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!”

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.

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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.

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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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Swimming Lessons over Easter, Job hunting for the over 45’s, Local Church Services

 Swimming Lessons over the Easter holidays and throughout the year

Clinique La Lignière in Gland is offering both group and individual swimming lessons over the Easter holidays in its indoor swimming pool. Courses run throughout the year and during school holidays. This clinic and the swimming pool is set in lovely grounds and is situated just beyond the town of Gland.

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The clinic also offers Aquagym classes, it has a gym, jacuzzi, sauna, offers personal training and massages for both relaxation, back treatment etc. Click here for more details

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Job Hunting for the over 45s in Switzerland

Swiss Info has recently featured an interesting article on job hunting for the over 45’s in Switzerland. Entitled  “Too old to be hired, too young to retire” it highlights the difficulty of job hunting for older workers and how that only 1% of Swiss job ads are aimed at people over 45.  Click here for the full article

Local Church Services 

La Côte church (in Gingins and Divonne) is holding services in English over the Easter period. Click here  for their weekly bulletin.

Westlake church (in Nyon and Lausanne) also has a programme of Easter services. Click here 

Open House at the Geneva English School – Saturday 14th March

The Geneva English School, set in lovely grounds in picturesque Genthod with view of the lake and Mont Blanc, is holding an Open Day on Saturday 14th March from 09:30 – 12:00.

The school is a not-for-profit co-educational international school for children aged 3 to 11. The Open Day is is an ideal opportunity to visit the school, see the classrooms, talk to the headmaster and find out about the school’s curriculum which is based on the English National Curriculum and which includes a strong French programme for all groups throughout the week.

It’s also a good opportunity to check out the Library Learning Centre with its cosy new reading room which was opened by children’s author Anne Fine in October last year.  Register here

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Photo above – A room with a view and a choice of children’s books!

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Online reading and a cosy sofa!

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