Vanessa Welham: The Creator
“Even though it’s scary, we’re on the right path.”
Vanessa Welham is determined to break the mold.
The co-founder of No Chiefs, a London-based creative studio, is dedicated to creating campaigns for companies to innovate, evolve, and define their brand within the music, arts and culture industry.
Having arrived at entrepreneurship from a diverse background in publishing, advertising and even corporate real estate, Vanessa was seeking ways to inspire the female founders and creatives she was collaborating with.
After witnessing the lack of support and even flat-out marginalization of the women both Marium and Vanessa had met throughout their careers and again, through No Chiefs, Vanessa and her fellow co-founder Marium Raja, decided to create Bonded, a not-for-profit mentorship programme for women in the creative industry which hosts a series of live events and workshops.
“I think most disturbingly, women can’t identify with a female role model in business who’s doing something similar to them,” Vanessa said. “As women we need to invest more in one another, giving our support collaboration.”
And she knows this problem all too well. Vanessa remembers that although there were many women working at the companies she started at early in her career, there was a strong sense of competition between the gals, and very little collaboration.
“There was a lack of trust, it felt like you had to constantly watch your back,” Vanessa said. “It was very much you were there on your own and you had to watch out for the other women because they were just there for themselves and there wasn’t that support network.”
This is an unfortunate reality for many women working in the creative corporate space and male-dominated industries (which, let’s face it, is most of them).
Determined to change the narrative, Marium and Vanessa started seeking out content to bring to their tribe of female creatives. Marium stumbled across the Dream, Girl trailer on Twitter, which sparked the first conversation with Diana at The Dream,Girl team to see how we could collaborate and we all felt instantly connected.
“It really triggered for us that the business we started in January 2016 was important and what we were doing was the right thing,” Vanessa said. “Even though it’s scary, we’re on the right path.”
They partnered with The Hoxton Hotel Shoredtich and pulled together a panel of fierce entrepreneurs who could speak to women about the challenges of being a woman in the creative field.
The conversations at the screening went on late and spilled over into Vanessa and Marium’s inboxes – messages of gratitude from the women who attended left feeling empowered as were we by the messages received
“It’s important for women today to embrace and support each other,” Vanessa said. “We need to create communities where we can genuinely help each other succeed.”
Vanessa and Marium are creating a new normal for women to feel safe being vulnerable as well as feeling empowered as creators in their field – as a female founded creative company, we love seeing this type of mentorship and are so proud to be a part of these vital conversations.
Check out photos from Vanessa’s Dream, Girl screening in London. Photos by Daniela Monteiro from Nation of Billions.