THE votes have been counted, the judges have had their say and the results are in.
A sparkling event is being held this evening to celebrate the achievements of the south’s most inspirational women.

Tonight the 49 super-mums and business women who have made it into the finals of the 2014 Natwest Venus Awards will arrive in glittering evening gowns at St Mary’s Stadium to find out if they have  won one of the 14 categories, including the Southern Daily Echo Business Mother of the Year award.

The award’s finalists are mum-of-three Sarah Hibbert who runs glass engraving company Charmed Glass, beautician and mum-of three Verity Evans, 28, who runs Southampton Pamper Parties and The Pink beauty salon and Hedge End mum-of-one Kelly Picton, 36, of human resources firm Glow Resourcing.

The category celebrates women who juggle running their own business with looking after a family.
Sarah, 45, who has two sons, aged 16 and 14, and a nine-year-old daughter, has been in business for three years.

Andover Advertiser:

She said: “The butterflies are really beginning to flutter. I keep trying to put it out of my mind but it keeps reappearing.

“It seems really surreal. I still feel like a mum that’s playing at running a business and it’s just getting my head around the fact that I am a business mum now.

“My kids keep telling me that even if I don’t win I’m still their business mum of the year.”

It could be double excitement for 11 of the finalists, including Kelly and Verity as they are up for multiple awards.

Joining them as finalists in two categories are Pryia Tew of Pilates with Priya, Kimberley Garrod of Kimberley Garrod Photography, Catherine Sousa of Sousa Richards Solicitors, Paula Warman of Aura Landscapes Ltd, Amy Bennett of YOU Massage Therapy, Charlotte Woodward of River Aesthetics, Macmillan radiographer Jo Reeves and Catherine Maxfield of Eric Robinson Solicitors.
Pippa Bailey, managing director of Nursling-based Solardome Industries is up for three awards – the Dutton Gregory Small Business Award, the Professional of the Year Award and the Silverlake Green Business Award.

Winners will get a crystal award and the winner of the Influential Woman of the year award will also get to drive a new Volkswagen car for a weekend, thanks to sponsors Peter Cooper Volkswagen.

They will be announced during tonight’s event which will feature a three-course meal and entertainment by Southampton rhythm and blues band Ken Wood and the Mixers.

The evening will be hosted by Heart FM breakfast show presenter Zoe Hanson.

The Venus Awards were launched in 2009.
People across the country can nominate a working woman that they think deserves recognition.

Log on to for more information.


  • Condor Lifetime Achievement Award:
    Hammie Tappenden – West Itchen Community Trust/Intobiz /Southampton Solent University
    Helen Clarke – Effective Changes/Kumon New Milton/Lighterlife Lymington/Junior Effective Changes
    Pam Bates – Countess Mountbatten Hospice Charity
  • Customer Service Award:
    Jenny Marie Court – Just Shine
    Kimberley Garrod – Kimberley Garrod Photography
    Jo Hicks – Jo Hicks Flowers
    Kate Raine – Pressing Needs
    Priya Tew – Pilates with Priya
  • Dutton Gregory Small Business Award:
    Pippa Bailey – Solardome Industries
    Priya Tew – Pilates with Priya
    Paula Warman – Aura Landscapes Ltd
  • Dyno-Rod Inspirational Woman Award:
    Katie Humphreys – Mind Training for Sport
    Linda Pragnell – Capitol Financial Solutions Ltd
    Emma Yorwerth – Eastleigh College
  • Employer of the Year Award:
    Freya Smith – British Nannies
    Catherine Sousa – Sousa Richards Solicitors
    Amanda Haimes – Card Factory
    Amy Bennett – YOU Massage Therapy
    Catherine Maxfield – Eric Robinson Solicitors
  • Home Based Business Award:
    Rosie Matthews – Radiance Wellbeing Studio
    Kimberley Garrod – Kimberley Garrod Photography
    Verity Evans – Southampton Pamper Parties
    Jayne Freemantle – The Flower Basket and The Cake Basket
    Lucie Patel Varekova – Winning Leap/Nikken
  • Heart Employee of the Year Award:
    Emma Lester – University of Southampton
    Bleu Porter – AVKO Ltd
    Natasha Still – Parkhouse the Jeweller
  • NatWest Entrepreneur of the Year Award:
    Juliet Blundell – Propaganda hair salon
    Catherine Sousa – Sousa Richards Solicitors
    Paula Warman – Aura Landscapes Ltd
  • Peter Cooper Group Influential Woman of the Year Award:
    Natasha Jones – Baby Resuscitation
    Jo Reeves – University Hospital Southampton
    Cheryl Rickman – Flourish
  • Professional of the Year Award:
    Amy Bennett – YOU Massage Therapy
    Charlotte Woodward – River Aesthetics ltd
    Jo Reeves – University Hospital Southampton
    Petra Oyston – Defence Science and Technology Laboratory
    Catherine Maxfield – Eric Robinson Solicitors
    Pippa Bailey – Solardome Industries
  • Rothmans LLP New Business Award:
    Katy Handley Quint – The Pink Party Box Company Children’s Boutique
    Kelly Picton – Glow Resourcing (formerly R4)
    Charlotte Woodward – River Aesthetics ltd
  • Silverlake Green Business Award:
    Michelle Smith – Heavenly Bodies Beauty Studio
    Pippa Bailey – Solardome Industries
    Alex Herring – A & S Painting Services
  • Southern Daily Echo Business Mother of the Year Award:
    Verity Evans – Southampton Pamper Parties
    Sarah Hibbert – Charmed Glass
    Kelly Picton – Glow Resourcing (formerly R4)
  • Your Southampton New Media & Online Business Award:
    Aycin Wateridge – B Organic Skincare
    Charli Edwards – Little Red Creative
    Cecile Bergart – Hampshire Wine School