18 Feb Interview – Leah Hutcheon of Appointedd
This interview originally appeared in June 2013 as part of a blog series entitled ‘The Women In My Life’ . It was created to shine the spotlight on inspiring women doing awesome things both in business and in life in general.
Leah Hutcheon, founder of software salon management system Appointedd, is a force to be reckoned with. She is a colourful, bubbly, erudite woman who lights up the room with her energy and takes life in her stride. An ex journalist and magazine editor she has an inquisitive mind and is the only person I know who uses the word ‘Golly’. She’s fun, she’s brave and she’s going places. Let me introduce you…..
My first job was dressing up as Mr Blobby on Central Pier in Blackpool to have my photo taken with kids. I have always had a job, ever since I was about 14 and the more random jobs often provided the best experiences.
The best advice I ever got was ‘You have to work hard to get what you want’. My mum and dad are tremendously hard workers, so I’ve never shied away from a good graft!
My favourite saying is… The mantra of #GoDo was drilled into me during my time at Entrepreneurial Spark. It was like a lightbulb moment when I realised if I just got on with stuff without over-thinking it then, nine times out of 10, good things happen. There’s nothing more damaging to a startup than inactivity.
Other people think that I am ….. I featured in BBC2 documentary ‘The Entrepreneurs’ and received lots of lovely emails afterwards. I was told I came across as a savvy and confident business woman, which is miles away from how I feel most of the time. I have a massive case of imposter syndrome!
Change is a really good thing. I believe that you should always be moving forward.
I’d be lost without my husband, Hutchie. I met him while at university and he’s my absolute rock. There have been some big ups and downs on my journey with Appointedd, but it’s always alright because I have Hutchie to come home to.
My biggest challenge has been…well, I totally underestimated the timescales involved in building cutting edge software. I was quite naive really, but looking back I’m glad I didn’t know how hard it would be or I may never have started the project. They say ignorance is bliss, and I certainly wouldn’t have been so ambitious about what we could create had I known more about software development. But it’s just meant I’ve had a steep learning curve and had to raise my game! I have been lucky enough to hire talented people to plug the gaps in my knowledge and together we make a strong team.
The achievement I am most proud of is winning £30k from the Scottish EDGE Award. Being awarded the cheque by John Swinney MSP was one of the proudest moments of my life. I was also being filmed for the BBC documentary at that time so it was caught on camera for posterity.
In the last year I have learned what it’s like to be a wife and what it’s like to be an employer. So far, so good on both counts…
My goal for the future is to roll out our software into other industries to enable as many small businesses as possible to take bookings online. I’m confident we can do it.
In the public eye there are so many women I admire, from Michelle Obama to JK Rowling, but I have to say I probably most admire Karen Hanton. She was the founder of Top Table and really pioneered the online booking space. From one female solo tech founder to another, I know how hard that must have been for her.
If I could be someone else for the day I would be Shirley Bassey. How amazing would it be to belt out tunes like she does?