The Tees Businesswomen Awards served to add yet another gong to the shelves of Middlesbrough’s video stars, Wander Films.
Walking away with the coveted Business of the Year award at the Northern Skills Group-sponsored virtual event was the cherry on the cake for the female-led video production company who are still riding the crest of a remarkable two-year wave since their launch into the Teesside business world.
With a fast-growing team, an enviable turnover and profit combined with a sheer zest for their work, it was perhaps no wonder that the Middlesbrough firm won such an accolade so soon.
As their success was confirmed by Sharon Paterson of category sponsors Teesside University, a tearful managing director Lou Tonner was joined on screen by creative director Chloe Clover who couldn’t resist leaping forward to throw her arms around her partner in business and life.
“I’m still in shock,” breathed Lou. “This award is for the whole company and we are just so stoked about it!
“It’s been a tough year for so many businesses. Wander have been incredibly lucky, but I know others have struggled so I think my tears were just a build-up of the emotion that so many of us are feeling right now.”
Tears are usually the last thing to expect from a woman who so clearly loves her work.
“This is what’s so amazing,” said Lou. “The fact that Wander can win an award such as this for doing something that we are so passionate about.
“We have been welcomed by Teesside with open arms and the businesses we have worked with have allowed us to do our thing which in turn has helped us grow and develop. We wouldn’t be where we are today without their amazing support.”
Though Wander won’t be celebrating their third year of trading until July 2021, it seems like there is no limit to their success – especially since Chloe also picked up the individual Best Newcomer gong in last Thursday’s awards.
“Team Wander constantly go above and beyond,” said Lou. “We are always planning for the future and rarely get time to sit and reflect.
“The Tees businesswomen Awards actually gave us chance to put down on paper what we have achieved. It allowed us to see our journey and think ‘Wow’!”
Wander beat The Ethical Housing Company and Intasite to the Business of the Year Award, and Lou has nothing but praise for their fellow finalists.
“What can I say? They’re amazing! When I look at these companies, both would have been worthy winners. Ethical do so much for the community with their work providing affordable housing and Intasite have taken a great idea, developed it and ran with it – fantastic!”
As total advocates of awards as a means of recognition, a Tees Businesswomen Award means much more than just a crystal trophy to Wander.
“These awards are so, so special,” reflected Lou. “They shine a light on women in the region and are truly ground-breaking.
“We’re incredibly stoked and honoured to be the holders of this one!”