What I enjoy with these Made in Wiltshire features are the variety of topics and people I get to write about. I’ve thus far written about artists, a wood turner and a pen maker and a writer.
In this post though I’m delighted to feature the lovely Carol Aplin, a Swindon-based maker of hand-made, organic and vegan-friendly skincare that goes under the brand of Pink&Green.
I’ve known Carol for a few years now. We met when we were both at the start of our business journeys and have gone on to become friends and mutual clients. By which I mean, Carol avails herself of my editorial services and I buy her stuff!
They are gorgeous products – and I’m really not ‘just’ saying that.
Pictured below are a couple of my all time fave Pink&Green products.
Carol began her organic skincare company, back in 2014, after many years working as an holistic therapist. She explains on her websitehow, during time as a practising therapist, she taught her clients how important it is that they make time for themselves. To pay attention to their skin – to what it was telling them – and then to act upon that message.
Carol is steadfast in her belief that what you put on your skin should help you to both look and feel wonderful. She weaves that self-care ethos through her range of organic skin care products.
For those of you – and it’s more and more of us these days – that care about such things, Pink&Green products are formulated with natural ingredients that aren’t tested on animals.
But rather than me waffling on why don’t you listen to Carol herself talk about what she does and why? Here she talks about her ‘Ah-ha!’moment – how the Pink&Green brand came into being: https://youtu.be/k5qqZqmMCo4
Having run salons in the past, P&G are super aware of the challenges faced by salon owners. Which is why they don’t now, and will not, impose onerous conditions on you. Nor do they dictate to you how you should run your business. It is after all your business. As Carol says:
‘Every business is different. We listen to YOU and help YOU in a way that best suits YOU.’
The Weighbridge took to the popular social media site to apologise for previous changes at the venue that hadn’t quite ‘hit the mark’.
The restaurant and bar asked its following to suggest what they would bring back and what new elements they would introduce for relaunch, with the aim of making it up to its loyal customer base.
Followers saw a number of their ideas implemented during a successful four-day relaunch, which invited guests from local businesses, press and loyal customers to the venue to attend lunch and dinner services, experience the new decor and enjoy live music from local artists.
This included the reintroduction of The Weighbridge Brewhouse’s famed Dauphinoise potatoes, brought back by popular demand to complement its new, broader menu boasting ingredients from handpicked local suppliers and a great offering for those with dietary requirements.
Drinks at The Weighbridge Brewhouse have also been refreshed with a new cocktail menu – featuring delicious Strawberry Daiquiris and After Eight drinks – and a more extensive wine list by fine wine merchants Berry Bros & Rudd.
The bar area has been overhauled with a striking, illuminated tree at its centre to create an informal bar space and a new feature wall filled with station clocks reconnects to the unique venue’s past as a weighing station for trains. Luxurious teal fabric stools line the bar, updated with new silver chrome pumps, to link the restaurant’s decor.
The Weighbridge Brewhouse’s restaurant also features further illuminated golden maple trees throughout and a new wall of black and white pictures showcasing the Weighbridge building and Swindon’s railway heritage.
To celebrate its relaunch, The Weighbridge Brewhouse also ran a relaunch raffle to raise money for local Swindon charities, Prospect Hospice and Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home service, as well as Bowel Cancer UK. Prizes from The Weighbridge Brewhouse, its owners the Upham Group, and suppliers – such as Berry Bros & Rudd – as well as ticket purchases and generous donations from its valued customers, helped to raise £1,800 for the three charities.
David Butcher, director at The Weighbridge Brewhouse said: “The relaunch has been a wonderful event, allowing us to showcase the fantastic changes we’ve made to The Weighbridge Brewhouse, from the food and drink menus to the decor, as well as additional training for all our teams.
It’s also enabled us to reconnect with some of our valued customers past and present, who we hope have enjoyed the changes – many of which have been thanks to their feedback online – and we look forward to seeing many more of them over the coming months.”
David continued: ‘The icing on the cake has been the amount everyone has helped us raise for three amazing charities and we’d like to say a massive thank you to our staff, suppliers and our generous customers for getting behind it.’
She was the first female fast-jet pilot flying The Tornado GR1. She admits that her first flight was the high point of her career at that time of her life. Today, Jo is the Chief of Staff to the Head of Technology and Investment at PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper).
Helen Webb, Head of Marketing for the Royal International Air Tattoo, said: “We are thrilled Jo has agreed to come along and share her inspirational story with us. She is still heavily linked to the RAF, is a trustee of the RAF Club and a member of 601 Squadron RAuxAF. We know our guests will enjoy hearing more of her experiences.”
Jo was inspired to join the RAF after attending several airshows during her childhood in Croydon. After taking A levels in maths, physics and electronics, she applied to join and, aged 18, became an engineering officer in the Comms-Electronic branch. She also knows Wiltshire and the Cotswolds well as she spent three years studying for her undergraduate degree at Shrivenham and lived nearby during those years.
“I am looking forward to sharing my view that leadership and achievement are about the person rather than the sector someone works in or the size of their business. I ran my own consultancy for some time and I have learned that from personal experience,” Jo said.
“Diversity isn’t just about gender, race or religion, it’s about thinking differently and allowing people to be their true selves in the workplace.”
Jo will be one of a number of speakers at The Air Tattoo Business Club which will be held for the first time at the show where companies can network in one of the Air Tattoo’s premier hospitality suites.
Guests will spend the day with like-minded organisations, enjoy business round-table discussions with pilots and aircrew who will drop in throughout the day for photo opportunities.
The event starts at 9.00am with refreshments and structured networking followed by guest speakers from 10am-11am. The flying display is from 11am-3pm with lunch served during this time – those who want to stay in the room can take part in facilitated round-table discussions. Afternoon tea will follow at 3.00pm with guests departing from 4.30pm.
TechSwindon is a Switch on To Swindon (SOTS) branded project. It will work with organisations and business groups to run a series of meet-up events for start-ups, micros, SMES and larger companies. These companies either provide digi-tech products and services or are reliant on it to do business.
The year-long campaign will culminate in a two-day summit in spring 2020. The summit will have high-profile speakers from Swindon and around the world. In venues across the town it will welcome up to 1,000 visitors a day.
The aim of the campaign is twofold:
To work with partners to enhance Swindon’s digi-tech cluster
To showcase its impressive capability to attract inward investment and a pipeline of additional skilled staff to allow business growth.
DigiTech is a strong and growing industry. Swindon boasts the UK’s 3rdmost productive tech sector with over 2,800 companies. In Swindon and Wiltshire there are over 25,000 companies delivering digi-tech products and services. And over 25,000 companies reliant on digi-tech to operate.
Jenny Groves, Chair of Switch on To Swindon said “We use the Switch On brand to promote Swindon as the destination of choice to live, work and do business.
Our 600 plus passionate ambassadors provide their time and support to share these positive messages. Both local businesses and new investors are set to benefit from the TechSwindon focus on attracting and developing additional talent. This alongside the timely recent announcement of Institute of Technology funding for Swindon College and partners”.
After the last SOTS event, local design company Bravedog won a competition to develop a Big Idea. They have worked in partnership with Ambassadors and Swindon Borough Council to create the concept of TechSwindon.
A number of businesses have already signed up to support the campaign, and lots more opportunities for business engagement and promotion will be announced over the coming weeks.
Switch On To Swindon is proud to unveil Nationwide Building Society as its first TechSwindon sponsor. Last night, Nationwide confirmed its support and sponsorship of the year-long campaign to build and promote Swindon’s tech capability.
Also at the Switch On To Swindon event, over 400 delegates heard Nationwide Building Society’s latest news and a business in the community round up from Shirley Ludford of Swindon 105.5.
They were wowed too by demonstrations from some of Swindon’s digi-tech community.
Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Place, said: “Advances in digi-tech are essential to Swindon’s industrial growth in all of its key sectors, particularly advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, business finance and professional services and logistics.
“I am delighted we have launched the TechSwindon campaign, which will keep Swindon at the forefront of this dynamic sector.”
Award-winning app developer Paul Harding uses tech to bring Lechlade Festival alive.
Zapp Active: Latest news from Cotswold Apps
A Gloucestershire father of two is using his new tech platform, Zapp Active, to live stream activities and behind the scenes moments from the popular Lechlade festival.The festival runs from Friday May 24 to Sunday May 26.
He’s now developing, with designer Matt Tyson, Zapp Active. Zapp Active is a platform for communities to promote local events, activities, points of interest, the High Street and independent traders.
Paul is supporting Lechlade Festival for free this year because of his love of live music, his home town and the surrounding area.
“I’m doing this for 2019 to test the platform and see how it works at a live event, to record what’s behind the scenes as it happens. Any band, trader or individual or activity associated with the event can feature on it and can even have its own page on the platform. I’m hoping this will significantly raise the festival’s profile.”
Jennie Rainsford, festival director, said: “We’re thrilled to support Paul with his new idea and it will be interesting to see how people engage with the live festival news as it happens.
“We’re conscious of the fact many of our audience use apps and get their information on the move through smartphones. As a small team we haven’t got the capacity to manage this ourselves. Thus it was obvious that working with Paul would help us start engaging in that modern manner.”
At the event, Paul and his team will take drone footage, interview performers, meet traders, activity organisers and give people a feel for what’s happening as it’s happens.
Paul’s innovative apps have already won him attention. His app Kids Covered, which provides a news and booking system for childminders, was recently named the Most Innovative Tech Solution at the Swindon & Wiltshire Techies 2019 (May 9 2019).
Anyone interested in keeping up to date with what’s going at the Lechlade Festival this year can visit www.zappactive.com
‘When we were looking for new offices, one of the criteria was to have a large enough space to host free events so we could add value to the service we offer to our clients and the local business community,’ said Richard Mathews, CEO of Optimum.
‘This first event is a general networking breakfast. We also plan to run themed events with presentations which will benefit businesses across various sectors. For example, we hope to run an event for landlords to update them on various legislative changes.’
Optimum combines, under one roof, a range of professional services.
The accountancy team offer business planning, personal and business tax planning, audit, bookkeeping, and payroll. While the legal team offer wills and probate, commercial and residential conveyancing and associated services. Things such as such as equity release, powers of attorney, remortgaging, land acquisition and sale.