The Marie Collins Award

The Marie Collins Award.

Sam and I go back a few years now. We met on Twitter before @tweeinggoddess and @SoulScribeCalli.

At the time, I was going through a tough time. In one of those places, no matter what you do to improve the situation, it doesn’t.

Anyway, Sam reached out to me on Twitter. I remember thinking, you want to talk to me? She was like, well, yes, lol. We were going to the same networking event (do you remember those?) And she says, “Shall we travel together?” I was like, well, ok.

I remember meeting Sam for the first time. I was like. Oh my god, she’s beautiful. And I’m like a rag-a-muffin beside her. Thinking she’s going to be like… Nice to meet you…see ya! I didn’t know then that this glamorous blue-eyed blonde would become one of my closest friends.

Over the years, I have learnt a lot about Sam. She’s grounded and real. She has an amazing gift when it comes to people. Like an insight, if you will. She’s helped and supported so many people that there are too numerous to mention. So, it isn’t surprising that the Women’s Inspire Network is such a success with Sam at the helm.

It hasn’t been a smooth road for her. It’s been full of ups and downs. And unfortunately, she has had her fair share of bullies. But she has stayed strong and true to herself. And has never wavered.

Rolling forward a few years.

Sam has gone from being the Funky Goddess to spreading her Twitter Magic everywhere. And founding the Women’s Inspire Network, which is more than just a network.

It’s truly inclusive, warm, supportive and educational. a safe space to share your difficulties, ask for advice and share your joys. There are now over 400 members from all over the world.

She wouldn’t be able to run the network and conferences all by herself. So, over the years, she’s built an amazing team around her. One of her founding team members was Marie Collins. Marie was a beautiful woman. She always had time to help and a warm welcome. She had the biggest of hearts and the friendliest of smiles.

A little story of how Marie helped me.

I was taking part in the #win17Dublin conference and needed to send in my logo.

I didn’t have one. Panic hit me. No matter what, I couldn’t for the life of me, get it together. I think it was nerves. No fear; Marie came to my rescue and designed my logo. Just like that! I was amazed. And, thankful. I still use the logo Marie designed today.

I met Marie in person the night before the #win17Dublin conference at the Radisson Blu.

By-the-way, if we ever get back to “normal” and there’s a #win conference, come along to the pre-conference get-together. It is the best fun! The night is always filled with warm welcomes and laughter.

Meeting Marie was a fantastic experience. Her smile and warmth would lift the most miserable face. I remember walking into the hotel bar, nervous as hell. Marie came striding over to me, her arms open. She gave me the warmest hugs and said, don’t be so nervous; everything will be fine. She was 100% right.

The feedback from the speakers was fantastic!

But to our hearts disappointment, Marie passed away suddenly a few weeks after the conference.

The next Women’s Inspire Network Conference is coming up in Galway.

Sam took the conference to Galway, Marie’s home county. She wanted to create something special to honour Marie’s memory. And the Marie Collins Award was born. The award recognises members who encapsulated the kindness, support and warmth shown by Marie. And they are made with love and in memorial. Each stroke of the pen is filled with her smile and warmth.

I am honoured that Sam asked me to inscribe these awards. Calligraphers are generally not the first port of call. Most would go straight to a graphic designer or printer. But Sam wanted an award that would stand out from the rest. Something that would be meaningful and cherished.

If you’ve never been to a #win conference. I recommend you do! It doesn’t matter if you are a business owner or not. Big, medium or small business owner or if you are working remotely from the kitchen table.

You will enjoy every moment. They are fun, high energy and full of learning.

Last year, the #win conference went global and online. It was a huge success! Members can join from everywhere around the world. It was absolutely fantastic and a great experience.

I’m really looking forward to the next conference being held on International Women’s Day, March 8th, 2021. The topic is about refreshing your perspective and opening your wings to soar.

Would you like to come along? Get your ticket here, #win21Refresh and let’s celebrate International Women’s Day together!

And, for information about my calligraphy service, please visit or email [email protected]