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Need a cheerleader?

Clare Percival, Reigate Tribe Boss and local business owner, spills the beans on why Reigate needs a new women's networking group and where she goes to work, drink and play.

Step away from your LinkedIn – there’s a new social network for women in town. Tribe Night is the cool new networking event where women meet up with other hard-working women, quaff a wine and hear how everyone spins those plates.

Set up in Reigate at the end of last year by Clare Percival, a life and business coach and small business owner, Tribe Nights are mini-eco systems of encouragement and empowerment for women. They’re part of the Women’s Business Club – a group that aims to inspire and empower women in business, while also offering practical support, mentoring and training.

Tribe Nights are hosted by Clare every month at the Vineking Tasting Rooms – and as well as the networking and socialising there’s also a Power Hour where a female speaker will her share business knowledge or expertise. Tribe Nights have also launched in Surbiton this month, and in Surrey you’ll also find a Tribe in Richmond.

Clare was drawn to the role of Tribe Boss – yep, that’s what they’re called – because she felt there was a need for a friendly and inviting networking group where women could make strong connections and collaborations, socialise and share support. And it fits in perfectly with her existing business, Now It’s All About Me.

The Reigate Tribe Night launch, where Muddy Stilettos Surrey editor Amber Evans – yep, yours truly – was guest speaker. Photos courtesy of Katy Brown at Rejuvenating Joy

Why do women head to a Reigate Tribe Night after hard day’s grind instead of home to their PJ’s?

To meet up and collaborate with like-minded women all looking at moving their businesses forward and improving the lives of those around them. The women who attend Tribe Nights all know the ‘WHY’ behind setting up in business, which is a great motivator, even on a wet winter’s evening! Members comment that you never feel like you being sold to, but everyone who attends is looking to grow both personally and professionally and support other women do the same – and that’s a real tribe mentality. So many collaborations have already been created and we had some powerful stories of support for one another. Tribe members leave feeling energised, inspired and ready for business the next day. Oh and a cheeky glass of vino on a school night is always a winner.


You’ve been going for just a couple of months and from what I saw it’s going great guns, what’s next?

Thanks Amber, you felt the atmosphere at the Tribe, it was everything I imagined and more. I am a believer that it is not about the quantity, but the right people attending the tribe to truly gain the benefits that are on offer. Everyone gets a chance to deliver a short narrative of who they are and what they do, exchange cards, help new attendees work out the wine machines and be content being themselves in their business. You will find me sharing my knowledge and tips on frequently-asked business problems as I work in a solution-focused coaching method. I am also generous with my time and nuggets of ‘know how’s’ I feel passionately about nurturing what we have, continuing the great connections and looking at 2020 as the year of the Tribe – every first Wednesday of the month.


What type of women are attracted to the Tribe Nights. 

A real Dolly Mixture, from start-ups to established businesses. It hasn’t attracted many of the franchises and MLM’s, the majority of women have started from scratch and do absolutely everything by themselves. A mixture of service- and product-based industries. This is another reason to network at the tribe as it helps beat isolation in your own self-employed world, especially if you are an extrovert and need people or an introvert and need to know of a safe place to feel comfortable, but still get your voice heard.


What are the biggest challenges women face in business that men don’t seem to have?

Time!! I live by my 90 day planner which chunks down into daily scheduling, it sounds harsh, but I no longer suffer from overwhelm as everything and I mean everything gets time blocked, including my favourite ‘ME’ time! I now teach how to do this both in life and business. It is a game changer.

As women, we are often still the main responsibility for child care, juggling not only the school or college week, but everything else that goes with it. It’s the years’ worth of muddy football kits or bomb shells that are dropped onto your lap at the last minute, just when you have an important meeting to prepare for, or training program to write. You’d think having older children means it gets easier, and it does a bit, but it just shifts into different demands.


Where do you escape when you want to work away from the office?

Working from home is a double edged sword, a cheap commute but a goldmine for distractions. When I need the creative space to work ‘on’ my business and not ‘in’ it, I will grab a journal, pen, sometimes my laptop and head down to Goring-by-sea or lose myself in the shops of Reigate and turn a coffee shop into my office. In the summer, I often meet with clients outdoors and we have our coaching session ‘al-fresco’, it produces amazing results being outside


And when you want to escape from it all?

The benefits of being qualified in a variety of different practices including NLP, is that you can escape from work anywhere and at any time as you have the ability to switch off and visualise. Failing that I love the theatre, especially if it involves music, visits to my spiritual home in Stoupa, Greece, where you can find me under a pile of Brene Brown books or a trip out to one of the many beautiful spots around the Surrey countryside. Favourite day would be a muddy walk to The Skimmington Castle with a group of our wonderful friends spending the afternoon chatting, laughing and recharging those life batteries.

Tribe Nights are held in Reigate on the first Wednesday of each month from 7.30-9.30pm. Annual membership is £150.

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