Category: WORLDCHANGERS

We Give Digital Services

I’m Andrea from Crazy Fork and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Andrea, a King’s College student who launched a new innovative platform, The Crazy Fork, where teenagers and grandparents can meet cooking online and create lasting memories, with the aim to keep company to the eldest and do something good for the community.

Andrea Rangone - Crazy Fork
Andrea Rangone – Crazy Fork Founder

Location: London

Current job: Kings College student

My favourite movie: Mamma mia

My comfort food: Pasta with tomato sauce

First of all, tell us a little about you 

I am a 17-year-old studying at Kings College School Wimbledon. I was born and raised in Milan, and we moved to London when I was 11 years old. Since I was a kid I have always loved watching my mom cook, and with time I began helping her as I was able to learn more about cooking

How you got the idea of Crazy Fork?

Crazy Fork is an idea that births from my love for cooking good food and the memories that stem from it with my grandparents before COVID and the wish to have a social impact on the community. I noticed lockdown has hit my grandparents and many like them especially hard, and whilst I was looking for a way to make them smile again during the lonely period, it struck me that the best way to keep them company was talking to them about their recipes and cooking with them online.

From the concept to the Crazy Fork launch how long did it take?

It took us a few months to develop the initial raw idea into a finished website, yet Crazy Fork is always a work in progress as we look to improve and reach more and more people. Lately, I have started a TikTok account to promote the website and its recipes. There have been many challenges throughout the process, and for me, the biggest challenge was trying to put constant work in the website alongside school and extra-curricular commitments.

Can you describe exactly how Crazy Fork works and in what is different from others recipes Blogs? 

Crazy Fork is no ordinary cooking website. At Crazy Fork, we encourage people to call their relatives who may be feeling lonely during these lockdowns and share some recipes you find on our website or ask them to share with you their traditional family recipes and cook together through a zoom or facetime call. This would allow you to keep them company as it gives an opportunity to talk to and see your relatives. And of course, we would love to receive the recipes you cooked together!

Crazy Fork is aimed at two far apart generations teenagers and grandparents, which of the two generations was more responsive

I think that the teenagers were more responsive especially on our TikTok platform as many showed they were keen to call up their grandparents and spend some time cooking with them.

Crazy Fork is a great example of how digital can help people to feel less lonely and create a bridge between two generations, do you know any other platform that does a similar job?

Sadly, I noticed that there are not many platforms around that actually encouraged reaching out to lonely people during this tough period. That is why I came up with Crazy Fork, as for what better way is there to spend some time together than cooking!

Generation Z is digitally native, do you believe that this has been an advantage for your generation?

I believe that for my generation it has been an advantage as it allows us to be more interconnected, and despite the negatives of social media, it has been seen recently that it can be used effectively to spread awareness on important matters. Additionally, there is a point to be made that the digital world disincentives personal interactions; however during this crisis, the importance of connectivity has really been key for the wellbeing of many people.

Andrea Rangone-Crazy fork
Andrea cooking online with his Granparents

Crazy Fork will put together a recipe book to help charities for the elderly; where can we buy the book?

I am planning to run a fundraiser in the next months in order to raise some money to publish a book in order to give the profits to charities for the elderly. The book will be made with recipes that were sent to us by our users. Check our platforms for more updates on the book!

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about school?

I love to travel with my family and I think it really gives me the opportunity to escape both physically and mentally from the stresses of school and examinations. When I am home, I love watching Juventus play and hanging out with my friends which is always a great way to recharge from a tiring full week.

Last but not least, a dream for your future?

When I was young I had always dreamed to maybe open up a restaurant sometime, as well as becoming a football manager!

You can follow The Crazy Fork on Tik Tok 

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you analyze your Google Analytics data to understand where your visits come from, who are your users and which are the most visited pages, providing bespoke reports on a specific period. After this deep analysis,  we can support you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu of Turmeric Co and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu, an international and premier league football player and founder of the Turmeric Co. – a company that produces a delicious range of functional natural turmeric shots.

Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu Social
Thomas Hal Robson-Kanu

Location: Belgravia, London

Current job: Premier League football and CEO of The Turmeric Co.

One word that best describes how you work: Effective!

My role model: Dr Joe Dispenza

My greatest success: My family

My biggest fear: Snakes

Something I love: My family!

Something I hate: Sitting still!

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you get the idea for The Turmeric Co?

As a kid, all I wanted was to be a footballer. I was well on my way to achieving this dream, but I had a huge setback. A terrible challenge left my knee totally shattered – at the time the doctors said it was unlikely I’d ever play at a professional level again. Naturally, I was devastated and became somewhat obsessed with finding a remedy. Especially since the painkillers, I was given had adverse side effects. So, I looked everywhere I could for a solution. Ideally a natural one. When I used the natural, raw root of the superfood, turmeric – within a unique blend that we developed as a family, the effects really were incredible. The inflammation in my injury totally subsided. I went on to have a successful career as a pro and am feeling fitter than ever and am now focused on helping as many people as I can with feel-good, functional nutrition.

Where does your passion for sport come from?

I’m naturally really competitive. Even from a young age, I’d race the other kids to lunch. I had to win at everything! So that definitely helped. But I guess I’ve always loved how the sport makes me feel. It’s an amazing way to be able to spend your time and express yourself and the joy it brings so many people around the world makes it a privilege to be experiencing this at the highest level of the game.

How was the transition from football player to entrepreneur?

For me, it was all really natural. I have so much belief in the benefits of the product we have created, so it doesn’t really feel like work. Every day I hear from people who have had positive experiences with our shots – it’s almost as thrilling as having fans chant your name but even more rewarding in the long run! It’s also great because I am able to really physically push myself while playing football, and then mentally push myself with the business, and they almost offset each other which allows me to really give my best in both.

Do you see ‘behaviour changing’ in people healthy lifestyle by paying more attention to their nutrition?

I think what we’ve seen over the past 40 years when it comes to attitudes toward exercise is just incredible. People didn’t use to run for leisure. Or have any idea that smoking was bad for you. Nowadays though, science and nutrition have come such a long way and people’s behaviours are certainly changing – just look at what the high streets look like compared to the 90s… But there is still a long way to go, and at The Turmeric Co., we are enjoying playing a role in that nutritional education of society. An example is, most people wouldn’t see an issue with a ‘health’ shot with its base ingredient apple juice, whereas for us, we would never put a filler such as concentrated apple juice in functional health shot as ultimately that is both high in sugar with very little added nutritional value, while also being a really cheap ingredient to use. These are some of the examples that we are committed to educating people in all walks of life on and that is why we are proud to say we offer the best natural health shot range on the market, because of the quality and the benefits every ingredient we use offers, and we do not want to shortchange our customers on this, we want to give them the best.

What do you think it’s essential to adjust a business in this unusual time?

Flexibility, empathy and drive! It’s been such a difficult time for so many people, but we’ve had the privilege of being able to help – by supporting the public’s natural well being with our shots and providing key workers with hundreds of free shots – to help them get through their toughest days. So being dynamic as a business is key, if you didn’t sell online and relied on stores to get your product into the hands of consumers, you will have needed to shift that model, so you are now able to deliver to your customers directly to their doorstep. If you didn’t focus on having a really strong brand and paid little attention to your customers and community, then you are going to lose customers because their purchasing patterns are changing, so you want to be communicating directly with them at every opportunity. But most of all, behind the scenes of every business, you want to be supporting your team and staff, as this time has been difficult for everyone and they are the ones keeping the engine room going, so start paying real close attention to your team on a human level.

Where do you see The Turmeric Co being in the next three years?

We are committed to continually bring the best quality range to our customers, and that means making sure every day we give our best, which is something we love doing. This ultimately will allow us to continue to bring functional nutrition to as many people as possible. Tens of thousands of people are now using our range daily, which is an incredible achievement in itself, given how new a concept a natural ‘health’ shot is still to people. So for me, it’s continuing to focus on the small wins each and every day, and this is what gives you the best opportunity for success.

Turmeric Co_Products
Turmeric Co Drinks

Do you have a cause that is close to your heart?

 100%, I’m passionate around education for future generations. I feel the old models of education are outdated and because of technological innovation, the exchange of information, new information, is happening faster than ever. So for me, I want to play a positive role in creating an environment that shares information that wasn’t available to our grandparents and even our parents as this will inevitably lead to better lives and have a positive impact on society as a whole.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Spending time at home with the family is when I feel most relaxed, whether that be in the evenings with my wife or on the weekends with the whole family. With a cup of turmeric tea, my feet up with the paper on a lazy Sunday – that’s when I get one off!

Best advice you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur just starting up their business?

Persevere! If I had listened to the doctors, I’d probably have never become a footballer. Had I not kept looking for a natural solution that’d help me fulfil my dreams, I’d never have started The Turmeric Co., let alone have become a professional athlete! If you’ve been knocked down… that’s great. Show us what you’ve got on the rebound!

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

Nothing! Life is a journey full of experiences that are there to inform and guide us. Some will be harder than others, but you are never meant to stop learning.

Last but not least, can you suggest the best diet to have balanced nutrition?

I’m a firm believer in natural functional nutrition, and what I mean by that is nutrition with a purpose, not eating for the sake of eating, and understanding what you are putting into your body. It is empowering because it ultimately becomes a lifestyle change for the better when people commit to it. However, everyone is different, and no one nutritional plan will fit all, and therefore it is about trying what works for you and having self-awareness on the impact of what you put into your body, has on your energy, clarity and body. Nutrients act as building blocks that support every single function of the human body, when your nutrient deficient, these building blocks are weak or become damaged, causing a knock-on effect that leads to fatigue, stress and disease. As a rule of thumb, look for unprocessed foods which are nutritionally dense. Whether these be protein, carb or fat sources because you need them all.

You can follow The Turmeric Co on Instagram

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you analyze your Google Analytics data, in order to understand where your visits come from, who are your users and which are the most visited pages, providing bespoke reports on a specific period. After this deep analysis,  we can support you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m Mauro Sanna from Olivo Restaurants and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Mauro Sanna, owner and founder of Olivo chain, four restaurants, a deli, and a gelateria. All places are famous for the authenticity and quality of the food.

Mauro Sanna - Founder of Olivo Restaurants
Mauro Sanna – Founder of Olivo Restaurants

Location: Belgravia, London

Current job: Owner and founder of Olivo & Oliveto 

One word that best describes how you work: hard

My role model: My uncle

My biggest fear: Opening Olivo in the middle of a recession in 1990  

Something I love: Cigars and good food and wine

Something I hate: Bureaucracy

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today

I was born in Sardinia, Italy and came to London in 1977, hoping to learn English in six months with an ambition to study architecture. I decided to become a restauranteur when I fell in love with the city but saw the quality of food in London could be improved and saw a huge opportunity to bring Sardinian cuisine over here.

Do you believe that import Sardinian delicacy has been the winning idea for your business success?

Yes, I think that it definitely helps my business to be more competitive and gives us a deeper and genuine identity.

Which restaurant was the first and how you managed to expand your chain to six places, becoming a point of reference for your local community?

In 1990 I opened Olivo and quickly established a local and loyal clientele. Following its success and have kept all the funds in the company we were able to expand the business to three more restaurants, a delicatessen and gelateria. I had the long-sighted view of creating a small but compact business that is manageable and allows me to get to know our regulars and what they want.

Olivo carne Restaurant
Olivo carne Restaurant

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work. 

After opening Olivomare 10 years ago which was the third restaurant to open.

How did you adjust your business in this unusual time?

From day one we set up a well-organised takeaway operation with Deliveroo as well as deliveries to locals that allowed us to keep in touch.

What do you think will be the next big thing in the hospitality sector?

I reply with a question: What is the next small thing?

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

Nothing.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I have a house in Sardinia where I go to when I get the chance to take a week off and like to spend time with my wife and family relaxing and gardening.

Last but not least, what is the best Olivo’s dish we can now order on Deliveroo?

Any one of our Pizza’s from Oliveto made from 100% Sardinian ingredients.

You can follow Olivo on Instagram here 

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you analyze your Google Analytics data, in order to understand where your visits come from, who are your users and which are the most visited pages, providing bespoke reports on a specific period. After this deep analysis,  we can support you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m John Shepherd from Partridges and I’ve been selected as #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to John Shepherd owner of one of the few remaining family-run food shops in Central London, Partridges – a company that still cherishes its original idea of providing the very finest quality foods.

John Shepherd – Partridges

Location: Duke of York Square, Chelsea, London

Current job: Partridges Owner & Managing Director

One word that best describes how you work: Improvisationally

My role model: Clement Attlee

My biggest fearHeights

Something I love: Padula, Italy

Something I hate: Brexit

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how Partridges began.

Partridges was opened by my brother, Richard, in 1972. I first worked at the shop in 1973 after leaving school. I was actually born under a mile away from where the shop is located today when we were living in Chelsea.

After I finished my education at Johns Hopkins Graduate School in Bologna in 1980 I returned to the shop and have worked there ever since. Although I acquired an MBA and was also working as a Magistrate part-time.

In 1972 retail food shops in the UK were moving towards self-service supermarkets and delicatessens were something of a dying breed. Partridges was something of a village store in Chelsea.

The original motto was ‘good things for the larder’ and we sold traditional British Foods like Jugged Hare, Ox Tongue and Gull’s Eggs alongside our favourite foods and wines from the Continent.

Partridges was granted the Royal Warrant as Grocers to Her Majesty the Queen in 1994, how was the journey to get to this achievement? 

We started supplying the Royal Household in 1991. I had actually originally written to them asking to be considered as a supplier, but this is not always the right approach! As a matter of fact, they were already buying from us discreetly.

Normally a business has to wait 5 years before being granted a Royal Warrant but we were Granted ours in 1994. Being a Royal Warrant Holder means that you have to abide by the Lord Chamberlain’s Rules which is the Highway Code for supplying the Palace.

There is an emphasis, of course, on very high standards and environmentally sensitive products and currently, there are 3 Grantors: HM the Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles.

The Royal Warrant is always Granted to an individual rather than a Business. If a business is sold the Royal Warrant does not necessarily go with it. In total there are about 800 Royal Warrant Holders and in 2007 I was appointed President of the Royal Warrant Holders Association which involves overseeing the various charity initiatives and travelling the country to meet other Warrant Holders. There is a very active social scene as well.

Partridges Shop Duke of York

What is the secret to maintaining this unique level of quality and service?

The secret to maintaining the Royal Warrant is not a secret at all really. It is about being constantly vigilant in ensuring deliveries are on time, in good quality and anticipating problems early. Recognising the customer and the customer’s needs is the ultimate goal regarding everyone who walks through the door at Partridges – even shoplifters. When things go wrong, and they will, it is important to act quickly to put them right. Recognition and an element of surprise are two key aspects. And a good PR team to spread the word.

Today we talk more about sustainability, you were then well ahead of the time starting Startisans, how did you get the idea?

Running a food shop that just sells groceries is running between two very fine margins. It is important to innovate and constantly surprise customers with new ideas and initiatives. This is the surprise element to accompany recognition. So we have tried to introduce new initiatives into the mix. We celebrate as many major festivals as we can throughout the year, we have an American ex-pat section, we run the World Chelsea Bun Awards, we have created a range of own-label products which we export, we distil our own Chelsea Flower Gin and we created the Fine Food Market on the Duke of York Square which first opened in 2005 to help attract footfall onto the Square. The traders who attend are smaller businesses or ‘Start-Up Artisans’ which one of my daughters named Startisans. We actually ran over 20 regular markets around London over the past decade offering Startisans places to trade at a very low-cost base. Due to the pandemic, we transferred the Duke of York Square market to the historic running track where it has flourished in a socially distanced manner. We also offer Startisans a space on our website, sell some of their products in the shop and provide an Award for the Startisan of the Year at the Great Taste Awards – see  Startisan. 

How have you adjusted your business in this unusual time?

We have adjusted our business spontaneously, if not willingly, in reaction to Covid19 by carrying out actions that we would never have done otherwise. For example: closing the in-store Café, redesigning the shop floor layout and upgrading our delivery services by for example starting to be featured on Deliveroo. It has been a challenge to manage 120 plus staff in the time of self-isolation and track and trace and encouraging customers to change habits too. However, we have also been very lucky to be able to stay open every day so far and to be supported by loyal local customers in such good spirit.

What do you think is the next big thing in the food market?

I am not very good at spotting the next big things. Usually, they hit us on the head before we embrace them. But I see increased specialisation going forward. The Pandemic has encouraged the return of smaller independent food businesses. In one area of London we know well, a new Italian deli and a fruit and veg store have recently opened. There are now at least 9 shops selling various types of food. When we opened there were only 2. The success of these newcomers may also rely on their engagement with delivery platforms which I believe will keep expanding in London for the foreseeable future. Food technology will also become increasingly important in the quest to find greater sustainability in food production. In terms of types of food, we work closely with the Great Taste Awards where the quality and presentation of many new food products is outstanding. 

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently?

If I knew what I know now I would be more inclined to take risks and follow more instincts. We have kept going for 49 years but I always tend to remember the projects we didn’t carry out and the time spent treading water. Standing still is a risk in itself.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

My wife and I go to our house in Padula, Italy. I used to play in the local football team but we like travelling, and staying with our grandchildren. Personally, I am a fan of film noir, sport, writing and single malt whisky, and making pizza in the garden.

What are you currently reading, or what’s something you’d recommend?

I enjoy reading a lot. One of my favourites is James Thurber as I like the humorous approach he takes to life’s travails. One of my favourite books is the fictional “Autobiography of Fezziwig” by Danny Kuhn. He takes my favourite character from Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ – Mr Fezziwig – and spins out an interesting life story. The reason why I like Fezziwig is that he becomes the model of Scrooges redemption. I think it has been referred to as the Fezziwig Approach. He is the hero of a Christmas Carol.

Last but not least, what is your favourite comfort food?

Comfort food, how long have you got? There is a lot of it. But pasta in many, many forms and chocolate would have to be at the top of the list.

You can follow Partridges on Instagram here.

 

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals and to adjust your Cause Marketing Strategy to improve your social responsibility message in your digital channels.

 


I’m Dicky from Morse Toad and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Dicky Broadhurst, founder of Morse Toad, a chocolate gifts company that creates personalised chocolate bar messages delivered to your letterbox.

Dicky-Broadhurst-Morse-Toad-scaled
Dicky-Broadhurst-Morse-Toad

Location: We are based in Lymington which benefits from both the beautiful New Forest and the seaside.

Current job: Morse Toad, I am the Chief Everything Officer.

One word that best describes how you work: Happily

My inspiration: My wife

My role model: Anyone who kept going.

My biggest fear: I’m not much of a worrier, to be honest, The only thing I worry about is my family.

My favourite e-commerce: Monster Supplies. They’re winning at the product, tone of voice, sense of humour.

Something I love: A good story.

Something I hate: Complainers.

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you get the idea for personalized chocolate gifts.

Back in 2010, I was made redundant. Rather than find another job, I answered an ad in the paper asking me to cycle to Cape Town and the football World Cup for charity. Five and a half months later, we arrived in Cape Town exhausted but jubilant having crossed deserts, tropical forests and savannahs complete with every sabre-toothed beast you can think of. It was a great experience, made better by raising £10,000 for charity.
Shortly after completing the trip, I received a package. Inside was a few useful items, but there, hidden underneath it all, was a chocolate bar. It transpired that my Mum had sent the package 4 months earlier, but it had missed me at the first checkpoint. It had duly been shipped from country to country in hot (literally) pursuit of the avid cyclists. Saharan sun and tropical heat had not been kind to the chocolate, and by this point, it looked a shadow of its former self. But at that moment, I recognised it for what it was….a gesture of support from mother to son. Via the medium of chocolate, my Mum was saying ‘good luck; you can do it’.
Even in its miserable state, this chocolate packed a massive punch, and this got me thinking. Sometimes it’s those little gestures that make all the difference. In our world of relentless digital messages, a proper gesture, an actual physical thing, can go a long way to making a big impact on someone’s day, or even someone’s life.
And so Morse Toad was born. A messaging service dedicated to making small gestures with a big impact.

Does your chocolate passion come from your childhood?

Whilst I enjoy chocolate as much as the next person, my passion lies around the idea of making other people happy. If the opportunity is there to go a little bit further to make a much bigger difference to someone’s day, then you should take it. Life is short. Why not celebrate every moment? Get the balloons, make a cake, make a fuss of someone. You can’t underestimate the impact that might have.

Have you seen the clients’ behaviour changing on your e-commerce in the last six months?

The last six months have been the craziest ever for my business. We were very fortunate. What do you do when you can’t give someone a hug or a high five in person? You send a hug in the post. And send them we did.
It’s safe to say that, during the lockdown, there was an outpouring of love, positivity and humour that came through our little business. It was nothing short of extraordinary. Lockdown taught us what was important and what to be grateful for, and that is the other people in our lives.

What do you think it’s essential to adjust a business in this unusual time?

As a business owner, you often face challenges that come out of nowhere. Clearly, the pandemic is unprecedented, but behind every cloud is a rainbow. My hope is something positive will come from this tragic and challenging time. If I have adjusted anything during this time, it is to identify what really truly matters, and that is my family.

Where do you see Morse Toad being in the next three years?

We exist to connect people in unique and wonderful ways. We want to help people make the world a happier place, one small gesture at a time. So in three years, we will have created many more exciting ways for people to connect. Chocolate is just the beginning.

Today every business tries to find a way to give back to society, has Morse Toad been involved with a cause or a charity partner?

During the lockdown, we created a gift box specifically for NHS keyworkers. We shipped many hundreds of boxes and got amazing feedback from both the recipients and the senders, who were happy to give some moral support to those at the coal face.
– From an environmental perspective, in a bid to reduce packaging waste, we converted our chocolate box into part of the gift. Now you can add your photo to the top of the box. Once all the chocolates have gone, you can hang the box on the wall from the holes in the back. There’s no need to throw it away. There’s even the option to include a frame.
– We also offset our footprint by contributing to a tree-planting organisation.

Our gifts have the potential to lift the spirits of people in challenging  situations. We are looking for an ongoing charity partner to work with on an ongoing basis.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I am blessed to live in a beautiful part of the world. Every day I get out and about to enjoy the countryside with my family.

Best advice you would give to an aspiring entrepreneur just starting up their business

Be sure to celebrate every success and brace yourself for a marathon.

If you knew then what you know now, what would you have done differently? 

I was so green when I started. I had no clue. If I were to do anything differently, it would be to find someone to help me inhouse. You can’t do it all yourself, and I have wasted so much money over the years paying for external help.

Last but not least, can you suggest the best corporate gift ideas?

Is it cheeky to suggest ourselves? With our corporate gifts, a business can apply their own branding or imagery to the top of the box. Inside, a message made from the best Belgian chocolate. We can send these, including shipping, for £10 each depending on the quantity.
During the lockdown, many businesses sent boxes to all of their staff working from home, and this Christmas represents a great opportunity to send something festive to clients all over the country.

You can follow Morse Toad on Instagram @Morsetoad

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m Anne Welsh from Painless Universal and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Anne Welsh who, despite being born with sickle cell disease (SCD), transformed her illness into a strength becoming a successful entrepreneur, published author and an international speaker. 

Anne Welsh
Anne Welsh

Current job: Founder and CEO of Painless Universal; Executive Board member for The Business School (formerly Cass).

One word that best describes how you work: Passion

My inspiration: Everyday people making a difference in extraordinary circumstances

My role model: My former boss. He is my role model because he believed in me and gave me strength and motivated me when I was at my lowest point. He inspired me to believe in myself, to be fierce and relentless in everything I did.

My favourite place in the world: Home

A quality you like most in people: Honesty

A food you can’t live without: I enjoy a good doughnut every now and then

First of all, tell us a little about you and how you have transformed your chronic illness into a strength?

The mental and physical effort that was needed to overcome the daily challenge of living with sickle cell disease (SCD) has pushed me to space where I can clearly see my own potential. I have been able to transform a chronic illness into a strength by surrounding myself with people who believed in me and never gave up on me, even at my weakest point. Also, I made a strong mental decision to approach life positively after a trip to Nigeria. It changed my internal thinking from one of feeling self-pity to one of feeling grateful; appreciating that my life is not the worst off and that so many people needed more than I could possibly imagine.

When was the moment you understood you could become a role model for all people struggling with chronic illness?

It started when I joined the Sickle Cell Society UK charity and became its Chairperson for two years. In this role, I heard so many stories of pain and realised my leadership could influence many everyday positive changes for people living with SCD. I really understood that I was becoming a role model for many people struggling with Chronic illness in 2016 when I started being approached for my advice on how to deal with issues of pain by patients and carers. I was also invited to give a large number of talks on these issues. I believe this happened because I have always tried to build on positivity, compassion and empathy by mentoring and reaching out to people with chronic illness through business, my charitable undertakings and with the launch of my book Pain-less.

Tell us about the journey to becoming an Instagram influencer, and how did you build up more than 700K followers? 

This was not an overnight success. I built the number of followers gradually by speaking at events and encouraging people to follow my page. Big strides happened in 2017 when I changed the content focus and simultaneously improved the quality of my posts. The interest really started growing when I began to share stories of places I was visiting, how to deal with pain and my family adventures.

It’s fantastic to see a social media platform used to deliver and share a positive message about pain, do you believe digital transformation can make our life better?

Of course, digital transformation can make life better. Already I am seeing this outcome for the Painless Universal business. On this platform, we use the digital space to share stories of inspiration, hope and how people have found joy along the way. It is a really strong example of how the use of digital technology facilitates the sharing of inspirational stories quickly and to a global audience. Some people will have better lives because of access to this information. 

You have a wide variety of video interviews on your social platforms, how do you choose your guests?

It’s all in the story – how the person being interviewed is able to share and inspire. The story must come from the heart with deep feeling. I read a person’s profile and can immediately tell if they are the right fit. I also do basic research on the person. The method is a very holistic process by which all types of media are researched to match the individual to the right story. I also listen to current events and take suggestions from my team to help choose and appreciate a pain topic of interest to the audience.

Where the idea of founding Painless Universal came from?

It came purely from my book “PAIN-LESS – Living with Pain, Finding Joy”. During the launch of my book, I was speaking to guests at the event and I realised it was not just my story that was important but that of so many other people facing the same challenges as myself. I felt empowered to help others by understanding their pain and helping them find their joy.

Tell us about the journey of writing ‘Pain-less‘ your memoir about living life with sickle cell anaemia?

The journey was long, about five years long. It was long because I started in 2014 and stopped because I didn’t want my life to be out in the public at that time. I just was not comfortable including the negatives as well as the positives in my life. However, in 2018 I just decided to really go for it and get the book completed. My biggest fear of putting everything out there for the world to read was solved after talking to my family and friends and reading lots of positive memoirs form celebrities like Maya Angelou and more. I was no longer ashamed of my story, especially the unpleasant parts of my life brought on by my chronic illness and life circumstance. I felt encouraged to use my story to inspire others which turned into a very transparent life story sharing the journey of success and disappointments, and most importantly how I found joy along the way. I was committed to setting deadlines and working diligently with my publisher so that in the end the publisher delivered the books as promised and the London launch went off smoothly in June 2019.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I really love what I do and I never want to rest from it! As someone famously said: do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life. Also, I often spend time with my family and my two sisters along with their children, and this really gives me an emotional lift. With so many young children around you don’t have time to think about work. I take a warm bath, exercise and sleeping without a setting a wake up on Sunday’s to ensure I get my rest.

Tell us about a movie you could watch over and over again?

Honestly, it is very had to choose just one film. I will say any movies on the Christmas channel – I can watch those over and over again any time of the year. It just gives me so much joy!!

To finish on a light note, as a fashion icon, who is your favourite designer?

Gianni Versace, for his opulence in life and how he projected that into his fashion experience. As a guest of a corporate event, I was fortunate to visit his Miami Beach mansion after his untimely passing. The detail and beauty of his home captured so much of his fashion personality, and for me, showed why to this day his classical designs live on and influence new generations of designers.

You can follow Anne Welsh on Instagram @ladyannewelsh

We love to interview #WORLDCHANGERS and listen about their challenges and their achievements. We can help you to optimize your Brand Strategy to reach your business goals.


I’m Rusi from Rusi Designs and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Rusi, founder and designer of Rusi Designs.

Rusi Founder of Rusi Designs 

Location:  London

Current job: Founder and Creative Director Rusi Designs

My greatest success: Seeing the President of Georgia wearing my handbag when she met the President of France and his wife Bridget. 
My role model: Gabriella Hearst
My biggest fear:
People continue consuming throwaway fashion, which will eventually lead to more environmental disasters. 
My life dream:
create a luxury lifestyle brand – Rusi Designs
My favourite website: 
www.net a porter.com 

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia.  Despite studying environmental chemistry at university, I had always wanted to be in fashion, but fashion schools did not really exist in Georgia where, at that time, fashion was not considered to be a profession. Georgians are very much like Italians, they love fashion and looking good is And was very important to them! I made my own clothes, before that my mother made clothes (she was a mathematician but loved to sew!) and my grandmother also made clothes – she was a professional seamstress. Maybe my love of fashion comes from my grandmother? She was a very important person in my life and I am named after her. She told me ever since I was a little girl, I was always gathering fabrics into a sort of pouch and saying it was a bag!  

When I moved to Brussels I enrolled in the Art Academy there and then obtained an Interior Design degree with the Rhodec International UK, but it was not until I joined a five-day handbag making course in London, that I realised how much I loved handbags!  I created my first clutch bag in Bangkok in 2013.  I found this little workshop and I asked the craftsman, Tony, to make me a sample. I sat with him to share everything I knew from my course.  RusiDesigns was born! I never set out to make cheap bags, I wanted quality and longevity in my products. My first clients from my Asian production days are still with me. I offer a lifetime guarantee to make things right if something goes wrong – it seldom does, but for me, the customer’s experience is very important, so I go the extra mile. I moved my production to Italy after 3 years of testing the ground. My current factory makes bags for Chanel and Delvaux. It does not get better than this. I am so proud. 

How does inspiration come about for your creations?

I start thinking about the new design with someone in mind.  I think about their lifestyle and what they do on a day-to-day basis, then I play scenarios in my head and come up with ideas and solutions. Sometimes it’s instant. Sometimes it takes time. But the most important thing is to create something that people will treasure. I believe in longevity and simplicity.  I think the essence of design is simplicity, and simplicity is in good design! 

Today we talk more about sustainability, in what Rusi Designs can be defined sustainable? 

To me, sustainability is quality over quantity. If something is well crafted it will last longer.  If you do not need to replace it after a short time it’s better for the environment! I make small numbers and I do not waste any leathers.  I use every piece of leftover leather to create something useful.  I work with responsible factories where the artisans get paid a fair salary, and I work with local models and photographers so they do not need to travel far thus reducing my carbon footprint.  On a personal level, I reuse and recycle everything I can, and I walk and use public transport wherever possible.  I support the economy in these difficult times by giving people jobs.

Can luxury and sustainability coexist?

Absolutely. Luxury to me means quality and taking responsibility for your actions in environmental terms. Be responsible, waste less, give back, make quality items that last. 

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work

Seeing my Mezzaluna tote being worn by the President of Georgia while on an official visit meeting the President of France and his wife. The Georgian President sent me a photo saying “Two Presidents and one bag”. Oh, joy! 

What about your cause marketing? Has your company been involved with a cause or charity partner?

Due to my husband’s work as a career diplomat, we lived in Asia for 8 years. While there I worked closely with women’s organisations on charity projects. One of the last projects was a charity fashion show at the British Ambassadors residence in Bangkok, Thailand, with the amazing charity Steps with Theera – they promote equality and independence, by giving employment to adults of all abilities.  It was a very fulfilling experience. 

What is Rusi Designs vision for the next 5 years?

I just want to be able to continue to do what I do best, and grow my brand into a lifestyle brand. 

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Now that made me smile! I love what I do and I never want to rest from it! As someone famously said: do what you love and you never have to work a day in your life. 

What book are you currently reading?

I listen to podcasts, and my current book is an audiobook on learning Italian. It is never too late to learn. 

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

I probably would have started earlier with designing handbags – but better late than never. I believe everything happens for a reason. 

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions.

 Gabriella Hearst 

You can follow Rusi Design at @rusidesigns

 

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help you to optimize your Cause Marketing and your Brand Strategy to reach your profitable and ethical goals

 

I’m Elizabeth Rees from ElizaEliza and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Elizabeth Rees founder and designer of ElizaEliza that creates the perfect zip purse to #carryyourcause.

Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza
Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza #carryyourcause

Location: Cardiff, Wales

Current job: Full-time Mum, Founder of Eliza Eliza

One word that best describes how you work: Analytically

Current mobile device: iPhone XS Max

Favourite website: BBC News

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

Before becoming a mother, I taught as a Secondary Geography Teacher and never really went back. Taking a step back to have children, made me realise that teaching wasn’t something I felt truly passionate about. Whilst I was on maternity leave, I rediscovered my love of sewing. I made a zipped pouch to organise my changing bag better and my family and friends started asking me to make these pouches for them too. Before long I was selling via Etsy and not long after, set up my website. I’ve been fortunate enough to have had so much support along the way, featured by magazines such as Stylist and In the Moment magazines as well as being shared by influencers such as Gillian Anderson. All this has helped me get to spread my message and mission of building awareness all over the world, for the causes we care for.

How can you define Eliza Eliza ethical/sustainable?

In my mind, every business should without question be ethical/sustainable. Unfortunately so many are not. The choices of who makes the materials and products we use and what they are made of should not, in my opinion, be at the detriment of someone else’s health, wellbeing or wealth. I have worked hard over the years since starting Eliza Eliza to educate, research and carefully source the materials I use. Getting to know my suppliers and not being afraid to ask questions. For example, I spent quite a bit of time, particularly early on in my business, speaking to the hemp producers I use. They are undoubtedly passionate about what they do and taught me so much about hemp’s eco-friendly advantages compared with other textile choices. Environmentally friendly and non-exploitative textile production is central to their business model, these are the businesses I want to work with now and in the future.

What motivates you?

My children motivate me. I want them to grow up understanding the importance of kindness, looking after each other and that giving back can be just as rewarding as receiving. I hope that my business shows them in just a little way how this can be done.

Tell us about a moment when you knew that it was all worth the hard work.

The first time I sent a donation to my charity was the best feeling. It wasn’t even a huge amount, but the fact that I could contribute from something I had I made and someone else had chosen to purchase was incredibly rewarding.

Worlchanger cluch_ ElizaEliza
Worlchanger cluch_ ElizaEliza

How does Eliza Eliza get involved with a cause or charity partner?

Sometimes it’s the cause that comes first and I research to find relevant charities to support it and other times it’s the charity that I initially discovered. But they have to work together appropriately. In some instances, I launch without a charity because it can be just as important to raise awareness around the cause as raising money. When I contact the charity, I explain what I do and we agree on a partnership agreement.

Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza
Elizabeth Rees_ Eliza Eliza #carryyourcause

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Yoga, meditating, going for a run or walk always help me recharge. I do so much of my work through my phone, that switching it off every once in a while help give me a break and allow me to focus attention elsewhere.

What book are you currently reading?

Borrow Box allows you to digitally borrow e-books and e-audiobooks from your local library. I’ve been listening to The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor which discusses how happiness and positivity can contribute to successful futures. I’d definitely recommend it.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Without sounding too cliché it really is the journey that counts. I love to think that I could have forgone the stresses of training and being a teacher, but there are so many lessons and skills I learnt from that time.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions.

Kate Auguste from Mi Apparel

 

You can follow Eliza Eliza at  @elizaelizauk

 

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more.

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help businesses to optimize their Cause Marketing and their Brand Strategy.

 

I’m Carolina from Carolina Bucci and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Carolina Bucci, founder and designer of Carolina Bucci, fine and elegant jewellery pieces meticulously designed, beautifully executed.

#WORLDCHANGERS -Carolina Bucci Florentine Jewelley
Carolina Bucci, Creative Director for Carolina Bucci

Location:  London

Current job: Jewellery Designer for Carolina Bucci

One word that best describes how you work: Always

My greatest success: Pursuing and sticking with my passion

My biggest fear: I am absolutely terrified of needles

My secret wish: That smartphones were never invented

My role model: Fulco di Verdura

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how your love for fine jewellery began

My family have been manufacturing fine jewellery in Florence since 1885. I grew up visiting my father in the atelier right next to the Ponte Vecchio in the Goldsmiths’ quarter of Florence. Designing fine jewellery was all I ever wanted to do…

Was there a moment that gave the breakthrough to Carolina Bucci?

I left Florence to study jewellery design in NY. While I was studying at FIT I started to put together some ideas for what I thought contemporary fine jewellery could be. A piece here, a piece there. Nothing too coherent. One of those ideas was for a silk and gold-threaded bracelet that looked like a friendship bracelet and could be tied in the same way. Patricia Field who was the stylist for ‘Sex and the City’ saw that prototype and Sarah Jessica Parker wore one throughout the last series… after that, things just exploded.

How does inspiration come about for your creations?

All different ways – normally linked to some memory or emotion. Typically I have a sudden need to make a piece for myself and that design just appears fully formed in my head. It’s hard to explain what the process is because when I try to make it happen it normally doesn’t. If you sit me at a desk and say “design” I freeze. It’s why I could never work full time designing for anybody else.

Can you tell us an example of early life that has shaped you?

Sitting with my father at the jewellery bench and asking question after question. When it came time for me to start designing he was my fiercest critic, (and when I wasn’t in earshot, my biggest supporter), and that taught me how to articulate and defend what I wanted to make. He didn’t make things easy for me, and that has stood me in good stead for all the challenges that followed.

Can you tell us a key lesson you have learned along the way

That 10% of your efforts and output will make up 90% of your success. Accepting that allows you to move on when things are not clicking, and over the years you gain a sort of early radar for when you are moving in the right direction.

Today we talk more about sustainability, in what can Carolina Bucci be defined sustainable?

I think at its simplest fine jewellery is an endlessly recyclable category.  If you don’t like your piece then you can melt it and start again. In all the talk of the luxury world, fine jewellery is a little different. It is at least thousands of years old and has carried value and prestige throughout. We have started to take serious steps towards certifying all of our gold purchasing as completely ethical. It is not a simple or quick process, but it is important to me that we are on the right path and improving year by year. We have also made huge changes over recent years to move our packaging production as close as possible to our point of use. There is no need today to be shipping boxes around the world chasing marginal cost improvements.

1885 -links- and-sprezzatura-lucky-braceletsA heart pendant in Rainbow Pave
1885 Links Sprezzatura Lucky braceletA heart pendant in Rainbow Pave

Tell us about a socially responsible project Carolina Bucci  got involved

Recently it has been difficult to work out what, if anything, we should be doing as a business in the midst of this global health emergency. I have wondered, and still do some days, if it is not best to just hibernate and wait for the storm to pass? But, fundamentally, that doesn’t suit my nature. Like many, I have tried to stay creative and positive and to use the strengths of what we do to bring help in some way to those affected. Since March 15th we have been donating 25% of all sales from our online business to the Coronavirus Emergency Fund at Careggi Hospital in Florence, my hometown. And, at the same time, to help soothe tired minds and keep little fingers busy we launched a set of pages on our website to be printed off at home and coloured in or folded into origami shapes.

Can luxury and sustainability coexist?

Absolutely. In fact, I think true luxury is more likely to be sustainable than anything else. Luxury is handmade, by craftspeople that are skilled and well-paid. It considers its environmental footprint and chooses its materials and components carefully. I think the problem lies in the overuse of the word “luxury”- it has become somewhat meaningless.

How do you see the Carolina Bucci in 5 years?

To continue to grow the brand patiently and authentically building upon the firm foundations we have in Florence and the artisans that work for us there. We are looking now at opening a new store in the United States, and perhaps one in Italy. That and building out our online universe are the key areas for us in the next few years.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

The one place that I am able to really forget about work is at our house in Upstate NY. It is in the middle of the woods, with terrible Internet and cell reception – I love the chance to switch off, practice yoga, and pick fruit from our trees. Simple pleasures but two weeks there leaves me energised and ready for any new challenges.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

When I was starting my brand in 2002…. I should have bought a lot of gold when it was trading at around $300/oz.

Finally, what is the piece of jewellery all women should own?

Something that reminds them of an amazing time or person. That is what jewellery does best. It can capture that emotion in something beautiful and lasting.

 

You can follow Carolina Bucci at @carolina_bucci

 

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more. 

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. If you want to optimize your Cause Marketing check out how we can help.

 

I’m Angelo from Angelo Galasso and I’m a #WORLDCHANGER

This week on the #WORLDCHANGERS series, we speak to Angelo Galasso, founder and designer of Angelo Galasso, an elegant and inventive luxury menswear brand.

Angelo Galasso Luxury Menswear
Angelo Galasso Luxury Menswear

Location:  London

Current job: Founder & Creative Director of Angelo Galasso

One word that best describes how you work: Dreaming

My biggest success: The Watch Cuff Shirt

My greatest fear:  Not being fearless anymore

My secret dream: Leave a strong impact in the fashion world

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how your love for fashion began

Growing up in a typical large middle-class family in Puglia, Southern Italy, my father did not want me to play in the streets for fear that I would fall in with the wrong crowd. Instead, he encouraged me to make friends with the local artisans’ workshops along the main street. The tailor, the shirtmaker, the trouser maker and the cobbler, all welcomed me into their shops, where I started to become familiar with fabrics and cloths, colours and proportions. I came to understand the immense value of those trades that are carried out by men who have been passing on their knowledge through generations, making extraordinary products.

Was there a moment that gave the breakthrough to the Angelo Galasso?

There were many moments, but they all followed the same path – creating unique menswear products against the current. Some of most recognised items are: the unique high collar shirt, the denim jeans with leather patchworks, and my famous Watch Cuff shirt. Also being represented by amazing ambassadors such as Al Pacino, and our flagship store at The Plaza in New York contributed to building the Angelo Galasso brand success.

How does inspiration come about for your creations?

My inspiration is born from people’s need. People want clothing that solves problems and that makes a man look unique. That’s the approach I follow when designing unique products, such as The Watch Cuff Shirt, and it is still the same to this day. I am very curious and aware of everything that surrounds me, inspiration can hit at any moment when you are always looking.

Spring Summer 2020 Collection Angelo Galasso
Spring Summer 2020 Collection Angelo Galasso

Is there a person who has been instrumental in making you who you are today?

I was very fortunate to have met many amazing people along my path, who in one way or another positively contributed to my life. I have lived in so many and diverse places, I have travelled to many worldwide destinations that I feel a citizen of the world. This definitely made me stronger and more creative. Fortunately,  I could always rely on my internal drive throughout the many encounters and changes in my life. That strength and determination that fuels you in the achievement of your goals. That drive that makes you fearless and determined that you are, in fact, doing the right thing.  I think the key is inside us.

Do you remember a particular moment in your career when you thought, ‘I’ve worked so hard but it’s worth it?’

Everything I’ve done in my career has been the product of hard work and passion so I could never regret it.

Today we talk more about sustainability, in what can Angelo Galasso be defined sustainable?

Angelo Galasso is a sustainable brand because we don’t use any kind of mass production. All our garments are made exclusively in Italy and in small artisanal workshops. We do extensive background checks to ensure these workshops respect health and safety standards. We also operate a ‘zero-waste’ policy, we only buy fabrics based on the actual meters we need to maximize efficient production and minimize waste.

Tell us about a socially responsible project Angelo Galasso got involved

We are always happy to give back and recently we entered into a very exciting partnership with Bervann Capital, a NY investment company leading a global ecosystem of investors. In March 2020, Bervann Foundation, the non-profit arm of  Bervann Capital, launched the Corona Opportunity Fund, to support local and foreign governments in the fight against the COVID-19 global pandemic.

To support this worthy cause Angelo Galasso is producing a short film about the brand and is gifting a very special Gold Sequin Blazer to be auctioned off at the Black Tie Online on 30th April. Funds raised at the gala will go towards Corona Opportunity Fund.

Can luxury and sustainability coexist?

Yes, as long as all ecosystem players abide by the same ethical and sustainability rules. All companies should care about their employees, the materials they use, the manufacturing processes and the impact each part of the process has on the environment.

How do you see the Angelo Galasso in 5 years?

I imagine having between 8 and 12 boutiques/houses around the world. We have a vision of defeating the globalization of fashion brands. We want every store to be unique in architecture, design and collections. The only common elements will be the logo the brand philosophy and exceptional customer experience, but we want every store to feel like it belongs to the culture of the place where it is.

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

I don’t really have to switch off from work because for me what I do is my passion and my version of ‘having fun’ — I’m always working, even if I’m walking down the street or I’m at an elegant dinner, I always look for inspiration.

What would you have done differently if you knew then what you know now?

Nothing. Perhaps one thing, I would have made more mistakes because in those times I’ve grown the most, both personally and business-wise.

Last but not least, what should never be missing in a man’s wardrobe?

The classic shoe. Gassman used to say that we can tell how elegant and stylish a man is just by looking at his shoes. They are the first thing someone notices when looking at a stranger.

Loafer by Angelo Galasso Luxury Menswear
Loafer by Angelo Galasso

On 30 of April from 7 pm to 8.30 pm EDT, you can come to the Virtual Gala Event organised by Bervann Capital and Angelo Galasso, click here for your ticket

You can follow Angelo Galasso at @angelogalassoofficial

The WeGiveIt #WORLDCHANGERS series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more.

We love to interview brands with purpose and listen about their work and their way of giving back. We can help businesses to optimize their Cause Marketing and their Brand Strategy.