Julia Wins National Directors Award

  • Vivian Zhang
  • 29th October 2014

On Friday, BIDBI CEO Julia Gash was crowned UK Small & Medium Company Director of the Year, at the IoD Awards in London.

Having won The Yorkshire the Humber Director of the Year for SME Businesses Award earlier this year, Julia struck gold again and triumphed with a national award - Small & Medium Company Director of the Year. She was also a runner up for Overall Director of the Year and received a Highly Commended Certificate.

She said: “I have worked tirelessly over the last 7 years as I have taken BIDBI & Talented from ground zero, from a time when I had absolutely no money to a company that now turns over £2m and employs 25 people at our eco-print factory in the heart of industrial Sheffield.”

Julia did not expect to win. Right before the event she lost her voice due to an infection to her throat. What she did not see was a big win and a speech expected from her. But she made it work anyway, like she always does all these years with countless difficulties along her way to success.

Seven years ago she started BIDBI in Sheffield, where the company produces branded, sustainable cloth bags for blue chip British brands under private label. In 2012 Julia launched an ethically focussed accessory label: Talented. Now many prestigious retailers stock Talented products around the world, achieving a 70% export sales rate.

Drawing from her business experience for over 20 years, Julia delivered a notably brief but powerful speech after ex MP and travel presenter, Michael Portillo, handed her the award at the London ceremony.

For her own business she said: “Recent times have been particularly tough as we have had a massive growth spurt and my priority has been to build a strong and skilled team to support me at BIDBI and our own brand label: Talented. I am therefore fortunate to work with a fantastic group of people and I am humbled by their amazing work ethic and trust in me, which often takes them outside their comfort zone, day in day out."

She urged Britain's business leaders to let their voices by heard on political issues such as Europe at the ceremony commenting that it was the business argument that swayed voters in the recent Scottish referendum. As a passionate and outspoken pro European, Julia said that the free movement of people and goods was a vital component for a successful British economy.

We hope and trust that by following Julia’s words in her speech, the British economy will be as bright as her smile!