Celebrating International Women’s Day in Sidmouth
Monday, March 8, marks International Women’s Day and to celebrate the occasion the Herald caught up with a few truly inspiring businesswomen who call Sidmouth and East Devon their home.
Soo McShaw from McShaw Optometrists
After a childhood in Yorkshire, Soo McShaw, joint owner of McShaw Optometrists in Sidmouth, moved to Devon in 1999 after falling in love with her husband, Frederick. Together, they established a specialist eyecare business on the High Street, of which Soo said: “Frederick’s passion for eyecare and my nursing background inspired us to change the way people experienced their eyecare. Instead of a rapid-fire examination, we wanted a slower, really authentic experience based on positive clinical outcomes.”
She added: “Now is so exciting, with innovations that enable early diagnosis, along with new treatments for cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration emerging.
“This means keeping ahead and introducing these to our patients, thus ensuring their vision – not just for today, but for the years to come.”
It looks as though Soo is set to stay and has established strong roots in the area saying “Stunning contrasting sceneries make East Devon a heady mix for anyone.” Visit www.mcshaw-optometrists.co.uk or call 01395 578724
Harri Morris from Annies of Sidmouth
Owner of Annies boutique, Harri Morris settled in Sidmouth five years ago and took over the reins of the long-established leather goods and accessories shop in the heart of the town. The boutique specialises in luxury leather bags, wallets and purses, and sells classic and contemporary designs suited to all styles and budgets. It has also gained a reputation for its extensive range of umbrellas – one for every occasion, even some for when it isn’t raining!
Harri has embraced life in Sidmouth. She said: “I think it is such a lovely place to live with its beautiful scenery and vibrant community.
“I am a keen photographer and have been welcomed into Sidmouth Photographic Club, where I am now the chairperson.
“Spending time with such a lovely, dynamic and diverse group of like-minded people has been one of the pleasures of living in Sidmouth.”
Given the current situation, Harri explained that it is difficult to make plans for the future but confirms that Annies will continue with its exceptional customer service that it is well known for. Visit www.annies.co.uk for more information.
Anna Bomford from Tregale Bomford Hamill Ltd
Several years ago, Anna Bomford decided to change careers and re-train as a solicitor. It was hard work combining studying, working and bringing up children but she considers herself lucky to do something that she now loves. Anna said: “Last January, my colleagues and I opened the doors to our own solicitors’ practice – Tregale Bomford Hamill Ltd – so I also get to work with two women whom I admire but also count as friends.
“We specialise in Wills, Powers of Attorney, and assisting with the administration of people’s estates after they have passed away. We aim to offer a personal, approachable and friendly service, providing support at often difficult or emotional times.”
Praiseworthy feedback from clients reinforces that the female-led practice is on the right track. Anna added: “The plan is to carry on and build on the success of our first year, and continue enjoying all that our beautiful county has to offer.”
Anna has lived in Sidmouth with her family for 17 years and ‘cannot imagine ever wanting to live anywhere else.’ Call 01395 512233 or see www.tbhsolicitors.co.uk