Laura Middleton – The Office Rocks


Laura Middleton

Business Name:

The Office Rocks


Facebook page:

Twitter name:


Where are you in the North East?


Email address:

Directory advert:

The Office Rocks is a digital marketing agency based in Sunderland specialising in affiliate and social media marketing. Via a diverse portfolio of brands The Office Rocks generates over 2m user clicks per month resulting in over £700k in retailer revenue per month.

When did you start your business and why?:

I started The Office Rocks in January 2014 after having my 3rd baby. Initially I offered a virtual assistance service however I quickly became employed full time. After 10 months of trying to juggle a full time job and family life I made the decision to pick The Office Rocks back up and embrace the world of self employment again.

What gives your business the edge?:

Being a busy mum of 3 I am extremely passionate about creating a flexible working environment which allows employees to have a life outside of their working day. Whether you have children or not, flexible working for all is vital to creating a happy workforce.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

I absolutely LOVE the freedom which running my own business offers me. Yes I work hard and often long hours BUT if I need to be somewhere else I can. School sports days, school trips and family parties – I don’t need to miss these things anymore.

And what is the worst!?:

The constant feeling of guilt. Guilty for not working enough and wondering where my business would be if I was working 70 hours a week.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

Wake up to Chris Evans at 6am. Snooze until 7am (trying to crack this habit)

Chaotic getting ready routine of breakfast, teeth, shoes, bags. Normally run back to the house for various forgotten items.

2 school drop offs and a childminder drop off.

Get to the office and cram in as much as possible before heading back to school to collect all 3 children. (Thankfully I have an amazing team who manage extremely well without me.)

Prepare and eat dinner together at the table. Attend various after school clubs. Back home (bath if they’re lucky) and off to bed.

MacBook out for another couple of hours work!

Sleep (hopefully) and wake to do it all over again!

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

Thinking about the next 5 years makes my stomach flip with excitement!

I see my business growing to a team of at least 50 as we expand into a multi disciplinary agency offering more services including web development, graphic design, SEO, training and coaching and more.

Hopefully we’ll own our own premises too!

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:

Just go for it! Don’t over think as chances are you’ll talk yourself out of it. Be confident, be brave, be bold!

Julie Fleming & Ashleigh Leighton – Little Red Interiors


Julie Fleming & Ashleigh Leighton

Business Name:

Little Red Interiors


Facebook page:\Littleredinteriors

Twitter name:\littleredint

Where are you in the North East?

Whitley Bay

Email address:


Directory advert:

Little Red Interiors

Beautiful products for you, your home and your little ones.

Create your dream home and draw inspiration from our selection of gorgeous, quality products.

When did you start your business and why?:

Sisters in law, Ashleigh and myself love interiors and home styling and always shared pictures of rooms we loved and products we liked for our homes.  We followed many interior companies on social media and decided we wanted to create our own online business, bringing brands together that we loved.  We are two part time teachers, with young children, and this was a dream we decided to pursue!

What gives your business the edge?:

We like British brands, ones where products are created in the UK.  We love quality products and businesses who have strong values on fair trade.  We are interested in modern country and Scandinavian styles.  Classic, timeless, beautiful products.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

It’s like shopping for a living! Great fun picking products we love and sourcing new brands that can’t be easily found on the high street.  So exciting too when we get emails from sales on our website, it gives you such a buzz!

And what is the worst!?:

The costs.. there are always things we hadn’t planned for or opportunities too good to miss but add up quickly financially!

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

We may have a meeting with our website designer, or business advisor.. usually in a café with a 9 month old baby and a toddler in tow.. (no childcare), we love attending networking events, parceling products to send off or receiving deliveries.

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

We would love an office, a showroom or an actual physical shop to showcase our products and group and see them altogether more frequently.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:

Go for it!  If you are passionate about something, make it work!



5 Easy Marketing Tips from Michelle Rose of Custard and Bear

Recently the amazing Michelle Rose inspired us all at the North Tyneside Inspire Network Meeting and gave us all 5 tips for marketing. You can watch the videos – which I recommend as you’ll get Michelle’s lovely personality and a more thorough understanding with examples of  how all these tips work – but if you want the potted version, here are the five tips!

ONE: Good old fashioned customer service. 

Do your customers feel special?

Instead of people thinking “I went here and it was great BUT…” how can you turn that BUT into an AND? Suggestions include thank you gifts, remembering birthdays and refilling coffee.

TWO: Keep in touch.

If you don’t keep in touch with your customers – someone else will…

The best marketing tool you have is your phone. Just TALK to people.

THREE: Send Emails.

Don’t forget to say “can I put you on my email list?”

Provide something of value. The money IS in the list – but you don’t have to SELL.

Give away a freebie.

Track your marketing habits.


SHOW UP – at least keep in touch on your Facebook page. Use Facebook Live. Call people. Use your mailing list. Build relationships.

FOUR: Ask people to refer you.

Believe in yourself. Talk to your perfect people. We WANT to refer but we are busy people.

Ask for testimonials. Do one focussed step at a time.

FIVE: Plan. 

Work through the habits consistently and persistently. Every month do the four things:

  1. Email people
  2. Phone people
  3. Ask for testimonials
  4. Great customer service

It all adds up.

Don’t ignore your marketing.

Michelle Rose, Custard and BearIf you’d like to find out more about Michelle then you can visit her website here: and you can buy her wonderful #FacebookThirty workbook on Amazon.


Barbara Ellis of Optimum Health at The Inspire Network, North Tyneside

At a recent Inspire Network meeting, Barbara Ellis of Optimum Health spoke about her amazing business 
where she aims to create a bespoke service for health and wellbeing for anyone striving for Optimum Health.  “I know what it’s like to live with back pain following two damaged spinal discs when I ended up in a wheelchair.  Everything was such an effort. Tui Na Deep Tissue Massage and Acupuncture was fundamental to helping me to feel well again and perform better.  In the past ten years since training in these disciplines, I have never felt better.  My goal is to help people value their health, become more mobile and work towards creating the perfect pain relief plan for individuals.”

Since then Barbara’s passion has been to help others in pain and has completed other training to provide a bespoke service to help bring about pain relief to all whether from injury, stress or illness.

There are many different streams of Optimum Health to help with your health, wellbeing and posture,
including acupuncture, Emmett, Havening, Tai-Chi Qigong and Arbonne Products.





New to the UK in 2007, this bodywork therapy is designed to offer fast relief from pain and discomfort.  Beneficial effects are commonly noticed before the end of the first treatment.

The therapist uses a combination of gentle switches and light pressure to release specific muscle groups, enabling the client’s body to return to a balanced state. Practitioners are trained in assessment skills and how to tailor treatments precisely to their clients’ individual needs.  They are also trained in assisting the client to recognise and enhance the changes achieved.  All facets of this effective and complete treatment result in the successful outcome of the work, creating lasting changes for the client. The results can be almost instantaneous.  Before leaving the clinic most clients notice dramatic changes in flexibility, balance, pain levels, ranges of movement, breathing and other functions depending upon the areas worked.

The Emmett Technique can be used alone or alongside any other bodywork therapy to enhance its performance.  For this reason, it is one of the most desirable and versatile treatments available, enhancing any therapist’s practice.

As well as offering treatments Barbara is Trained in Emm-Tech (Easy Muscle Release) and provides workshops and training to help YOU, the individual, look after your body with this wonderful technique

The Emmett Technique Barbara Ellis Optimum Health




The Havening Techniques are a healing modality that is designed to help individuals overcome problems that are the consequence of traumatic encoding. The Havening Techniques belong to a larger group of methods called psychosensory therapies, which use sensory input to alter thought, mood and behavior. The Havening Techniques are a system comprised of protocols and methods that uses touch as a therapeutic tool which we call Havening Touch®. The Havening Techniques have three (3) distinct applications, one is for emotional disturbances and encoded psychological trauma, second is for wellness, stress management, and peak performance, and the third is as a self-help tool. Therefore, The Havening Techniques can be used within a psycho-therapeutic setting with professional mental health care clinicians that have been fully trained and certified in The Havening Techniques. In addition, The Havening Techniques can be used by non-licensed practitioners as a protocol for coaching sessions, or as a tool in allied health care practice by individuals that have been fully trained and certified in The Havening Techniques. The Havening Techniques can also be used as a self-help technique and shared with family members and friends. Find out more



Check out these videos to see what Havening looks like:





If people have posture related problems then Taichi- Qigong is great for relieving pain and strengthening to the body as well as building stamina. Following treatment to align the body it is important to maintain this alignment and Taichi-Qigong can do just that without over stressing or over straining the muscles and joints. It is great for back and joint pain, relieving arthritic stiffness as well as increasing breathing and lowering blood pressure. Movement keeps the body supple, builds strength and enables internal organs and systems to work at their maximum potential.  An added benefit is the reduction in stress related illness,

Barbara has ongoing workshops and classes on this as well. Contact her for more information and visit her Facebook page




The Arbonne products are ultra-premium, pure skincare, haircare, nutrition and cosmetic products. Everything is botanical and as pure as it can be. Products are researched in a lab, not tested on animals. It’s not do much about what is IN the products, it’s what is NOT in them that stands out. Arbonne allows Barabara to have financial freedom as well as helping people find the best suited product for their skin. If you are interested in this kind of business and wish to know more, then do get in touch with Barbara who is more than willing to help you see how these products and business can help you  – watch the video to hear her passion about the range and find out how you can start your own business for a minimal outlay! Then email Barbara if you’d like to know more.


The products are fantastic – I tried several of them during the morning and my skin was immediately soft and much smoother than usual which lasted all weekend! It’s just returning to normal now. A little goes a long way, I can see that using these they will last a long time as you barely need any to do what you need to do, so they will be excellent value for money. Of course I’m buying some!
– Amy Purdie


Barbara did not have all of the range of products on display but she introduced the following collections….


The range includes:


Rescue and Renew Collection

Inspired by ancient Ayurvedic spa practices, this holistic approach to wellness focuses on the body’s flow of energy for the ultimate in self care. The ritual and products combined help detoxify the body by cleansing the skin’s surface of impurities while also protecting the skin’s moisture barrier. With the integration of botanical extracts, oils and minerals with aromatic features sourced from around the world, you’ll emerge from this luxurious ritual with radiant, healthy looking skin, while pure essential oils like grapefruit and juniper berry aromatically create a sense of harmony and vitality. Products in the Rescue & Renew collection include:

■■ Detox Soak
■■ Detox Face Mask
■■ Detox Scrub
■■ Detox Wash
■■ Detox Oil
■■ Detox Lotion
■■ Detox Gelée



RE9 Anti-Aging Collection

The RE9 Advanced collection was developed to address the specific needs of ageing skin. When used consistently as a twice daily skincare regime, the products help to improve the appearance of skin firmness, elasticity and tone, minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and improve hydration, helping skin look visibly rejuvenated and youthful.
Formulated with innovative botanical stem cell technology along with algae extract, peptides and botanicals, the products contain ingredients to provide clinically tested, anti-ageing benefits. Botanical stem cells obtained from oranges help improve the appearance of skin radiance, elasticity, firmness and texture while minimising the appearance of wrinkles. Botanically based emulsifiers, surfactants and moisturisers support the delicate skin barrier by increasing hydration.

When used in conjunction with the Arbonne Intelligence® Genius Ultra, the RE9 Advanced collection delivers the ultimate anti-ageing skincare solution. The Genius Ultra works with the Intensive Renewal Serum and Corrective Eye Cream, helping to apply the products more evenly onto the skin for improved results.

Barbara told me about a lady with very wrinkled hands who used this briefly twice a day

over a six month period and her hands were noticably smoother, she also mentioned her own

experience using it to help her face look firmer around the jaw and reducing swelling under her eyes.

The RE9 Advanced Collection includes:

■■ Smoothing Facial Cleanser
■■ Regenerating Toner
■■ Intensive Renewal Serum
■■ Corrective Eye Cream
■■ Restorative Cream SPF 20
■■ Extra Moisture Restorative Cream SPF 20
■■ Restorative Cream (non-SPF)
■■ Night Repair Cream
■■ Cellular Renewal Mask
■■ Age-Defying Neck Cream
■■ Instant Lift Gel

RE9 Advanced for Men products provide a skin care regime to address the unique needs of men’s skin. The products are formulated with some of the same scientific and botanical ingredients in the women’sRE9 Advanced line, enhanced with ingredients chosen to address the needs of men’s skin.




FC5 Collection

FC5 was developed to help preserve, protect and revitalise skin, while helping it look healthy. This is accomplished by utilising Fresh Cell Technology, which encapsulates fresh cell phytonutrients to deliver pure and potent botanicals to the surface of your skin.
Youthful, radiant skin gives off a perceived glow, making it appear luminous. After age 25, most skin needs help maintaining its glow. A targeted daily skin health regime will provide beneficial hydration, necessary cleansing, exfoliation and moisturisation, plus the added benefit of UVA/UVB broad spectrum protection.


■■ Purifying Cleanser + Toner
■■ Oil-Absorbing Day Lotion SPF 20
■■ Mattifying Powder

■■ Deep Cleansing Mask
■■ Hydrating Cleanser + Freshener
■■ Nurturing Day Lotion SPF 20
■■ Moisturizing Night Crème

All Skin Types

■■ Hydrating Eye Crème
■■ Exfoliating New Cell Scrub Body

■■ Invigorating Body Cleanser
■■ Conditioning Body Moisture
■■ Skin Conditioning Oil
■■ Ultra-Hydrating Hand Crème
■■ Cooling Foot Crème



The Calm Collection
Calm products were designed to address the needs of sensitive skin, formulated to be extra gentle and soothing. The products focus on hydrating, moisturising and soothing skin discomforted by tightness and dryness.
Clinically tested for sensitive skin, the Calm line is non-comedogenic, and fragrance and colourant free.
The Calm Collection includes:

■■ Gentle Daily Cleanser
■■ Soothing Facial Serum
■■ Gentle Daily Moisturizer
■■ Soothing Eye Gel



Clear Future Collection

Clear Future products were developed as a complete system to help target blemishes. The anti-blemish formulas are powered with salicylic acid, along with a unique blend of efficacious botanicals, to calm and soothe skin. Daily, consistent use as a regime helps skin appear more even toned and clear. The system is clinically tested to deliver faster results with key ingredients, including:

■■ Salicylic acid: Potent exfoliant
■■ Alpha-glucan oligosaccharide: Derived from bio-fermentation and natural sugars, helps mattify and moisturise skin

■■ Exopolysaccharide: Derived from marine algae,
helps mattify skin and absorb sebum at the skin’s surface

■■ Naturally derived polysaccharide, rhamnose, glucose, glucuronic acid: Derived from bio-fermentation and natural sugars, protect the skin’s moisture barrier
The Clear Future Collection Includes:

■■ Deep Pore Blemish Cleanser
■■ Exfoliating Blemish Pads
■■ Mattifying Blemish Lotion
■■ Intensive Blemish Calming Lotion
■■ Soothing Overnight Mask


ABC Baby Care Collection

Parents need and want baby care products they can trust for their baby, while still providing the moisture, cleansing and protection necessary. Parents consistently prefer products made with pure ingredients to use on their babies. The collection includes: Arbonne is renound for the purity of all their products but never more so than in the Baby care Range.

■■ Hair & Body Wash

■■ Body Lotion

■■ Water Resistant Sunscreen SPF 30

■■ Nappy Cream

Arbonne also produces a wonderful nutrition range and Barbara will be presenting this at her
Look and Feel Amazing from the Inside Out Event 24th June at Netherton Park, Stannington. If anyone would like to know more follow the link >





How can you buy Arbonne products? 

Arbonne is all done by invitation. You can have parties where you can get your friends together to try

them, have a facial and see what suits your skin. You can also purchase items online here.


If you want to save 20% on products, then you can become a Preferred Client for only £17 – well

worth it if you’re planning on buying several products. You also get access to other benefits and

incentives such as flash sales.




How can you buy Arbonne products? 


Arbonne is all done by invitation. You can have parties where you can get your friends together to try them, have a facial and see what suits your skin. You can also purchase items online here


If you would like to save 20% on products, then you can become a Preferred Client for only £17 – a no-brainer it if you’re planning on buying several products. You also get access to other benefits and incentives such as flash sales – like the one on Monday 29th May 2017! Contact Barbara to get involved.

Are you …

Looking to find ways to keep well, healthy and fit and free from pain and injury?

Looking to start your own business but don’t know have any products?

Don’t have any money to get started?

Worried about lack of knowledge and training?

Wish you could work in a team of like-minded people?

Want to have work fit into your life and not life fit into work?

Would you…

Like to use ultra-premium products for you and your family which you can afford?


FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT BARBARA DOES and contact her today. What have you got to lose?


Call her 07552 450 102



To find out about the next Inspire Network meetings, click here!

Dawn Price – Dawn Price Consultancy


Dawn Price

Business Name:

Facebook page:

Twitter name:


Dawn Price MBPsS

Where are you in the North East?

South Shields

Email address:


Directory advert:

I specialize in Project Management and Statistical Analysis for SME. I work closely with one or two clients on increasing business, ensuring any new project runs smoothly while providing statistical  analysis regarding any information and writing in depth reports.

When did you start your business and why?:

2010 as administration support when I returned to FE to commence a Psychology degree.

What gives your business the edge?:

I currently work with two customers and provide in depth information regarding any projects undertaking including a risk assessment, statistical analysis and management of any problems or issues that could arise. I write reports on meetings, business opportunities and the latest innovations in the semi-conductor industry.

What is the best thing about running your own business?:

I have the freedom to choose the hours I work and can work around other commitments while feeling a useful part of society.

And what is the worst!?:

The long hours and sometimes travelling intensely can be tiring and tedious, only so many airports/hotel rooms can be interesting.

Describe a typical day running your business and balancing family life:

I check emails in the morning plan my day depending on my workload each day, work on reports or implementing projects, discuss issues via Skype or phone. Organise any travel plans, book flights or hotels as required. Cook an evening meal and depending on workload may work until 19:00. I can have phone calls at any time due to my clients travelling so can be up at 04:00 or woken at 02:00 if an issue arises that requires immediate attention. I have most weekends off to visit children/parents if I am not travelling.

How do you envisage your business changing over the next 5 years?:

I hope to grow my business and maybe change the format or start another business, a future project working with people and providing support for stress and mild depression from an evolutionary perspective, which is my speciality. I currently support people on a voluntary basis without charging.

Do you have any advice for other Women in or starting a business?:

I would say to go for it, being on your own can be daunting and stressful at times when everything is running well it is a good feeling to say that is my achievement. The only thing I miss about not being employed is the people side of things, which I try to balance with meeting other SE business woman for coffee.