There are just so many strings to Vanessa Vallely’s bow, that it is hardly possible to do all of them justice when stated in one quick sweep, but here goes… Vanessa founded leading women’s network We Are The City, co-founded The Network of Networks, is a Banking and Finance professional of twenty years, Managing Director of The Profile Coach, school Governor, trustee for National Youth Music Theatre and Prostate Cancer Charity, whilst also being a full time Mother of two and Wife.

During 2011, the Pearly Princess of Hoxton was recognised with the Champion for Women award, noted in the Global Top 100 list of Women making a difference by the International Alliance of Women and was cited as one of the top 100 influential Women in Finance across Europe, Africa and EMEA by the Financial News.


What has been the greatest challenge you have faced throughout your career?

It took many years and a few job jumps to prove that I was actually a shining star, capable of far more than the opportunities I was being handed. I dealt with a fair few individuals who told me I would never make it, but as I tell my mentees, you are the true judge of what you are capable of, on occasions you need to treat the opinions of others as just noise and keep focused on your aspirations.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Whenever I get asked that question I feel I should answer, ‘lying on a beach somewhere having won the lottery.’ However, being on the beach building huts with the local community is probably more fitting and as for the money, where would I start, I know so many charities that need a hand so I wouldn’t hold on to any amount of millions for long.

I would like to think that as I head in to my forties I will continue to have a successful corporate career and really contribute to a change in society somewhere. Above all, I would like to be healthy, happy, see enough of my family and be content that I am making a difference in the world.

What is your interest in Maggie Semple Limited?

When I first met Maggie and she told me about Semple Secrets, I was in awe of the concept. I am a huge fan of couture, fashion, women and the power of their stories, and here is this amazing woman integrating every aspect of things I love in to one place. We all have that special something that we wear that conjures up memories, be it a place we visited, the person who bought it, a person we were with or the fact that someone in our family handed the item down in the hope that we would love it as much as they did. The fact that these stories are not being lost in a storage box and that Maggie Simple is trying to bring them to life through the voices of Women is a wonderful thing.

What is your most treasured piece of clothing/accessory?

My first pearly jacket; made by my grandmother when I was 3 years old and was the first pearly suit I owned. For me this does not just represent the Pearlies, but the virtue of helping others – something I have carried with me for over 39 years and one I instil in my own children.

What is the story behind this and how do you feel when you wear it?

It brings back many memories of my grandfather and my family. My jacket is made of the best quality velvet, the pearl buttons are real pearl not the hybrid pearl buttons that are available these days. Even the cotton the buttons are sewed on with is of the thickest quality. The loveliest aspect of the jacket is that my own daughters have worn it too.

Tell us a fun tip!

Never feel guilty about buying bags and shoes, as no matter how much weight you put on, they will fit you for a lifetime.



by Rachel Conan-Davies

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