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Inspirational Women Q&A: Michelle Parry, The Rewilding

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Michelle Parry is the founder of The Rewilding, located in the coastal countryside near Morecambe. It offers events, retreats and fireside feasts rooted in the connection between humans and nature. The venue is also available for hire for corporate retreats and groups looking to come together. From a farming family that values having a close connection with nature, Michelle shares her own inspirational Lancashire woman in business story.

What does your business do?

We organise events, retreats, and banquet-style farm-to-table feasts. Our venue is available for hire for corporate retreats and team building events, as well as other wellness events and private parties. Our family business, Patty's Barn, also provides four-star rated holiday cottages, sleeping up to 54 and a wide range of facilities on-site, including a games room, indoor and outdoor group spaces, nature trails and fishing.

Why did you start your own business?

I started my business because I was becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the lack of integrity in the organisation I was working in. In addition, I saw an opportunity to build on my family's business legacy and incorporate my global experiences to add my own twist. I wanted to pursue a meaningful job that would allow me to express my creativity, connect with people and the planet, and have flexibility and fulfilment, and I thought, if not now . . . when?

What has been your biggest business breakthrough?

Although The Rewilding was set up during the pandemic and is still a relatively young business, I have kept an open mind and continuously adapted to the changing market. I wouldn't say there has been a single big breakthrough moment, but rather a series of breakthroughs that have come with this mindset, particularly in terms of expanding our corporate retreat and wellness offerings and being open to various connections that have come up.

What has been your proudest achievement in your business?

Bringing people together in real life is a huge achievement for me. In a world where technology has caused people to become more disconnected than ever, getting people together and building a sense of community, fostering personal connections, and promoting face-to-face communication is truly what I believe the world needs more of. If my business can help to combat loneliness, the increasing isolation being caused by technology and remote working and target our mental health epidemic then this is what I class as a proud achievement.

What is the most effective support or guidance you have received?

Being a part of a supportive female community, and connecting with other women who share similar goals has been really important. This has been in various contexts from a professional group I sought out to support with personal branding  called Brandable and Co and then simply, at the gym and having a coffee with the women after . . .  somewhere to pose questions, bounce ideas and receive support and guidance which has been invaluable, especially when you’re a one woman show. Being open to sharing experiences and resources on the flip side has also helped to provide valuable insights and build a strong support system for my business and also overall wellbeing

What keeps you going when things are tough?

When things get tough in business, several things keep me going. Firstly, spending time in nature provides a much-needed escape and helps me recharge. Secondly, being part of a family business provides a strong sense of purpose and motivation. Additionally, having a supportive network of collaborators and mentors can provide guidance and inspiration to push through difficult times and knowing that they will pass.

What are your best three tips for maintaining your wellbeing?

My three tips for maintaining wellbeing as a woman are: 1. Prioritising self-care and remembering to make time for hobbies and relationships outside of work. 2. Establish healthy boundaries, and cultivate a support network of people who will champion and challenge you. 3. Regular exercise, good nutrition, and sufficient sleep are also critical and non-negotiable for maintaining my overall wellbeing.

What advice would you give to a female entrepreneur starting a business?

If not now, when? If not you, then who? My general advice for female entrepreneurs starting a business would be to stay focused, persistent, and believe in themselves. They should also seek out mentors and resources that can provide guidance and support throughout their journey. It's also important to be adaptable and willing to learn from both successes and failures, and accepting that you are on an everchanging journey of highs and lows and you don’t know it all, and probably never will but you will learn a heck of a lot along the way. www.the-rewilding.com

Boost is helping Lancashire businesses. We have a range of funded support programmes and a team of business advisers you can talk to. To speak to someone from the Growth Hub about business support, contact Boost online or call 0800 488 0057.


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