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Happy International Women’s Day: Meet Nicky

Tuesday 8th March 2022 is now more commonly known as International Women’s Day, and it’s fast approaching. At Universal Flip, we are all here to celebrate every bit of female success. For us, it is undoubtedly an important day as a female-led brand. However, some of you may be less aware of the significance of Tuesday 8th March.

International Women’s Day is all about equality between genders and releasing women from bias and stereotypes that they experience daily. This internationally-recognised day aims to spread awareness towards the inequalities women face while providing a platform to celebrate their achievements. 

So with that in mind, I want to introduce myself!

My name is Nicky Hughes, and I’m the founder of Universal Flip – an ethical and sustainable accessories collection. Whilst I don’t want to toot my own horn too much, with International Women’s Day upon us, I would like to take a moment to share my story. It hasn’t always been easy setting up my own business and designing unique products, but I wouldn’t change it for the world!

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias, especially celebrating women in technology and innovation. ‘Break the Bias’ is all about creating equal opportunities in the workplace and creating inclusive communities globally.  

I resonated with the theme this year from establishing Universal Flip, as innovation is an essential element of designing and creating a fashion brand. Not only is there innovation within my designs, I strive to incorporate innovation into the brand as a whole by ensuring all my products are not only sustainable but ethical too. It can be challenging as an independent designer to go up against the big brands; however, I knew that I was capable of anything and fancied a shot at pursuing my dreams in life.

It was when I was on the beach in Australia that the idea for Universal Flip struck me; why couldn’t I create my own ethical brand? After months of designing, research and innovation, Universal Flip was born, and I was ready for the challenge of a new chapter in my life. It was important that my company was something I could be truly proud of, hence my decision to provide the finest quality materials at no cost to the environment or the producers of the material. I knew that I could take the easy route and go down a cheap fast fashion path to gain a greater profit; however, morally, I wanted to ensure I was growing a brand that had the planet’s future in mind. 

As life has it, of course, upon the eve of Universal Flip’s creation, the world was catapulted into the global pandemic, and everything ground to a halt. Suddenly, my designs were stuck on the other side of the world as shipping was paused and the world retreated into itself. But, whilst the timing was awful, and some may have given up, I was undeterred and eager to find ways to launch my business and provide people with the best service possible. 

However, the struggles with the business launch were only the beginning, and I had a lot of learning, adapting and growing to overcome over the last year. As a woman, I was determined to #BreakTheBias and successfully run my business whilst also being super-mum. As many of you will know, the pandemic asked many parents to help out with homeschooling whilst schools were closed. I love being a mother and always want to go above and beyond for my son; however, being a mother and a successful entrepreneur was extremely difficult. I know there are plenty of women out there who – like me – strive to achieve the balance between mother and entrepreneur. This is no small feat and is something genuinely worthy of celebration.

On Tuesday 8th March, I know that I will be holding up a glass to women around the world and celebrating the successes that can often be overlooked, and most importantly, overshadowed by male success. I will be celebrating the movement towards equality so that the challenges women face can be celebrated in equal measure against male success and #BreakTheBias. 

So this March, celebrate International Women’s day with us and raise a glass to women with big dreams and even bigger challenges. If you fancy supporting my dream, please head over to my website today to browse my collection.