Garnet PR Founder Rhiannon Bates is Empowering a Female-led Business Revolution
Rhiannon Bates has worked in the PR industry for a decade, alongside household names including the legendary Sir David Attenborough
Tell us about yourself.
I’m Rhiannon, founder and director of Garnet PR – a boutique PR and coaching agency based in Yorkshire, but making magic globally by supporting purpose-led female coaches and entrepreneurs. As well as being a business, mindset and PR coach, I’m also PR consultant to a wildlife charity – which is my passion! I ride horses as much as I can and I’m a total advocate for escaping to the country. I cherish my weekends off – you’ll either find me relaxing with my other half, Tom, and our cavapoo, Teddy at home, or out and about in the Yorkshire countryside walking or riding my horse.
How did Garnet PR get started?
I had been dreaming about my own business for several years, but it wasn’t until I was on a safari in Tanzania in 2017 that I really started to believe it could be possible. When I was in London, I’d often chat with a friend about supporting independent, rural businesses that I loved. It was moving to Yorkshire and having the support of Tom which enabled me to go for it in 2019. I was working in an agency at that point and not really enjoying the corporate world. So I looked at everything I loved and was passionate about – nature, making the world a better place and supporting other women in business. Garnet PR grew from there, originally supporting just women-led, rural lifestyle and tourism businesses. Now, we support any women-led businesses that are making a positive impact on the world.
Why is it important for you to work with female entrepreneurs?
I want to make positive mindsets, building businesses and PR accessible and achievable for all women – it’s a core value of what we do. I love helping them to find and use their voices, to develop their confidence and to help them see that anything is possible. It’s a far cry from the workplace bullying I’ve experienced, so I feel strongly that women should support each other and not step on each other to climb to the top. When we support each other, we create a ripple effect that inspires others and shows them that anything is possible for them too.
Last year you suffered an extreme burnout – how did this experience shape your work and life in general?
At the start of the first lockdown I lost 95 percent of my clients in two weeks, which was devastating. This was what caused my burnout accident – I worked so hard trying to survive and keep the business going that I eventually just hit a wall and I passed out holding a just-boiled kettle. Spending three weeks in hospital in isolation at the height of a pandemic was terrifying – it was this that made me realise I needed to make massive changes. That’s when I hired a business coach, expanded my niche and leant very heavily into mindset work. I switched up my business model, focusing on coaching other women using the mindset skills I have acquired and my decade of PR experience. I also began to hire, and now my team are like my family – I adore them! While the business is like my baby, my accident also made me realise there needs to be balance. We’ve moved to the countryside, away from the city suburb, and we’re building a long-term life we love. For me, lockdown presented more challenges than expected and made me realise how important finding some semblance of balance is to find true fulfilment and happiness – burnout is not the price you have to pay for success!
Tell us about your time as a PR and celebrity manager – and who did you manage?
I started my career at the Woodland Trust as a PR Assistant and then moved onto ZSL London Zoo, establishing both charities’ first ever celebrity engagement and ambassador strategy. I’ve worked with some of the biggest names on the planet, including Judi Dench, David Attenborough, Bill Bailey, Dermot O’Leary, Geri Halliwell, Little Mix, Ben Fogle – the list goes on!I loved this role so much – harnessing the power of fame and profile to do good in the world, giving a voice to animals and the environment, which can’t speak for themselves but so desperately need us to be their champions. This is still my absolute passion!
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement to date is without a doubt setting up Garnet PR. After a decade spent working for other people and experiencing toxic working environments – going it alone has been the best thing I ever did. Recovering from my accident and rebuilding the business from scratch in 2020 is also a huge achievement. It was a really traumatic experience, but staying positive throughout all the trauma and uncertainty is definitely something I am grateful for and celebrate.
What advice do you have for any budding female entrepreneurs?
Setting up your own business will always be scary, and there are unknowns almost every day! I think that’s the entrepreneurial way of life. The biggest game-changer for me was finding mindset work, learning about the Law of Attraction and dedicating time and energy to developing a positive, success mindset. If we can master our mindset and get it working for us, not against us, the way we see setbacks, challenges and the unknown changes. Also, I highly recommend hiring a coach from day one!
What are your hopes for the future?
Professionally, the business is growing rapidly which means we can help more women to believe in themselves and achieve what they desire. I’m so excited to see what other incredible businesses we can support this year and beyond. It really feels like this is golden age of female entrepreneurs – which is so exciting to us!
Personally, my partner and I are about to take on a massive renovation to our house and Covid also meant we had to postpone our wedding until next year, so we’ll be preparing for that which I’m super excited for. Also, as soon as the world opens we can’t wait to travel – and that’s the beauty of the business, it gives me the freedom to work from anywhere if I choose. And that’s what it’s all about – freedom, fun and creating a life we love.