Spirit & Grace Wins ‘Best New Business’ Award

Inspire Conference – Awards Ceremony

On Friday in celebration of International Women’s Day, I attended The Business Girls Network ‘Inspire Conference’, at the Riverside Marquee, in Bray.

I had the most amazing day, filled with much laughter, merriment and even tears!  First thing, walking into the marquee I could feel the buzz of anticipation, the room crowded with exceptional individuals.  As a result, my nerves were on edge, this was quite a momentous day for me.  Because this was a room full of incredible female business owners and I was a Finalist Nominee!

Primarily, the Awards Ceremony provides the perfect opportunity to witness the best local female entrepreneurs in business receive recognition for their hard work and outstanding achievements over the last 12 months.  For this reason, the ceremony is one of  The Business Girls Network’s most anticipated events of the year! All our favourite businesses gather for a fantastic showcase of success.  Secondly, it is a great opportunity to network with other local businesses that you have not crossed paths with before!

Besides, the presentation of the Awards, the day was interspersed with an amazing variety of exceptional performances and presentations from some amazing & truly inspirational women;


First off we were delighted with a performance from the mesmerising & superb Electric String Trio, Cordelectra, comprised of three elegant, glamorous girls who are musically trained at the highest level.

Fusing contemporary and classical sounds, the girls have combined their classical talents, creative ideas and love of performance to develop a uniquely entertaining stage show.

Debbie, the cellist, suffers from cystic fibrosis.  Despite this, she has been able to perform at the most prestigious venues and events globally, including the MTV European Music Awards, Royal Variety Performance and Eurovision Song Contest.

The Dash Charity

Most noteworthy, Caron Kipping from The Dash Charity (Domestic Abuse Stops Here) spoke to us.  Fundamentally giving us an informed presentation about the charity and the support they provide.  This covers anyone suffering from any kind of domestic abuse from partners, ex-partners or family members.

Events in the community are important to The Dash Charity and can help in a lot of ways. They raise awareness of domestic abuse and get people talking about a topic they often shy away from.  They also help to raise the profile of the charity –  so that when people need help, they know where to find to look.

To donate or to find out more about how you can get involved visit: www.thedashcharity.org.uk/

‘Best New Business’ 2019 Award

Finally, with my nerves in tatters, The Awards Ceremony followed! You could feel the excitement and nervous energy flying around the room.

And then came the “Best New Business” award, sponsored by the brilliant Serena Edwards from Vivid Marketing Communications. This category is for women who are in the early stages of building their business and have been operating for 12 months or less.  This woman is somebody who has shown exceptional steps to move her business forward during her first year of trading.

I was nominated for this award alongside 2 other amazing ladies Priya Taylor (Priya’s Kitchen Berkshire) and Jo Hall (Less is More).

Jo, Priya & Katie waiting to hear who has won the 'Best New Business' Award

‘Best New Business’ Awards 2019 Finalists – Jo Hall (Less is More), Priya Tailor (Priya’s Kitchen Berkshire), Katie Topping (Spirit & Grace Gifts)

With the winner of my category about to be announced, my heart was pounding in my throat, and then my name was called! I was completely overwhelmed, amazed, delighted and honoured to win this fantastic award on International Women’s Day of all days!

I am the winner of the ‘Best New Business’ Award for 2019.

Thank you to everyone who voted for me!  As a result, it has taken a little while for this amazing news to sink in. Thank you, your support means a great deal.

This is so much more than I could have dreamt of when I launched Spirit & Grace Gifts back in September!

Winning a business award is an exciting achievement. It feels good to have your hard work and dedication recognized by a prestigious organization and this moment will stay with me for a long time!

Inspire Conference Winners Badge

The Business Girls Network Award Ceremony – ‘Best New Business’ 2019 Award- Winners Badge

Motivate to Make Change

After a spot of lunch, Sally Wilkinson from Motivate to Make Change was our next inspirational speaker of the day. Sally is an energetic health and fitness enthusiast with a cheeky sense of humour.  She gets a kick out of inspiring others to motivate themselves to make a change! Sally enthralled us with her life story to date and what a life story it is! A true motivational influencer with a fabulous potty mouth thrown in.

OFF the RACK London – Fashion Show

To finish the day, we watched a fantastic Fashion Show put on by Anna Richardson from OFF the RACK London.  Most importantly and something that resonated strongly with me was the catwalk entourage being made up of Domestic Abuse Survivors and local business ladies. The show gave us a glimpse of Anna’s fabulous wares and provided a great stage for building confidence and self-esteem.

It was truly wonderful and everyone should be incredibly proud of themselves.

There were simply loads of heart fluttering, pride filling, lump in the throat moments. It was simply an incredible day. The room was full of a rich, varied, diverse, brilliant, brave, innovative bunch of women. From young icons to brilliant entrepreneurs, from school girls to award-winning forward thinkers, from women just starting their businesses to seasoned business owners.

S0 I feel very proud to be a part of The Business Girls Network.  To witness the achievements and contributions of all the attendees, the speakers, the organisers, the awards nominees and the Winners.

Therefore, I would also like to thank Amanda Ayres for setting up this fantastic networking group and a special thanks also go to all of you, my customers who voted for me, my friends & family who have supported and believed in me.

Finally, it is an absolute delight and I am thrilled to now be able to say, that I am an…..


Thank you

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Katie Topping

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