Being A Woman In Business From Jade – Co-Founder Of Fore

May 18, 2022 | Family Adventures, About Fore Adventure, Jade And Dan

Being a woman in business; the advantages, challenges, and opportunities according to Jade Scott, co-founder of Fore Adventure. Jade, and her husband Dan, searched for an opportunity to live a new life in the countryside and have more freedom to connect with the outdoors. 12 years and 3 children later Jade and Dan are still living their life through adventure. Find out how they started their business and how Jade plays a vital role as co-founder.

Jade. What’s It Like To Be A Woman In Business?

jade paddleboard sup old harry rocks sea coast adventure

I like to think being a woman in business is no different to being a male. There is still some disparity in all industries and some work to do to level up the playing field. I have come from a very male dominated industry having trained to be an architect. Although this is not an easy role for a woman, it’s not impossible. My feeling is that it is up to us as women to try to change that imbalance and up to all men to support us in doing that. We have a duty to our next generation to close the gap and ensure there is gender equality.

I took a different pathway into the outdoor industry from my previous job. This was in part due to becoming a mother and finding that a part time role in architecture was not workable. There could be an element of unfairness in that but I am happy with the choice I made. It wasn’t because I couldn’t do both, I was lucky that there was support there if I chose to, but I wanted more control over my own time and the environment I would bring my children up in. I was lucky I had choices to make.

Working As A Team

Working in a partnership (with my husband) means that we can both bring different skills to the table. We have the opportunity to have very different roles within the business. I came from a more creative pathway so take the lead on the marketing and PR. I also get stuck in and run the foraging and feast workshops, and I trained to be a beach and forest school practitioner. This means I can be fully involved in the business from the ground up. I think it’s important to have this connection with your business and staff team. You have an understanding of what the team do and what your customers are experiencing first hand. It’s important for my children to see both their parents taking the lead in different areas of the business. We also get stuck in and work together.

How Did The Idea For The Business Come About?

fore adventure beach hut dorset studland summer

We spent our former years living and working in cities. I spent my waking hours on the computer screen, my husband Dan was a qualified outdoor instructor but became a manager in an outdoor centre. He ended up spending more and more of his days overseeing others running the activities which got him hooked in the outdoor lifestyle in the first place. We got married and had our first daughter Molly and our perspective just shifted. We yearned to escape the rat race, it’s a cliche but we fell into it.

Then we searched for an opportunity that would allow us to live a new life in the countryside. We were keen to connect with nature as part of our daily life. My aunt lived in Dorset and told us about a little hut on Studland beach that had come up for lease with the National Trust. We knew it was the missing piece of the puzzle and we haven’t looked back since.

Being A Woman In Business – Why Did You Choose The Name Fore?

woman in business family kids adventure kayak old harry rocks

We started up the business with that little hut and 4 sea kayaks, we built up a good reputation for kayaking over the years. However over the years the direction of the business changed as we did. We added more strings to our bows and I became more actively involved. Instead of just running the behind the scenes I trained to become a beach school and forest school leader so that Dan and I could work together.

We chose to rebrand and picked the name Fore / Adventure for what it stands for. Before, in front of, for, before, formerly. Through the last 12 years we have seen such big changes in the way we work and what people want. As a small business we have been able to react quickly to trends and the needs of our customers. We chose an identity that allowed us to keep developing and didn’t tie us down to one venture. We felt using Fore would future proof the brand to allow us to expand the business should we want to at a later stage.

How Did You Start The Business And Would You Have Done Anything Differently?

family forage explore woodland dorset wild garlic

Although it’s all a distant memory now I am not going to sugar coat it, it was a real challenge. Molly our eldest, was only 2 months old when we tendered for the lease with the National Trust. I had only just got my head around having a newborn baby and broken sleep! It was a difficult decision to take the risk of losing a steady income. We had a tense few months of interviews and business planning before we got the go ahead but when we got that phone call we were on cloud nine.

With hindsight my only regret is that we should have upped sticks and moved straight away. We were cautious and wanted to test the water in the event the business didn’t work. So for the first summer we commuted and were lucky enough to stay with family in Swanage. Then when we were ready the architect in me couldn’t resist the challenge of a project! So it wasn’t until a year later, and with our second daughter Poppy in tow, that our house was ready and we moved to Swanage. Another year later our third daughter Olive arrived and our feet finally touched the ground!

It’s Quite A Change Of Pace! Do You Miss City Life?

I spent the first few transitional years going backwards and forwards between city living and country life when we were setting up the business. Commuting between our old life and what was to be our new one highlighted how different they were. We were renovating a property in Swanage and had just finished our house in Southampton. It was just as we wanted it and had taken years to get it that way! I worried about what we were giving up, our friends, our steady jobs, everything that was familiar, but it was easy to leave behind in the end. Every time I turned off the engine and stepped foot on Dorset soil it felt so right, it felt like coming home.

What Are The Pro’s And Cons To Running Your Own Business?

woman in business jade scott forage gorse dorset

Being a woman in business is exciting! Your achievements make you proud, but you don’t have protected time or the security and benefits you have working for someone else.  Our reward is the life we live and the flexibility we have around our children. We love the little things like happy customers who come again and again, foraging for supper and cooking up our freshly caught mackerel on the beach.  Watching the girls running in and out of the sea shrieking with delight at the end of a busy day is brilliant. It’s hard work and the days are long. You do worry about competition and staying true to who you are, not trying to keep up with everyone else. We’ve made a conscious decision to side step, to try and offer something unique and personal and it seems to be working.

Is This What You Thought The Business Would Look Like?

coastal forage dorset studland beach

The business has grown so organically that what we started off with is so different to what we have now, so I guess the answer would have to be no. This isn’t a bad thing for me. I like to adapt and make changes in the way we live and work to suit our lifestyle. This is the bonus of being self employed. Both the failures and successes have really shaped our business. It’s allowed us to learn a whole heap about who we are, who our customers are and ultimately what we want to be. There’s still a way to go but we are enjoying the journey and biding our time, happy being the tortoise not the hare.

Being A Woman In Business – How Do You Work Around Running A Seasonal Business?

woman in business jade scott forage seaweed coast sea rocks cliff

It is really important to us that Fore would always be a family run business. We won’t sell out, or hand over too much of the control in case it would lose our personal touch or the passion we have. However, as we have grown we have come to realise that we do need help and we can’t do it all. It’s just about choosing those helpers wisely and delegating well. We have a fantastic team and we wouldn’t be who we are without them. They really buy into the ethos of the business and are as passionate about it as we are.

Over the winter months we’re a smaller team. We still forage and run workshops and events but the pace is gentler to us during this period. Most of my energy here goes into marketing, PR and planning for the season ahead which takes up a lot of my time. We are just starting to come into the peak season and it is really satisfying seeing all  our plans made over the winter come together. The main season from May – September is full throttle! During this time we have more staff and other members of the Fore team will deliver sessions on the beach and the events like our forage & feasts.

Being A Woman In Business – How Do Your Three Girls Fit In With The Business And How Does It Benefit Them?

children adventure activity dorset swing wood explore

Our girls are a big part of our business. Hutquarters is fondly known to them as ‘the kayak house’ it’s become like a second home to them. When Molly was a baby she would come to work with us everyday that first summer. Now with her sisters in tow they are regular faces with the customers and the ice cream kiosk! Having young children changes your outlook. Our motivation for setting up our beach school and forest school sessions was partly because we felt that we wanted the girls to benefit from the effort we put into the business. We could see from how they responded to the experiences we were giving them that other children would gain from it too. We work with schools and youth groups and seeing children engaging with what we do is all we wish for.

Having three girls it’s important to us to show them that they can do just as much as boys and have access to the same experiences. Self belief starts young and we want them to grow up feeling empowered and not limited in any way. We strongly believe that allowing girls to take risks in the outdoors makes them more capable, confident and able to take risks and push themselves in school and other environments too.

Where Do You See The Business In 5 Years Time?

woman in business jade dan scott old harry rocks forage

Our little saying is that we are not looking for world domination and it’s so true. We are ambitious and driven by a love for what we are doing rather than a dream scenario or monetary reward. Having said that we do want to keep progressing and challenging ourselves. We have plans in place for new ventures in the future and we are working towards them. The biggest challenge is finding the time to develop the other business streams as well as run Fore.

Read on for more about being a woman in business…

woman in business jade scott beach forage adventure

What Has Been Your Biggest Challenge So Far And Has This Affected Your Future Plans?

The last few years working through the pandemic has been hard. It really made us refine what we are offering and re-evaluate the business which has been a beneficial exercise and made us work more efficiently.

We have recently diversified, obtaining a seaweed foraging licence from the crown estate to commercially harvest seaweed along the coast. We’ll be launching our new sister brand Sae Seaweed this year to complement Fore / Adventure. We want to offer our clients something tangible to take home with them. This will also boost off season income and staff opportunities within the team.

Alongside this venture we have recently purchased a Citroen H Van which will enable us to take our events on the road. We hope this can allow us to reach a wider audience with our events. This will enable us to be adaptable and respond to any new rules and regulations about social distancing and groups that may happen in the future.

Find Out About Our Foraging Courses

Being A Woman In Business – How Do You Come Up With New Ideas For The Business?

sea spaghetti forage seaweed food edible

All of our ideas seem to derive from our personal experiences, interests and the feedback we get from our clients. We both enjoy food and love to forage and it became apparent that our customers did too. They’d book a kayaking adventure and end up with a fistful of seaweed and boats full of mackerel to cook! Hence forth our ‘kayak, fish, forage and feast’ was born.

Each season brings new bounty, we love to share what we find. Using our forage to make up recipes to post on our blog which inspire people to go out and forge some adventures of their own. We found that our audience were really engaging with our ideas to reconnect our plate with our environment. This prompted us to offer our ‘foraged feasts’, to celebrate nature’s larder. We love the simple things and we want to show people that it is simple to do, with a bit of knowledge and our help they can do it too.

Is There Such A Thing As An Average Day For You?

forage sea beet coastal plant dorset

Being a woman in business in Dorset…

We get up to a whole heap of adventures on our coastal patch! From foraging to feasting, bushcraft to beach school, kayaking to coasteering, stand up paddleboarding and more. The common thread that ties our adventuring days together is our die-hard love- wild food always features! One day we’ll be running bushcraft foraging sessions for families, the next hosting a wild camp and kayaking foraging adventure.

There really is no such thing as an average day being a woman in business with Fore. I guess what we offer is so varied that no one day is going to be repeated. The conditions are always different, the seasons are forever changing and the clients are rarely the same. I can be preparing for an event, talking to journalists or liaising with photographers and event planners.

Running Your Own Business

Running your own business should be fun and rewarding. You have to put so much energy into it and give a lot so you really need to enjoy it. I am so lucky that my role within the business is incredibly varied. I am still being challenged 12 years later, I am happy to carry on for as long as it keeps making me happy and allows me to have the freedom to be creative and follow my passions.

Learn More About Us And Watch Our Talisker Talk:

What Would You Say To Other Women In Business Looking To Make A Career Change Or Start Up Their Own?

I would encourage them to have a go! Plan carefully and do your research. I’m fortunate to be in partnership with someone who had experience of the industry, this has been key to our success. Try to get hands on experience in the field you’re going into if you haven’t got any already. I also think you need to be creative and think about how you can stand out from your competitors. Define early on what your USP will be, find something that people will connect with and tell your story; people will want to hear about it. It’s not always easy being a woman in business, but it’s definitely worth it.

Find Out More About Our Adventures

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fore Adventure Outdoor Activity Company Dorset Blog Stories

About Fore Adventure

Starting with four Kayaks and a hut on the beach, Fore has evolved to include, sea, shore and solid ground adventures to get big and small humans in the great outdoors. Read our story.

Categories

Upcoming Events

Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter full of wild times, adventure ideas, foraging tips and more

Follow Fore