Mill complex studio attracts female content and clothing firm

Michelle Hands, the founder of female content and clothing company She Who Dares Wins, has moved into a state-of-the-art studio at Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, near Leeds.

She has taken space in the refurbished 10 Old Combing building.

Hands, who has spent 17 years in the male-dominated property, construction and civil engineering sectors, set up She Who Dares Wins to inspire and empower women to take up careers in these industries.

She explained: “I have lived in a man’s world for most of my life, which has been both fascinating and challenging. Working with tough Alpha males, whose behaviour often leaves a good deal of room for improvement, is eye-opening.

“But the experience inspired me to create a company and a brand that empowers women to challenge convention and celebrate their own strengths and I am happy to report that this has gained real traction, bringing a strong and vibrant community together. 

“Hence my move to this fabulous studio at Sunny Bank Mills.”

Hands, who lives in nearby Horsforth, studied Geography at Birmingham University, before taking an acting course in Los Angeles.

She added: “Whilst I loved acting, I soon realized that I preferred being behind the camera, rather than in front of it.

“At the same time, I needed to earn a living, and, through a friend, I found a job surveying landfill sites. Before I knew it, this has turned into a long-term career – and despite some tough times, I don’t regret any of it. It made me the woman I am today.”

From her base at Sunny Bank Mills, she runs her own clothing brand and creates content, videos and podcasts for her clients.

William Gaunt, the joint managing director of Edwin Woodhouse Ltd, the mills’ parent company, said: “We are pleased to welcome Michelle to Sunny Bank Mills. Hers is an inspirational story and we are proud she has chosen our mills as her base.”

John Gaunt, who runs the mill with his cousin William, added: “Michelle is already creating a significant reputation with She Who Dares Wins and she is a valuable addition to our community here. We wish her the very best of luck in her new home.” 

During the past 10 years, Sunny Bank Mills has been transformed into a modern office and mixed-use retail and leisure complex, creating more than 400 new jobs.

Click here to sign up to receive our new South West business news...