Susan Inglis – Scottish Businesswoman in Nyon

In February 2015, businesswoman Susan Inglis posted a request on “Geneva Womenpreneurs”, a Facebook group for women running small businesses in the Geneva and the Vaud area. The request asked if they would like to meet up and have a chat about the challenges they faced. At that first meeting, 15 women arrived, they introduced themselves and their businesses, three months later they are now on their fourth “meet up” and the group continues to flourish.

Living in Nyon spoke to Susan to find out more about the Womenpreneurs’ group, Susan’s own business and how she is finding life in Switzerland after moving here from Scotland.

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Photo above – Susan Inglis – copyright Jane del Pozo Photography

Susan

“Before moving with my partner to Switzerland in 2012 (from Glasgow), our initial plan was to stay here for just two years but we knew within two days that we wanted to stay. Very quickly I knew I loved Nyon and felt at home immediately. I am originally from a small town like Nyon called Oban on the West Coast of  Scotland. Oban is a town surrounded by the sea and hills (see short video below) whereas Nyon with its lake and mountains, is equally beautiful.

I moved here with my partner for his job and as I knew I wasn’t going to meet anyone sitting at home, I joined Nyon tennis club.

I love tennis and through the club have built great friendships; there is a fantastic little community within the club. We try to support as much as we can with everything that is going on in Nyon: wine tasting at the château, Saturday food markets, outdoor cinema, great restaurants, music festivals, theatre and lots more, for a small town there is a lot happening.

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Learning French

Although I am used to speaking a second language (I learned Scots Gaelic at school), I really started as a beginner learning French so initially I took some private lessons and then moved on to group lessons organised by Ecole Club Migros. After six months of settling in and enjoying a fantastic summer here, I decided to give my existing business “The Purple Thistle” a try here in Switzerland. I create cushions, accessories and gifts using Scottish Harris Tweed, this material is steeped in heritage and woven by skilled and experienced artisans.

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Photo above – some of the Purple Thistle’s products

I had kept some of my original customers from the UK, but didn’t really develop anything until last year I ran a stall at my first market in Nyon. I met some great ladies at this market and we all attended the Christmas circuit of fairs together and became enthusiastic. Things then fell very quiet in January.  As I used to attend a monthly “makers” market in the West End of Glasgow, where we also visited  Edinburgh & St Andrews, I hadn’t realised how much I missed these markets and the opportunity to meet others in business.

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Photo above – Dog collars made with Harris Tweed

Forming a group for other business women

So at the end of January, I posted that comment out on the Womenpreneurs site  and I haven’t looked back. We now have our own group on Facebook with over 60 members and continue to help each other to develop our businesses! As that first event proved such a great success we realised that we all missed having a regular market to attend. Markets are essential for local creators and makers to develop relationships with their customers.

So myself and two other business women, Debbie Willis from “Bedes Beads” and Alison Philips-Pearce from “Brit Chic” began talking about how we could change this and UpMarket Markets was born, affectionately known as UMM! The first UpMarket Markets will be held at the

Hotel Beau Rivage in Nyon on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st May 2015 from 10:00 – 16:00 

All vendors have to either have made or designed their product to be able to join UMM. We have a great range of products and produce ranging from cushions to handbags, jewellery to children’s clothes, there is even a local farm which will be selling their produce on the day.  There will also be a children’s creative ‘Make & Take’ area and ‘Gateaux & Cadeaux’ where you can enjoy a coffee with a slice of homemade cake overlooking the lake at the same time!

So after three years in Nyon I really feel I am growing some roots here now. My little dog Belle loves it too, she comes everywhere with me. Who knows what the future will bring but I am certainly going to enjoy this town and Switzerland as much as I can!”

Swiss Entry to Eurovision Song Contest trained in Nyon – Interview with Mélanie René

On Saturday the 23rd May, the Eurovision Song Contest will celebrate its 60th anniversary and this year it will take place in Vienna, Austria. This Song Contest is one of the longest running television shows in the world and has an estimated viewing audience of 180 million! The first ever Eurovision Song Contest took place in Lugano, Switzerland, at the Teatro Kursaal, on the 24th of May, 1956. Celine Dion once represented Switzerland with her song “Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi” and she went on to win the contest for the country in 1988.

The Swiss entry to the contest for 2015 is Mélanie René with her song “My Time to Shine”.   Mélanie, originally from Mauritius, trained for seven years at a performing arts school at Les Atelier du Funambule in Nyon.

Pressebild Mélanie René  Mélanie René aus Genf vertritt mit dem Song «Time To Shine» die Schweiz am Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Wien Copyright: SRF/Oscar Alessio NO SALES NO ARCHIVES Die Veröffentlichung im Zusammenhang mit Hinweisen auf die Programme von Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen ist honorarfrei  und muss mit dem Quellenhinweis erfolgen. Jede weitere Verwendung ist honorarpflichtig, insbesondere auch der Wiederverkauf. Das Copyright bleibt bei Media Relations SRF. Wir bitten um Belegexemplare. Bei missbräuchlicher Verwendung behält sich das Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen zivil- und strafrechtliche Schritte vor.

Photo above – Mélanie René – Copyright – SRF Oscar Alessio

Sadly, the *school no longer exists, but Mélanie has fond memories of the place and of the town. When she was competing in the first step of the contest to represent Switzerland, Nyon and its landscape featured heavily in the background in her promotional video. Living in Nyon caught up with Mélanie for a short interview before she headed off to Austria for her big moment.

She will first perform at the Semi-Final 2 day on Thursday 21st May. If she passes this stage, she will be through to the final on Saturday night.

 Read on to find out why Mélanie elected Nyon to train in the performing arts and how she has fond memories of the town.

You chose to train at a theatre school in Nyon and spent many years there. Why did you chose this school and why Nyon?”

 Les Ateliers du Funambule was a pioneer school of performing arts in French Switzerland that helped young people develop their skills through sponsorships. It was a comprehensive training that included dance lessons as well as theatre, music theory, songwriting masterclasses, and singing lessons of course. I learnt so much from this school, and had so many opportunities that helped develop the singer songwriter that I am today.

 “What memories do you have of the town?”

 So many great ones, sunshine reflecting on the lake, the view from the castle, as well as the amazing pancakes next to the school and the lovely town where we used to go window shopping with the other students! After spending seven years in Nyon, 3 to 4 days a week, it feels like my home town somewhat!

Aubonne Cinema and Nyon by lake May 2013 062

“Are you always composing new songs in your head?” 

Yes, everything inspires me! It may be a word, a scenery, someone or even a feeling. I always have a pen and paper in my bag to write down ideas.

“Which other Swiss musicians/bands do you like to listen to?” 

I love Voxset (acapella group), Jyaleen, as well as Aya Waska, and Sebalter to name only a few.

Can you reveal  if there will be any  kind of Swiss element to your performance at Eurovision? (dress etc?) 

I can’t tell you much about the performance just yet I’m afraid, but I can tell you that everything we will bring onto the stage in Vienna will be representative of the song and it’s message!

Good luck Mélanie!

Pressebild Mélanie René  Mélanie René aus Genf vertritt mit dem Song «Time To Shine» die Schweiz am Eurovision Song Contest 2015 in Wien Copyright: SRF/Oscar Alessio NO SALES NO ARCHIVES Die Veröffentlichung im Zusammenhang mit Hinweisen auf die Programme von Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen ist honorarfrei  und muss mit dem Quellenhinweis erfolgen. Jede weitere Verwendung ist honorarpflichtig, insbesondere auch der Wiederverkauf. Das Copyright bleibt bei Media Relations SRF. Wir bitten um Belegexemplare. Bei missbräuchlicher Verwendung behält sich das Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen zivil- und strafrechtliche Schritte vor.

 

Photo above – Copyright SRF Oscar Alessio

 * The Funambule used to be situated in the basement of the Beau Rivage hotel.

Get to Know the Local wines – Open Wine Cellars this weekend in Vaud

If you are new to the area and would like to discover more about the local wines, or if you know the wines already and want a fun day out, the two “Caves Ouvertes” days on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th of May between 10:00 and 18:00 are an ideal opportunity to taste and drink local wine. To take part, just purchase a “passport” at the information desk at Rolle, Gland or Morges railway station or at the first winery you visit. For just CHF 15 you receive a souvenir wine glass, wine tasting from a wide choice of wine cellars and a free ride that operate between the cellars and Morges railway station. There is a full timetable of the free buses here. See the routing here

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Also, on this Sunday it’s the fabulous Navale parade in Rolle, this is when all the CGN “Belle Epoque” boats gather together and parade on the lake, ending in a grand choreography to music and  the release of thousands of balloons into the air from the boats. For full details see site here

En Mai etc and Naval parade Rolle 2011 A

 

 

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From Garden Fêtes to Naval Parades and Neighbours’ Day – Events in May

This weekend (on Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May ) it’s the Jardins en Fête which will be held in the park and grounds of the Château de Coppet. This event is dedicated to plants and the art of the garden and brings together gardening professionals all in one space. With over 130 exhibitors it is one of the biggest garden events in the region. Hester Macdonald from the Swiss Gardening School will also be at the show. Hester runs gardening courses in English throughout the year. See our post from 2014 when Living in Nyon attended one of her courses.

Jaridins en fete 2010

On Sunday 24th May, it’s the annual CGN Naval Parade and this year it will gather in Rolle from 10:00 – 19:00. The main choreography of boats will take place between 14:00 and 14:30 and can be seen from the quayside in Rolle. It’s an impressive sight when all the lovely Belle Epoque boats gather together in one place! See photos from last year.

En Mai etc and Naval parade Rolle 2011 A

On Friday 29th May it’s Neighbours’ Day in both Prangins and Nyon. If you have just arrived here and don’t yet know your neighbours, this event is an ideal time for neighbours to get together. Look out for posters in your building or community to see if anything is being organised in your area, if not, why not take the plunge and invite your neighbours over for an apéro to say “Bonjour!”  If you don’t live in Nyon or Prangins, click here to find out when and where the event is taking place in your area.

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The outdoor swimming pool in Nyon has now opened. In May, June and September it is open from 09:00-20:00 and in July and August from 09:00 to 20:30.

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Gourmet Tour of Nyon – New Guided Visit organised by Tourist Office

Nyon Tourism has recently added a new tour to its list of guided tours of the town and surrounding area. The “Gourmet Tour” aims to introduce visitors and newly arrived residents to locally produced food. The tour begins with a couple of “taster” stops at local businesses followed by a light meal with wine at a typical Vaudois restaurant.

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The tour begins with an explanation by a tourist guide of the different varieties of fish that can be found in the lake and that can be consumed. This is then followed by a stop in a local butcher for a taste of dried meats and an explanation of the produce on offer, followed by a trip to the local cheesemonger with a tasting of a selection of local cheeses.

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The trip then moves through the town with a short stop by the statue of Julius Caesar where you can hear about the kind of food that was eaten in Nyon during Roman times!

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The end of the tour finishes in a local restaurant for a light meal and wine and a convivial atmosphere!  The tour runs every Thursday at 18:00 during May, June and September, reservations necessary (two days in advance). The tour costs 38 CHF and last approximately two hours and can be conducted in French, English, German, Swiss German, Italian and Spanish.

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This tour is one of many others that Nyon tourism has on its itinerary, others include “Julius Caesar in Nyon”, “In the Traces of Tin Tin” tour, and more.  For more information, contact Heidi Müller at Nyon Tourism via email –   info@nrt.ch. You can contact her in English in your email.

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