Ladies Who Impress events celebrate women – their talents, achievements and stories. At every celebration we meet three fascinating women from diverse backgrounds, interviewed by Jana Bakunina. Each celebration is also a social gathering of interested, like-minded women. Join us, celebrate and get inspired with Ladies Who Impress!
This time the theme of the celebration is Beyond Boundaries. All three guests have been brought up abroad but came to Britain to develop their talents, make names for themselves and shine. Their stories are an inspiration of how these women went beyond their comfort zones, stretched the boundaries of their own ambitions and pursued their goals with gusto.
On the night Jana Bakunina will interview three Ladies Who Impress:
Kristjana S Williams was brought up in Iceland. She came to London to study graphic design and illustration at Central St Martins. Kristjana started her career as a Creative Director of a cult Soho boutique and fashion label Beyond the Valley.
In 2012 she opened her own studio and began creating fine art, prints and furniture. Kristjana exhibited her work at London’s V&A, Design Shanghai, created art work for the Connaught Hotel and homeware collections for Heal’s, Liberty and Cole & Son.
Her work is deeply influenced by her childhood in Iceland: amidst long, dark winters and bleak landscapes Kristjana dreamt of magical creatures, exotic flowers and vibrant colours. Her art pieces juxtapose stark graphics with bountifully colourful collages of photographs, Victorian engravings, leaves and feathers.
Her recent awards include D&AD and a First Prize in the New York Festivals Grand Prix. She was shortlisted for Cannes Lions Advertising Awards and Clio Awards in 2014.
Canadian-born Kresse Westling studied Politics and Chinese at McGill University in Montreal. She got her first job in Hong Kong, working in venture capital. Kresse has always been interested in environment, and her first own venture was a start-up, producing biodegradable supplies for the catering industry.
Kresse met her now fiancé Elvis and moved to the UK. In 2005 she attended a course on sustainability where she came across the London Fire Brigade. She learned that after 25 years of service, fire hoses were scrapped, rather than recycled. Kresse and Elvis came up with an idea to ‘upcycle’ discarded fire hoses into high-end lifestyle accessories and give fifty per cent of profits to the Fire Fighters Charity. Elvis & Kresse was born.
In 2013 the multi-award winning entrepreneur, Kresse, was awarded a MBE for services to corporate social responsibility. Her ambition is to convert the whole world into a circular economy, reusing and ‘upcycling’ what we have.
Nancy Honey was born in the US where she studied Fine Art in Oregon and San Francisco before coming to Britain in 1970s. She has been photographing for more than 30 years and started exhibiting her work in 1984.
Her photographs have been widely published and exhibited internationally. Nancy’s pictures are in many public and private collections, and her commercial work includes editorial, corporate, advertising and private commissions. She also is a past Fellow of the National Museum of Photography Film and Television and has lectured both in the US and in the UK, and published four monographs, including Woman to Woman, Entering the Masquerade and Poodle Parlour.
In 2011 she launched a project 100 Leading Ladies, photographing and interviewing (with the journalist Hattie Garlick) some of Britain’s influential senior women, over the age of 55. Thirteen of the portraits were purchased by the National Portrait Gallery in 2013 and displayed in a small group exhibition of recent acquisitions. The complete work was shown at Somerset House in 2014. Nancy funded the project herself, selling the house and moving into a flat in the process. The photos and interviews with her 100 heroines are captured in a stunning, timeless book, which will be available for purchase at the event and online.
This celebration will take place at The University Women’s Club in Mayfair. Come early to have a drink at the cash bar and enjoy complimentary nibbles, before the main event starts at 7.30pm. Women and men are both welcome to come along!
Members of the Ladies Who Impress Club enjoy a 50% discount on celebrations. Feel free to join the Club before you buy your ticket and you’ll receive a discount code along with your welcome letter. If you are 21 and under, get in touch with me to receive a 21% discount.