Female Founders No.27: Lorna Davidson, RedWigWam

Female Founders No.27: Lorna Davidson, RedWigWam

This week, we have a rather special Female Founder that we’re itching to shout about. 

Lorna Davidson lives with her husband Geoff, three sons and three dogs in the countryside of Chesire. Having previously worked in some of the UK’s leading brands like Mars and Kelloggs, Lorna has used her expertise and work ethic to fuel her multiple successful business ventures.

Lorna’s most recent business is the Liverpool-based online recruitment agency, RedWigWam. The agency offers a unique approach to recruitment, allowing people to find temporary and flexible work. RedWigWam is an ideal solution for people like students, parents, retirees and anyone looking for a part-time job. The company has since skyrocketed to success, currently turning over around £2.5m.

But that’s not the only impressive success Lorna has had. Her first company, a field marketing agency called Tactical Solutions, was sold for over £15m back in 2011.  

We love hearing about ambitious women who have worked their way up and taken ownership of their career, and Lorna has done just that. In fact, Lorna started Tactical Solutions from her garden shed back in 2000! Impressive, right? 

We’re so excited to be able to interview a local female founder who has had extraordinary success with several multi-million-pound businesses.

Ready to be seriously inspired? Let’s get into the interview. 

1.  You’ve already built up and sold a successful business, what learnings did you take from the first business into your second? 

The need to be entrepreneurial, and to be brave. My mantra is ‘if it was easy, everyone would be doing it’.

2.   What are the three biggest challenges you face every day?  

I would say time! There are never enough hours in the day, and juggling the amount of things going on is always a challenge. Secondly, I’m known for needing to know exactly what is going on – so I have to learn to let my team get on with things – especially if something isn’t moving quickly enough. Finally, it’s letting our system get on with it without everyone getting involved. It’s a waste of time and distracts people from doing the things that will really make a difference. 

3. What is your favourite thing about being a leader? 

It’s knowing that I can call ‘cake time’ any time I want! No one ever says no to cake, and it’s such a simple thing to boost morale or celebrate success.

4.  When you’re hiring someone into a junior role, what’s the most important quality you look for in them?

It has to be someone who gets it! I value attitude over experience.

5. If one of our readers was looking to make their first million in business, what advice would you give them?

Don’t chase the money, just make sure you are doing something that makes you proud.

6. Which books on business do you return to again and again?

I’ve set myself a personal challenge to read 52 books this year, so one a week. The Stress Solution by Dr Rangan Chatterjee is one I read recently – and while it’s not necessarily business-focused, the tools learnt in it are fantastic. I even brought a couple of copies to share with the team! 

7. What have been the most effective marketing channels for RedWigWam? Why?

We’re a digital business, so I have to say our social media channels. We’ve organically grown our Facebook and Twitter pages and have developed community groups for our workers and hirers, so much so, that they are now self-serving and workers answer each other’s questions! We also have success on LinkedIn. 

We have to be where the people we want to talk to are, which is why they are successful.

8. When you began your second business what were some of the first hires you made?

I took my sales director with me and hired a tech team. Initially, we outsourced our development, but the best thing I did was bring this in-house so we can move at pace and have full control over our system.

9.  What are the challenges you’ve faced as a female founder?

I get asked this a lot, and I have to be completely honest and say I don’t see any challenges brought about by my gender. We’re an unusual family as my husband Geoff is a stay-at-home Dad to our 3 sons!

10. Curveball; what did you want to be when you were five years old? 

I really wanted to work in a post office. I liked being organised (I still do!) and stamping things!

Feeling inspired?

 We hope you enjoyed our interview with Lorna! If you’re after more fierce female founders to read about, we recently interviewed Claire Morton, founder of Ell & Dee. Been there done that? Check out our interview with Jennifer Bailey, founder of Calla Shoes.

Make sure to follow J&R on Instagram and Twitter to catch the next interview!