Founder & Creative Director
MGW London is a hub of creative businesses including a management and business consulting agency, Kisses Forever Models, MGW London PR and MGW Hair.
Founded by Gennese Williams in August 2010, the Notting Hill based company employs a team of 30.
Gennese took the leap to start her businesses after losing her sight as the result of an eye condition. Following a successful career in beauty, music and management she made the decision she could not work for anyone else again and MGW London was born.
What was your career path prior to starting your first business?
I worked in beauty, music and management. I studied performing arts and I went on to study business and management. Then I went on to study beauty, cosmetic science and makeup.
Why did you decide to start your company?
In 2005 I lost my sight in my right eye due to a corneal hydrops resulting from the eye condition called keratoconus. Eventually my left eye was affected and in 2007 and I lost my sight in my left eye.
Being blind was a wake-up call and made me put a lot of things currently in my life in perspective. Whilst I was blind I had the idea to start my company. At that point I decided I would no longer work for anyone again and started to record my business plan.
I sat down and started to relay my idea to my brother Reggie. At first my idea seemed crazy, but we have now moved on and are continuously building the MGW London name. That day only seemed like yesterday and now we have evolved into this mini empire with such hard working and talented people around us.
MGW London is a management and business consultancy agency. It is also the mother company to Kisses Forever Models, MGW London PR and MGW Hair. We also provide a whole range of services to manage any event, project or brand, with our in-house production, make up, hair stylists and fashion stylists’ team. We even have our own graphic design team which is run by my brother Najib.
Did you always know that you would start your own business?
No, but everyone else around me always used to state I would one day!
What are you working on at the moment?
We have been working with numerous clients and brands for London Fashion Week, the Vitality Show and also the launch of three brands.
Can you describe your typical working day?
Controlled, crazy, productive and fun! My day starts with me checking my emails, checking my social site profiles, bookings and orders. I’m then busy emailing and talking to my clients, models or team members.
I make sure I stay current with the daily news and try to fit in a morning work out before I start with the remainder of the day. My day can range from being in the office, to meetings, conferences, filming, fashion shoots or travelling around the UK or the world.
I still make sure I fit in time for my family and my partner.
Who would be your dream client?
All of my clients are dream clients! My team and I help them to achieve their dreams and visions on a daily basis. My company’s aim is to inspire and deliver our clients’ requests at all times.
I take my deadlines seriously and I cannot rest properly until the jobs complete and my client is happy with the standard of work upon completion.
What have been the highlights of running your own business?
Flexibility and seeing so many achievements, throughout the company and team. I am so blessed to have such a great team around me; they are all such talented, professional and driven people.
Another highlight is watching Kisses Forever Models soar within the fashion, radio, hair and film industry.
What is the hardest part of running your own business?
Missing family events, I’m very close to my family so if I miss a birthday or christening it can be very hard. Otherwise I don’t let anything stand in my way.
What has been your proudest business moment so far?
There are so many, but the ultimate proudest moment for me was our one year anniversary, after registering the business and looking back at how much I have achieved since 2010. Also, being able to see again after having two corneal transplants and the launch of Kisses Forever Models in 2011 was fantastic.
If you could turn back the clock would you do anything differently?
There is nothing I would change, but frankly the failed attempts and being pushed aside has only made me and my business stronger.
What, or who, inspires and motivates you?
God, with him in my life all things have been possible. My mother Beverley, she has been my angel and my rock through the business process and highlights. My brothers Daniel, Reggie and Najib for all of their support and my partner Andre.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting a professional services business?
Be professional at all times, master your craft and listen to your clients’ needs. Always be steps ahead to achieve the best and don’t sleep until you know the job is complete for that day.
Fast forward five years, where do you think your business will be in 2017?
Globally known and with at least one more main branch somewhere in the world or more! Being an entrepreneur, I’m sure there will be more to come with the MGW London Empire.
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You can also find MGW London on Twitter.
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Gennese Williams was interviewed by Octavia Goredema, founder of the Twenty Ten Club and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Do you have a question for Gennese? If so, please feel free to post a comment below: