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I first met Lucy at an Entrepreneurship Club meeting held at the library, up in North Kensington. She sounded just as enthusiastic and friendly in person as she did on the phone. Just a week ago, Lucy had been kind enough to mention a children’s workshop I was marketing for a client, in the Kensington Magazine – a publication founded by her. The magazine was a brilliant idea, a great business model – it offered small business owners and those on a budget, inexpensive advertising and the magazine was free for readers. She was also kind enough to mention my new business start-up, Empower, in the magazine for free. Having just started, I was soon going to be in print and off to a readership of more than 34,500 in just a jiffy, something I was really excited about. I wanted to know more about the magazine and what made Lucy start it – was she trained to do this or was this something she was passionate about? I then followed up with Lucy over a cuppa to find out more about the path she had chosen.
Born in Leicestershire, Lucy Elliott was the oldest of four children. She attended boarding school in Oxford, followed by Secretarial College, also in Oxford. At 22 she was invited to take part in a social documentary by the BBC – Travelling around Africa on a rickety bus with twelve others. For this she needed lots of vaccinations, but it turned out she was allergic to them. She suffered an anaphylactic shock and almost died. Lucy laughed as she told me about this. “I’m glad I didn’t die then”, she said, “All my epitaph would have said was that Lucy enjoys a good party!!” Lucy was reborn. She went on to study Social Anthropology with Development at the University of Sussex and soon after MSc in Development. A few years later and having traveled through South Africa, she found herself back in England, working for Christian Aid and thinking what next. She needed to do something big, she just wasn’t sure what.
Soon after, Lucy resigned from Christian Aid and with the help of one of the Trustees there founded Community Times Kensington, the predecessor to the Kensington Magazine as it now stands. She loved writing and taking photos and what better way to express your creativity than in a magazine that is all yours? A few years later, she found herself running a fully-fledged magazine using nine volunteer writers in Kensington and Chelsea. However, it wasn’t just displaying her own creativity, Lucy had created something where the whole community could be involved – volunteer writers who don’t get paid but write in month after month on time and without deliberation, small business owners and entrepreneurs like me who get great inexpensive advertising and an audience which gets a free magazine while being informed and keeping up to date with all community events.
Lucy lives in the Borough, gets her magazine printed by a family firm of printers based in Suffolk and has Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay as a distant relative. However, she also has managed to create something very innovative and all-inclusive; something that works for all.
Lucy recently started her own photography business having been exposed to the dark room at 13, a hobby that she has cultivated for many years.. In her spare time, she is a member of many organisations such as the Wychwood Old Girl’s Society, Expats Dining Club, Kensington Business Network and the list goes on. She deeply admires her husband who has always supported and believed in her.
I finished my cuppa and left a laughing, friendly Lucy with a warmer feeling – a feeling of community, a story of accomplishment and an urge to write about it. Thanks, Lucy!
For more on the Kensington Magazine, please visit www.thekensingtonmagazine.com For Lucy Elliott Photography, please visit www.lucyelliottphotography.com.
*Deepali Nangia works as a freelance business consultant helping entrepreneurs shape their ideas into businesses and their businesses into bigger ones! Deepali also provides career guidance and counseling services. She is a mother of two, loves the arts and is a strong supporter of women in business. She can be found on www.empowerbizsupport.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.