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Sometimes what starts as a small idea, grows and grows to take on a life of its own …

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  • Inspiring Women
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That’s certainly what happened with the Inspiring Women 2016 which was launched at the start of February at Boston Tea Party in Barnstaple.

Our was plan to create a feature on eight inspiring women in our community – and the women who inspire them – for the magazine we create for North Devon Against Domestic Abuse (NDADA) called re:story.

That turned into a photoshoot by hugely talented photographers Guy Harrop and Mikey Corker, and the stories we uncovered during the interview process were both inspiring and moving, which tie in with the charity’s work in ways we could never have expected.

The portraits were too beautiful to only use in the magazine, so we decided they needed to be shown as a photographic exhibition to spread the word about NDADA’s important work.

Cue Boston Tea Party who enthusiastically agreed to let us hang the pictures on their big wall, which we know would get the story in front of exactly the right audience all month. Then Letterfest, the local company that makes creates Not On The High Street artwork and which is run by Wendy Harrison (one of the eight Inspiring Women 2016), offered to professionally frame the images, while the team at Salt Media created signage to go with it.

An exhibition and a magazine issue needs a launch party right? BTP offered to host it, generously providing wine and canapes, and NDADA came up with the inspired idea of holding a pop up boutique upstairs at the same time, to help the event raise money for the charity.

We made posters and invites, and everyone sent them out to their network, who in turn forwarded them on until we had a huge number of movers and shakers signed up. Then we invited our friends in the media who agreed to do TV coverage and press stories to help raise awareness of the charity through the campaign.

All we needed then was for all for the supporters to come out and support the launch … which they did in huge numbers.

Sue Wallis and Simone Kesseler of NDADA made moving and inspiring speeches, and lots of guests signed up to receive the email newsletter, offered their support as volunteers, donated money, showed interest in advertising, and bought clothes – including a very swanky £200 Prada coat – from the re:store pop up boutique.

We’re doing it again next year – after we’ve had a little rest.

Read the Inspiring Women issue here