Be Bold for Change
As a female-founded company with a woman at the helm, we love the idea of International Women's Day. We strongly believe in advancing women's confidence and ability to deliver on their goals and aspirations.
So with International Women's Day once again fast approaching, we thought we'd take a moment to reflect. We think our very own "SeaEO" and co-founder, Fiona Houston, embodies 2017's theme, Be Bold for Change.
Mara co-founder and CEO Fiona Houston
Passionate to the core
Oxford University alumni and former New York Times journalist, Fiona is now a "die hard campaigner for the use of seaweed," according to chef Cyrus Todiwala. Fiona has grown and nurtured Mara Seaweed with the strength and determination of a true business warrior.
Fiona "has willpower just like the waves she defies, and is passionate to the core," Todiwala continues. She came back from a 'car crash' appearance on Dragon's Den and defied the dragons to secure over £520,000 of funding from Crowdcube.
The investment and support allowed Mara to break into export markets, delivering on Mara's mission to 'Nourish Body and Soul' by bringing Scottish seaweed to the plates of people all around the globe.
Read about Mara's launch in America.
With a string of awards for the company, the products and herself, Fiona's efforts have definitely not gone unnoticed. In 2015, she won Scotland's Entrepreneur of the Year in the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur Award.
Read about Fiona's feature in BQ.
Mara Seaweed was also a finalist at the BBC Food and Farming Awards and the company won the Crown Estate Scottish Marine Aquaculture's Innovation Award. More awards followed in 2016, with every Mara product on sale in the first half of the year receiving recognition.
Read about Mara's clean sweep at the Great Taste Awards.
Left - Fiona receiving the BQ Emerging Entrepreneur Award Fiona; Top right - Fiona receiving the Crown Estate Scottish Marine Aquaculture's Innovation Award 2015; Bottom right- Fiona receiving The edge Award 2015.
We're just getting started
When asked how it feels to be regarded as such an inspiration Fiona replied: "I'm just doing what I'm passionate about. I'll feel like I deserve to be regarded as inspirational once I have built Mara into a sustainable global brand - but it's still early days!"
How are you celebrating International Women's Day? Let us know in the comments.