I found a love for science and psychology in my secondary school years and had planned to be a doctor however I got kicked out of my A levels for misbehaving and that all fell through. I spent a few years trying various careers such as recruitment, retail, being a runner at ITV, fashion and then finally floristry and that kind of stuck enough to start a business doing it but a few years in I felt physically and mentally exhausted, you really have to work to get paid in the wedding industry. Without a chunk of money being invested into the business, like £30-£40k it wasn’t going to get to a point where the 16 hour days every day felt worth it, I wasn’t seeing enough return. It feels like fate that around the same time I had the idea for The Coven and now I’m finally in a career/job role that I’m really, really happy with - although with the amount of business ideas I have I’m sure in 10 years time they’ll be other things going on.

05.

What's the best career advice you've ever been given?

Nothing is perfect but everything can be improved. I live by this - perfection holds us back, it allows us to hide behind our fears without actually ever making things happen, it stops us part way. You should always launch the idea, write the book, sell the painting, whatever it is but then there is the balance that every single thing you do can always be improved. Nothing is ever a finished piece. It’s allowed me to launch a worldwide platform, it was just an idea to begin with and definitely not perfect, we’ve rebuilt so much of the platform, bettered the content, changed the way we do things but we put it out there and worked on it and still continue to work on making it better everyday.

07.

What is the best thing about your current working environment?

The fast pace of it all, we are seeing so much growth at the moment, unexpected growth I should say and every day I’m working on something new and I’m just totally in love with it all. I love having a team, it’s helped drive me to do better and to have other people as obsessed with our brand as I am makes me so happy.

09.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

I have many, many, many targets for the business in the next five years, I know exactly financially where I want it to go but equally I live life expecting to have to pivot, we are building a brand not just a business and who knows what it could become.

Personally, I want to write a book, it’s a personal goal of mine so maybe that will come into fruition over the next five years. I’d also love to have grown the team slightly more (although I never want more than 9 members of staff, small is good) so that I have time to go to yoga a few times a week and actually cook recipes for dinner, bit of extra mental space.

11.

Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.

God so many! Bloody Good Period and The Women’s trust are two of my favourites. Doing what you can to help others and giving back is so important to me, we are actually launching a scholarship some time in Q4 to help underprivileged women get into business and give them access to a space they may otherwise not have had access to. I’m so excited to bring it to life.

13.

What drives you?

So many things - the women that I’m helping within The Coven and outside of The Coven is a big one. 

 

I’m driven massively by the goals that I set myself, I’m an ambitious person, have been since I was kid, I’ve never lost that naive sense of ‘anything is possible if I work smart enough’ and it pushes me forward. Improving my quality of life, being able to pay myself a little bit more so that I’m not struggling to pay the rent or wondering if I can afford to buy groceries on the last week of the month (or the second week of the month lets be honest).

15.

Any final comments?

Get on the waitlist now at www.thecovengirlgang.com to grab yourself a spot!

02.

What does a normal day look like for you?

None of my days look the same, it usually depends if I’m at home in Ibiza or travelling to London for meetings (although by the time this comes out, I may well be a Londoner if my offer goes through on my dream place). As the founder of my business my role is super varied and changes month on month. On an average day I’ll get up whatever time I wake up (I hate alarm clocks, I only use them if I’ve got a flight to catch) have a hot shower,  make my only coffee of the day and open my laptop. There’s usually an overwhelming number of emails waiting for me so I reply to anything that’s urgent or time specific so that I don’t have any stress over my head. Then I move onto whatever my main tasks are for the day, it could adding new content to the members area, coaching our members on tier 3, checking in with my staff to see how they are getting on and whether they need anything from me, dealing with budgets and our finances, usually at least an hour if not two of studying our marketing plan and our big picture stuff to ensure we meet our quarterly targets, meeting my mentor/business advisor to analyse how the company is performing and what I need to focus on (I’m such a scatter brain, I need to be told to reign my ideas in, one at time), attending meetings with Kiera our head of PR and brand partnerships and my right hand woman, planning our upcoming events… honestly I rarely know what the days have in store for me. I thrive off the variety though and it’s what keeps me so excited about my job.
 

04.

What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?

Launching two successful businesses in under 5 years, I think. To be honest, I’m mainly proud of myself for having the balls to continuously push myself out of my comfort zone, trust my ideas and put things into motion without letting fear getting in my way. It’s these little steps that make the big things happen and I’ve really come a long way as a founder, a manager, a woman since I first started a business and that makes me proud.

06.

Tell us about a a woman who inspires you

Cheesey but my mum, she is my best friend and my biggest inspiration. I’d have never started a business if she hadn’t told me too and encouraged me. She has achieved so much in her life time and I’ve learnt everything I know from her. She encourages me every day but equally keeps me grounded and tells me when I’m being a dick which I sometimes need!

08.

What was your biggest failure?

I’ve made so many, I make mistakes on a weekly basis, some big and some small, that’s part of running a business, you have to take risks continuously… some of them pay off and some of them really don’t and you have to eat beans on toast all month while you try again.

10.

What do you like most about yourself?

I’ve actually never had this question before in an interview. I love my mind, it constantly brings me new ideas, I’m a very head strong person whilst I’m not overly confident I equally don’t shy away from trying new things and that’s ultimately how I’ve been able to grow my businesses so fast, by putting myself and my ideas on the line with the knowledge that something amazing could happen. Is that an OK answer? I’m keen to not sound egotistical but equally as women we shy away from being our own cheerleaders when we shouldn’t. 

12.

How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?

Such a big question, albeit an immensely important one. Listening, listening hard to those that aren’t currently included, and more importantly passing the mic to those whose voices are currently getting listened too. Within my industry (but it applies to all industries and the world) white and abled women are the ones whose voices are often speaking on behalf of all women and are supposed to represent all women’s experiences yet but it doesn’t represent all women’s experiences, not by a mile. This is exactly why we should be saying no to all white women panels, or events, or podcasts or platforms that are just a bunch of white and abled women not acknowledging their privilege or passing the mic. Why aren’t we calling out more brands that aren’t being inclusive, that are talking for all women when they aren’t talking for hardly any women? We need to be hearing from more women of colour, trans women, and disabled women, all self-identifying women giving them a platform from which to speak and helping them to make changes. We’ve come so far but until all of us stand together, with equal opportunities and equal rights to speak, to live then we haven’t got anywhere. 

14.

What skills have been key to your journey so far?

I think it was more my willingness to try and to adapt and to learn on the job that’s led me here. I had no skills or knowledge when I started my flower studio at twenty, not a f*cking clue what I was doing but I just did anyway and figured if I tried hard enough I could learn as I went and I have, I’m still learning. 
    
You don’t need to be some super wise genius to achieve what you want in life, you just have to want it, be smart in what and who you give your time too, that’s more important than being clever. 

FOUNDER OF COVEN GIRL GANG

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