Gwen Holbrey is the owner and head instructor of The Watermelon Studios. As a child, she grew up trying multiple styles of dance and went on to complete a degree in Drama. After attending pole classes and becoming head instructor for another school, she took the plunge and opened her own business. Her studio quickly became a Scottish success story, coming second in the Off The Pole best studio awards and attracting pole artists from all over the world, visiting to teach exclusive workshops. The school also attracts world class sports photographers looking to shoot both Gwen and her Watermelon ‘Pips’ (students).
With classes booked to capacity every week, Gwen has just opened her second school, introducing Zumba, Body Blitz and Yoga alongside her famous pole classes. Most recently, The Watermelon Studio was the first pole studio to get to the final of the Edinburgh Business Awards 2018, and proudly took home the Community Award.
Irina and Marina Skvortsova are a Russian sister duo who create unique and conversation starting dolls for both adults and children. The pair divide the roles of their business, with Marina creating the dolls, and Irina designing the costumes. The popularity of their dolls stems from the meticulous levels of craftsmanship behind each one – with the ladies paying particular attention to current beauty and fashion trends.
The sisters have recently gained recognition for their collaboration with clothing designer Anna Gavruishina, producing mini replicas of Anna’s ‘Girls just wanna have fun’ collection for their dolls. They have also participated in several exhibits across Russia, including the recent Moscow Doll Show.
The Barefoot Backpacker (real name Ian) is a travel writer and blogger hailing from Nottinghamshire, UK. He specialises in solo travel, focusing predominantly on routes that are off the beaten track. His posts cover both UK and worldwide locations, his niche being that he only ever carries hand luggage. His writing appeals widely to those who carry his same deep appreciation for the history and has previously been published by Bradt Guides.
With a vast experience of travel under his belt, The Barefoot Backpacker is a host for the popular weekly Twitter chat The Road Less Travelled. Ian is currently working on a book documenting his adventures in West Africa, which will run alongside him making his second trip around the world.
Zoya Patel is a writer, editor and public speaker. In 2014, she founded online feminist literature and arts journal Feminartsy, after four years as Editor-In-Chief of Lip Magazine – an online magazine that aims to provide intelligent, thoughtful content to young women. She has been writing about feminist issues since the age of 15 and has had work published in multiple publications. Zoya was highly commended in the Scribe Publishing Non-Fiction Prize 2015, was the 2014 recipient of the Anne Edgeworth Young Writers’ Fellowship, and was named the 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year.
With Feminartsy as a platform, Zoya’s goal is to raise the profile of women’s voices in the media. The site has gained her the Canberra Critics Circle award in the category of ‘Writing’, with credit to her for creating a platform for women writers. Zoya is set to release her debut book, No Country Woman, this year. Read More