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Celebrating the Women Who Run 125 High St

Updated: Apr 28, 2023

International Women's Day is something that is celebrated globally. It is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate women and their achievements regardless of the adversity and inequality they have faced.

To mark this powerful day in the calendar, the three female business owners, Gill, Katherine, and Sheena at 125 High St Auchterarder have been interviewed about their experience in the business world so far:

Gillian MacMillan, Business Owner of Auchterarder Health Foods

Gill took over from Jan De Vries Healthcare in 2022 and opened her independent health food shop to local's delight. Gill has been working in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years. She not only has a wealth of knowledge to share, but also offers her ear to the community when needed most.

Here's what Gill had to say when we asked her about her thoughts on being the front of a woman-owned business:

What advice would you give to young women?

I would definitely encourage young women to start out on their own. It can be challenging, but women tend to be extra good at communicating and they can excel when building relationships which is really invaluable for a small business.

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

Spending your "own" time doing things that make you happy is crucial to me! In my case, cooking, art and catching up with loved ones always puts a big smile on my face.

How do you stay motivated and determined as a female business owner?

At the end of the working day, I hope that someone has benefitted from my help, whether that's practical or just having a chat keeps me motivated and feeling a great sense of reward after each day.

Katherine Dandridge, TCM Acupuncturist & ​Chinese Medicine Practitioner

Katherine is a professionally qualified BSc Traditional Chinese Medical Herbalist and Acupuncturist with over 20 years of experience in complementary medicine. Her speciality is in women's health.

Katherine has given some great insight into the world of Complementary Therapy:

Are there any female business owners who have inspired you, and how have they impacted your own career?

I worked for a lady called Dr Xiao-Ping Zhai in Harley Street in London and she was an amazing business women pushing for professional IVF and Fertility using Chinese Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture care and helped to pave the way between our profession and embryologists and fertility experts. She showed me the perseverance that is needed to continue business. When the first year, second year is over, how to continue after this and thrive and grow and really be at the forefront of Chinese Medicine research and care.

How do you empower other women in your workplace or industry?

Together me and my colleagues take the good and bad days together and we keep a sense of lightness and humour. In my wider acupuncture and TCM groups this is to provide peer support and listening skills to help address some of the challenges faced.

What are some of the biggest challenges you've faced as a female business owner, and how have you addressed them?

I am still working on whether me being female sometimes undermines the advice I provide; there are times where I feel that if I was male, in a suit, that the advice is thought of as more valuable, even though it came from the same trainings! There is a confidence that I am learning to improve to be able to help clients get the best out of this care.

Katherine not only runs her business from Auchterarder, but also in Edinburgh. Appointments can be made directly to her on 07717001629 or on her website.

Sheena Munro, Business Owner of Paperclipz

Sheena Munro owns and runs Paperclipz, which is a very popular shop on the highstreet. She is also a longstanding and active member of the Auchterarder community.

Sheena describes how she juggles running her business along with being a full-time mother.

How do you maintain a work-life balance as a female business owner?

Fortunately employing staff allows me some flexibility to take time off during school holidays and also ensuring the staff have everything they need to run the business effectively whilst not there.

How has your experience as a woman influenced your leadership style?

I think as a woman, we are very understanding, caring and compassionate. The customers experience matters, as without them I wouldn't have my business. It's important to me that customers come back so I very much care that their visit is a positive one and that they experience a very friendly, lovely environment.

How do you stay motivated and determined as a female business owner?

I have been raising kids for 31 years, now that the youngest are 16 I now have my time for having a business of my own and I very much would like it to be a success. I am enjoying having my time, something for me!

Paperclipz regularly update their Facebook with new products and offers as well as some of their fantastic balloon designs too!

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