As the second cohort for the FreelanceHER 100 accelerator programme kicks off, we spoke to mentor Allison Angel, the founder and CEO of Years Of Style about her inspiring entrepreneurial journey.
In her 30s, Allison appeared to have it all. She was married with two children and co-founder of one of Manchester’s fastest growing letting agencies. Yet, burnout from work and motherhood coupled with the devastation of a “brutal divorce” took their toll and Allison felt like she had hit rock bottom.
When the pandemic struck, Allison, like many other business owners, was ineligible for financial assistance from the government and could not access grants, furlough or business rates relief.
She worked like a trojan in her property business, having to do every role and task herself. With sheer determination and resourcefulness, she managed to keep herself and the business afloat. The hard work paid off when an incredible opportunity arose to sell the company, and she took it.
Within a few months, Allison qualified as a personal stylist, saying farewell to two decades in the estate agency business and focussing instead on her love for clothes and personal style.
Allison rebuilt her life and is now the founder of Years Of Style - a company that helps women look and feel the best they have ever felt in the clothes they wear.
Building a new company in a new industry is no small feat and she said it was “something that was never on the radar, but with hindsight was always in me.”
Looking back, Allison now fondly says that everything she went through was an incredible journey of self-awareness and restoration of her self-esteem, which uniquely equipped her to empower women who need support at pivotal times in their lives.
As a mentor for FreelanceHER 100, Allison will support and inspire 100 women from across the UK to launch and grow successful businesses in the digital, creative, media and technology sectors.
Sharing her first-hand business experience through peer-to-peer mentoring over the course of the 12-week fully funded business accelerator, she will help participants to access the skills and confidence to pursue their ambitions.
“When women have someone who believes in them; their power, their authentic self and their unique gifts and talents, anything is possible. It’s an absolute honour to have been chosen as a mentor for FreelanceHER 100 and I can’t wait to start sowing into the UK’s next generation of female led awesomeness,” she said.
Allison also previously took part in the HOST 50 accelerator programme and benefitted from joining a diverse and inclusive community of entrepreneurs from all walks of life.
Speaking about her time on the programme, Allison said: “HOST 50 has been phenomenal. I’m so thankful for the support, knowledge, expertise and connection from this programme. I am seen and championed as an entrepreneur. Years Of Style is in its infancy but has solid foundations from which to grow. It’s all turned out well in the end.”