Lancashire women in business: property and homes

PUBLISHED: 17:27 25 February 2020 | UPDATED: 16:56 26 February 2020

Women in Business

Women in Business


6 of the finest minds in Lancashire when it comes to women in the home, property and design business

Zara MoonZara Moon


Director, Lead Architect - Zara Moon Architects

What's special about your business?

We aren't like other architecture practices or architects in the area. I am a young (31) female Director Architect from Burnley in a male dominated industry. (Which is a surprise to some clients when I first visit them!) The directors (myself) and Paul Beneduce combine the skills of a Chartered Architect (Zara) with an in-house construction specialist (Paul) working on many prestigious projects across Lancashire. We design every project together from both an architect's perspective and a contractor ensuring the design and build-ability is designed simultaneously from day 1. We are trying to create a flagship architecture practice, demonstrating that smaller towns, villages and rural areas also need great architecture, and young skilled employees don't need to move to London, city centres or overseas to work for an innovative practice.

What do you love about your job?

Many of our clients are fulfilling one of their life goals and they invite you into their lives to go on a journey with them to help them achieve their goal. We pride ourselves in only working on projects which transform people's lives and we absolutely love what we do. Every project is design and context driven which makes each scheme unique and bespoke to the client's requirements, every day is different, and you never know what project will come next.

What's your best piece of business advice?

Understand your client, be approachable, communicate with both your team and clients and always produce the best possible solution for every scheme.

13 New Market Street, Colne, Lancashire 01282 908440

Lisa LipscombLisa Lipscomb


Interior Designer - Bliss Hotel Southport

What do you love about your job?

At Bliss Hotel, I am lucky enough to be able to create unique and happy spaces for people to have a moment. Whether that's a big moment or a small moment, they will share an experience in that environment I have created. I love that I have played a part in making that memory, providing the setting for the story.

What is special about your business?

We have created this incredible place that is rich with experience and adventure. We began with cinema, re-shaping what it means to go and watch a film (with Everyman Cinemas) and now we are doing it with hotels. Bliss Hotel is a place where people will fall in love, get married, share a moment with a loved one, dance into the night with a smile on their face and dream sweet, that to me is special.

If you could go back and tell your 13-year-old self something, what would it be?

Wow, 13-year-old me. Dyslexic and struggling with school but a dreamer, lots of common sense! I would tell this 13-year-old me who lived in this magical dream world to not change a thing!

Bliss Hotel, Promenade, Southport PR9 0DZ 033 33 44 5000

Janet CottamJanet Cottam


Business Manager - Bryan Lee Building Contractors Ltd

What is special about your business?

Bryan Lee Building Contractors Ltd is my father's business. My mum and one of my brothers are also involved in the business. Whilst working with a family can be rewarding, it also has its demands. However, we overcome these demands with common goals and "singing from the same hymn sheet". We are in our 40th year and we are still committed to continuing the values of quality, efficient local service delivery and teamwork now, as when the company was first established.

What do you love about your job?

Receiving great, positive feedback and testimonial at the end of a project from the customer, and knowing that the work we have completed for them meets or goes beyond their expectations.

How do you unwind?

I am a co-founder and trustee of a children's cancer charity #fightlike a kid, which along with the other trustees we manage during any spare time we get. Meeting and socialising with friends, gym, walking and just generally 'switching off'.

Hoggs Mill Yard, Moorgate Street, Blackburn BB2 4NY 01254 679881

Vicky KeelanVicky Keelan


Managing Director - Gainsborough Flooring

What's special about your business?

We're great at keeping up with the latest fashions and trends in the flooring market. It really is an exciting and very creative industry and we love working closely with manufacturers to bring our customers exciting new flooring choices so they can create a stunning and unique home, whether that be for their living room, bedroom, kitchen or their whole home.

What's your best piece of business advice?

Stick to your values and principles and make sure they filter through to every part of your business. Our business isn't just about our products, a large part of our success is undoubtedly down to our customer service, and the amount of referrals and repeat customers is testament to that. Being focused on each customer and providing honest and genuine advice is key to building a long-term successful business.

How do you unwind?

What sets me up for the day is a very early session at the gym. It's a great way to start the day as I feel energised and ready to face any challenge the day may throw at me. If there's time in the evening you really can't beat a lovely hot bath with a glass of wine or a gin and tonic!

26 Heatley Street, Preston, Lancashire PR1 2XB 01772 250682

Allyson HoughtonAllyson Houghton


Company Director - Allumi Ltd

What is special about your business?

Allumi isn't just a collection of divine fragrance for space within your home or for your business, but each product contains essential oils and fragrance to support your positive mental health and wellbeing too! Every element of Allumi is hand crafted in the heart of our Great Britain, and we save a little profit from each sale so we can share a little act of kindness throughout the year via our very own charity 'Allumi Giving'.

What's your best piece of business advice?

Patience is a virtue! Don't run before you can walk! Talk is cheap! Oh I do love these old sayings my mother taught me - they are so true! A solid foundation for a great business takes time and planning, and be very careful who you trust!

What do you love about your job?

My workshop has the best views of the Lancashire countryside, so I get to create in a wonderful space - I love to share these views with clients who visit Allumi HQ. I love that I have created Allumi Ambassador opportunities for anyone to earn an income whilst making new friends, so our Allumi family is constantly increasing and I have made many friends for life!

The Workshop, 3 Carr Hall Cottage, Via Duddon Avenue, Darwen, Lancashire BB3 0LB 07970 451705

Ann GreavesAnn Greaves


Founder & Creative Director - Annie Lane Candles

What's special about your business?

Featuring a timeless but sophisticated ethos, the brand Annie Lane has been built upon life's calmest moments and beautiful surroundings. Each scent is a story of a path travelled that evokes memories or simply a wellbeing experience. Using only the finest natural ingredients sourced from around the world and working with a leading fine fragrance house we created our signature collection. Everything about Annie Lane echoes quintessential British luxury, with careful planning, selection and coordination, we source all products in the UK. I set out to fulfill a dream by launching Annie Lane Candles (my grandmother's name). In 2017 a small start up business was born.

What do you love about your job?

I love every aspect of my job, everyday brings new opportunities. Creating and working on new projects is exciting, inspiring and rewarding. I love the reaction from people when they experience the fragrances for the first time.

What keeps you focused?

My book of inspirational quotes. A list!! Always! Making a mood board every season. My lovely customers.

07717 844949


Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Lancashire Life