THE AUDREY Q&A
Change-makers share their wit and wisdom and the lessons they’ve learnt.
Thanks for taking the time to fill out the Audrey Q&A. You have been picked because you have an interesting story to tell! Audrey is all about making big brave changes and embracing the life you want. What can you share about yourself that will help other women?
Please introduce yourself:
Martha Silcott, 49, Married, Stressed Entrepreneur.
After a long career in financial services, frustrated at the lack of an easy way to dispose of tampons and sanitary towels I invented FabLittleBag, biodegradable sanitary disposal bags. Once patented in 2013, I developed, manufactured and sold FabLittleBag into the retail market, launching with Waitrose in November 2015.
Any nicknames (now or in the past)?
What achievement are you proudest of in work?
Getting my idea out of my head and onto the shelves, in people’s handbags and bathrooms.
And what about your proudest achievements in your life?
Choosing a fabulous man as my husband, valuing my friendships, managing after 7 years to get a patent for my invention.
What makes you happy?
Lots of things! Arsenal winning, family (most of the time!) my good mates, chips, bacon butties (bacon well done), making a sale, getting customer feedback telling me how much they love FabLittleBag, spectacular views, the sound of the ocean.
What role should money play in our lives?
Money gives you choices, that’s it – we place more value on it than we should. Money can do a lot of good so for me it is not about how much you have but how you spend it.
What was the hardest decision you ever had to make?
Too many – also things feel so dramatic at the time. It was hard to leave my secure work for this adventure of uncertainty and there have been oodles of hard decisions along the way. Not going to see my Nana when she was dying was hard. She declined quickly and I wanted to remember her as she was before.
“You have to want something to make it happen.”
If you have a tough decision to make, how do you work through it?
After mulling it over I talk to my husband and/or my best mate(s).
Have you ever had an ‘Audrey’ moment in your career where maybe you’ve decided to completely change direction and if so, what was the catalyst?
Yes a few – broke up with a boyfriend so I switched universities at the last minute. Decided to stop being self-employed and join corporate-land. Then years later, here I am again… Boredom or an overwhelming need to do it is the catalyst.
Has being a woman in the world of work helped/hindered/made no difference to your work?
I have no idea, I can’t quite imagine being a bloke! Would like to think my character has influenced it more than my gender.
What do you like the most about women in their middle years (and older)?
Usually calmer, relaxed in themselves and ooze experience they are usually willing to share/help.
What have been your biggest challenges, work-wise or more generally and how have you overcome them?
I could write a book on this… Work-wise: manufacturing is just ghastly, fraught with challenges, juggling everything on a shoe-string budget is not fun, you don’t really get over these challenges, you just have to manage your emotions about them. Never feeling like I have enough money or time …. Still trying to overcome these! Stopped feeling guilty about the balance of simply being a working mum…took a while and listened to other wise people and in the end believed them.
Please list three books that changed your life (or at least your mindset):
Awaken the Giant Within – Anthony Robbins
Not a book, but a course in the early 1990s called Mindstore by Jack Black, Anita Roddick’s autobiography.
Tell us about a time in your life you had to be really brave. What lesson did you learn from it?
Having my children. I hate hospitals, needles, blood, found all that really hard and had to be very brave in each case. I have to be brave most days since starting FabLittleBag as it is HARD, lonely at times, so many no’s and disappointments. I have to do public speaking and each time I have to dig deep. I tell myself : This too will pass….
When you need a confidence boost, how do you get it?
I read the You Say page on my website, or ask my husband or bestie to make me feel better!!
What valuable lesson has your life taught you that you’d like to pass on to other women?
We are braver than we think, things change, you have to want something to make it happen.
What is your dream project or scenario that you haven’t yet fulfilled?
To live or have a place by the sea, in warm climes.
What makes you cry?
Since having children pretty much everything !! Long Lost Families gets me every time, and humans being evil to each other.
What is your life motto?
I don’t have one – more and more I am minded to make the most of NOW
Which TV or film character do you most identify with and why?
I don’t but I have a horrible thought that my kids might say Clare in Modern Family!
The song that makes you happiest is:
The whole of Aswad Live & Direct Album, A lot of Bob Marley, Ain’t No Stoppin Us, Carwash, Songs from Joseph musical.
Tell us something about you or something you’ve done in the past that still makes you cringe:
Come out of the girls’ loo at school into the main school corridor with my skirt tucked into my tights – as everyone walked down the corridor to lunch.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chips, chips & gravy, pie & chips
What is your happy place and why?
Chilling in St Lucia – first family holiday I felt like I really had a holiday
And finally… any regrets?
Try not to feel regret for more than 5 mins, all things lead to here.
Please share how Audrey users can find out more about you: www.fablittlebag.com. FabLittleBag is now available in Waitrose, Ocado, Amazon and more.