The Peak Venues Blog

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) takes place on 8th March every year and primarily celebrates the movement for women's rights. The earliest known celebration of women was on 28th February 1909 in New York City and was called "National Women's Day" Two years later, the first IWD was celebrated in some European countries. ​​

When women support each other, incredible things happen and that’s why we celebrate IWD every year. Being included, and belonging feels good and this year the main focus is embracing equity, the quality of being fair. With many women behind the driving force of Peak Venues, we know that there’s no better place to celebrate all things women than in the Peak District, home to some of the most inspiring, encouraging women past and present!

Today, we have an abundance of successful women-led businesses and founders in the Peak District, exceling and supporting each other on breaking through the industry barriers and just to name a few of these exceptional women, we have listed some of our favourites below:  

Stella’s Kitchen - Stella Kisob, owner of Stella's Kitchen, African and Caribbean Cuisine

Stella lives with her husband and son in a farmhouse in the village of Eyam.  This eating house is just that, a house where you eat.  And it’s called Stella’s Kitchen because Stella, originally from West Africa, started the enterprise at her kitchen table, feeding her customers in her kitchen.  

Today it’s a busy, intimate environment with many regulars, where people can enjoy her delicious home-cooked Afro-Caribbean food in the surroundings of her farmhouse.   

Stella's vision of bringing her wonderful cookery skills to the Peak District has taken great strides over the years, and none more so than in 2022 when she featured on The Hairy Bikers Go North! 

Visit Stella's Kitchen

The Illustrated Wisp - Jennifer Hambleton, owner, illustrator, designer and maker of cards

A one girl band behind the company, Jennifer is based in the heart of the Peak District.  After studying Graphic Design at Manchester School of Art she worked on building her own business and working on designs in every spare minute she had, whilst working full time.  It was always her dream to have her very own business, own studio, where she could work on her own designs.  

Today, her business is going from strength to strength, and her cards can be purchased from many Peak District and Derbyshire based shops as well as UK stockists and via her online shop.  You can also commission her to create you a unique illustration for your own business, special occasion or corporate event.

Buy beautiful handmade cards

Perfect Peaks Patisserie - Anastasia Sarycheva, owner and creator of some of the most delicious and unique mousse cakes and macarons

Based in Matlock, Anastasia certainly has an eye for detail with her unique designs and creations and of course absolutely delicious desserts!
She has stockists around the country and her business is growing, which means more people can get their hands on her yummy desserts soon!

DM for orders

Trigs and Teeth – Emily Taylor is an outdoor adventurer and walking guide for women only

Based near Glossop, Emily provides many guided walks across the Peak District for women only.  A great chance to get together with fellow women, make new friends and enjoy the beautiful surrounds and tranquillity the Peak District has to offer, all with a professional, experienced guide!

Check out the guided routes 

Derbyshire Hand Painted Art - Francesca Bilinis is a self-taught multi-media artist

Francesca lives in the historic spa town of Buxton and over the years has taken inspiration for her designs from her childhood, growing up in Taddington amongst the beautiful rolling hills, and from the many animals she had growing up.  She creates art to reflect all of these childhood memories with a hint of fantasy thrown in.  

Derbyshire Hand Painted Art

Peak District Kids - Jenny Lynn, owner and travel blogger

Bakewell based mum of 2, Jenny set up Peak District Kids 3 years ago to show case the very best of the UK's first National Park. It has quickly become the go-to website for parents/carers both visiting and living in the Peak District for finding out about the best family friendly walks, bike rides, attractions, eateries and accommodation.

Inspiration for family friendly things to do

Stevie Davies - A contemporary glass artist and designer based in Wirksworth

Stevie Davies is a full-time professional artist with a passion for teaching and regularly hosts creative workshops right in her very own studio gallery and shop in the beautiful market town of Wirksworth. 

Look for workshops ​

Peak District Candle Company - Anna Jespersen, owner

Born in lockdown with fragrances inspired by the great outdoors, when we couldn’t really enjoy at that time. Producing quality, eco-friendly, vegan and cruelty free candles, wax melts and burners, reed diffusers as well as gift sets and accessories.

Buy wonderful smelling candles 

Divine Trash - Lucy Bradbury, owner

Lucy Bradbury is the proud owner of this clothing store located in the wonderful Cavendish Arcade in the spa town of Buxton.

“I’d always flitted between different jobs and could never decide what I wanted to do in life. I’d been a hairdresser and cabin crew, but ever since I was a little girl, I’ve always wanted a clothes shop. That’s the dream, isn't it?”   

Selling a mixture of men’s and women’s contemporary clothing and a range of exclusive named branded clothing for the more modern day fashion conscious crowd.   

They are now working with sustainable companies with environmental and ethical credentials, and are the first independent fashion retailer and the first store in Buxton to commit to plant a tree with EVERY purchase.  They also sell cruelty free beauty products.  

Browse clothing 

Renn Floristry - Rachel Lee, owner

Renn Floristry, based in the Crescent Hotel, Buxton, was created by Rachel from her passion for all things floral and a desire to help anyone create the perfect backdrop for every special occasion.  

"Self-taught, my skills have grown over the last twenty years and I believe this organic growth has helped me to create stunning displays without a limit on creativity. "

Flowers for every occasion​

Botanicals Bakewell - Wendy Stirling, owner

Botanicals Organic Beauty and Wellness Studio is an organic and wellness studio based in Bakewell.  Botanicals was founded nearly 20 years ago by marketing specialist Wendy Stirling.  

After her daughter Zoe suffered a skin reaction to a ‘natural’ shampoo Wendy began to research – and was quite disturbed by the misleading claims and the hype surrounding products on the market.  Being concerned with the actual ‘natural products’ in skin /hair products and lack of products that were natural, organic and sustainable.  So starting in an outbuilding in her garden Wendy started experimenting with natural oils and butters combined with mineral salts, clays and organic botanicals from aloe vera and bergamot to tea tree and ylang ylang.   

When it came to finding a suitable location, Bakewell was Wendy’s first choice. Her husband, David, grew up in the Peak District and it had always been her second home. 

And today Wendy has taken her business from strength to strength and is to this day still one of only a few brands to be 100% certified.   

Visit Botanicals Bakewell day spa 

High Peak Book Store - Louisa Rogers, owner and book enthusiast

Louisa, owner of the High Peak Book Store based in Buxton, which has recently been named the best in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. 

The High Peak Book Store and Café won the top award in a regional competition which champions independent book shops.  Over the years the book shop has grown and expanded with what they do and offer and it seems all the hard work is paying off for Louisa, 6 years ago the book shop opened its café making it a true destination venue for many regulars and also many tourists visiting for the first time. 

Browse your next holiday read     

Yohans Chocolate Shop - Chloe Webber, owner, pastry chef and chocolatier

Chloe started this little business during the pandemic and like many others, was really missing friends and family, so wanted to find a way to bring people together when we all needed it the most.  

She’s a pastry chef at a local pub called the Blind Bull and loves painting so she combined both passions by creating some fun, magical and delicious chocolates. 'Yohan' is the name of her cuddly toy panda, the idea of using him as the face of the brand was to make it a little quirky and fun but also original and memorable. 

Her chocolate bonbons are freshly made with natural and organic ingredients.  All ingredients are sourced as locally as possible with most suppliers in the Peak District to help reduce their carbon footprint.  Yohan’s uses Valrhona chocolate, a Fairtrade, ethical and sustainable chocolate producer. Along with oat and nut milks in from their vegan range. The small amount of palm oil in the recipes is sustainable. 

Buy delicious chocolates bonbons 

Event - A Celebration of Derbyshire Women at Chatsworth on 10th March 2023

Join Chatsworth on International Women’s Day as they showcase local Derbyshire women. The event will celebrate women from a diverse range of backgrounds. Included will be small businesses, art and services to the communities of Derbyshire will be celebrated. 

This free drop in event will take place in the Hartington and Burlington rooms in the Stables. Curated by the High Sheriff in Nomination 2023/24, Theresa Peltier, the day will feature a rolling series of talks and performances. Appearances will include Derbyshire Lord Lieutenant Mrs Elizabeth Fothergill CBE and a performance from local singer-songwriter Carol Fieldhouse. In addition, there will be writer, poet and performer Seni Seneviratne; resident sculptor at Derbyshire Eco Centre, Sue Allanson; Gill Hart, Head of Learning and Engagement at Chatsworth; and Alice Martin, Head of Collections at Chatsworth. 

Find out more about A Celebration of Derbyshire Women

Last but by no means least - the amazing women of Peak Venues

Of course we can't write a blog celebrating women in business without mentioning the fabulous women of Peak Venues! 

Here at Peak Venues, the women very much do 'Run the World' (we like to channel our inner Beyonce at all times!) Across all departments, from sales, marketing, accounts, HR, health and safety and housekeeping, the women of Peak Venues play an integral role in the day-to-day running of the business and also growing and moving the company forward.

Browse our holiday cottages

Published on February 27, 2023 in Inspiration