The Meringue Girls on creating opportunities

Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman met while working in a hot, male-dominated restaurant kitchen in East London in 2012. Bonding over their love of all sweet things and seeing a gap in the market for a meringue bakery, they decided to go into business together and created Meringue Girls

As part of our International Women’s Day celebrations, we caught up with Stacey to find out more about one of the women behind the girl power baking brand…

Who is one woman that you really respect?

Meryl Streep I’ve always admired - she uses her platform, voice and credibility to speak to her audience, not just for herself but also for the interests of the greater good and humanity. She’s turned something really negative into something really empowering and is standing up for what’s right in the face of the most powerful man in the world. She’s the definition of poise and class - and also a mother and phenomenal actress. She also supports a number of different charities so is really inspiring for me.

How do you prepare when you’ve got an important event coming up?

As a woman I feel it’s really integral to understand how our bodies function and get in touch with our feminine flow so you can understand how you’ll feel at certain times of the month. Being prepared for it can really set you up for success and fill you with confidence if you know what’s coming. At certain stages of the cycle I know I need to chill and then during ovulation I think of that as I’m full power and I’m going to nail it today. I would literally schedule an important presentation for during that phase because it’s when I know I’m going to feel really powerful.

Read more: Lisa Thomas on equality for women in the workplace

When is one time you’ve been proud of being bold?

It’s really tough talking about ourselves, but I have to say that when thinking about it there are so many moments over the five years of our business that I feel proud of how we’ve handled.

You run into so many issues along the way – financial challenges, relationship challenges, etc. – but you sort it out and move on. It would have been so easy to give up but I’m so happy we persevered. What I’m proud of is that we’ve stuck to doing things that are all in line with what we believe and that means there’s always been light at the end of the tunnel and you can stick it out. I believe all those challenges put in front of you are for a reason and actually most of our leanings have been from mistakes.

One of the specific things I’m proud of is the different teams we’ve built and knowing that the girls in the team are developing and building their confidence and seeing them progress from coming in quite shy and then leaving us super sassy and bold and amazing.  We’ve stuck to our girl power philosophy and to recruit we meet with loads of girls and they aren’t just picked staff because they are amazing bakers with fantastic skillsets – it’s that, but also if they’ve got room to grow and if they are incredible humans!

Just because one person’s definition of success looks like one thing, it doesn’t mean yours needs to

Who in your life do you respect for being bold?

My sister is a total inspiration to me. She’s taught me to follow my intuition and your gut and always be true to myself. And just because one person’s definition of success looks like one thing, it doesn’t mean yours needs to.

What one thing would you like to see happen to improve gender equality in your society?

To level gender equality I would really like to encourage more women to create their own ventures – whether a business, a network, or events and group activities. If what exists doesn’t appeal or work for us I think we should be making out own rules and creating the world we want – setting the salaries and conditions that we think make a good workplace – and creating the role models.

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