Former STAGS student Francesca Heath, aged 24, won a Highly Commended Award for her business start-up on 9 October 2014 at the University of Hertfordshire’s Flare competition. The business she entered is Skye & Fenn: a quirky unisex skincare range reflecting the narrowing gap between what is considered masculine and feminine. Francesca, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Marketing from Hertfordshire in 2012, attended STAGS from 2001 – 2006. She said “STAGS always instilled in me a great sense of discipline and self-motivation to succeed. I was always encouraged to aim high.” This personal drive and determination has paid off because Francesca did indeed fight off fierce competition from over 130 entrants and impressed judges in the final round, (a Dragon’s Den style pitch), going head-to-head against eight other finalists. Her reward was a cheque for a fantastic sum of £2,000, plus mentoring and free office space in The Business Park, Hatfield.
The competition was so tight this year that the judges struggled to come to a decision. Finally, they decided to break the rules and create an extra award for Skye & Fenn because they wanted to recognise Francesca’s passion and drive. On finding out, Francesca said, “I am delighted to have won and the fact that the judges added an award just for Skye & Fenn reflects the brand motto perfectly: never normal.”
Since its launch in 2005, more than 1,000 students and graduates have entered the competition. In that time over £120,000 has been awarded to 25 finalists. Julie Newlan, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Enterprise) and Director of Marketing and Communications at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “It was a tough competition this year. However, Francesca’s business stood out as having real potential. The University is committed to supporting entrepreneurial spirit and Flare is a fantastic platform to help student and graduate entrepreneurs launch their business ideas.”
Francesca plans to develop the business, spread brand awareness and increase sales in the near future and we wish her every success with her new business.
Many sincere congratulations to past STAGS Head Girl Rose Hardy (formerly known as Rose Briant) who has recently taken up her new appointment as Head Teacher at St Margaret’s, independent school for girls in Bushey. The school founded in 1749 is a well established and highly respected independent school that offers day and flexible boarding for UK and International girls aged 4 – 18.
Mrs Hardy who attended STAGS between 1981 – 1988 said “I have an ingrained passion for the education of young women. I adore teaching and I adore learning, because from a young age I have benefited from excellent teachers who have imparted to me the belief that there is nothing limiting about being a woman; women can and do change the world.”
Mrs Hardy read History at the University of Oxford, holds a Masters degree in Educational Leadership and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. We are exceptionally proud of her achievements and wish her every success in her new position as Head Teacher at St Margaret’s School.
New French bistro ‘Paprika’ opens in Catherine Street
Former St Albans girls school student Liz Roscoe has switched from horse racing to running her own restaurant known as , ‘Paprika’ with her husband Aivaras , formerly the manager at ‘The Beantree in Harpenden’. Paprika offers the homeliness and flavoursome cooking of a French bistro served in a warm, welcoming atmosphere. Entrepreneur, Liz said ‘ I have swapped the risks of the horse racing track for the risks of running a business! The delightful venue which is very tastefully decorated, currently offers a sophisticated breakfast and lunch menu and is open Tuesday – Friday 8am-7pm, Saturday 9.30 – 7pm and also Sunday 9.30 – 5pm. Paprika is currently looking to obtain a licence to trade in the evenings. We wish them every success in their new adventure.
Euphemia Sydney- Davies
New Sydney – Davies Fashion label formally christened in London’s West End
Congratulations to Euphemia Sydney- Davies past Stags student (2004 -2006) , who launched her new high fashion ready to wear collection a ‘Different Art Gallery’ in the West end last week . She clearly demonstrated her fashion credentials by producing a bold, innovative collection designed for both men and women. The range was full of eye popping bright coloured pieces, enhanced by unusual prints created in collaboration with incredibly talented Hungarian artist Gabor Zolyomi. Euphemia named the collection LICLILLV and explained that it was all about living a colourful life, with distinctive pieces specifically designed to allow the consumer to express their individuality and stand out from the crowd.
The papworthy look directed by talented stylist Joey Bevan, generated a lot of interest from London’s fashion pack who were in town for London Fashion Week. They came in their droves like moths to a flame and the champagne reception was simply buzzing with excitement ; photographers and film crews we clearly all anxious to capture the next high fashion moment. Celebrity singer Leanne Jarvis, from the TV programme ‘The Voice’, rubbed shoulders with reality TV star Ashley James from E4′s ‘Made in Chelsea’, Comedian & Extra factor presenter Matt Richardson, and Big Brother presenter AJ Odudu .
One of the highlights of the launch party was undoubtedly a funky performance by the talented band De’Vide from The Voice .
Euphemia, successfully launched the Sydney- Davies Collection just a year after graduating from the reputable Herriot Watt University School of Textiles and design in Scotland. Whilst on her degree course she was extremely fortunate to complete a four month internship with one of the most famous fashion houses in the world; that of Alexander Mc Queen. It was here that she learnt many trade secrets and made valuable contacts in the fashion industry.
Euphemia kindly gave four lucky year 13 students the unique opportunity to assist her at the launch party. Poppy Nash, Monica Federici, Kitty Robson and Sophie Tyres all got the chance to help out. Head Girl at Stags Poppy Nash said, ‘we were all very excited to be able to work alongside such a talented designer. It was an amazing experience and we learnt so much about the many different facets of the fashion industry’. Stags are very grateful to Euphemia for supporting the school by offering pupils such valuable work experience . She is a shining example of a typical Stags student who has seized opportunities with both hands and learnt to follow and achieve her dreams by working hard and being persistent. For more information on the new fashion label visit www.sydney-davies.com