Inspirational women: She was knocked down by others as a child - but Barford businesswoman has proved them all wrong
As part of a regular feature, we will be speaking to women from our area who all feature in a new book that celebrates female achievers
I Am A Woman Who is just one of a series of projects for business coach and mentor Sandra Garlick MBE whose success has been inspired by her own journey of overcoming huge personal and professional challenges. Over the next few weeks, we will feature some of the women from our area who are in Sandra's new book, celebrating female achievers. This week, we talk to Rose Lord from Barford.
The personal story of a Barford entrepreneur is among those of more than 30 women featured in a new book which celebrates inspirational female achievers in the UK.
Rose Lord has come a long way since her school days, from which she still bears emotional scars.
As a dyslexia sufferer, learning was a painful journey for the student who was labelled everything from ‘lazy’ to ‘stupid.’ And her dreams to become a professional ballerina were thwarted when she was rejected by The Royal Ballet for being too tall.
Undeterred on her path to success, Rose pursued another of her passions – and, at 13, was to become one of the youngest gymnasts representing her country at international competitions.
She said: “I’d been written off by most of my teachers. I was drowning in self-doubt that I wasn’t good enough. School was nothing but a miserable and painful experience for me. I couldn’t read like my peers and those feelings of being thick and stupid had sent me into a downward spiral. It felt like a complete curse! For years my Rhythmic Gymnastics masked the anguish I faced academically."
Rose’s sporting and academic performance was further enhanced after volunteering to take part in a trial study that stimulated the cerebellum and increased stem cells but, at 16, she walked away from gymnastics after suffering a series of injuries and battling eating disorders.
"I was broken. My body was shutting down. Quitting was hard but the odds were totally against me and I just couldn't carry on," she said.
Cue a new chapter and, after graduating, Rose embarked on a career in marketing followed by a spell running her own business – until fate dealt a cruel blow when, in 2019, she found herself out of work and coming to terms with the news that her father had been diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer.
She said: “My priorities shifted almost instantly. Having always looked up to my dad, and so grateful for the way he’d always provided for our family, I had become driven to do the same.
"I went in search of a new career; one I could work around my children and one that would make my dad feel proud of me. The pressure was too much, and sadly I broke down, I experienced a very unsettling panic attack where all the pain I’d had ever experienced all hit me at once. I’d never had a panic attack before, and I felt vulnerable for some time.
"I started to pick up the pieces by giving my everything to a children's business idea. Again, I was determined; I wanted to make myself proud and prove those who had doubted me wrong. In my head I also had an urgent need to be the role model my children needed and deserved.
"On March 20, 2020, the schools shut, and our supplier stated they couldn’t work on our project. I was paralysed. I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do.
"My husband’s furniture business was forced to shut, and we found ourselves knee-deep in financial uncertainty. Guilt, hopelessness and worry consumed me.
"2020 stopped me in my tracks, forced me to consider what I wanted to do versus what I needed to do. I turned to all my strengths - my passion for property and my love for working with people - and was appointed an independent partner agent for Fine & Country Homes. My family were proud, my husband was proud, I felt proud. A feeling that had been missing for me for so many years.
“Now in 2021, I am carving out a new career, building a strong reputation with my clients and am looking forward to exploring what’s behind many more doors of opportunity."
Other Warwickshire entrepreneurs celebrated in the book are: Transformational Coach Becky Cooper, from Warwick; Peach Perfect online gift shop owner Kate Findlay, from Barford; The Little Gift Hive owner Kerry Field, from Southam; jewellery designer Abbi Head and owner of Hybrid Therapy UK Tracy Richardson, both from Rugby and, from Nuneaton - photographer Andrea de Gabriel; Sparkle in Style jewellery business owner Jenni Harris and HydroVeg kits inventor Sue Tonks.