1. Inside Oval

Oval Women - Part 1

"Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve" – JK Rowling

As the UK’s best-selling living author, and owner of an estimated £750 million fortune, this quote from JK Rowling is one we have decided to live by.

We at Oval are celebrating our own powerful women and the dreams and ambitions they have achieved so far. Taking a minute out of their hectic schedules they’ve shared their stories with us and given us a little advice on how to go about keeping our nerve in order to achieve our goals.  

MARIAVITTORIA, Partner in STØV Furniture and Copywriter for Oval Money

By day, I am a copywriter. It’s a job that I love and that makes me happy. But, I have always had another passion: a love of both vintage furniture and design. Three years ago these two passions combined into a job with my best friend (and now business partner). So, as well as a copywriter, I am also now a proud partner in STØV; a company that sources and sells Danish furniture from the middle of the last century.

Achieving this dream was difficult. Wanting to sell Danish modernism, the first step was a trip to Denmark. Copenhagen is full of retro furniture stores because recycling is their credo. Finding exactly what we needed was a Herculean task. However, after many trips, lots of research, and endless emails and phone calls, we finally found our niche.

There were a few very real sacrifices, namely time and money! This was especially true in the initial phase of the business. In addition, as I had another job, I had to take countless days off on trips to Denmark, sometimes doing one-day round trips to fit it all in. Obviously this hurt my actual holiday time! Today we manage everything from Italy, but it took time.

My best advice to anyone who wants to achieve their own secretly held ambitions is to always be curious and very tenacious!

ADELINE, Entrepreneur and People Engagement Manager at Oval Money

For years this exciting entrepreneurial feeling was growing inside me. When my friend moved to London in February 2014 the time finally seemed right to take a chance. So, we sat down and started seriously planing our own food company. One with the food that we loved, and values that we believed in. We were both in a stage in our lives where we were able to commit to a new project, vision and mission. It took 18 months of research, hard work, and development, but at the end of it we opened our own catering company specializing in French Crepes!

The main sacrifice was the lack of quality time we had to spend with friends and family. Our finances also took an initial hit, but we expected this and were ready to challenge ourselves. Luckily our family and friends were always really supportive. Our friendship was also really challenged on some occasions, but we learned to listen to each other, and to work together to improve the business.

My advice to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit is to follow your dream, think outside the box, and always keep trying no matter how tough it gets.

Enjoy it - it’s the best time of your life!

IVELINA, Finance Director at Oval Money

I wouldn’t say that I am a big dreamer, but I’ve had many different dreams in my life. What I will say though, is that every dream I’ve really been truly passionate about I have adopted as a concrete goal. I think that this is the secret to achieving your dreams - follow them as a goal.

The sacrifices I’ve made along the way to achieving my goals have been numerous, and some have been harder than others. I have had to learn how to make difficult decisions and stick to them. Ultimately though, if I think about my path so far, I can say that the situations I learned the most from were those in which I thought I was making a sacrifice. Never underestimate hardships; they can open new doors for you!

For me it’s always been important to have my goals in sight and to be consistent. I believe you should put everything you do in the context of your goals and think about how everything you do helps you to achieve them. Accept failures and learn from them. The path might be difficult, but enjoy it because it will pay off!

And never stop dreaming!

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