Jacqui Meskell, Huggnote – A Finalist in the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award Category
25th April 2022
Over the coming weeks, we will be introducing you to our WMB Award Finalists. Ultimately there will be one winner in each of our five Award categories, to be announced at our Conference & Awards on May 16th. If you’d like to attend our Conference & Awards, you can book now>>
Here, we introduce you to Jacqui Meskell, Huggnote.com – a finalist in the Matheson WMB Female Entrepreneur Award category.
Title and Company Name
Founder and CEO of Huggnote
Sector & size of operation
Tech in the area of Music/Messaging. We launched the Beta version of our offering back in 2018.
You originally hail from
Single or relationship
Single but unavailable (married to start-up)! 😊
What is the best part of your job
The best part of my job right now is the freedom I have every day to create the sort of company I believe the world needs right now. Being a founder means that you get to manifest a vision that you have – in my case a global tech brand that epitomises kindness. No two days are the same. No path is laid out. It’s all a creative process and that’s very exciting.
And the most challenging
The best and worst parts are two sides of the same coin because exciting as it is not knowing what the future holds – it can also be scary. You literally create each stepping stone as you cross them. I have great mentors who can provide guidance but when you’re building a category-creating company there is no roadmap. As a founder/CEO it’s all on you to figure it out. I try to prioritise self-care – I practice yoga and mediate every day.
Your definition of success
My definition of success is to have no regrets.
Losing people close to me in my life really impressed upon me how short life is and how important it is to chase your dreams. Living this way requires bravery and a willingness to take risks – and of course taking care of yourself, mentally, physically and spiritually.
My nephew recently designed a ‘super-hero’ costume for me and it was pink and had a big heart at the centre. I asked what my superpower was and he said: ‘your heart because you have so much love’. It really touched me that he saw me that way.
In business – kindness has long been under-rated as a leadership trait but I think we’re seeing a huge shift around that now. Plus, I’m an exceptional strategist so can always see a way forward, a critical skill as a founder.
Linked to my previous answer, seeing all the angles means that I also tend to overthink scenarios and am learning to listen to my intuition more (especially as a woman!) and just trust that there are no wrong decisions – just alternative routes.
Biggest ‘win’ to date
When I took that huge leap of quitting my management consultancy job to start Huggnote it was literally terrifying. There was no way of knowing how things would go. So taking this idea I had and turning it into a globally scaling success with users in 205 countries feels like such an accomplishment. Getting feedback from users about how they cried when they got their hugg – or how we helped them mend a relationship is the biggest highlight for sure
Who Inspires you the most
Women who build authentic companies and succeed by being themselves – especially when they break through not just glass but class ceilings. It’s so important that as women we celebrate each other.
Name two things on your ‘bucket list’
•To live in Paris at some stage – I lived there when I was 19 and always planned to go back.
•Getting to ring that IPO bell (finger’s crossed) with my sister and co-founder, Perry.
What does it mean for you to be a woman in business today
I feel so privileged to be doing what I’m doing but also I have a responsibility to inspire others because we need more women at the table – especially in tech.
Best advice to pass on.
My Gran, who was an amazing woman used to say to ‘win gold and wear it’ and I think it’s great advice because women in particular have a tendency to downplay our strengths or achievements to accommodate others.
Dimming your light doesn’t help anyone so shine it bright!