The Women who Inspire the Coggles Team

As it’s International Women’s Day, we wanted to pay homage to the women who inspire us to be the best we can be. Cheesy we know, but if we can’t say it today, when can we say it?


From a personal perspective, the women in my family inspire me. They always put others first (which can get a little trying when everyone tries to pay for dinner) and are role models to the rest of us in the family. From my mum and my auntie, to my grandmother and great grandmother (all of whom are thankfully still with us), each one has overcome so much and taught us so much in the process. My Grandmother Elaine (pictured above) isn’t what you’d expect from a Grandmother; she has travelled the world both on her own and with us in tow, she is a passionate photographer and is one of the most confident women I know. If I am half the woman she is at her age, I’ll be inordinately happy.

I asked a few of the members of the Coggles team along with some of our favourite bloggers to share who inspires them, whether it be a member of their family or someone in the public eye. Let us know who inspires you by tweeting us @Coggles, we would love for you to celebrate International Women’s Day with us.

‘My maternal grandmother was a pretty big inspiration for me growing up. She was a single mum during the 1950s, which was a very big taboo and she had to support two children on her own, my mother and aunt. My grandfather tried to take everything with him when he left them, including the roof over their heads. They never heard from him again. Previously part of the women’s RAF during WW2, she learnt shorthand and typing in order to support the family, rebuilding their lives from scratch. She loved to dance (dancing every single day even into her eighties!) and wasn’t afraid to fight for what she wanted, even later in life. When she was a pensioner Richard Branson said on television he could make anything happen, so she wrote him a letter asking him to prove it and to arrange a reunion for her entire WW2 RAF regiment. He sent them on an expenses paid trip to America and kept his word! She always told me “A good education is something no-one can ever take away from you” and everything she achieved was living proof of that. A real independent woman who inspires me every day’Olivia Cooley

‘Short but sweet answer… My big sister is my inspiration. She has taught me to be passionate about life and not to give up on my dreams however big or small!’Stephanie McNally

‘Fashion designer Ulyana Sergeenko inspires me with her authentic Russian designs and elegance. Miroslava Duma founder of Buro247; she is a great entrepreneur with amazing style’Alisa Matjuka

‘World famous for songs like Single Ladies and Run The World (Girls), Beyonce is all about the female empowerment. Her beauty, talent and humility make her a woman to inspire to be like. She once said: ‘I think a beautiful woman is someone who is confident but not competitive with other women – someone who is warm to everyone. Because my mother told me ever since I can remember that beauty is from within, that looks will fade, I have always been aware that you have to have something deeper to be really beautiful.’ I couldn’t agree more!’Lucinda Lamb

‘Emma Watson, she’s rich and gorgeous so could easily do nothing but instead she is encouraging people to get motivated for feminism and rights.’ – Kara Godfrey from Queen of the LBD

‘A lot of women inspire me but one that I have always looked up to is Aung San Suu Kyi, chairperson for the National League of Democracy in Burma. Leading the pro-democracy movement in a military-led Burma, she was placed under house arrest in 1988, and has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention. She was offered freedom if she left the country, but stayed to fight (non-violently) for the cause, even though it meant being away from her husband and children. In 2010 she was finally released. She continues to fight for civil rights in Burma and has never given up, putting her country and its people before her at all times – against all the odds’.Angharad Jones

Words by Clare Potts

Sarah Atkinson

Sarah Atkinson

Writer and expert