Monthly Archives: May 2014

Welcome, Jane!

welcome sign

Emma Approved is thrilled to announce our newest destined-for-greatness employee: the one and only Jane Fairfax.

Jane is taking on the role of Business Development Consultant as part of our new mission: to better the lives of people around the world through social and environmental causes. With her Masters Degree in Social Policy from Oxford and her efficient, no-nonsense attitude – plus an extra dash of Emma Approved confidence and style – Jane will be the perfect addition to our team.

“I appreciate the opportunity to focus on some of the serious issues facing modern society,” says Jane.  “And … strive for lifestyle excellence.  And work on my fashion sense.”

“I can already tell this is going to be a unique challenge for me,” she adds.

Career Advice: A Conversation with Mr. Woodhouse


As you know, Emma Approved’s business is growing and changing. In order to ensure that I keep my business on track with all the recent restructuring, there is one person I knew I had to talk to. He has over forty years of experience running a profitable business, and can offer insight on every aspect of being an entrepreneur. In addition, there’s another role he handles successfully as well.  He is none other than my dear old dad, Mr. Henry Woodhouse! I invited him out to lunch a few days ago so I could pick his brain about his business expertise. I recorded the conversation and asked Harriet to transcribe the key pieces of the interview below. Enjoy!

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Career Advice: How to Attract the Best Employees

Future dreams of a woman

When you are in charge of a business or project, you want to make sure everything goes perfectly. Part of that is recognizing the realistic limits of your time and talents – there is only so much you can do by yourself. That’s why building a solid, dependable and innovative team is so important. But just as job candidates fight over highly sought after positions, employers must also compete over the best and brightest applicants whenever they have an opening.

You might think that it all comes down to salary when trying to attract the best employees, but the truth is that there are a lot of things you can offer besides money. Just as a job can be so much more than just a paycheck, a job offer can be an enticing package of perks and opportunities. Here are some tips on how to attract the best team money can’t buy.

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He Said/She Said: Emma and Knightley on Leadership, Inspiration and More!

SheSaid_HeSaidThanks to everyone for sending in their questions. You gave us some interesting things to think about during this transitional period with the business. And I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that Alex and I often differ in our answers. Enjoy!


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Ask the Expert: Advice on Opening a Restaurant from Boltwood’s Brian Huston

I’m very excited that the news has broken that Chef Serle will be opening his own restaurant in Sanditon in the near future. One of my favorite things is connecting people who can help one another, so I hooked up Chef Serle with my friend Brian Huston, who is currently getting ready to open Boltwood, his new restaurant in Evanston, IL. Prior to Boltwood, Brian was the chef de cuisine at The Publican, one of the hottest restaurants on the Chicago dining scene. Opening his own restaurant has been a life-long dream for Huston, and now with Boltwood partners  John Kim (Brothers K Coffeehouse), Seth Kaplan and  Brady Huston, it’s finally about to happen! 

Boltwood, which will emphasize farm fresh local ingredients paired with adventurous flavors, aims to reflect the diverse, welcoming community of Evanston, which is also home to Northwestern University. Huston has described the food as, “New American, with a locally sourced menu that constantly changes.” The restaurant is currently scheduled to open its doors in June 2014.

Given Chef Brian’s experiences, I thought he might have some useful insights to pass along to Chef Serle.  And in the spirit of paying it forward, Chef Serle graciously offered to share with us excerpts of his conversation with Brian and Boltwood partner Seth Kaplan, an attorney and lifelong friend of Huston’s. It’s a great peek behind-the-scenes at what it really takes to open a restaurant. If it’s something you’ve ever thought about, this is an opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business!
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Gift Guide: The Many Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day

Happy mother's day

It’s always a good time to be grateful for your life and thankful to those who have made it possible. So whether it’s soon to be belated or just getting an early jump on next year, here’s a few ideas for your next Mother’s Day present. However you celebrate, and no matter who you celebrate with, here’s wishing you a happy Mother’s Day from everyone here at Emma Approved.

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Career Advice: How to Work with Nonprofit Organizations

Betsy-UhrmanWhen making a change in your life, one of the things I often suggest is reaching out to experts in your chosen field for guidance. Here at Highbury, we try to follow our own advice whenever possible – after all, how can I ask you to trust me if I’m not myself willing to do the things I ask you to do!

As we continue to prime the company to shift its focus to working with nonprofit organizations, Harriet was extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to sit down with Betsy Uhrman, Senior Consultant at NPO Solutions. Ms. Uhrman has given us some fantastic insights into working with nonprofit organizations – this interview is a must read for anyone who is thinking about or already doing so! And for those of you just beginning your careers, she’s also got some good food for thought on how to get started and what you might expect once you go to work.

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Quiz: What kind of volunteer are you?

Team Of Volunteers Picking Up Litter In Suburban Street

When people first decide to volunteer for charity or a non-profit organization, they focus all their time and energy on picking the perfect cause. But in addition to picking an organization you believe in to volunteer for, you should also spend some time figuring out what you’d like to be doing there. Believe it or not, it might not be related to your job skills, education, or your usual role among your friends and family. Just because you are an accountant who helps all your loved ones with their taxes, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider picking up a hammer to help build a house. Volunteering can be a fantastic opportunity to broaden your horizons and do some of the things your personal and professional life may not allow.

It’s easy to be very gung ho about helping the world when you first start volunteering, but as career and family pressures kick in and leave little room for extra curricular activities, helping others can take a back seat. Charities need consistency, and one of the best ways to ensure that is to make sure the people working with them are enjoying themselves. Here is a quick quiz to help you decide what comes naturally to you and what kind of volunteer activities you might enjoy most.

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