Grace Quantock (17 August)

Grace Quantock, who describes herself as an instigator and provocateur, was at the start of her first degree where she was planning to go into academia. One day she became very ill and in that moment her entire world collapsed. Life threw her off track and it was her job to make it profitable and pick herself back up.

She was inspired to start a business when her friend was hospital bound and she couldn’t visit her as she was also bedbound. This turned into a small project for friends and then a whole business. It is now a social enterprise called Healing Boxes which designs and makes gift boxes for people who have suffered grief or loss or want to have an ethically made gift box.

Grace’s second business is Trailblazing Wellness, helping women with disabilities to live well with illness and start a business.

Although she is successful she has made mistakes, such as when she got a letter from Companies House saying she would be fined £10,000 for missing a deadline, (which she hadn’t missed). She started to panic, drove to meet the person who sent the letter and resolved the whole situation, which taught her always to put a human face to any problem that comes up.

Her best business mentor was a former stripper, current business coach called Erika who changed her life. Her motto was “Work like the rent is due every day, be an Elegant Hustler. If you don’t have a business that’s working and paying you every day, then all you have is an expensive hobby.” This important advice helped Grace to get comfortable with offering services and selling her Healing Boxes.

Overall this talk was incredibly engaging as Grace has such a refreshing outlook on life as well as business, bringing new meaning to the word “hustle”. Just because you have limitations to what you can do, doesn’t mean you can’t succeed and reach your full potential.

Based on a report by Erinoula Kallakis