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.

Suz & Belle

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.

dogs and row of fabric

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.

Dog collar and beads

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!”

Tulips in Morges and Traffic in Nyon

Tulips in Morges

The Tulip festival has now officially begun in Morges and continues until the 17th May. Once the flowers are in full bloom they are a magnificent sight to see, you can check on the current status of the tulips by looking at the section called “Evolution of the Blooming” on the festival site  – click here  It looks like there is not long to go before the tulips emerge!

Tulips A

Traffic on Alfred Cortot Street in Nyon

Recently introduced traffic measures on the Avenue Alfred Cortot, (the main street which feeds into the centre of Nyon), have met with considerable opposition from some of Nyon’s political parties.  The traffic-flow moderation measures which were put in place to slow down vehicular traffic, encourage cycling and give priority to buses, have been the subject of many animated discussions amongst locals and councillors alike. Recently, four  political parties, the PIN, PLR, UDC and VL  put forward a “postulate” (an official request to the Municipality or city executive)  to do something about the “slalom” situation on the road. The Municipality has replied to the city council that the measures put in place are legal and that it does not consider any changes necessary.  A commission of the city council is now evaluating this reply and will recommend its acceptance or refusal by the city council (or both, if there is a majority and minority report).

Tulips Rolle 2011

Cardigans to play at Caribana, Ben l’Oncle Soul, Parov Stelar and more

Caribana has announced the line up for this year’s festival which will take place along the lakeside near Crans près Celigny from the 3rd to 7th June 2015.

Caribana 2011 Ist night Crowd

Photo above – Caribana, by the lake and under the trees. C Nelson-Pollard

Among other artists scheduled to play at this summer festival are Swedish band “The Cardigans”, see video below of their 1998 hit “My Favourite Game” from their album Gran Turismo.

The Cardigans

Photo above – The Cardigans, courtesy Caribana

Also on the programme are Kill it Kid, Marilyn Manson, Metronomy, Ben l’Oncle Soul, see video below of track “Hallelujah!” and Austrian band Parov Stelar with a mix of pop, soul, jazz and swing. See video below with their track “Jimmy’s Gang”.  Full line up here.

Parov Stelar

Photo above – Parov Stelar Band, courtesy Caribana

Tickets now for sale. Note: There are early bird prices on offer for Feb/ March and in April/ May.

Let’s hope the weather is warm and cardigans won’t be needed to watch The Cardigans!   More on Caribana and the other bands coming up on this site.

The Cardigans – “My Favourite Game”

Parov Stelar – “Jimmy’s Game”

Ben l’Oncle Soul – “Hallelujah!”

Big Brocante this weekend, “Hairspray” musical next week, 1st night Luna Classics a success

It’s the annual big Brocante this  Saturday and Sunday in Nyon and it’s also the Fête des Pirates! Take a free trip on the lake on the piarate’s Nyolue boat! Stands, food and fun. Details here Note it is also the last few days of the open air cinema in Nyon. The film showing tonight Friday 22nd August is “The Giver” starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges. Details here Pirates On the 29th -31st August the Really Youthful Group’s production of “Hairspray” will be performed in Nyon. “Hairspray” is a social commentary on the injustices of American society in the 1960s. Plump teenager Tracy Turnblad’s dream is to dance on a local TV dance programme. When our unlikely heroine wins a role on the show, she becomes a celebrity  overnight and meets a colourful array of characters. She then  launches a campaign  to  break down the rules of segregation in force in American society at that time. At the heart of the struggle for civil rights is a black family who play a central role in the story and sing one of its most famous songs. Traditionally, Tracy’s mother, Edna Turnblad, is portrayed by a male actor.

The Broadway production won eight Tony Awards in 2003 and  ran for  over 2,500  performances.  In 2007 it was adapted as a musical film, starring Zac Efron and Michelle  Pfeifer, and in 2010 commenced a successful run on London’s West End. The  production is acted and directed entirely by the GAOS Really Youthful Group. More details here

Hairspray

 The first night of Luna Classics saw almost a full house to hear pianist Nelson Goerner, and clarinettist and conductor Paul Meyer, perform under the big Luna tent in Nyon. Founder and director of the festival Hazeline Van Swaay Hoog, began the evening by thanking the town of Nyon for agreeing to host the prestigious festival. She also remarked that even though there had been a few teething problems (getting the whole event set up in the transition between St Prex and Nyon), she felt they had pulled it off and she was looking forward to the next 12 days of music, dance and theatre.  See here for the full programme and for ticket details.

Helpful tip for those going to Luna Classics. It can be a little chilly towards the end of the evening under the tent, take a wrap, sweater or jacket to be comfortable. Photos below scenes form the 1st night under the tent!

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 Photo above – director Hazeline Van Sway Hoog welcoming the audience IMG_4243 Paul Meyer and Pedro Franco-Lopez IMG_4251 Elisabeth Meyer – Soprano IMG_4262 Argentinian pianist, Nelson Goerner IMG_4269 IMG_4284 IMG_4295

Stage set for Luna Classics, FAR festival underway and Jval Rock Festival next week

The Luna Tent has now been installed alongside the château of Nyon and the stage is set for the start of Luna Classics, the prestigious classical music and arts festival which will run from the 19th – 31st August in the town. The opening night’s performance under the big “moon” tent will be Nelson Goerner on piano, Paul Meyer on clarinette with the Menuhin academy soloists and young talents of 2013 . There are still tickets available for some of the main events and for performances in the Temple of Nyon. Tickets for concerts in the Temple start at just 30 CHF. IMG_3751

Meanwhile, the annual festival of living arts (FAR) began in Nyon on the 13th August and continues until the 23rd at different venues around the town.  This year the festival celebrates its 30th anniversary. For the full programme see here Photo below  – FAR parade in the old town of Nyon. FAR 2014

Next week the last of the local summer music festivals, the “Jval” Open Air rock and music festival will take place on the 28, 29 and 30th of August in the lovely setting of the vineyards in Les Serraux Dessus (near Begnins). Free navettes (buses) will be provided from both Gland and Nyon to this festival,  parking at the festival is restricted and car sharing is encouraged!  See here for map and times of buses. affiche_jval_2014-212x300   A variety of acts are on the line up from the rock of Belgian band BRNS to Polar. See full programme here. Video below – Polar with ” I want your soul”