UON graduate glitters in Top 100 Women Entrepreneurs listing
University of Northampton graduate, Datsa Gaile, has been named in the Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs for 2021 by f:entrepreneur.
Datsa graduated from the University of Northampton in 2011, after studying for a degree in Business. She credits her time at the university for helping her to develop the skills to launch a series of successful women’s magazine titles, developing her online coaching and mentoring programme, and launching a successful décor business.
Now, Datsa has been named in the prestigious top 100 Female Entrepreneurs for 2021 list by the f:entrepreneur, which celebrates the dynamic and inspirational businesses led by women in the UK. The jewel in the crown for Datsa’s entrepreneurial business portfolio is SolaAir Sequin Walls UK, was cited in her f:entrepreneur Top 100 listing.
From humble homemade crafty beginnings in November 2017, SolaAir Sequin Walls UK now has exclusive UK rights for the products and has seen her work with celebrities including Britain’s Got Talent judge, Amanda Holden, Towie’s Gemma Collins, and pop star, turned TV personality, Rochelle Humes, featured on TV and in women’s magazines.
Speaking about the journey from glitzy idea, to Top 100 spot, Datsa said: “I feel so honoured to have been named in the Top 100 female entrepreneurs lists. I love what I do, and I work hard at it. It’s a wonderful feeling to have my drive and passion for my business recognised by someone else.
“It’s been crazy since the launch of the business, and in early 2020, I thought I might not make it. In the early days, I worked solely with suppliers in the events industry creating photo walls and backdrops, when the coronavirus pandemic struck, and the industry closed overnight, I was worried. In fact, the pandemic has taken the business in a different direction, and I’m really thankful for that.”
During the pandemic, Datsa saw orders flood in from around the world, as well as orders from customers across the UK.
Speaking about this change of clientele, Datsa said: “I’ve dressed celebrity homes and dressing rooms, as well as creating special installations at home for people wanting to celebrate a special occasion in Lockdown. We recently had an order from someone creating a date night at home, so he could propose to his partner. The company is small, I only have four members of staff working with me. We work hard on every order, but orders like this are so special.”
Looking ahead for the year, Datsa said: “2021 is set to be an exciting year, as well as the décor element of the business, I’m about to start an online masterclass for other business owners, which will help them launch or refresh their events business.
“Although we’re still in lockdown and events are not happening as they normally would, smart business owners are taking the opportunity to use this downtime to work on their business, upskill themselves to be ready for when they can get back to work.
“My online course offers practical demonstrations of how to create beautiful, fresh, and creative events backdrops, as well as business planning workshops and top tips from me and my team.”
Datsa believes it’s important to support others to succeed, she will shortly begin recruitment for talented young people to join her team to work on her photography and social media.
Thanks to funding from the Government Kickstart Scheme, Datsa can create two, six-month job placements for 16 to 24-year olds on Universal Credit. Datsa hopes that her business will be successful enough in this time to make the jobs permeant after the funding ends.
Datsa said: “I’m very much a leader who lets my team come to me with ideas, and supports them to try it out, and if it works, we adopt it within the business and celebrate that.
“I’m excited to be able to recruit two Kickstarters. My team and I will work hard for them, to offer them excellent work experience and teach them everything we can. In return, I hope they’ll bring creative ideas, and work hard to play their part in the success of the business.”