Words are not just uttered from the lips, but the way we move, write, speak, and interact can either promote peace or create division.
From fake news on social media and gossip in the street to profound speeches, blogs and books which can transform our lives, we hear so many stories nowadays whether they be junk food for our minds or carefully crafted to feed our souls.
We have such a huge array of mediums to now consume, create and communicate in more ways than ever before.
But the leading yet archaic technology in driving deep state-of-the-art human connection is story-telling.
The kaleidoscope impact it offers can be propaganda or transcend to heal the world.
Something that has depleted me when having to hit targets for how many online news stories I can recreate, thrash out and publish per hour as a young journalist on a national newspaper, churning click-bait to drive revenue or an art form which has written me out of the depths of despair which has inspired my grassroots reporting for regionals.
We need space to create, to let our cluttered minds swirl as they transcend into stillness to comprehend our increasingly polluted world of excess, cutting through the noise to deeply connect.
As we move with the harsh Hokey Cokey of the Pandemic, I have been connecting with other creatives to discuss the importance of multi-dimensional stories to unite us all regardless of background.
I know as someone who discovered journalism through a calling to speak out from the perspective of my own seldom-heard community in which I was born and bred, rather than just sweep in, interpreting my subjective view with the pressures of a fast and at times heartless news agenda.
As Hayley Trowbridge, from People’s Voice Media who is organising The Future of Lived Experience Storytelling, the Institute of Community Reporters Conference, says: ”Community Reporting is basically a way of bringing people's stories, experiences and ideas together so that we can collectively find ways to make the world around us a better place to be.
“Taking the time to listen to different perspectives - including ones that may challenge your own - is a way of understanding through empathy how different people experience the world differently. There is power in people's experiences being described in their own words - a chance to really connect, person to person.”
How do we share these stories to have the greatest impact possible? I’m fortunate that my age enables me to straddle the worlds of traditional media with the wider sharing tool of the social media wagon.
This is reflected in my work as a journalist, speaker, content creator and published author enabling me to share and tell multidimensional stories on multiple platforms using digital creativity. A hybrid approach to carefully crafted content, creatively aligning a variety of mediums online and offline, may just be the solution to engage and change the universe for the better.
Hence why, “Uniting Creative businesses across the North and encouraging them to come together, to unite, share their experiences and collaborate will be extremely powerful in helping to shape the future and create change,” explains Sarah Novotny, of GC Business Growth Hub who is hosting the Creative Leaders Festival which aims to connect, inspire, and energise Creative Industry professionals from across the North of England, such events will also “play a key role in the recovery of the UK economy.”
At Creative Leaders Festival, I'll be discussing the evolving media world and the future of the theatre with the likes of Northern Ballet, Sparkle Influencer Community, and politicians. In Summer, I’ll also be sharing more seldom-heard stories and my own lived experience at the Institute of Community Reporters event.
Book for both events for free, go to:
Hundreds of creative industry professionals are being invited to join a two-day virtual event this month - the only one of its kind in the North of England.
The Creative Leaders Festival 2021, organised by GC Business Growth Hub on behalf of The Growth Company, will take place from May 25 to 26.
The virtual expo will provide advice about support available to the sector and its sub-sectors to help businesses plan and grow, with the two-day event featuring a series of high-profile speakers, roundtable discussions and workshop sessions.
More than 70 industry experts from creative, digital and tech industries will be speaking at the event.
Guests include Creative England’s Mehjabeen Patrick; Manchester International Festival’s Paul Clay; Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive Mark Skipper, and co-chair of Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership and CEO of Magnetic North Lou Cordwell OBE.
This is the second festival following last year’s inaugural event, which covered the North West and attracted more than 450 delegates to register. This year’s expo promises to be even bigger and has been extended to cover more Northern areas.
It is open to any creative, digital or tech business, based in the North of England, operating in fields such as film, TV, photography, design, gaming, fashion, marketing and PR.
The event is being supported by Greater Manchester Combined Authority and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
It will be opened by Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage, at 10am.
Minister of State for Digital and Culture, Caroline Dinenage, said: "The creative industries will play a vital role in helping to drive the economy as we build back better from the pandemic.
"It is fantastic to see thriving creative industries across the north where the sector is continuing to make important strides as part of our levelling up agenda. This festival is a great opportunity to celebrate this success and be inspired for the future.”
Delegates can join panel discussions, Q&A sessions, workshops and sector specific roundtable sessions, as well as a virtual exhibition and peer to peer networking.
Workshops delivered by sector specialists from across the North will cover topics such as understanding the funding maze; creating a culture of diversity and inclusion, and protecting your assets.
The Hub is part of The Growth Company and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.
Head of Digital, Creative, and Tech at the Hub, Sarah Novotny, said: “This is a unique festival which will give businesses the opportunity to hear from industry specialists, share knowledge and best practice, and discover the wide ranging support that is available.
“The UK’s creative sector is world renowned and very valuable to our economy, so it is vital that the sector strengthens and return to growth. We want to do all we can to support creative businesses which is why we have extended the festival to cover more regions in the North of England.
“We know that the creative sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, but some businesses have also been presented with more favourable trading conditions and opportunities to grow.
“Our aim with the festival is to facilitate connections and help businesses get back to growing as well as helping businesses to take advantage of opportunities for development and growth.
“Diversity and inclusivity will play a key role. With diversity, will come innovation and innovation will help build resilience and stronger businesses in the future. We are looking forward to hundreds joining us over the two days.”
To see the full schedule and to register for the event (at no cost), please visit:
The festival is also backed by Creative Industries Council, Creative England, Creative Industries Federation, Creative Lancashire, Boost Business Lancashire, Liverpool Growth Platform, Northern Ballet, Scale-up Institute, AD:VENTURE, and the Intellectual Property Office.
Businesses looking to access specialist support can visit www.businessgrowthhub.com for more information about the organisation’s extensive range of services.
This and other GC Business Growth Hub projects are part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the GM Business Growth Hub project, designed to help ambitious SME businesses achieve growth and increase employment in Greater Manchester. The Hub is also supported by the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester local authorities.
A new multi-storey fashion design studio has opened up it’s new “pink palace” HQ sprinkling some glitter onto Cleckheaton town centre
Wake Bespoke which has amassed a large online following for it’s lavish tailor-made designs seen on the likes of influencers, the cast of TOWIE and A-listers on the red carpet, has “finally had it’s fairytale ending” after a tumultuous year of Lockdowns delaying its launch.
CEO and chief designer Jordan Wake said: “We’ve used this time to our advantage, to really give our new home a dazzling makeover!
“We know it’s been a challenging time but in our true spirit of empowering transformations and true makeovers to glow from the inside out... we have utilised this time to focus on our core, create new products to suit the active lifestyles of our customers, lead online sewing masterclasses and create our very own pink palace to add some sparkle back into people’s lives.”
Jordan, 28, who has evolved from a studio apartment HQ in Leeds City Centre to three floors dedicated to her dream of dressing women to feel empowered, thrived online in lockdown with a viral campaign of women dressing up in her most flamboyant designs whilst doing menial tasks at home due to events being cancelled.
She also set up the Glow and Grow Ladies Network community for women who want to level up in life.
Jordan, originally from Leeds, started out as a “shy seamstress” on work experience where she would spend her nights at her grandmas house to finish off her own designs.
But thanks to her unique flamboyant style and her passion for creating any design for each woman regardless of background, she quickly rallied up enough support to launch her own business “Just Jordan,” she laughs.
With her humble down-to-earth Yorkshire personality, she quickly built up a repertoire of returning clients from women recovering from a range of surgeries to prom queens and brides as well as catwalk models.
She said: “We’re all about making every woman feel amazing from the inside out, we’re a female empowerment company disguised as dress makers!”
After making a storm online, celebrities and top influencers took note and started arranging exclusive fittings from Jordan who has evolved into the global fashion brand Wake Bespoke. Jordan said: “I am naturally an introvert, so social media gave me the platform and the confidence to build my customer base and most of all serve every woman from the red carpet to brides walking down the aisle, from party goers in Ibiza to school prom dresses. “Whatever age, background, size, style or challenge, we promise to use our skill, warmth of our friendly team and experience to empower every woman from unique costumes to off-the-peg activewear.
“We’re family run and owned and we can’t wait to welcome every woman into our store whether it be to book a consultation in our new HQ or online to shop, book a consultation or just get in touch about our range of feel-good products and sewing masterclasses.”
It’s a “fairytale ending” as Jordan and her team leap forward into a new story offering a range of services, serving guests near and far and bring some cheer back to Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire with their new Wake Bespoke HQ complete with a consultation area, gift shop and instagrammable backdrops.
Jordan said: “I have dropped ‘just’ from my vocabulary too, I am not just Jordan or just a seamstress, I am a CEO of a female empowerment company which is starting it’s new fairytale with a fitting premise!
“I can’t wait to welcome all women into my store or say hi on one of my outline platforms, you can find us @WakeBespoke.”
You can shop now for Wake Bespoke’s latest collections via the boutique section on their website, by going to:
https://www.wakebespoke.co.uk or you can book a consultation for made to measure services either online or in store.
Wake Bespoke’s new premise is located at 51 Northgate, Cleckheaton, BD19 3HS. Bookings are via appointment only.
You can also follow Wake Bespoke on instagram, facebook and twitter @wakebespoke.