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Inspirational Woman: Maggie Semple | Founder of Maggie Semple Limited

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LeanneDixon_MaggieSemple10Tell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently?

I am known as a successful business woman and entrepreneur and am described as gently formidable – a voice of reason. I own two businesses – The Experience Corps Ltd & Maggie Semple Ltd.

I have worked with many public and private sector organisations at a senior level on leadership development, cultural change and organisational development.

In October 2010 I founded Maggie Semple Limited to coincide with the publication of my book ‘Women, Fashion, Stories’ which documents the treasured items of six high profile business women. From Dame Wendy Hall, who worked with Tim Berners Lee on the creation of the World Wide Web to Harriet Cass, the former BBC Radio 4 broadcaster who describes her BIBA skirt.

I had the resources to be adventurous and the right legal and financial infrastructure in place that enabled me to act on a passion.

Why did you start your business?

Maggie Semple Limited is a lifestyle business that has a simple proposition. Everyone has a story about something that they treasure that we would like to know and share globally. In 2011 this simple proposition evolved into a luxury gift service called Behind the Seams, a beautifully handcrafted book which documents the story of someone’s treasured item.

Since the success of Behind the Seams, we have developed two other products: Behind the Business and The Story Store. Behind the Business came from requests from businesses wanting us to write their corporate memory and The Story Store from individuals asking if they could be part of MSL.

Tell us more about The Story Store?

The Story Store is an innovative new concept for documenting, storing and sharing the memories of your irreplaceable item in the digital age.

For just £10 The Story Store will curate the tale of your ‘special something’ into a beautifully personalised online momento for you to keep and for us to share with The Story Store digital community. From clothing and books to antiques and photographs, there is nothing that can’t be shared in The Story Store.

Receiving my OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. To be in the great ceremonial rooms with many others and to hear of their achievements, bought tears to my eyes and made me feel really proud.

What appealed to you about setting up your own business?

I am a naturally curious, positive and can-do person. I set up MSL because I believed that if I had a treasured item, so would millions of other people. I had the resources to be adventurous and the right legal and financial infrastructure in place that enabled me to act on a passion.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenge has been dealing with people who behave unethically. There are people who have tried to steal my domain name, some who send us bogus invoices and others who just don’t pay for our service despite a legally binding contractual agreement.

What’s been your greatest achievement personally?

Receiving my OBE from the Queen at Buckingham Palace. To be in the great ceremonial rooms with many others and to hear of their achievements, bought tears to my eyes and made me feel really proud.

Who has been your biggest inspiration?

My mother. A small, quiet lady who was born before her time. She was wise, gentle and kind.

Can you describe a typical day?

There is no typical day at MSL but there are some constants. I usually arrive at our mews house, built in 1692 with external gas lighting hidden away in Covent Garden, around 8.30am. We occupy the whole building and so whoever comes in first puts our products on our large ground floor bay-fronted window. My day will mainly revolve around meeting people and having telephone conference calls with our global clients. There is a lot of laughter at MSL and so I will always have an excuse to punctuate my meetings by visiting my team to find out what is going on. Coffee may be at The Club at The Ivy, lunch at Sheekey’s and the evening is spent at a cultural event.

For more information visit:

www.maggiesemple.com

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