THE recently-opened House of Cake dessert parlour, in High Street, was the venue for a social event for the fifth monthly meeting of Wellington Women in Business (WWB).

Nearly 20 local businesswomen were welcomed by owner Lesley Retallack and WWB co-founders Zoe Old and Maz Vincent with a ‘smile, hug, and complimentary birthday Prosecco’.

Attendees also enjoyed cakes including Rolo brownies, blueberry bloodies, lemon drizzle, and carrot cake.

They were given a brief recap of last month’s meeting when the guest speaker had been social media guru Samantha Parr, from SMILE, who had given her five top tips.

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WWB attendees (left to right) Katherine Brunsch, of Canine Support, Holly Fremantle, of Tides of Teal, Marion Vincent, from Growing Minds, Amanda Millett, of Belle of the Ball, Polly Frayling, of Pollys beauty online Avon, Laura Knight from Smile and Save, Katherine Hannaford, of Sterling Southgate, and Sarah Parsons, of SJ Accounting.

It was agreed the advice had proven invaluable in establishing new presences on social media platforms for the businesses which had been represented and that another SMILE presentation should be organised to learn more because the topic was too large to be covered in a single session.

Attendees who felt comfortable to do so, introduced themselves and their businesses to the group and lots of new connections were made.

The socialising carried on late into the evening and members moved next door for cocktails in The Pub, run by Karina Macri.

Ms Vincent, whose business is ‘Growing Minds, said: “This is exactly why the group was set up, to support women and their businesses, so to utilise these two businesses for our social event was a no-brainer, everybody benefits.

“The importance of such groups is crucial for small businesses because, as has been discussed by members, you can feel isolated and lonely when running a business and need to overcome obstacles along the way.

“Joining a group where ideas are shared, potential resources provided, and you have a support network of like-minded people can empower entrepreneurs and boost the local economy.”

Ms Old, who runs beauty clinic ‘Pamper You by Zoe’, said she was pleased that after five months members were already seeing improvements to their businesses with new marketing strategies gained via the meetings and connections within the group were going from strength to strength.

She said: “We are so proud of the group and its achievements so far, it was nice for us to be on ‘the other side’ so to speak.

“With the event being a social one, we were both slightly nervous, so fully appreciate and understand how new members may feel at first coming to such a meeting.

“However, after a few minutes we were both at ease and hoped this was felt by the seven brand new members who decided to come along for the very first time.

“We would encourage all local businesswomen to get involved, follow our Facebook page, come along to the meetings, together we can create a thriving ecosystem for businesses in Wellington.

“Our moto is ‘WWB supporting you, supporting your business’.”

The group will now take a break in August to allow for holidays, and start again with the next meeting on Wednesday, September 13, at a venue to be confirmed.

It does not have a joining or membership fee, only a request for small donations to help cover venue hire.

Anybody who wants more information about the group or to chat to either Ms Vincent or Ms Old can email [email protected].