Our Stories: Fran Hales

Written by Sophie Bevin.

fran halesIt all started in 1983 in Rangiora, New Zealand. Photographer Fran Hales had just taken a snap of her cat, Jezabel, on her new camera, a Kodak Ektra 200, which had a popup flash that doubled as a handle. Fran was 9 and her passion for photography had begun.

Fran has come a long way since her first paid shot of a girl holding a remote control. While the photo was used for a brochure, Fran was destined for brighter things. That photo really was a light bulb moment for her; photography was her passion, but making a living from it was still a dream at that time. She moved to London in 1997, attracted by the accessibility to Europe, the freedom of expression, arts and culture, and to meet new people.

After living in the UK for 14 years, Fran took the step to turn her passion into a profession in 2011.

Our Stories: Bronwen Horton

Written by Gabrielle Grant.

bronwenThere are a multitude of ways to introduce the founder of this network, who has achieved a considerable amount, recognised on an international scale, yet in true Kiwi fashion remains very humble, describing herself as "an average Kiwi".

After establishing the network mid 2009, launching the same night that a tube strike was announced in London with an initial base of 50 women, fast forward to today where the network has over 1100 women, and you begin to get a sense of Bronwen's determination, resilience, passion and sheer belief in her vision for this network.

Less than two years after establishing the network, early in 2011, Bronwen received an International Award from TIAW, the International Alliance for Women, for the economic empowerment of women. Not long after and alongside Kent Gardener and Paul Kendrick, Bronwen was a finalist for New Zealander of the year for their considerable fundraising achievements in aid of the earthquake in Christchurch.

Our Stories: Georgie Mathieson

Written by Gabrielle Grant.

Georgina NZBWN finalGeorgie’s career has taken off in leaps and bounds within a relatively short time since arriving just over three years ago in February 2012.

Prior to arriving in London, Georgie worked for ANZ within their marketing division and upon landing in London on a 2 year visa was advised against taking on contract roles in lieu of being able to be sponsored with a permanent position.  However, at the time Georgie thought 2 years would suffice in London so took on a 9 month contract role with the Post Office co-ordinating the re-branding of all their branch material with a sizeable retail network of over 18,000 branches.

Our Stories: Gabrielle Grant

Written by The NZBWN Crew.

gabrielle grantA graphic designer, innovator, marketer and recently turned entrepreneur, Gabrielle moved to the UK from Auckland about 8 years ago that just so happened to co -incide with the worldwide financial crisis. Luckily, with a few months up her sleeve, before the full effects of the crisis ricocheted across London, a job was secured. Not one to stay complacent, and realising the role was similar to the one Gabrielle left in Auckland, albeit on a larger scale, she took a gamble and quit to hunt for a role she really wanted.

"Thankfully it paid off and I spent 5 years with a great company within sports marketing that took me across the globe. To off beaten paths in China where I didn't see another foreigner for the entire duration, sampling food I had no idea what or where it came from, through to functions in Rio De Janeiro. Interestingly enough, at these functions I was often asked if I was the wife of my boss, in a world that is very male dominated."

What's the Goss?