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Wonder Woman Wednesday: Joanne Stott

Having completed extensive charity work and raised two beautiful children, all whilst running her successful bridal shop, Joanne Stott is our Wonder Woman this Wednesday

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Our Wonder Woman this Wednesday: Joanne Stott
Our Wonder Woman this Wednesday: Joanne Stott

Tell me about your background.

I was brought up in the stunning city of Newcastle, well just outside in the leafy suburb of Gosforth Park. I was the youngest of four and my mum used to say I was “the greatest mistake of her life” as she waited 20 years for girl and when I decided to come along she was 41! My main inspiration growing up was my mum, dad and brothers… and the love that radiated from them.

I worked within the private sector for years, during which I began to realised I had a real passion for seeing other people do well and progress. I slowly moved into training and HR until I began working for the Theatre Royal Newcastle as their HR Manager. After mum and dad died I began to work on their legacy – ‘You Are Precious’ Bridal Boutique.

Behind the scenes I live with the most wonderful man. I was married at 20 years of age, yes 20 years of age! And to the love of my life. We have two incredibly, beyond gorgeous children, Abbie and Ryan, and live a blessed life with the loveliest of people we get to call our family and friends.

Read more: Check out our profile on Charlie McCorry, founder of Perfect 10 Black Label, here.

How did you get into bridal?

I honestly do not know... I have an eye for style and a passion for service and business. It was honestly something that was just meant to be! I decided to open my own little treasure on St. Marys Place in the heart of Newcastle in 2009.

When I opened the boutique I was surrounded by grief due to the loss of mum and dad. I left my job, asked the bank to help me out, found a property, searched for the right products and the right staff and opened the doors.

Risk was a minimum factor due to the loss I already felt… I now know this was my drive and what enlightened me in doing what I needed and wanted to do. Our reason for existence and those three little letters ‘Y.A.P’ mean so much to so many people today. Thank you for your inspiration Mary and Johnny…

What are your secrets to success?

Love life, love the people you have walking next to you and be true to who you are. Be humble and grateful always!

Enjoy the hard work and enjoy what it can bring. Most importantly, make time to laugh and learn about yourself…

What’s your greatest achievement so far?

My two beautiful children are my greatest achievement by far.

Second to them, however, I’d say my greatest achievement is my charity work. Working as part of a team, I converted a Cancer Research shop into a bridal boutique and raised £11,000 for the charity. I have also trekked across the Sahara desert for a week, sleeping in a two man tent, and raised over £5000 for Marie Curie Newcastle.

My boutique had a ‘bubbles & desserts’ afternoon last year, whereby, we invited our brides back in to the boutique to raise money for end of life care... and I then trekked across the Costa Rican rain forest this January for 10 days. This was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life by far, bar saying goodbye to my mum & dad. As a group we raised £127,000 for Marie Curie Newcastle...

Read more: Have you seen bridal retailer Marisa Rooney’s Wonder Woman profile?

How does an employee catch your attention, or impress you?

In our business I would say I am most impressed when I watch a bridal stylist working in the boutique and I see them being utterly genuine with a bride. I feel so satisfied that our training and coaching has created the confidence for a staff member to believe in themselves so much that they can, with honesty and integrity, be utterly themselves whilst doing their job and creating sales.

Being super productive and a decision maker is another massive impresser for me.

What does your typical working day look like?

A typical day starts at around 7am with breakfast with the family, depending on working schedules this is, due to the four of us being really busy. I do check my phone for emails and social media updates, however, I try to keep this to a minimum until I am at least ready.

I open the boutique at 9.30am and prepare for the team starting at 10am. Every morning we have our ‘one to ones’ which briefly comprises of a catch up discussing what is working well, what is not working so well, what can we do better than the day/week before and what else can I do better as a manager.

After the one to ones with the girls, my days vary a lot, which I love as I am not a fan of routine at all. My general day could either be defined by doing the day to day running of the accounts, marketing and planning, or it could be filled with brides choosing their dream dress. Alternatively, it could revolve around strategising and planning projects and events.

My drive home is around half an hour. I’m not a great cook, so I cook to survive I say. Chris and I make a nice meal (I do prefer to have it cooked for me though).

The kids will be home from university and work and we steal some precious family time together before bed. If red wine was not fattening I would always have a red wine with my meal too… I leave this treat for Friday and Saturday evenings.

5 Interesting Facts about Joanne:

I have trekked across the Sahara Desert for five days sleeping in a two man tent.

I trekked across the Costa Rican rain forest this January while losing my toenails to the intense conditions of my boots.

I have swam inside a dormant volcano as the clouds passed me by.

I am really funny and find so many things hilarious (this is my own opinion of course).

I adore red wine…

(There is a million other facts).

Want more? Check out bridal designer Jacqui James’ Wonder Woman profile here.

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