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Danielle Holmes

Danielle Holmes, of Black Nova Designs, shares what's been happening in February!

As February dawns and Valentine’s Day approaches, February is known as the month of love – or historically a month of ‘new beginnings’. It’s also the 3rd month of winter and 2024 is a Leap Year so February has an extra day.

Today we're talking to Danielle Holmes who is Sales and Marketing Director at Black Nova Designs, a web design and hosting company based in Calne, Wiltshire.

What do you love about running your own business or your role?
The most rewarding part of running my own business is how much it really helps our clients. Sometimes that’s because the website we have designed enables them to sell their products or services successfully, or having reliable, professional emails helps their business thrive. Other times it’s because we’ve provided truly honest support and advice that they’ve struggled to find elsewhere. 

Another reason I love running my own business is because it means I can be there for my kids. When they are sick, when they have sports day or yet another morning assembly, I can be there without having to ask permission for time off. My kids come first and running my own business means I can be there.

And finally, running my own business means I meet so many different people. Over the past nine years I’ve crossed paths with people I would never have met before such as the businessman Theo Paphitis, Olympic gold medallist Laura Collet and leading event rider Ollie Townsend, along with so many incredible small business owners. It’s a privilege to get to share this crazy journey with hundreds of other like-minded people.

What do you love about your business community/sector/or where you live? 
Well, the IT Industry can be a bit of a man's world, but what I love most is that I can make this tech stuff easy to understand. I might not be the expert that my staff are in coding and tech support, but I understand it enough to explain to people in terms that we can all understand. I love explaining the importance of it and why this industry really is life changing. 

The community and support network we have built over the years is just incredible, we have been through some huge ups and downs and having the right support network really does make all the difference. 

Is Valentine’s Day a ‘thing’ for you in your business?
Valentines’ Day is my husband and fellow business owner Kyle’s birthday, so we always celebrate it with a day off and away from the office! 

Is Valentine’s Day a ‘thing’ for you in your life?
Because it’s Kyle’s birthday, instead of celebrating the day in the same way as everyone else – cards, roses, chocolates etc – we spoil him and celebrate however he wants to. That’s fine by me, as we are lucky to spend a lot of time together and don’t need a special day to mark our relationship. 

Is it your birthday this month?
As it happens, it was my birthday on the 8th of February – Kyle and I in the same week. We have a rule in our office that no one works on their birthday and that includes the boss. I love indulging in a spa day as I find it hugely relaxing and a wonderful break from the computer screen. One of my favourite local spas to visit is Whatley Manor, but there are many other wonderful places to go to as well.

We have an extra day this month. How will you be using your ‘extra’ day?
On the 29th of February, Kyle and I will be visiting a local primary school for a careers day, which I think is an excellent way to spend the extra day! We’ll be showing the kids the parts of a PC, how to build a gaming PC and, if they’re interested in a career in tech, chatting about that. Websites and coding are very difficult to discuss, which is why our IT support knowledge is so useful  and we’re proud to be able to help guide the children.

February 4 was World Cancer Day – does this mean anything to you? 
It does. A family friend of ours, a young boy called Toby Richardson, is the most incredible lad you’ll ever meet. 

In June 2021 Toby was finishing his final year of primary school and loved PE and playing rugby in Royal Wootton Bassett’s Under 11s team. He was beginning to struggle with his balance and this rapidly led to him completely losing control of his lower body. An MRI scan revealed a cancerous tumour wrapped around his spinal cord that spanned two-thirds of its length.

Toby endured a gruelling 8-hour operation where the surgeon could only remove 70% of the tumour because they didn’t want to affect his upper body function so Toby will continue to receive regular scans to monitor the tumour’s growth. He spent 2 months rehabilitating in hospital and was told he would be wheelchair-bound for life. Toby’s strength and determination has seen him adapt to his new way of life and he was keen to carry on playing sport.

Toby and his family show us every day that things can change in a blink of an eye, and their strength is incredible. He was cracking jokes even when in hospital, we really admire how even though the whole family’s life was turned upside down in an instant they keep going and show so much resilience, and smile every day. Toby you are amazing, and we wish you all the best in the wheelchairs sports you have coming up!

Toby has been accepted on the junior development programme for Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby (GBWR) and hopes to fulfil his dream of playing for Team GB very soon.

Royal Wootton Bassett boy ready to get back to sport after life-changing tumour | Swindon Advertiser

Royal Wootton Bassett RFC - Help Toby access sport (rwbrfc.club)

February 17 was Random Acts of Kindness Day – has anyone shown you, or your business, a random act of kindness over the last year? 
This past year has been filled with some unexpected curve balls and sometimes it's about the people that stay around and support you when the chips are down that matter the most, kindness comes in all shapes and forms. Naming each and every person who have been there for the past 12 months would be crazy but to name a few: Victoria Malcolm from Claydon Leveret, without Vix our business would not have stayed as consistent, professional and visible as you may be all used to, Tara Best for always being the most supportive friend, Jasmine Punter for dragging me to the gym twice a week even if I am almost always late and Fiona Scott for being you - there is no one you would rather have in your corner than Fiona! 

Are there any key moments or events within your business that you’d like to share during February?
We don’t have anything coming up in February but, as usual, this is the time of year when we start planning our exhibition calendar ahead of time. May will see us at Badminton Horse Trials, and we have booked a bigger stand this year so we’re working hard to make it really appealing. We’re excited to be exhibiting at The Game Fair for the first time and heading back to the Royal Bath and West Show, Gatcombe Horse Trials and then Blenheim in September. Our aim is to make IT an approachable and more accessible industry because it has a reputation for being a bit faceless. That’s why we take the trade stand everywhere we can – people can come see us, ask questions and learn about tech without the scary jargon! 

Anything else you’d like to say? 
I’d advise people with business websites to review their hosting provider. Is it fast and secure? Can you get hold of support when you need to? Is it powered by green energy? Our sustainable, eco-friendly hosting starts at just £84 +vat per year and we offer a free transfer to our services. We can host any website - even if you don’t have a WordPress website, it can still be moved to our hosting.
 

For more information visit https://blacknovadesigns.co.uk

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs

Black Nova Designs is a professional, affordable, I.T. company.

Redman Road, Porte Marsh Ind Est , Calne, Wiltshire, SN11 9PL

Fiona Scott Media Consultancy Swindon

Scott Media

Scott Media is run by a UK-based journalist with more than 20 years' experience in the media - print, radio and television.

6 Gold View, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN5 8GZ

Black Nova Designs
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