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A unique working environment crafted for and by ambitious business leaders.


There is a modern work revolution going on, quietly, behind ancient oak doors which are steeped in an industrious history.  It is defining the ‘new normal’ in terms of how we work, where we do it and what matters most in life. The revolution will not be televised, nor will it be promoted on social media. It is in fact only to be found in our private workspace where ambitious business people consider, work, collaborate and grow their businesses. Our members share a passion for doing great things and an openness for doing so in new, interesting ways.  Our strictly limited membership benefits from space to think, people to bounce ideas off, a place to plan their success.


Welcome to our Little Black Book, an inspirational series of business stories and insights from our brilliant members.

Sarina Mann on breaking through in speaking/becoming heard

Since Sarina Mann faced her lifelong fear of public speaking, she has not only become an award-winning speaker herself – as the current Toastmasters District 91 Champion for impromptu speaking – but is now supporting others to find their voice through her business Breakthrough Public Speaking.

Read Sarina's story

Mikaela Jubb on constructive recruitment

Never underestimate the underdog is the slogan for Underdog Recruitment, the company owned and run by Mikaela Jubb. It’s a message that resonates on a personal level with Mikaela, who has built her construction recruitment business by treating people equally and in turn has earned mutual respect from her industry peers.

Read Mikaela's story

Chelsey & Joe Terrey on a renewable future

Headed up by husband-and-wife team Chelsey and Joe Terrey, Greener Future is a solar solutions business bringing fresh energy to the renewable sector in the south.

Read Chelsey's story

Terry Glassey on putting energy into the future

3 Futures, the company owned and managed by Terry Glassey, is named from his motivation to provide a better future for everyone, especially his three sons. It’s a forward-thinking viewpoint that is reflective of the industry he specialises in: mechanical, electrical, renewable energy and construction.

Read Terry's story

Richard Browning on bowling in a new direction

Former professional cricketer Richard Browning is spinning his sportsmanship qualities into a new field with his company Olympus Property Group: designing and building bespoke residential developments in Hampshire.

Read Richard's story

Neil Lewis on nurturing business

Passion and perseverance are the pillars that support Neil Lewis’ varied entrepreneurial biography having nurtured a diverse range of businesses from inception to growth.

Read Neil's story

Ashley Fernandes on maximising IT

SMEs are the beating heart of the UK's economy which is why Colva have made it their mission to provide scalable, enterprise services at an affordable price. That’s the mission of Colva Tech: the SME focused branch of the Colva brand headed by Ashley Fernandes.

Read Ashley's story

Jane Johnson on estate agency - be out of the ordinary, and not afraid to tackle the unusual

Doing things differently with exceptional customer service is the simple and outstanding quality shared by Jane Johnson and her husband and business partner Peter – a principle that is ingrained in their estate agency business.

Read Jane's story

Chelsea Hinton on amplifying your niche

Combining her two loves of music and marketing, Chelsea Hinton has tuned in to a specialist niche of promoting brands in the high-end audio and consumer tech sectors.

Read Chelsea's story

Asa Moore on conducting an electrical contracting business

Asa Moore’s interest in electrical work was first sparked over 20 years ago when, inspired by a friend, he became an electrician in 2001.

Read Asa's story

Alex Budd on ensuring a healthy balance

A healthy lifestyle equilibrium is the mindset of Alex Budd – a wholesome perspective from someone who has lived on both sides of the globe and has now settled back in the UK working in health insurance.

Read Alex's story

Aaron Bourne on enhancing the software sphere

Stemming from his own experiences in deciphering the world of coding and software, Aaron Bourne has created his own company passionate about raising the bar on software.

Read Aaron's story

Chris Ward on making IT proactive

Though Chris Ward has always worked in IT – with a first-class degree in Computer Science and an extensive stint at IBM to his name – it was his job with Vermont Systems that was to emerge his unanticipated business leadership.

Read Chris' story

Paul Clarke on championing financial visibility for business owners

Paul Clarke is dedicated to helping business owners get ahead of the game - providing them with the financial visibility they need to succeed! Through his innovative approaches, he's empowering entrepreneurs everywhere.

Read Paul's story

Verity Lovelock on purposeful architecture

Designing from the inside out is the architectonic approach of Verity Lovelock, having initiated her love for architecture when studying interior design at the University of Portsmouth.

Read Verity's story

Stephen Long on the characteristics of quality carpentry

Pride and attention to detail describes the style of Stephen Long and his team of carpenters who deliver superior workmanship for their domestic and commercial clients.

Read Stephen's story

Jenny Walker on people-led law

Conscientiously balancing an equilibrium of personal and professional in her approach, Jenny Walker is a solicitor who cares about people.

Read Jenny's story

Natalie Evans on a new stage for selling homes

When Natalie Evans styled her family home to sell within six hours in 2016, she unlocked a talent that was to become her business and her passion.

Read Natalie's story

Xavier Fiddes on the perspectives of purposeful photography

As well as shooting for a varied portfolio of commercial clients including Sky and Bacardi Brands (Bombay Sapphire, Bacardi etc…) Xavier Fiddes has turned his photographic eye to education and teaching young people photography.

Read Xavier's story

Steve Swift on the purposeful road

Steve Swift’s altruistic sense of purpose has been a common thread running throughout his entire career. From his time in Australia coaching rugby at Sydney Grammar School through to over 15 years serving in the police, where he became a Chief Inspector.

Read Steve's story

Simon Hassett on educated innovation

Since launching the UK’s first vape sensor six months ago, Simon Hassett has seen unprecedented demand for a product now being used by a rapidly increasing number of schools in England and abroad.

Read Simon's story

Jude Wharton on making professional websites easy

With her early career spent in education and training, Jude Wharton transformatively applied her project management skills to form a web design company – 2nd Floor Designs Ltd – with her husband and business partner Chris, 13 years ago.

Read Jude's story

Graham Bell on the art of design

With his artistic aptitude and devotion to design, Graham Bell has created thousands of pieces of graphics and artwork in his twenty-plus-year career.

Read Graham's story

Dan Loveridge on the power of energy

Through completing an electrician apprenticeship and progressing his experience with SSE Contracting, followed by a period working in construction for Touch Building Services, Dan Loveridge gleaned the technical and electrical expertise to set up his own company: Cinergi Ltd. Specialising in renewable energy installations, the company is part of a new era of energy bringing efficient and sustainable solutions to its customers on the South Coast.

Read Dan's story

Bex Fisher on the fresh notes of english wine

It was at a career fair at the age of 22 that Bex Fisher unexpectedly found her calling in the wine industry and instinctively took a 50% pay cut from her job in property to join the Majestic Wine graduate recruitment scheme.

Read Bex's story

Bruce Robinson on the depth of experience

On the surface, Bruce Robinson is an experienced engineer who travelled the world working as a Royal Navy bomb disposal diver before becoming a subsea commissioning engineer for oil and gas pipelines.

Read Bruce's story

Daniel Gormley on protecting what matters

Having trained and qualified as a lawyer to practice in the armed forces only to find that aspiration dashed by injury, Daniel established his security and risk management business in 2009.

Read Daniel's story

Darren Jacobs on achieving the real deal

In the 25 years since Darren Jacobs flipped through the Yellow Pages at the age of 17 and fortuitously found a job in tech, he has shaped a remarkable record in mergers and acquisitions, not just in IT but traversed across many sectors.

Read Darren's story

Glen Crump on staying grounded in land

Through experience, connections, and subtle yet skilled negotiation, Glen Crump navigates the complex terrain of land transactions through his business Castle Street Investments.

Read Glen's story

Guy Layman on forward-thinking finance

Guy Layman has all the accreditations and experience you would expect from a reputable industry expert – Chartered Financial Planner, wealth management, mortgage and pension specialist – but the delivery is different: dynamic, modernistic, transparent, and technophilic.

Read Guy's story

Simon Hawtrey-Coombs on the mindset of growth

With an adaptability that has enabled him to turn his entrepreneurial hand to numerous businesses and industry sectors, Simon HC is somewhat of a metamorphic maverick.

Read Simon's story

Steve Jones on motivational potential

Since his early career contributions to the rapid growth of Fitness First, Steve Jones’ biography has been a myriad of motivational masterfulness: from specialising in coaching SMEs for fast growth, to co-chairing the UK Government Task Force Team, to establishing his own coaching business.

Read Steve's story

Sarah Quirk on supportive saving

Sarah Quirk’s 30-year journey in the realm of finance began as a financial adviser in Germany, supporting the military and their families whilst she was living there. A skill that she reassigned to corporates upon returning to the UK working with clients including the Bank of England, Estée Lauder, and Citibank.

Read Sarah's story

Damian Chapman on enduring insurance

Debuting into the insurance industry at the age of 20, Damian Chapman accumulated vast experience from his career spanning the big-name insurers from A-Plan to Hill House Hammond and Aviva to AXA.

Read Damian's story

Lawrence Bath on writing, the right way

As a creative master of words and enthusiast of the multiple layers of language, it was perhaps already written that Lawrence Bath would establish his own company in 2020.

Read Lawrence's story

Rachel Young on resourceful business support

After accruing a spectrum of commercial human resources experience in the manufacturing sector, Rachel Young is now applying over a decade of specialist proficiency to supporting businesses with their HR.   

Read Rachel's story

Neil Kerr on sound digital marketing

As a recording engineer in his early career, Neil Kerr was instrumental in the early work of legendary Sotonian Craig David, and the huge millennium hit Re-Rewind that Neil collaborated on while working with Mark Hill from the Artful Dodger duo.  

Read Neil's story

Dan Gateshill on financial enablement

With a natural flair for finance, Dan Gateshill formulated his career with a degree in accountancy before spending over a decade working for HSBC: supporting clients with their investment portfolios, and later as an international commercial manager helping businesses with international trading. 

Read Dan's story

Matt Willsher on shooting the story

Originating his career in interior design, Matt Willsher serendipitously found his flair for filmmaking in shooting his sister-in-law’s wedding for fun. The resulting film prompted demand for his videography talents and, learning the technical skills on the job, Matt was soon filming over 40 weddings a year.

Read Matt's story

Callum Donnelly on the modern marketing offering

Strategy and Marketing Leader, Callum Donnelly fostered his understanding of the importance of strategy from 17 years working in marketing agencies – with a career spanning media, communications, digital and agency leadership as Managing Director of digital consultancy Etch.

Read Callum's story

Liz Clarke on the clarity of compelling content

For as long as she can remember, Liz Clarke has always loved writing. A passion and skill that arose in a professional sense when she began rewriting complex legislation for Southampton City Council, which she traversed into writing public interest reports for the Audit Commission’s Benefits National Policy Team.

Read Liz's story

Jessica Flemming on personal marketing

Thoughtful, personal, and empathetic marketing is personified in Jessica Flemming and her newly founded marketing business: Belle & James.

Read Jessica's story

Chris Nash on jewellery brilliance

Beginning his career with a business in security, Chris Nash’s interest in jewellery was sparked when he was getting married, with the idea of selling wedding rings to people at home. Within two years, Chris had 24 wedding ring reps nationwide.

Read Chris' story

Andy Hooper on entrepreneurial ecommerce

Andy Hooper’s entrepreneurial aptitude emerged following the 2008 financial crash when he became motivated, from a desire to be financially self-sufficient, to establish a variety of businesses from sports consultancy to wedding photography.

Read Andy's story

Sam Sutton on the outdoor pursuit of happiness

When Sam Sutton, along with his friend and business partner Rich Pearsall, bought some Canadian canoes in 2003 with permission to run tours on the Beaulieu River, it was to be the beginning of an incredible business adventure.

Read Sam's story

Tom Richards on clean growth

Founded in 2018, Proceed Solutions was created from the knowledge and experience of its co-founders, which is now being enhanced by Tom’s fresh perspective and passion for innovation.

Read Tom's story

Shaun Ramazannezhad on the value of proactivity for your wealth

Shaun Ramazannezhad, the Hampshire protégé of McMillan Wealth Consultants, debuted in the financial services industry from a desire to help people and businesses protect and grow their wealth.

Read Shaun's story

Lee Harris on being driven by change

When Lee Harris lost his job in commercial insurance due to the pandemic, it was to steer him in a new direction, driving him to create his own business: ELH Detailing.

Read Lee's story

Eloise Burton on the magic of manifestation

After experiencing her own personal challenges with money, Eloise Burton inadvertently discovered a transformational way to overcome psychological money blocks through manifestation.

Read Eloise's story

Darren Brown on accounting for development

Taking on the profession of accountancy with an apprenticeship straight from school at the age of 16, Darren Brown had already qualified as an accountant by the time he was 22.

Read Darren's story

Mark Janes on raising new business heights

Exemplary workmanship and a specialisation in quality materials have led Mark Janes’ company, Protec Roofing, to rise above and beyond the initial expectations he had when he started out.

Read Mark's story

Gareth Davies on modernising mortgage advice

When Gareth Davies went along to a group interview to help out a friend in 2006, he was unexpectedly offered a job in the financial sector inadvertently launching a 16-year career in the industry.

Read Gareth's story

Kevin Briscoe on the medium of storytelling

The art of compelling storytelling is one that Kevin Briscoe has mastered throughout his editorial career which began at the Portsmouth News with varied journalistic roles including reporting, newsroom and features writing, and TV Editor.

Read Kevin's story

Paul Sams on legal integrity

Honesty, integrity, and teamwork are the moral principles Paul Sams has exemplified throughout his legal career and in his passion for the profession.

Read Paul's story

Mark Piper on advice against adversity

In a career that spans three decades, specialist mortgage professional Mark Piper has proficiently served the financial services sector through its rollercoaster of recession, regulation, macro influences, and embracement of new trends.

Read Mark's story

Jeremy Culverhouse on finance, film, and family

Evocative of the eventful scripts of his film background, Jeremy Culverhouse’s story is like a captivating biopic beginning at boarding school in North London where an 18-year-old Jeremy excelled in sport and acting.

Read Jeremy's story

Hannah and Paul Wallis on family business continuity

Combining decades of experience with a new generational perspective, father-daughter duo Paul and Hannah Wallis have together found equilibrium for their business management consultancy Hantec Systems.

Read Hannah's story

Colin Buchan on customer-led communications

With an early career spent in automotive electronics and later phone service centre and technology, Colin Buchan jointly founded telecoms company Affinity Technology which has found its reputable place amongst the telecom’s giants through personal customer service and having an excellent inhouse customer support team whom are available to help at the end of the phone.

Read Colin's story

Jamie Southall on maintaining reliable trades

In this behind-the-scenes profile, we talk to Jamie about his journey in business, his passions for excellent training and customer service, his insights into the trade and his reflections on fuel and energy efficiency, as well as his own aspirations for the future.

Read Jamie's story

Ben Sisson on the creative science of SEO

With a creative résumé spanning the likes of Garmin International, Ben Sisson has a natural eye for outstanding design.

Read Ben's story

Mark White on future developments

Bargate Homes’ first ever employee became the Managing Director of the reputable house builder last year, a move that is resounding of the company’s ethos of longevity, and their new MD’s commitment and passion for what they do.

Read Mark's story

Paul Phelps on powerful purpose

Electrical engineering first sparked the interest of Paul Phelps when he trained as an apprentice in power distribution. The technical experience he garnered enabled him to travel worldwide.

Read Paul's story

Simon Jenns on fresh perspectives in property promotion

Subliminally inspired by his architect dad and a childhood witnessing the magic of buildings come to life on a drawing board, Simon Jenns has combined creativity with building knowledge.

Read Simon's story

Spencer Bowman on nurturing the right business blend

Since his own first life-changing sip of speciality coffee, proud Sotonian Spencer Bowman has been on a mission to bring better coffee to Southampton.

Read Spencer's story

Don Iro on evolution from electronics

Don Iro came to Southampton from Nigeria to study Electronic Engineering and subsequently worked for over 20 years in digital across different continents from developing consumer technology for Nokia to connected car services for Jaguar Land Rover in China.

Read Don's story

Peter Bryant on decrypting crypto

Crypto Professor and Author Peter Bryant began his varied career with a music degree before completing a Psychology Masters and training as a Hypnotherapist.

Read Peter's story

Nathan James on cultivating creativity

Self-guided with a premeditated life plan, Nathan James’ enthusiasm for digital, marketing & retail was first ignited with his involvement in the launch of a global retail organisations first city centre location at the beginning of his career.

Read Nathan's story

Donovan Long on forward-thinking merchant services

Entering the merchant services market in 2016, Donovan Long has since gone above and beyond providing payment systems for his clients.

Read Donovan's story

Steve Cole on getting IT right for business

Providing the systems, technology, and security that businesses depend upon has become a specialism of Steve Cole and his IT support business Net Primates.

Read Steve's story

Luke Newman on reforming wellbeing

Motivated by his own childhood experiences growing up in Southampton, Luke Newman is dedicated to creating opportunities for the city’s young people.

Read Luke's story

Marc Bandemer on thinking beyond boundaries

Marc Bandemer’s entrepreneurial journey is one that has transcended both geographical and conceptual boundaries.

Read Marc's story

Zoe Hanson on broadcasting horizons

Relatable, personable and ultimately a great listener — presenter and podcaster Zoe Hanson knows how to connect with audiences, a skill which she has honed in over 20 years’ experience as a breakfast radio presenter for Capital and Heart.

Read Zoe's story

Gavin Rampton on financially secure futures

Inspired by his dad to debut into the financial industry at the age of 27, Gavin Rampton has accumulated 18 years of experience as a Financial Advisor, earning him a commendable reputation in his fields of specialist investments and tax planning.

Read Gavin's story

Matt Taylor on commercial strategy

Matt Taylor’s proficiency in overcoming commercial challenges has taken him from Carnival UK to FTSE 100 retail business Kingfisher plc where he was responsible for implementing commercial strategy projects across the nine countries the company operates in.

Read Matt's story

Helen Clements on Collaborative Empowerment

Alongside her business partner Boo Donovan, the pair are passionate about empowering other business owners through knowledge, with a philosophy of collaborative working and being true to themselves.

Read Helen's story

Damian Gevertz on bringing new content on board

As travel reignites, Damian shares how the pandemic has launched him towards the next phase of his business.

Read Damian's story

Chris Schutrups on brokering business development

Now Chris, alongside his wife Nicola, is making moves as one of the UK's leading mortgage brokers.

Read Chris' story

Scott stephens on going forth

FORTH®’s recent move to new offices in Ampfield marks both its organic growth, and a new settling in natural surroundings aligned with the sustainable aspirations that the company represents.

Read Scott's story

Ben Mcmahon on experiential productions

Motivated by a commitment to sustainability, Collaborate Global is at the forefront of developing hybrid events – blending the physical and virtual audience to create unforgettable brand experiences.

Read Ben's story

Chris Rees on getting city events back up and running

Fresh from the return of Southampton Sailing Week, which featured a team of members from the Old Bond Store, Chris Rees is on track to get sporting events back up and running in the city.

Read Chris' story

Sally Golden on the composition of connective photography

Sally Golden, the person behind the lens and creator of the Old Bond Store’s member portraits, found her calling in photography 12 years ago. After 30 years working in retail, a photographer put a camera in her hand and she immediately felt a connection with the craft.

Read Sally's story

Matt Sanger on event enhancement

With a Californian can-do spirit resonating from his time at the University of San Francisco, Matt is passionate about creating inspiring experiences and environments where people can thrive.

Read Matt's story

Jeremy Robbins on approachable accountancy

Genio Accountants has doubled in size over the past year thanks to open and proactive advice delivered in a professional yet relaxed way.

Read Jeremy's story

Josh Mitchell on methodical marketing

The success of a business that has been built methodically from the ground up is testimony to their down-to-earth hard work and desire to support others.

Read Josh's story

Nella Pang on real estate change

Driven by her ambition to leave a positive legacy, Nella is now an ambassador and role model for women and those from non-traditional backgrounds breaking into the industry.

Read Nella's story

Will Rosie on piecing together contemporary art

The artist behind the specially curated mosaic pieces adorning the walls of the Old Bond Store is installing intrigue and joy through his art.

Read Will's story

Jen Todd on keeping things honest

With their candid approach, Jen Todd and her business partner Pam Bates, have neatly tied together several businesses under the umbrella of the Silk Bow Group.

Read Jen's story

Daniel Fitzhenry on visionary leadership

Earlier this year, Southampton elected Daniel Fitzhenry as its new City Council Leader, taking the helm of a city in which he was born and bred.

Read Daniel's story

Callum Donnelly on ahead of the curve consulting

Callum Donnelly began the year by taking the helm at Etch UK; a radical agency that is creatively challenging the traditional concepts of consultancy.

Read Callum's story

Andy Hollands on entrepreneurial experience

True experience is built not only upon the achievement of success, but equally upon the lessons of the losses, and straight-talking Andy Holland has garnered a grounding of both highs and lows in the corporate world.

Read Andy's story

Adam Myers on a new stage of humanised HR

Adam Myers has a background in acting and a résumé in Human Resources spanning the corporate world from Hamleys in London to Walt Disney World in Florida.

Read Adam's story

Sam Griffiths on building your minimum

Motivated by a deep sense of purpose to help others, following his own personal experiences of burnout, Sam Griffiths is channelling his energies into helping professionals to be Healthy in Business.

Read Sam's story

Henri Ghijben on branching out

At 24 Henri Ghijben launched his tree services business and, alongside wife Sarah, grew HRG Tree Surgeons to become a renowned business credited with a portfolio of projects for clients including Salisbury Cathedral, Southampton International Airport and Winchester City Council.

Read Henri's story

Alex Hurn on building progressively

It was perhaps predestined that Alex Hurn, who has a natural instinct for entrepreneurship combined with an ardent interest in buildings stemming from childhood, would start his own business in the property industry.

Read Alex's story

Zoie Golding on a new movement of dance

Zoie Golding, the founder of Zoielogic is choreographing a new movement in dance; without boundaries of environment, participant and audience.

Read Zoie's story

Ross Breckenridge on creative evolution

Taking the reins of a family business established in the early 80s by his parents, Ross Breckenridge is steering the agency into a new era of marketing.

Read Ross' story

Richard Allen on engineering a skilled labour force

Richard gives insight into his constructive specialisms as well as his people-first culture resounding in a commitment to playing a part in addressing issues such as mental health in the industry.

Read Richard's story

Jon Martin on embracing the silver lining of the cloud

Jon Martin, the Co-founder of JLA Resourcing has a proactive energy originating from his love of working in a sector helping people to fulfil their career dreams and aspirations.

Read Jon's story

Antony Fanshawe on acquiring a wealth of experience

Entrepreneur, corporate finance specialist, expert witness, insolvency practitioner and forensic accountant are just some of the multi disciplines associated with Antony Fanshawe.

Read Antony's story

Wayne Loon on making a positive business imprint

From modest beginnings repairing machines from his bedroom at 18, Wayne Loon has grown Abbey Office Solutions to become a respected and successful UK-wide office equipment operation.

Read Wayne's story

Steve Crawford on streamlining skills to superyachts

The founder of luxury yacht crew placement agency Yotspot began his career by working as crew on a superyacht in the Mediterranean.

Read Steve's story

Lee Smith on impactful investments

Living by the mantra to either find a way or make one, Lee Smith has created a bespoke investment consultancy with a conscience.

Read Lee's story

Jason Oliver on creating a constructive family business

Classic, steadfast business techniques, underpinned by strong family values, have seen Global Ceramic Tiling grow to be one of the South's largest tiling contractors.

Read Jason's story

Realising the potential of talent

Founder of in-house recruitment company Collabz, Louis Cross discusses a fresh approach to talent, driven by a motivation to champion the underdog and realise the potential of proficient people and SMEs.

Read Louis' story

Ian Riggs on securing a financial future

The founder of the Eight Wealth Management shares the success of his financial services company through the Eight Foundation, a charitable trust raising funds to help local, small businesses and inidividuals.

Read Ian's story

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