Friday, 22 June 2012

Where is the year going?

Oh my gosh we are now in June! This is madness.

Still I cannot complain about another busy year in business.

So whats been going on around here? Well I shall tell you...

* I have relaunched both the Apparition and Time2Shine websites, I now feel uber confident went people visit them.

* I took a little holiday to the Dominican Republic in February, it was a much needed break but I wanted to go away again as soon as I got home.

* I am still writing bits and pieces of editorial for a few national magazines.

* Recently finished 12 weeks of being BBC Suffolk's official Apprentice Guru with Mark Murphy.

* I am filming an audition in the last round of 'Come Dine With Me' next week I am very excited as its my favourite programme and I have got to the final stages!

* My personal life has not been easy lately however I am coping :)

* Archie is growing up fast, he has turned into a lovely little fella.

* I am really enjoying time with my friends when I am not working.

Thats about it really.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

2012 Update!

Its been a busy start to the year for me, after a wonderful family Christmas at home!

With so much work coming in and out since January hit, favors for friends, and involvement with local good causes, my time has been a little bit precious. I have even had to turn a lot of new clients away! Hence it being a while since I last posted!

I am really enjoying working with a local community project called 'Growing Well' basically a few of the members from our street got together before Christmas and decided to start a group.

It has been great as we have all made new friends, and by summer our street will look fabulous.

I have decided to try and take a break from awards for a while (if my dear clients will stop nominating me) as I really want to focus on the business.

We are still getting very regular work from UCL which is great and they are a pleasure to work for. A few new opportunities are also in the pipeline so stay tuned.

James and I had a nice long weekend in Devon last week, we had a great time getting muddy on the farm with his family. Archie was in his element as you can see from the photo below!

Still I feel 2012 is going to be a successful year! More updates soon!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Award updates... Chamber of Commerce Awards 2011

I am very please to announce that I have won the prestigious title of the Chamber of Commerce business person of the year.

I am delighted with the title, as I have never won anything in a mixed sex group before. (Thats real girl power!)

What a wonderful way to end 2011!  

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

I find out tomorrow...

The day is dawning... and tomorrow I shall be at The Dorchester in London waiting to see who has won that all important NatWest Everywoman Award.

I have just had my nails done, and tomorrow I shall be visited at 6am by my wonderful hairdresser and friend Michelle - who will be making me feel powerful and confident.

I have to say I am very nervous as despite all of my achievements to date this is by far potentially the biggest one.

I wish my fellow finalists Sam (who has come to be a good friend of mine) and Carol-Ann who I have yet to meet the very best of luck. Win, lose or draw I think it will be a fantastic day

Monday, 14 November 2011

The best award news yet!!!

Official Press Release from Everywoman

9 November 2011


Showing the determination and initiative of a business owner with decades of experience, 25 year old Rachel Ducker has had an incredible career so far with her company Apparition Marketing and Design. Today the Suffolk-based businesswoman is named as a leading contender for this year’s NatWest everywoman Awards, one of Britain’s most revered prizes honouring British entrepreneurial success.

University is not the right course for everyone and Rachel Ducker saw enterprise as her future. Working for a variety of different companies, Rachel's enthusiasm and commitment toward her work allowed her to progress very quickly within the media / design industry, where she began to realise that she was more than capable of organising a business herself.  Eventually she decided to launch her own company from her bedroom at her parents’ home. Teaching herself web design, she took on her first client - a local bar - in 2009 and Apparition Marketing and Design was formed.

Today her client base is global with brands including University College London and NFU Mutual to whom she offers a one-stop shop for marketing solutions. She has recently launched a second business offering affordable mentoring services for young people and is also committed to pro-bono work for the local community. Rachel dismisses critics of her age claiming that it is “just a number” and her advice to local schools and regular newspaper column are testament to her considerable success.

The NatWest everywoman Awards were founded in 2003 to showcase the variety of female business role models, celebrating their success and inspiring future generations of entrepreneurs.

Commenting on this year’s line-up of finalists, everywoman co-founder, Karen Gill MBE, says, “The NatWest everywoman Awards have been recognising inspirational women across the country, and the finalists this year again show that anything can

be achieved, no matter what the odds. The women on this year’s shortlist have demonstrated passion, determination and dedication to get where they are, regardless of age, education or background. Given the plight of the economy it is more vital than ever that enterprise is encouraged and by recognising British success stories we will encourage more business start-ups.”

Carolyn Currie, Head of Women in Business at NatWest adds, "With the current high rates of female unemployment, never has the need to celebrate, encourage and promote female entrepreneurship been of more importance. I'd very much like to congratulate the 2011 NatWest everywoman Award nominees, who embody exactly the type of entrepreneur that will be so key to aiding recovery in the UK. I hope their stories will encourage more women into enterprise and our nationwide team of Women in Business advisers stand ready to aid them on their path to success."

Sharon Hilditch MBE, Managing Director of Crystal Clear comments, “Crystal Clear is delighted to continue supporting the everywoman Artemis Award. I am a passionate believer in this award which represents a fantastic opportunity to recognise the energy, determination and sheer hard work it takes to not only succeed in business but to also to get one off the ground. This year’s finalists have all shown these qualities admirably as well as displaying incredible commitment, drive and enthusiasm. I hope their achievements will be an inspiration to the next generation of upcoming female entrepreneurs.”

Rachel Ducker is nominated for the Artemis Award for the most inspiring businesswoman aged between 25 and under.

The winners will be announced at a lunch ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel on Wednesday 7th December 2011 attended by business figures, politicians and celebrities.

For further information about the Awards along with ticket prices and details visit


· About everywoman everywoman is an organisation that challenges and changes the mindsets of women in business to increase the number and raise the status of women in the economic community. Founded in September 1999 by Karen Gill and Maxine Benson, it is the UK’s largest female business community with over 40,000 members and growing. Through its programme of events, projects such as Modern Muse, training and awards, everywoman offers members support, skills and recognition. Members are supported to clarify their goals; ensure they have the right mindsets to realise them; gain skills to generate long-term success and are recognised for their achievements. Its ambition is to become the world’s largest and most influential female business network, inspiring generations of businesswomen and championing their cause, talents and prospects on a global scale. Karen and Maxine were both awarded the MBE in January 2009 for services to women’s enterprise.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Further award success...

After winning the East of England Young Businesswoman of the year award last year, on Friday we I found out that I have won an award.

The title is "Women of the future" for Ladies at11 sponsored by Natwest.

I am delighted to be nominated for another prestigious award.

Unfortunately, I cannot make the ceremony next Friday at Sandhurst Park on the Isle of White, but I would like to congratulate all of the winners and finalists.

For more information about you can view my website at

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Sailing into relaxation!

A few weeks ago I set my self the challenge for one of my EADT 'Water off a ducks back' articles, to completely switch off from work and leave my "business hat" at home.

It timed in very well for my partner James's birthday weekend, so whilst doing some research on the internet I came across a The Salthouse in Ipswich. I have been there on a few occasions for some amazing dinners, however never stayed the night. To my surprise they were offering a sailing package in collaboration with their neighbours Viking Mariners also situated on the Waterfront.

I have never been sailing before and thought it would be a fabulous experience for us both to share.

After a blissful night in our Marina room at the Salthouse, which overlooked the beautiful harbor and featured a giant copper bath in the middle of the room, I started to feel very relaxed and James was thoroughly enjoying his birthday treat, especially as the food was so good. (He often uses his stomach to judge a stay!)

We had timed our stay perfectly for the Martine and Beer Festival along the Waterfront. It was great to be arose by the Parade walking by as we enjoyed breakfast in our room from the Balcony.

We also had the morning free to wander through the old rope making exhibitions, watch displays and even had the pleasure of meeting some pirates and hearing stories from the deep blue sea!

We could not waiting for our sailing trip to come around, it was booked for an afternoon sail starting at 2pm.

We arrived at the Viking Mariners shop and I was amazed to see such trendy, quality sailing items such as boat shoes, sailing tops, jackets. I usually shop in Crew Clothing and I have to say I was more drawn to the good hear than I am in Crew.

Once there, we met Chris who had been the friendly person behind the scenes organising my surprise sail. She had very kindly given us some waterproof clothing (just in case it rained) and introduced us to our Skipper Lee.

As I mentioned, we had not been sailing before so we had taken the precaution of some sea sickness tablets. I still had my hesitations and when I mentioned this to Lee, he immediately put us at ease and said we wouldn't need them.

Upon boarding the Catamaran 'Alchemy,' I was amazed by the size and luxury that greeted us.

As we pulled away from the harbor, James and I gave each other a look that said 'this is going to be fantastic.'

We also had on board with us a very lovely lady called Annie. I must say she really took care of us, bringing us lots of tea and biscuits and generally helping us to feel at ease and relaxed during our trip. I particularly got on very well with her, and it was nice to have her company whilst James chatted to Lee.

To my surprise Lee allowed us to sail the boat. The sailing part was quite easy however navigating the boat through the River traffic was a slightly different concern. Once ten minutes went by I felt I started to get the hang of it and felt more confident navigating through the traffic.

As I mentioned, James is very guided by his stomach, so when Annie brought our a plate of Chocolate Donuts and Carrot Cake, he was sold!

It was really lovely to enjoy the Coastal Suffolk Scenery  from the water, and I felt ultimately relaxed. It was also great to pass under the Orwell bridge rather than driving over it.

An hour or two past and the clouds darkened, as we felt a drop or two of rain and put on our sailing jackets, where most people would be disappointed we certainly were not as then, we really felt like we were sailing!

Shortly after we decided to hibernate in the cabin, where I was brought a nice cold glass of Rose wine in a snug little seating area.

The thing that I liked so much about the experience with Viking Mariners is that for four hours I felt like the boat was my home, we were given clear freedom to explore and could either sit back and relax or get involved as much as we wanted to.

We were sad to arrive back at the harbor but were buzzing for the next few days and stated immediately to each other how we would love to do it again with our friends. The great thing is the options that Viking Mariners have.

I was particularly interested in the Spa Day on the river that Chris was telling me about. They also do leadership team building days out, corporate and social days out and special celebrations like we had, so something for all occasions and as far as I am aware not many companies offer this?

I would 100% recommend anyone experienced in sailing or newbies like us to try an experience with the guys at Viking, you will not be disappointed!

To get in touch with them visit or to view the Salthouse website see