Stars come in all shapes and sizes, from Hollywood to London, and from all cultures and backgrounds. Kim White is our own very special ‘star’ discovery, as a female entrepreneur from Hove in Brighton, who followed her dream as an inspirational woman in business.
Kim was brought up in a world of celebrity and show business, with her father David Courtney managing and writing hit songs for some of the top music icons in the country and launching careers in the 70s and 80s such as Leo Sayer and working with the late great Adam Faith.
But Kim wanted to follow her own path, and one that was as challenging as the music industry, in that she was a divorcee with three children and a woman in a predominantly male dominated environment.
After a difficult marriage and an even more painful divorce in 2014, Kim felt it was time to branch out on her own, using her previous 20 years’ experience in real estate, and with a strong vision for holiday lets. But she knew it would be hard as she was female, and had 3 children Callum 11, Alfie 6 and Jesse who was just 3 years old who were mainly in her care.
So, Kim approached her dad and asked his advice, who responded immediately, and encouraged her to get started on limited resources, whilst guiding Kim in the right direction. They created a logo as they both felt it was necessary to get the image of the Company right from the outset. They came up with the idea of a pink palm tree which was perfect for the beach location. Kim had fallen in love with the image as soon as she saw it, as it was Miami retro style which is like Brighton and also had a holiday feel to it which was appropriate for the vision of her Company.
‘We knew of this office that was right on Hove seafront and was perfect location for Holiday Lets.
I wanted my Company to be different and stand out as the city of Brighton has fierce competition with letting properties.
So, I went with my gut and knew that being in Hove it would not compete with the Stag and Hen parties, but set out to attract families and couples, people in-between homes and those on business trips.
Hove has a vibrant community and gorgeous wide spaces, with Hove Lawns and an array of stunning properties, some of which are listed buildings.
It was not all plain sailing initially, but I finally got my own office in 2015 which was just a shell. I came up against numerous obstacles, including being let down by builders and a leaky roof, but I ploughed my heart and soul into it, not to mention all available cash, and finally opened the doors in June 2016.
When I saw the sign erected outside the building with Westbeach Properties, it suddenly hit me that I had finally succeeded in getting my business up and running.’
But Kim was still not entirely ‘out of the woods:
‘I had started the business with maybe just 2 properties, so it was very daunting especially when you are sitting in the office on your own and the telephone does not ring.
There were many times I thought – what have I done, no income, money going out and a single mum of three on my own, but I told myself, ‘if you build it people will come’. Having said that I was determined to be there every day and stick with it.
I felt that regardless of the outcome, there is nothing worse than having a dream and not seeing it through. But the dedication paid off and after a lot of hard work and perseverance, I began to attract more clients.
My office is not a prime walkthrough area, but it is on the main Hove seafront that goes in and out of Brighton and people soon started talking about my neon Pink Palm Tree promptly placed on the rear wall in my office.
I now hear people tell me that they don’t always remember Westbeach Properties, but tap into the image of the Pink Palm Tree, which leads them to the Holiday Lets or Agent, and then my name pops up, which is great.
I now have a small team and the majority of my clients come to us through word of mouth. My motto is ’Treat people how you want to be treated’, and this is so true. I do feel we do go the extra mile with everyone and this is recognised now by so many of our clients. Trust is also very important and I feel we are a friendly team that work well and hope to expand to take others on in the future.
I feel blessed and grateful each day that we work in a lovely office just yards from the beach and I get to bring in my small dog Teddy into work with me too.
I also love helping people and offer a bespoke service, tailoring our clients to what they need, and holding their hands throughout the process to alleviate the pressure.
It has been a really exciting experience for me, and a worthwhile one, and I also have a new partner, Gary who I have been with for several years, as well as a thriving business. I am told I am living proof that dreams really can come true, and I believe they can if you really work hard and see them through to the end.’
So, if you have an idea and you want to follow your own passion, remember it is possible, even against the odds, and as in the case of Kim, she is living proof and a real inspiration.
A New year resolution – Celebrity Beauty Blogger Debbie Arnold ‘legs’ it into 2020 – in hot pursuit of Carole Middleton!Reading Time: 5 minutes
We all know that New Year resolutions are frequently broken – but by going public I will have to go through with mine … and it’s not about losing weight, giving up drinking or anything as simple as that.
My 2020 New Year resolution is to be seen in a bikini on the beach this year – to have the confidence to pull it off with style and grace and without any wobbly bits!
The reason for this dramatic and rather public outburst is yes….. Carole Middleton. She is gorgeous! The pictures of her in the media last week – on the beach with Pippa wearing a bikini – are nothing more than sensational!
So how does Carole do it? Not one ounce of fat, no cellulite and no old skin!! She’s older than me too, and I’m sure it’s to do with being an ex BA air hostess. My friend Jacky was also cabin crew, and she has the same incredible figure… maybe it’s all those flights at 50,000 feet?….but more than that it is the discipline that they have, which helps them look as good as they do.
So as I am comparing notes, my daughter Ciara Janson is stick like too, and a mental picture of her and I together on the beach would look more like Beauty and the cellulite Beast! So I actually owe it to myself to get into shape and look as fit and fabulous as I can.
The thing is, my legs have never looked that good. Not even as a teenager. From the knees down mine are very shapely but knees up not a pretty sight. To have smooth shapely legs are a passport to looking younger and sexier….so that is my mission.
So I began my investigation and yes, there is help to be had, and there are some amazing experts out there who can give us a helping hand in the leg department.
There are tons of non-invasive treatments that are available at good cosmetic clinics in the UK- with thermarge, ultherapy, cool sculpting… the list continues. I will certainly begin by badgering my good friend Lesley Reynolds, at Harley Street Skin Clinic to assist me with my ultimate challenge. Lesley is the Queen of cosmetic sculpting, and I know I am in safe hands with her and at this superb clinic.
‘The Leg Doctor’ Dr Jean-Marc Chardonneau is apparently an excellent ‘leg’ expert. Ladies have been known to pay up to £15k to be cellulite free and vein-free, but worry not, for just £800 he can do cryolipolysis for fat knees, ankles and thighs. This involves freezing fat cells which the body then re-absorbs and expels and for a mere £450, he can do a radio frequency treatment which stimulates collagen production to firm the skin. (I’m sure Carole knows him but perhaps she just has good jeans (genes!).
Somehow I will get those legs – I will eat good healthy food – I will endure some weird treatments – I will exercise – I will moisturise, brush and exfoliate. I vow I’ll do anything! Those legs will be mine and I will share the journey with you! So thank you Carole Middleton and watch this space as I ‘leg it’ into 2020.
A major new exhibition from GALERIE PRINTS London, features gorgeously candid shots of the best known faces of Rock & Pop,
from Elvis Presley to The Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin to Blondie and Bruce Springsteen , David Bowie to Amy Winehouse and Nirvana and Oasis plus many more –
from such heavyweight photographers as Terry O’Neill, Michael Putland, Jill Furmanovsky, Christopher Simon Sykes and Duffy – to name but a few.
Exhibition runs October 1st until November 26th
Experience this spectacular display of iconic music imagery at
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When I was invited by Joan Lane of The King’s Speech fame (she was at the helm of its development) to attend a showcase performance of the award winning play THE CLAYKICKERS CHORUS, at The Pleasance Theatre in Islington, I felt hugely privileged.
On several counts because I have great faith in Joan’s judgement, and because Amanda Noar, the Director and the play itself had won both the Kenneth Branagh and the Sylvia Anderson awards respectively in 2018 alongside other emerging talent.
Visiting the Pleasance Theatre after several years also brought back memories of their triumphant history of more than 20 years of championing innovation, and providing a showcase for new writers and comedians.
As I waited in the foyer for the show to commence, I chatted to the writer Kevin McMahon, an earnest gentleman, who had felt passionately about the subject matter. He outlined the play for me letting me know that he hoped it would eventually end up in Manchester, its birthplace. He had travelled from there that day to see his work performed.
THE CLAYKICKERS’ CHORUS tells the story of men unexpectedly assigned during World War 2 and who had some experience in tunnelling, but who were given the hellish job of creating an underworld to help deviate the path of the enemy. Ironically, two of these men were shot by a passing British officer when they failed to salute him. The soldier’s only punishment was to have one of his stripes taken from him, which seemed to reflect the value of two men’s lives against the rather ineffectual demotion of the shooter by the British forces.
The performance from the three male cast, Alex Phelps, Reece Richardson and Jordan Turk was outstanding, as they demonstrated their odious tasks and recounted the dire conditions of their assignment. They heaved and hauled and soldiered on, but the irony was, in spite of their former tunnelling knowledge, their lack of training of the task in hand as well as their ignorance of protocol, lead them to blindly make the wrong decision when confronted with authority. As if the requirement to stand to attention, but in innocently ignoring the senseless salute, lost their lives with a single bullet through their heads.
Amanda Noar’s Direction was exemplary and reminded me why she had been commended for her work. She understood the core message and had climbed in with the men as they tunnelled their way through the dialogue of the abyss, submerging their fears without redemption as they paid the price for a futile assignment.
Joan Lane had collaborated with Anthony Alderson, the Artistic Director of the Pleasance Theatre to put on the abridged version of the play, as they both felt it needed a showcase for interested parties to become involved in its development. Perhaps a National tour or the Edinburgh Festival were both on the table, and the buzz after the show was promising.
I for one came away with more knowledge of a desolate society of war torn years, uncaring of its people, desperate to win a futile battle with a horrific lack of consideration for human dignity or human life.
We could have been speaking about politicians and the World today, tunnelling our way into to an impossible future, and digging ourselves deeper through sheer desperation and with a shameless lack of humanity or anything that counts.