“We welcome all ages, all races, all gender identities, all countries of origin, all sexual orientations, all religions, beliefs and all abilities”Spice Girls, Spice World Tour 2019
To me, growing up in West London through the Nineties was the absolute best, it meant dressing up as your favourite Spice Girl or All Saint, you either loved Blur or Oasis (you never sat on the fence with that one!) and you could buy literally everything you needed from the Great British High Street.
I remember the long summers running around with my friends; for me, the one thing I remember about growing up in the 90’s was how pop culture brought everyone together, not everyone could afford the latest CD’s so my friends and I would make mixtapes for each other and swap CD’s on the school bus.
Whilst the Nineties was colourful and full of optimism, at the time, it was incredibly hard for most families, unemployment was high and the country was still recovering from the biggest recession the country has ever seen in the mid Eighties.
The Nineties seemed like a much simpler time. We didn’t have access to the internet, whilst it existed, it was all very new and not an every day normality, unlike its impact upon our lives today. Getting a mobile phone for your birthday made you the coolest kid in school (especially if it was a Nokia 3310!) could you imagine not living with the internet now? If we have an outage at the office, and the Internet doesn’t work, it seems like the world is going to end! Technology has not only changed how we work, but our lives overall.
In the summer of 1996, my life completely changed, I went from being a the quiet girl at school, to becoming focused and determined and it all started with the Wannabe music video, to me it looked like five friends having the time of their lives, and I decided that I wanted to be just like them, and if they can make their dreams come true, than so can I.
This weekend, I was able to relive my Nineties childhood by seeing the Spice Girls at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, we got dressed up, walked around in platform boots (how did we not break our necks in those?!) and sang along to our favourite songs, so you can imagine my delight when they launched a new Walkers Crisps advert on Sunday evening! Whilst it may be an advert, it reminded me of the many hats that the Spice Girls wore and how diverse they were as a business, not just a group.
The girls didn’t just sing, they had films, did plenty of promotional campaigns and as my dad always said, “you can never escape them, they’re everywhere!” which is exactly what the girls set out to achieve. Here’s the many ways that these five hungry girls taught me about the business world:
Never be afraid to dream big and don’t settle!
Victoria famously mentioned a moment she had looking at the four girls around her as they prepared to go onto the stage in Istanbul to open their first tour. As they lined up, she said she remembered them all standing in the dole queue in Maidenhead and waiting for that big break, the relisation of that moment has stayed with her. They all wanted to be household names and worked hard to make sure that happened, there was not a plan b. The “Girl Power” movement grew much bigger than the girls or the world could have imagined, even now, I think it’d be difficult to find a stronger or wider reach movement than what they created.
If a business relationship isn’t working, end it
A bit of a strange one, most interpret relationships being personal, and to some extent they are, even in business. Twice the girls famously left their management, the first being the two guys that put the group together and their manager Simon Fuller in 1997, they decided that the business relationship was no longer working for the interests of both parties so they took the decision to self manage. It is the same in any business or business function, it must serve a purpose, if it doesn’t, then sometimes letting things go can be for the best.
Having a side hustle is a good way to generate income
The girls had various projects to help them secure their financial future, they were well aware that the music industry can have a short shelf life so they took proactive steps to keep generating income. They had their famous Walkers Crisps adverts with Gary Lineker, they had extensive merchandise with everything from bedroom furniture, dolls and even scooters! This again has helped inspire me to develop my blog to be the best it can be.
We currently live in a time where we are starting to see a shift in the way that the world sees women and I think that the Spice Girls (especially for women in their twenties and thirties) had a heavy influence on, for them Girl Power wasn’t just a catchphrase or a concept, it was a tool of empowerment which meant standing up for what is right, not just being loud and wearing brightly colured hair mascara. I think it is this influence that has helped many women speak up in difficult times and to bring women together when the going gets tough.