During the coming months we are featuring many of the Woman Who Achieves Finalists, Winners and Sponsors in our Friday Feature.
Introducing Helena Flowers, Founder of Andel Plastics Ltd Winner of the Woman Who Achieves in STEM Award 2019 sponsored by Aesthetics Event Staff.
We asked Helena our Friday Feature questions and here are her responses:
Business Name: Andel Plastics Ltd
Twitter Name: @andelplastics
Who is your role model and why?
A bit of a cop out as it is, both parents. Neither of them ever stop ‘doing’ so they instilled an early work ethic in me and my siblings. They brought us up to believe that nothing is impossible just improbable maybe. They never had any preconceptions about what they wanted us to do in our lives as long as we were happy. They both taught me most things I know by a process of osmosis, no matter what they were doing, putting up fencing, plumbing, making bread you name it (and by the way both parents did all those things together) we were there being gophers or watching. You can’t put a price on that learning experience by observing and because they had no gender boundaries on jobs, neither did we. My brother was just as likely to bake the cake as I was to repair the vacuum cable we’d accidentally chopped through mucking about.
What’s the worst job you have ever had?
I started a waitressing job in a local Bistro pub when I was 17. I was absolutely not cut out for it, I had no confidence at the time, I am a total and utter clutz. Add to that the clientele was a lot of businessmen fresh from work or the golf course, I was just too young and not cut out for it. I think I lasted a week and in the end my dad went in to take the uniform back because he wanted to tell the manager that it wasn’t an appropriate skirt length for a school leaver.
What’s the best business advice you have ever received?
Don’t try to out-do the competition, just do what you do well and right first time, on time.
What is your proudest achievement in business?
In 2018 I managed to part ways with a business partner who had damaged the culture and reputation of the business to a point I thought might be irreparable. I managed to lead the whole business through the second change in leadership in 4 years, without losing a member of staff or a customer. It was the hardest but most rewarding time in business history.
What is your favourite business book?
Rework, David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
and just for fun…
Which personality or business person would you invite to sit on your dream Board of Directors and why?
Richard Dyson – though I wish he had kept his manufacturing in the UK, I think his innovation and research and design team have such freedom to design. I think he’d be a great mentor and person to learn from.
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?
Roadrunner – I’m always on the go and a total clutz
Tell us an amazing fact about you, that not many people know?
Hmmm can’t decide… either that although it’s well known, I have a mad love for animals, it’s not so well known that I have a 23 year old Harris Hawk, who I DON’T hunt with because I’m not comfortable with taking lives. Or that I haven’t had a TV for 6 years, which seems to surprise a lot of people when they repeatedly ask me if I saw so and so last night.
Join us at a Woman Who event this Autumn. Read more…
Woman Who is delivered in partnership with the FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) East & West Midlands Regions.