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The Pool

The Pool

Author- The Pool

This year we’re celebrating women with a series of features on inspirational and pioneering ladies. To kick it all off, we move our focus to the internet’s hottest new female hub, The Pool.

Founded by Radio 6 DJ, mother and all round women’s enthusiast, Lauren Laverne and author and Editor, Sam Baker, The Pool brings busy modern women fresh and relevant content at hourly intervals.

We met up with Fashion Director Stacey Duguid, Deputy News Editor, Marisa Bate and Fashion and Beauty Editor, Frankie Graddon to talk #WeAreWomen.

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The Pool

MV meets The Pool, from left to right: Marisa, Stacey and Frankie

What inspires you?

MARISA: I get inspired by a lot of the really good things I see in the news –grassroots activism, the good MPs, the amazing junior doctors; I get very inspired by the people who just work very hard every day, selflessly.

STACEY: It’s the same answer as if you asked me when I was six years old – creativity… making things and producing something. Also, it sounds terribly corny, but I’m inspired my children, and being a role model is very important.

FRANKIE: Working with other women! I love men as well but this is the first time I’ve worked with all women and to go into a room where there are some brilliant brains, and switched on and insightful women puts me in a brilliant headspace.


What’s the best thing about working in a strong female environment?

FRANKIE: The best thing about working with all women is that you can talk about anything like. There aren’t many women only environments and I’m really fortunate to experience it – it’s a really powerful thing. There’s a real sisterhood, everyone’s got your back and it’s a genuinely joyous experience.

MARISA: I feel I can be very honest and I feel I’m in a room of allies who are on my side. It’s a safe space to talk about issues that affect women without worrying that you’ve gone too far and there’s a huge strength and a solidarity in that.  It’s also a lot of fun!


What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

FRANKIE: My dad said ‘you are going to spend your whole life doing a job so make it something you enjoy’, so I did and he backed me in wanting to do something I’m passionate about. No one’s going to thank you for doing something you don’t enjoy, so just try and make yourself happy.

MARISA: The two that always stick with me are firstly ‘regret what you’ve done not what you haven’t done’ and also ‘jumping without a safety net’ and trying to be a bit braver. When I’ve seen people who’ve done that normally it’s the best thing to do and taking a risk pays off.

STACEY: The best advice I’ve ever been given is ‘get over yourself’. You can sit there thinking about ‘what if I do that, what if I tweet that, what if I write that, what if I wear that?’ but you just need to get over yourself and go ‘it’s all going to be fine’. I do have to remind myself of this every single day!


Tell us about a time you felt empowered?

STACEY: It’s the little things that can make you feel empowered… when I was six years old and I moved from Manchester to Edinburgh and I had a thick Mancunian accent so when I arrived at this little Scottish school I was teased mercilessly for my accent. I remember going home and standing in front of the mirror and saying ‘this is not going to happen to you’ and that was my first taste of empowerment.

MARISA: I feel most empowered when I’m with a group of women and sometimes that’s just at work when we’ve put together a story that has resonated with readers. Also, when I meet with activists, who are essentially very normal brave young women, I feel like anything is possible.

FRANKIE: I felt most empowered at a really awful period where my life overnight changed – my relationship changed, my house changed, my job changed and it was terrifying. For me, getting up every day, putting some nice clothes on and doing my makeup helped me build the strength to rebuild a life. I think to have that strength made me feel very empowered and you get a slight sense of fearlessness knowing that you can cope in a situation like that.


What is empowerment to you?

FRANKIE: Strength, freedom and glamour.

MARISA: Belief, strength and support

STACEY: Support your peers.

The Pool

What do you do to make yourself feel more empowered?

FRANKIE: I immediately go to my wardrobe and grab a killer pair of shoes, an outfit that makes me feel great. Then I’ll put lipstick on – that means I’m in the game and I mean business. I give myself a quick talking to in the mirror and just know that even if I feel like I want to cry, I’m presenting a good front to the world and that gets me through the day.

MARISA:  I go to friends. I’ve got a really good friend and I know that if one of us is feeling low, we’ll call or email with a long list of complaints and then the response is an incredible, rallying message of support that just lifts you out of it. I owe my female friendships a lot.

STACEY: When I want to feel more confident, or happy or more empowered, less distracted, I put on my trainers and I go for a run. Running is the best meditation because you’re running with a purpose but also your mind is clear and that’s what I do when I need to approach the day with a different perspective.

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What’s great about being a woman?

STACEY: What is great about being a woman is just that we’re human.

MARISA: Awareness, perspective and friendship.

FRANKIE: Lipstick, best friends, hot boys.

The Pool Artwork

Tell us about a time you believed in something and then achieved it?

STACEY: There’s that old saying ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again’ and I think that applies to work too. When I was 21, I wanted to work for Elle Magazine but this was before there was a minimum wage. It wasn’t until 9 years later I met the Editor at a party and she offered me a job interview and, despite a pay cut, I did it because actually that was the job I truly wanted to do.

MARISA: About 2 or 3 years ago I wanted an adventure so I moved away on my own and discovered a new part of London that I completely fell in love with. It was this real feeling of independence and a tiny little adventure that proved I was capable, and I got a lot of strength from that.

FRANKIE: The biggest test of believing in myself was being part of the start of The Pool. I’ve never done a start-up before and they’re quite scary things. From being sat in a room with three other people staring at a blank piece of paper to a year later having a fully-fledged site that people look at – I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I’d ever be capable of doing that. Having self-belief and getting up every day and doing it has proven just that I can.

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