It's been another year and we sure have filled our pages with luxe ladies. We're celebrating International Women's Day 2019 with a look back at some of the region's most inspiring women...


Denise Welch

Last summer, Luxe caught up with North East TV star, Denise Welch. She seems to have spent a lifetime ‘bouncing back’ from adversity, but she tells us she is in a good place these days, as we talked over coffee at home in Cheshire. She’s an inspiring lady with the North East at her heart. Hear her story by following the below link…


Sarah Millican

She’s carved herself a record-breaking stand up career, had her own TV and radio series, notched up more panel shows than Countdown’s Rachel Riley could calculate and has founded a smashing magazine and podcast for all the women. It was only a matter of time before Sarah Millican added an author cap to her busy hatstand. Her book, How to Be Champion, is out now and it’s proving to be a hit with fans far and wide!


Kate Rose

Kate Rose is the creative and business brain behind growing lifestyle company Tutti&Co. Her designs and her home are inspired by the textures, tones and colours of the coast where she lives. Kate is the owner, inspiration and creative brain behind the lust-after lifestyle brand, which has seen spectacular success with its homeware range launched just two years ago – inspired and created by Kate when she couldn’t find nice things to fill the house she was building.


Lauren Laverne

Everyone has their own version of Lauren Laverne. The spiky, confident singer who powered her way through punk with the band Kenickie in the 1990s. The witty, sharp and confident panelist on shows like Have I Got News for You. The culture maven who brought the arts to a new audience with The Culture Show. Not forgetting the voice. Presenter of BBC6 Music every weekday morning and of the edgy Late Night Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. At 39, Lauren Laverne denies being anything like role model for women, but take in the above and it’s there for all to see.



Helen Woods

Ensuring Mandale Homes maintains its reputation for highly desirable luxury housing is Helen Wood’s top priority. Graduating in 2001 with a law degree, Helen, 33, has always worked in the housing industry and has emerged as a leading light in her field. Click the link below to find out her luxe things in life…


Jane Lovett

Cook, tutor, caterer, food stylist, writer… local lass and long-time foodie, Jane Lovett, has done it all. She has had a life-long love affair with food; planning her days around feeding others, savouring mealtimes and always thinking ahead to her next plate of grub. Her culinary bible,The Get-Ahead Cook, brings tasty, get-ahead recipes to the table – the perfect solution for stress-free cooking at home. Luxe finds out more in the below article…


Larah Hunt

Larah Hunt is marketing manager at North East-based footwear retailer, Charles Clinkard. She joined the company five years ago as a sales assistant while studying at Manchester Metropolitan University. Click the link below to find out Larah’s luxe things in life…


Kate Wickham

Kate Wickham heads up the UK division of Team Valley-based family business, Gate 7. The business has just been awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise International Trade 2018.  As MD, Kate, who has been with the company since 2005, heads up a team of 44, supplying decals and vehicle livery worldwide to Bobcat, Volvo, Komatsu and JCB.


Dr Gill Owens

Dr Gill Owens is a principle lecturer in the Business School at Teesside University. In 2017, she represented the UK in the World Transplant Games after she became an altruistic kidney donor. She featured as one of our Luxe ‘Generation Ageless’ stars, making a positive change at mid-life. Read the full article below.


Julia Austin

Founder of Tyne Bank Brewery, Julia has created an independent taproom and brewery in Ouseburn. She curated a sensational summer of events to coincide with last summer’s Great Exhibition of the North. From street food to folk music and a special beer menu, there was something for everyone. Read more about the creative, craft brewery expert below.


Kate Dixon

Kate Dixon works with Traidcraft Exchange, a North East-based international development charity which uses the power of trade to create lasting solutions to poverty. Click the link below to find out her luxe things in life…


Liv Lorent

Liv Lorent MBE is the artistic director of award-winning dance theatre company balletLORENT. She is a highly acclaimed choreographer and feminist voice, championing diversity within dance.


Jo Aynsley

Jo Aynsley is the interior designer and creative genius behind Charlton Hall’s mega makeover. Click the article below for a look inside the luxurious Northumberland wedding venue and how its unique look was brought to life by an inspiring interior designer…


Kerry Lockwood

Kerry Lockwood turned her passion for interiors into a thriving business back in 2016. Fast-forward two years and she’s now one of the region’s biggest Instagram-influencers, with over 60,000 followers. Luxe has a chat in the link below…


Laura de Wesselow

Laura de Wesselow’s life runs at a pace, juggling the day-to-day running of her family’s Belsay Estate in Northumberland. Laura had the idea to create the woodland burial site as part of a number of projects to ensure the survival and sustenance of the Belsay Estate, which has been in her family for centuries. Read our full cover story below:


Terri Crosby

Terri Crosby is so very good at extreme luxury. An interior designer and home ‘fixer’ for footballers and billionaires. Through her business, GLuxe interiors based at Blagdon, she designs interiors for luxury homes for individuals and for the high-end rental market. This is where the footballers come in.


Diane Morton

Diane Morton is founding director of Wag & Company North East Friendship Dogs, a registered charity enabling volunteers and their dogs to safely visit and befriend the elderly at home and in care and medical establishments. She’s one of our Luxe mid-lifers, making a positive lifestyle change through her charity work.


Eleanor O’Neill

Eleanor O’Neill is founder of STUDY 34, a luxury knitwear label for women based in Newcastle. After completing her degree in fashion knitwear, she worked for brands in New York, Switzerland and Italy. Eleanor is passionate about sustainability, women and business and is involved in a number of organisations including, The Girl’s Network, The Prince’s Trust, The Fashion Circle and Traidcraft. She lives in Fenham, Newcastle.


Kelly Bird

Kelly is a British female stunt and precision driver from Stokesley, Middlesbrough. She has featured on channels including BBC One, ITV and Discovery and is company director of Stunt Drive Experience, the UK’s only purpose-built stunt and precision driving arena, based at the Teesside Autodrome. Luxe gets behind the wheel to find out about her drive-time dreams…


Debbie Gadd

Forty winks makes you think of a speedy nap or some sneaky shut-eye. It’s definitely more a case of eyes wide open when you take a step inside Debbie Gadd’s Forty Winks guest house. In majestic South Street in Durham, this dazzling property boasts one of the best views you’ll ever get from a B&B bedroom – dead opposite Durham Cathedral. Impressive views to wake up to from the bedrooms that make up this ‘guest house and residence’ in the historic city. Find out more below…


Jackie Gregson

Jackie Gregson is a full time Consultant in Emergency Medicine at Northumbria Healthcare Foundation Trust. She is also the Clinical Director for the Northern Trauma Network. She has a passion for life, loves cycling, spending time with her family and friends and in the winter months spending as much time as she can in the Alps skiing. Jackie was one fifth of the Gosforth Girls, a group of friends who came together and raised over £20,000 for three women’s cancer charities through their Wedding Dress Ball.


Kelly Norman

When she’s not basking in the great outdoors, Kelly Norman is delivering physio and feel-good therapy from her clinic in Northumberland. For Kelly, a bright-eyed and bubbly physiotherapist from Newcastle, it was the anticipation of turning 40 that inspired a life re-jig. After years of working on the pitch and in rented clinic rooms as a sports therapist, she found herself longing for a change of scenery.


Helen Heward

Helen is an associate at Durham-based planning consultancy, Planning House. The company has adopted a flexible approach to the working week to meet client need while accommodating family life. She launched the Women in Planning network for the North East in February to provide a network which champions gender equality across the planning industry.

Look out for Helen’s Luxe Life feature in the latest edition of Luxe – subscribe here


Jules Quinn

Jules Quinn is an inspiring entrepreneur well-known as the brains behind ‘pimp your drinks’ company, Popaball, creating ‘bursting bubbles’ and ‘shimmer’ for G&Ts and prosecco. Jules is also MD of TeaShed and an ambassador for the charity, Children North East, which has just celebrated ten years of support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

Look out for Juless’ Luxe Life feature in the latest edition of Luxe – subscribe here


Jane Helliwell

Jane is the brains behind Champagne & Flamingos, a new luxurious scent styling business. Using the art of ‘scentscaping’ to evoke strong memories and emotions at events such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings, Jane has the ability to create a unique aroma that will stay with you forever. She started out as a hair stylist and salon owner, but wanted to experiment with her creative side. The result is a truly unique business that has quickly brought scent styling to life in the luxury events market.

Look out for Jane’s scent styling tips in our Wedding Essentials publication, inside Luxe March/April 2019 – subscribe here



Laura Beckingham

In each edition, our Luxe life coach, Laura Beckingham guides us through the new season with top tips and feel-good inspiration to help busy people stop, reflect and look forward to a more fulfilled future.


Debrah Dhugga

Debrah Dhugga guides us through her travel to-do list, hip hotels and holiday highlights in her bi-monthly column. With in-the-know inspiration from the golden sands of Dubai to the bustling streets of London, she is the go-to Luxe person for all things travel!


Karen Phillips

Karen Phillips is our green-fingered goddess when it comes to all things gardening. Our ‘veg patch’ columnist has all the in-the-know information and inspiration for each season in the gardening world.


Nina Robinson

Nina is our lovely Little Luxe columnist and inspiring writer of the future. She’s got her finger on the culture pulse, getting out to see and write about all the great stuff the North East has to offer for the little people in our lives. We hear her travel diaries, her theatre reviews and her product picks in each edition.


Deborah Smith

Deborah is our Luxe equestrian columnist, guiding us through the show and racing calendar and speaking to some of the top people in the sport in our region and beyond. She talks saddles, syndicates and everything in between.

Related Stories