Stoke-on-Trent-based businesswomen Linda Faulkner has recently celebrated her 70th birthday, but is still heavily involved in three successful family businesses, spanning beauty, construction and storage, all three firms were created from Linda’s home in Talke and now operate on a national scale
Linda Faulkner is a force to be reckoned with. A mother, grandmother, successful entrepreneur and captain of Endon Tennis Club, she’s done it all over the past 70 years and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.
She’s helped build three businesses from the ground up, including Talke-based beauty business, SkinBase, which is the UK’s leading provider of microdermabrasion treatments; industrial machinery hire firm Keith Faulkner Ltd; and commercial storage business Store Safe Midlands Ltd.
Having just celebrated her 70th birthday, Linda, who has always lived in Talke, is known for working 14-hour days, seven days a week in order to get her ventures off the ground. In her first job she was told she was wasted working for someone else and it was a statement that inspired her to forge her own path in business.
Her first enterprise, Keith Faulkner Ltd, an industrial installations and removal company, started when Linda and her husband decided to postpone their wedding and instead buy a crane to become a start-up business. Within six months, they were a success, purchasing wagons and working with some on the UK’s best-known names in construction.
Linda said: “It’s wonderful to have reached 70 and still have the same drive and passion that I had at the beginning of my career. My working life has always been so important to me and I count myself incredibly lucky to have achieved so much professionally, but also to have been blessed with a wonderful family life with my husband, Keith, two children and four grandchildren.
“Since starting in business with my husband back in 1972, I’ve worked incredibly hard to make our family ventures a success. Keith and I made a great partnership and though he’s now retired, we’ve both always loved the thrill of business and have learnt so much about entrepreneurship over our decades in the business.
“Mostly, I’ve learnt that the customer is always right, and you have to take your time building relationships in order to make them work for you. It’s so important to be nice to people – there are employees, including my secretary Faye, who have been with the Faulkner family businesses for more than 40 years.
“It’s something I’m incredibly proud of, but I know they’ve stuck around because we’ve provided a nice working environment and they see that all of the management team are willing to chip in to get the job done. If a toilet needs cleaning, and I’m the only one available, I’ll clean it. Business is about sharing the successes but also the workload.”
Hers is an entrepreneurial spirit which she’s passed on to her two children, Richard and Leesa, who now run SkinBase from a business unit in Talke. The firm has just celebrated winning an industry accolade after being named Best Advanced Treatment at the National Beauty Awards.
“I’m really proud of my children and their drive to build on our businesses and create companies of their own based on their experience and passion. Our family dynamic has been integral to our success and I know we can always rely on each other to push our ventures forward.
“I truly believe people are born with entrepreneurial spirit and I see it in my children, and even grandchildren every day. It’s built in you and is probably one of the reasons I won’t be slowing down any time soon!”