Corporate success, solo entrepreneurship and a role dedicated to empowering women;¬†there are few people – male or female – quite so inspirational and pioneering as¬†Nancy Cruickshank. As Managing Director of Hearst Digital and CEO and Founder of Handbag.com, Cruickshank had already had a pretty amazing career before setting up MyShowcase in 2012. But a new challenge combining business and creativity was quite obviously too much to resist…

nancy cruickshank

“A new way to discover, try & buy cosmetics and makeup with your friends,” MyShowcase is a disruptive retail concept aiming to shake up the marketplace when its comes to beauty – empowering women of all ages to work smarter and launch their own flexible business. Working with Telegraph columnist Kate Shapland. Cruickshank has curated a considered collection of over 30 independent beauty brands which are sold via the MyShowcase Stylist network in homes & offices across the UK. MyShowcase parties are personal, social and – above all – a lot of fun. So what motivates Ms MyShowcase, how does she feel about women in business today and… can she run in heels? We found out.

Motivation for me is all about…

 
Hearing from women all over the UK how MyShowcase has changed their lives. It’s a powerful motivator, whether someone has unlocked financial freedom, built self-confidence, developed business and beauty skills, or simply found some much-needed fun and inspiration in her life. It gives me goosebumps every time I think about the amazing stories that I hear daily – and barrels of motivation to enable thousands more women all over the UK to build their own business success.

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Success means…

 
Creating value for the long-term, a business that is both disruptive and sustainable – putting the customer first and making sure that we deliver our mission of #beautygold for our customers, Stylists, HQ team and shareholders.

I couldn’t have got there without…

 
A brilliant team and my family cheering me on along the way. Talent is the differentiatior in any business and I feel supercharged in this respect, with fantastic co-founders and a stellar management team. My husband and two daughters are also firm believers in MyShowcase and what we have set out to achieve. This support really helps and is so very appreciated.

myshowcase beauty

I always start my day with…

 
Two girls, one husband and two dogs snuggled in one (big) bed – for a few moments at least, before the mad dash into the shower, slurping tea, checking for urgent emails (which I respond to briefly, but immediately) and breakfast as a family and an early school run at 8am. It’s vital to me to have this family time and I can still be at my office by 8.25am.

When I don’t feel inspired I…

 
Get distracted with non-essential tasks. It is a useful trigger to pull me back into line, however, and remind myself of MyShowcase’s mission – to empower thousands of women to build flexible businesses. Think Uber or Airbnb for women wishing to build a beauty business and my inspiration is easily re-ignited!

myshowcase beauty etailer

The landscape for women in business today looks like…

 
A fairly binary option of ‘Lean In’ Sheryl Sandberg-style or opt-out of the big, bold and exciting business opportunities. Clearly, I am exaggerating but it feels to me that it’s all too black and white – not enough emphasis on great, flexible opportunities that enable women to have families (and many other interests) as well as building careers and businesses. I am an entrepreneur, Mum, FTSE non-Executive Director and this portfolio of amazing things is my life. This should be available to many more women – there are still too many glass ceilings and I would love to help smash a few with MyShowcase!

The trait I most deplore in others is…

 
Dishonesty. I value integrity and the relationships that honest communications can build. Anything less is a great loss of faith and opportunity in my book.

nancy cruickshank myshowcase

I’d like to be remembered for…

 
Empowering and valuing female entrepreneurs, all over the world. I want my daughters to live in a world where anything is possible, with the necessary amounts of hard work and determination.

What makes me happiest is…

 
My family, my friends and my colleagues. I love the people in my life….they make my world go round.

Can I run in heels?

 
Of course, I can! Albeit slightly more precariously post my knee-op last year!