Gwendoline Alderton left a high profile career in IT to become an Interior Designer and started GA Interiors in 2007. She takes a personal, warm-&-nurturing approach to her clients, calling on her incredible creative flair, individuality-&-imagination for every project. Gwen’s also a teacher-speaker-&-presenter. Students love her at the University of Herefordshire. Toastmasters recognise she’s Gold level. As do the really serious speakers who are members of Cornerstone Communications. And she’s had a regular slot on the Verulam Community Radio Drivetime slot since 2010. Gwen’s clients turn into friends because her interior magical skills mean she will always find the extraordinary in the ordinary and turn every house into their dream home.

What made you decide to accept the invitation to join Sister Snog in October 2011?
(Head, heart, gut instinct or a combination)

I instinctively knew if you follow the entrepreneurial path and start your own business it’s critical to build up a strong network of like-minded people who can walk in your shoes. So I embraced networking with great gusto, went to lots of different events and joined a couple of networking groups. However, nothing quite ticked my boxes. Some lacked a business focus and were more social than commercial. Others had a business focus but lacked any element of fun, energy or creativity. I believed networking was essential to growing my business but I also wanted to enjoy the experience. I felt all the time and effort I was putting in wasn’t yielding the results I was looking for. Then I was introduced to Sister Snog by another Sister – Faye Watts. When I was invited to join, I said yes without hesitation because Sister Snog had an air of glamour, an atmosphere of fun and a very clear business focus.

How has your business blossomed as a result of being a Sister?

I’ve had direct business. I’ve had referred business and I’ve engaged the services of Sisters to help my business blossom. Cheryl Laidlaw from Reyl Design Group is working on my website refresh and I’m currently designing a nail bar thanks to Claudia Fallah. My public speaking has had a massive boost. I recently did one of the Pitch Perfect Club courses and worked with fellow Sister Emma Stroud who is simply brilliant. From my perspective being a member of Sister Snog offers me an invaluable resource of business knowledge at my fingertips. Everyone is willing to share their expertise, give advice and genuinely help each other out. Sometimes you need a quick-fix answer to a question or want to brainstorm an idea. I have a pool of people I can pick up the phone to. That’s priceless.

What’s your most memorable Sister Snog moment to date?

Sister Snog events all have a twist to them. First Friday lunches for example have a different creative theme & dress code every month. Last June Sisters were challenged to wear avante-garde-eye-catching-oversized-statement-neck-candy. The themes are open to individual interpretation so I decided to wear all my running medals. This tickled Hela & Annie. So much so they decided there should be a monthly acknowledgement for the Sister who takes the dress code and puts her own spin on it. That’s the story behind The Gwendoline Award (known as The Gwennie). Presented during dessert, it’s now a regular feature at First Friday Lunch. I love presenting it. The Sister who wins it is always over the moon. And those who nearly won become even more determinded to take The Gwennie home next month.

What do you think makes Sister Snog stand out from the crowd?

Friends in business are a valuable currency. Sister Snog works hard to bring together a wonderful collection of business women who are all serious about business yet take a feminine approach to building business relationships. There are so many groups out there where you get the feeling everyone is out for numero uno. That’s not the case at Sister Snog. There’s an understanding amongst the members that we are here to help each other succeed. The more time we spend with each other the more we can trust each other and consequently open doors, collaborate and refer business.

Which is your favourite event and why?

I love all the events for different reasons. First Friday is the highlight of the month because I get to dress-up-for-business. The perfect platform to showcase my personal brand. Which is important for me as a designer. My personal style reflects my lifestyle which in turn conveys the  my approach to interior styling. Brainstorming Breakfasts keep me up to speed on social media. Although I’m pretty active across a number of platforms, every breakfast covers a different topic. Because it’s interactive, I always come away with practical tips and different angles-&-perspectives from Sisters on how they make social media work for them. Once Upon A Dinnertime, in Dame Zandra Rhodes penthouse, gives me a chance to practice my storytelling-&-presenting skills in such a creative-&-colourful venue.  And the Wonderful-One-Offs  I’ve attended – from Tea for Two in the Water Tower to being a VIP at London Fashion Weekend, have been really special-&-memorable.

What do you love about Sister Snog?

I know when I book a Sister Snog event I’m going to enjoy it and come away with nuggets of knowledge. I’m regularly inspired-&-motivated by other Sisters, which helps me to focus, grow-&-develop myself and my business. Sister Snog is anything but Ground Hog Day. It’s a club that offers variety both in terms of members and events. And it’s a brand that doesn’t stand still and always has a something refreshing to offer its members.

Sum up Sister Snog in one word : GORGEOUS

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Tune into West Herts Drivetime & catch Gwen on Verulam Radio 92.6FM