Last nights Word of Mouth event encompassed everything that I wanted Fe-line to be about, great women, wonderful heart felt stories and a group of women leaving inspired and more aware of their own capabilities.
Both of the speakers last night, Shannon Robinson and Emma Webb told funny and inspiring stories. The topic redundancy could have been drab and depressing but instead was funny and uplifting.
Shannon started the evening and was a natural in front of an audience. She told the story of how she had worked in various sectors and hated these until she followed her one true passion: photography. Unfortunately she was made redundant from her first job as a photographer’s assistant. But she used the knowledge that she had learnt from this job to start SLR photography.
Shannon emphasised that working for yourself is hard work and long hours but well worth the effort. She has now had her own business for 3 years and her business is going from strength to strength. All this at only 25. As a friend of mine I am personally very proud of Shannon but I felt that the audience were very impressed with her too and warmed to her honesty and genuine love for what she does.
I don’t know where to start describing Emma’s story not in a bad way but in a way that I found it so funny that I am not sure I can do it justice. Emma is a performer, she is a dancer and was a natural on the stage. Emma told the story of how she had become a teacher by accident life, children and bills took over from being an artist. The following quote hopefully explains why Emma’s story had us all in stitches: “One of the reasons why I had to become more settled was because my husband was on tour as a clown.” Emma’s explanation of her and her husband living as a dancer and a clown was amazingly funny.
After 20 years of teaching Emma took voluntary redundancy, her job was making her so miserable that she wasn’t eating, sleeping and was snapping at her husband and children. What Emma’s story showed was a woman going back to her first love and doing very well at it. Emma has just performed a commissioned piece for the Pegasus theatre as part of the Dancin Oxford festival. And despite being 12 years than the next oldest dancer she has created a buzz in the Oxford dance community.
Shannon and Emma enthusiasm and passion shone through yesterday and showed that when you are doing what you love life can be great. They are both proof that there is life after redundancy and that you are never too young or too old to follow your dreams.