Designer Wins North West Networking Award

by Catherine Smyth Media

DESIGNER Vicky Callan fought off competition from all over the North-West to walk away with a prestigious trophy at the Enterprise Vision Awards.

Vicky has worked in soft furnishings and interior design in Rossendale for more than 20 years and two years ago decided to set up on her own.

At the female business award ceremony, in the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, she won the North West Networker of the Year award, beating seven other contenders who had been nominated by the Pink Link Ladies networking groups.

Vicky, 43, said: “I found out I had been nominated a couple of months ago and then people had to vote. On the night I had no idea if I would win then they announced ‘Vicky Callan Soft Furnishings’.

“I wanted to win and when I did I was really thrilled and pleased. I am so grateful to everyone who voted for me and I have received many messages of congratulations.

“It is so nice to be acknowledged for what I do as networking is a very big part of my business.

“It is important for all Rossendale businesses to work together and so if a client also needs carpets or a fireplace then I have places and tradesmen that I recommend.”

As well as being a regular at the Pink Link Ladies in Blackburn, Vicky also attends Ready to Network and is a member of Rossendale Business League and Valley at Work.

She is also a volunteer mentor with the East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce where she is assisting a new business to get off the ground. She is a volunteer on the special events committee at Rossendale Hospice.

Vicky visits clients in their own home to assess what they require and advises them on a range of fabrics and furnishings.

She arranges manufacture using local home-workers and transforms the room before the ‘big reveal’ in front of the client.

“There is nothing more pleasing that seeing the expression on a client’s face when they see their room transformed and they say, ‘It is even better than I could have imagined,'” said Vicky.

The mother of two, from Newchurch, also fits in time to look after her three-year-old grandson Oliver.

Vicky added: “Working for myself has given me the opportunity to arrange my life around what I do. To me, it is not like a job because it is a passion for me.”

And Vicky was not the only successful Rossendale Business in the competition – Klair Lee from Love Umbrellas won the EVA for best online company.

Vicky has also been nominated for a Rossendale Business Award and the presentation will take place at The Riverside in Whitworth on Wednesday November 12.

Vicky can be contacted on

Rossendale Business Awards

Rossendale Business Awards 2014

Photograph courtesy of Liz Henson Photography

NOMINATIONS will open for the prestigious Rossendale Business Awards on Monday (August 18).

The event is a chance to celebrate the success of businesses around Rossendale large and small, sole traders to part-time, tourist to community. Last year surpassed all records with more businesses nominated and the largest ever turnout to the awards’ presentation.

This year organisers Valley at Work selected a new venue – The Riverside at Whitworth – and on Wednesday November 12 trophies, cleverly designed by AG6 student Jake Ford, will be presented. Valley at Work, which connects local businesses, holds regular meetings when guest speakers discuss relevant issues.

Chair of Valley at Work Rob Carder said: “I am sure our independent judging panel will have a tough decision on their hands because the quality of entries we receive is incredible.

“It is good for businesses to be recognised and valued within their own locality. One of the entries last year said being nominated encouraged them to stop and properly assess where their business was up to, a valuable exercise and one that can often be overlooked.

“We look forward to celebrating with everyone in November. This year nominations have been extended to six weeks and will close on September 30.”

To find out the latest about the awards follow Rossendale Business Awards on social networking site Facebook. To nominate visit

Businesses can be nominated or enter themselves. Nominees decide which category or categories they want be entered into.

High schools in Rossendale are again sponsoring an Enterprising Young Person award following its successful introduction last year.

The Rossendale Free Press, as media sponsor, will be presenting the Valley at Work Award.

Other categories and sponsors: Business of the Year, Cassons; Made in Rossendale, JJO Plc; New Business, Rossendale Council; Microbusiness, Vicky Callan Soft Furnishings; Part-time business, Winter Solicitors; Retail, Rawtenstall Chamber of Commerce; Employer of the Year, Metis HR; Tourism, Rossendale Tourism and Heritage Group; Creative, Shooters Media; Community Business: Woodcocks, Haworth and Nuttall.

Continue reading “Rossendale Business Awards”

Business Expo North West 9th July: Turf Moor, Burnley

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With around 70 companies exhibiting and around 500 registrations expected Expo North West is set to be the brightest B2B event in the region designed for SMEs. There is no better way to market, promote and develop your business this year. As ever with our Expo events, tickets to attend as a delegate are completely free and once again we’ll be able to offer free parking and easy access to all on the big day. Continue reading “Business Expo North West 9th July: Turf Moor, Burnley”