Berkhamsted-based entrepreneur and business owner, Haylee Benton, has been featured in a unique voluntary project celebrating female entrepreneurs.
Haylee, owner of the Silver Fern Group, a portfolio of hair and beauty businesses, was selected from thousands of applicants to take part in the #SheCan365 initiative, which told the stories of 365 female entrepreneurs over 365 consecutive days in exactly 365 words.
The original website has since received a ‘Best Blog’ nomination from the Single Mums Business Network Awards 2020, as well as being turned into a book following a successful Kickstarter campaign.
‘At the start of my career, I was well and truly up against the odds as a 21-year-old in a male-dominated signage industry. However, it’s challenges like these that have made me the strong business owner I am today, giving me the tools I needed to face other obstacles down the line,’ explains Haylee.
‘Now, I’m the proud owner of three of Berkhamsted’s most loved beauty spots: Alchemy & I, Cecily Spa and Koha Skin Clinic, as well as PamperPad; the ‘TripAdvisor of the beauty industry’. Over the past few years, thanks to the grit, determination and resilience of my teams and I, each business has continued to grow and flourish, despite facing obstacles such as COVID-19.
‘So, I hope that by sharing my story with the SheCan365 project, I can inspire future female entrepreneurs and empower them to aim higher than they ever thought possible.’
The #SheCan365 project began when online marketer, Helen Pritchard, challenged former journalists Michelle and Christian Ewen to publish a new, inspiring story online every day for an entire year.
Within 48 hours, Helen financed and built the #SheCan365 website in her capacity as host and the project officially launched on International Women’s Day 2019.
‘From the thousands of female business owners who came forward, we chose an inclusive, diverse range of women at every stage of the business journey – from start-ups to seven-figure ventures,’ explained Michelle, who is co-director of Write on Time Ltd.
‘Every contributor gave their time freely – discussing how they pursued their passion and purpose whilst managing everything from health and fertility issues to family life, identity crises and financial battles. The universal theme that emerged was one of resilience.’
In response to popular demand, the #SheCan365 team raised more than £9,500 through crowdfunding to publish the whole collection of stories in a coffee table-style book. They are also proudly supporting CoppaFeel! – a national breast cancer awareness charity.
‘The #SheCan365 book is about the nature of women who commit to showing up every single day, 365 days a year – and what CAN be achieved when success is a decision,’ said Helen.
‘I am so proud of all our contributors, as well as Michelle and Christian. This is the boldest and most ambitious project I’ve ever challenged someone to do, and I’m super excited for the next phase of evolution for #SheCan365.’ The #SheCan365 book is available at www.shecan365.com.