ROLE MODEL ENTREPRENEUR SHORTLISTED FOR NATWEST EVERYWOMAN AWARD
Showing the determination and initiative of a business owner with decades of experience, 25 year old Rachel Ducker has had an incredible career so far with her company Apparition Marketing and Design. Today the Suffolk-based businesswoman is named as a leading contender for this year's NatWest everywoman Awards, one of Britain's most revered prizes honouring British entrepreneurial success.
Rachel Ducker is nominated for the Artemis Award for the most inspiring businesswoman aged between 25 and under. The winners will be announced at a lunch ceremony at London's Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday 7th December 2011 attended by business figures, politicians and celebrities. For further information about the Awards along with ticket prices and details visit www.everywoman.com
My East Anglia…
Rachel, who lives in Suffolk, talks to us about the things she loves about where she lives…
Where do you live? Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
How long have you lived there? For two years now after spending 23 years in Halesworth a market town near the coast – I am a S
uffolk girl born and bred! I tried to move away once but missed Suffolk so much I had to come home.
What do you like most about Bury St Edmunds? I love the fact Bury St Edmunds has modern facilities in traditional surroundings. My favourite place in Bury is the medieval grid, full of coffee shops, restaurants and galleries, which leads down to the Abbey Gardens.
Do you have any favourite towns in East Anglia? I love Southwold, when I was younger my grandparents often took me to the Beach at the weekend. It's a quaint little town, and I have many great childhood memories there. I still visit the town regularly with my family to this day.
Where would you go for a romantic meal for two? I love the Salthouse Harbour Hotel in Ipswich, Not only is it contemporary, classy and well priced, it overlooks the harbour which twinkles with lights at night time. The rooms there are amazing too, especially the penthouse!
Where would you go for a meal with friends? The best meal I have had in ages has been at the Bildeston Crown. I have to say the desserts are a work of art! I would certainly feel confident taking my friends there.
What's a good place for a working lunch or a coffee break? My favourite place in the whole world is a Coffee Shop Bistro called Baileys2 in Bury St Edmunds. They have an amazing range of home made cakes, specialty food and the best Cappuccinos in Suffolk. The owners Lou and Dean are so friendly they have become good friends of mine.
Where would you go for a Sunday lunchtime drink? The Crown in Southwold is a really relaxed place to socialise and drink some fine Adnams wines. They have a great selection of nibbles, which I always think is a must when drinking at lunchtime!
Where locally do you shop for clothes and shoes? Being female. everywhere I can, however I love Javelin an independent branch in Bury High Street, plus my corner shop is Marks and Spencer, who now do a surprisingly younger style range, so I often find myself there. In terms of shoes, we have a great shop called Scarlet, and for something a little special it has to be Nicola Sexton!
Where would you shop for a present that's a bit different? We have some really nice gift shops in Bury including Parsley Pot and Quest, but for something really unique I would probably make something. You can't get more personal that creating your own gift!
Which food shops or delis can you recommend? The nicest Deli I have been to would be Black Olive in Southwold. Ironically the black olives there are my favourite. Just down the road at Snape Maltings they have a selection of local produce including a selection of delicious gluten free products.
Do you buy any locally grown produce? I don't buy any from local farm shops as there are not that many surrounding me, however my partners father has the best home grown produce I have tasted (apart from my mum's tomatoes!) He makes his own 'Benhall Honey' and a range of homemade chutneys.
Are there any regular or annual events that you look forward to? I often like going to proms in the park during the summer, it is an event held at The Abbey Gardens so we usually invite a group of friends, take a picnic, grab a bottle of Pimms and enjoy the music.
Do you belong to any local clubs? I have been part of a Martial Arts group called Kuk Sool Won since I was two years old. My parents run a few academies in the area. I love it!
Where would you go for a walk or a picnic? I really love Thorpeness, we have a ten month old puppy who loves having a row on the mere with us. You can stop off at various islands and it makes an enjoyable place for picnics and ice creams!
Where would take friends or family for a day out? So that all members of the family could come I would have to make it a 'dog friendly' trip. I would probably take them to Holcombe Beach on the Norfolk coast or try out a little bit of punting in Cambridge.
Do you have a favourite East Anglia building? Cambridge has some amazing architecture, such as King College certainly worth a look! You can also view plenty more while you are punting!
What's the best pace to go on a rainy day? In the Winter I enjoy going into The Angel Hotel on Angel Hill, they have roaring fires and comfy sofas. The lighting is relaxing. You can switch off read a book and have a warm cup of something.
What is your favourite East Anglia view? I love going just out of town into the country, looking at the rolling hills that go on for miles. It makes me really appreciate living in a town so close to beautiful scenery.
What would you change about where you live? I can honestly say nothing; I live a few hours from London an hour from my parents and old hometown, everywhere around here is beautiful! Why would I want to change a thing?
What do you most enjoy doing in your spare time? In my spare time I enjoy doing anything creative. Just recently I have been buying old furniture and revamping it. I love turning ugly things into something beautiful. I also take pleasure from cooking, entertaining friends and making the most of the little spare time I do get!
Rachel Ducker started her independent business journey at just 23. Having chosen not to go to university she started her career by working in a variety of creative industries including publishing, print, graphic design and online marketing. During these six years Rachel gained the skills and experience that would carry her forward enabling her to start her own business. She saw a gap in the market to create a one stop marketing and design agency, meaning that clients could come to her to get all of their marketing done under one roof.
Rachel founded Apparition Marketing and Design Ltd in 2009, in the same year; she was crowned East of England's Young Business Woman of the Year.
In 2010 Rachel was given her own business column in the East Anglian Daily Times, East Anglia's largest regional newspaper. Her column, Water off a Ducks Back, gave her the inspiration to start her second business, Time2Shine Ltd, offering a mentoring service to young people and start up businesses.
Earlier this year Rachel was named the [email protected] Women of the Future Award. A national award ceremony was held in the Isle of White. Shortly after this she "Apparition Music Promotions Ltd" which is an independent promotions agency for up and coming rising stars across the UK.