The Women’s Exchange on goals, growth and guiding women

March 2023
March 2023

Hannah Stark

As Senior Content Specialist, I'm a lover of the written word. My favourite novels include Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier) & Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). I spend my free time exploring the great outdoors and cuddling my dog, Nellie.

Jill Wilson and Tracy Todd are on a mission to empower all women, by way of The Women’s Exchange.

They are rule breakers, risk takers and change makers. They are best friends, they are each other’s number one fan and biggest critic combined, they are strikingly opposite, and yet they share the same values. These values have come together to form The Women’s Exchange.

As we work together to build a kick-ass brand and make waves via digital marketing, we catch up on the journey so far. When we spoke recently – and as we often do – we covered a lot of ground. From natural deodorant to cancel culture, alien invasions and visual thinking, no conversation is ever dull with Tracy and Jill.

Women supporting women

Is there any business goal more sublime than spurring on women to chase their aspirations? We can’t speak for every woman, but every woman at CMA was stirred by Jill and Tracy’s vision. Flicking through their self-help workbook, there was a buzz in the air and the sense that this was really something special. 

The idea was officially born in 2019, as the founders became more and more aware that something is lacking in women’s lives.

“We didn’t so much have a name, but a place where women could come together and talk about who they were, what they were interested in, what they wanted to achieve, share their advice, and maybe help other women. It was about letting go, building relationships, and vocalising hopes and dreams.” 

But before it could start, the pandemic struck. While many elements of the business seemed to be put on hold, this strange period sparked an opportunity to do things in a different way. The pair trialled a virtual coffee morning to bring women together, which became a weekly occurrence, allowing them to observe and understand what women needed and wanted.

“We found that, regardless of economic or educational status, women want to help other women.”

“COVID gave us the platform to start talking to women all over the country, and make connections all over the world. Women are the backbone of our society and yet, in both our local and global consultations, we find that they simply don’t give themselves the time they need to think about themselves.”

Regardless of age, culture or religion, no matter if women have built a career or are just starting out, whether they are new mums or carers… Wherever women are at in their lives, Tracy and Jill noticed a common factor: that something is missing.

“Whatever their success story or achievements… women often feel a lack of meaning or purpose in their lives.”

And so The Women’s Exchange was born. Through personal development programmes and via opportunities to share and support each other in a competitive space, the business facilitates the exchange of ideas that support women and their businesses to grow and thrive. Women are at the heart of the venture, and most importantly, funds are injected back into Tracy and Jill’s local, non-profit business, The Equality Practice. 

This means, enrolling with The Women’s Exchange enables less fortunate women to benefit from a similar programme – designed for their specific needs. Essentially, one woman who chooses to help herself, also chooses to help another woman who doesn’t have the means to. An especially unique, and powerful selling point.

“We work locally and we work with funders, but we’d always talked about reaching more women. We asked: How can we work nationally and internationally? How can we reach more women? How can we create a for-profit business which supports The Equality Practice? All of these conversations just came together.”


Whether it’s getting out of bed in the morning and staying out of bed all day, or finding an international career, The Women’s Exchange is about supporting women on their journey, and importantly, in their version of success. Women are united in a need to be better, move forwards and help each other.

“Everything we do is about supporting women to find their version of success.” 

“The Women’s Exchange is empowering, it’s enabling, it’s inspirational, and it’s transformational. And when you watch women go through the programme, they transform themselves and their life changes. That means their children’s lives change, and their family’s lives change. Because when you’ve got a strong woman in the house, everything is possible.”

A blooming business

The Women’s Exchange is powered by passion, with a branding and marketing strategy powered by CMA. So how did this come about?

Based in the growing business centre that is Telegraph House, Tracy and Jill decided to explore the building and meet the other local companies within it. They noticed CMA’s door was open and were captivated by the old toys, retro technology, gaming consoles and film paraphernalia on display.


“The toys are a real talking point. Up there, there are a lot of memories for people and a lot of things that somebody will connect to.”

Tracy admits she had a negative mindset when it came to marketing consultancy, strategies and everything that comes with it. Her previous experience meant she ‘brought healthy cynicism’ but this soon changed as she gained confidence in the team.

“The day you convinced me that you could do something to help us, was the day you explained how you’d come to the strategy. We saw all the background work and the research that had gone into it. We saw the amount of work you’d put in collectively, and the different areas you had covered. We’d never seen this before.”


“Most people in the past have just repeated what we’ve said to them. So we knew what wasn’t going to impress us, and we knew what we didn’t want. We explained: We don’t want to tell you what we need. We want you to tell us. You’d come back and said ‘this is where the market is, this is what we see. Would you agree?’ It always feels personalised and so we always recommend CMA to other businesses.”

After the strategy came the branding. And for a business to be the business, they need to look the business. CMA’s design team got to work on building The Women’s Exchange’s brand, so it could make a first impression that counts.

“The branding is amazing. We were absolutely blown away. We came away with big smiles on our faces.”

A brand is much more than a logo, a colour, or a font – it’s a visual representation of a business’ ethos and ambitions – and we hoped Jill and Tracy could really feel that we ‘got’ them when we shared various mood boards.

We chatted about being in the same building, and whether sharing the same space helped to build the relationship between CMA and The Women’s Exchange. We’ve certainly had some interesting discussions and debates that a timeslot on Zoom simply couldn’t allow for. It’s never ‘all work and no play’ at CMA (hence the toys), and a client can really get a feel for this when they step into the office.

“You were young, funky and alive. We wanted that in our brand, and it shines through.” 

JIll says she was attracted to CMA’s “young, vibrant input, which is essential” while Tracy finds us “approachable, reliable and available”. She contemplates the occasions that she was pushed on situations and needed to “pester” us.


“The team at CMA always get back to us. That inspires us to believe we are important. We really feel that.”

Words of wisdom

True to a business that is all about empowering women, Jill and Tracy share some inspiring advice to other women – which gives a small insight into their powerful programme.

“Search out the good things in your life. Because, especially for women, life has its way of throwing you a pile of shit. Everyone, everywhere, has got a pile of shit to manage. One might look different to another, but we’ve all got one. So we’ve got to concentrate on the bits at the side of the pile of shit – the good bits!”

There’s no simpler way to say it, and we love the brutal honesty of Jill’s analogy. Tracy – who is a master wordsmith – intercepts with what this means for her.

“If you focus on the negatives, that is what grows within you. Everything else gets smaller, and that negative becomes your strength.”

“If you start thinking about the good things – you walk out of the door in the morning and notice the sun shining – it will change you as a person.”

The two are starkly different but equally passionate. Despite only knowing each other for eight years, there is a shared admiration and sense of familiarity. They truly look up to one another. 

“Things happen that could take you into a pit of despair, so I concentrate on the gratitude for the things that are good in my life. And one of those things is Tracy. Eight years is not long, but we’re best friends and we affirm each other so often. We are so different and I think that’s why we work well together.”

“We have such a different approach, but we are driven by the same mission. We don’t need to be the same, we always land in the same place.”

They also recognise their mothers’ resilience as inspiring. Seeing their mothers’ individual strength, and continuous ability to pick themselves up, has shaped the women that Tracy and Jill have become today. More controversially, they also cite JK Rowling as a role model.

“She has taken on the fight of women. And she’s got women screaming at her. But women are underestimating what she’s trying to do. She’s not trying to diminish the rights, respect or value of people who are transgender, she’s trying to protect the rights of women and safe spaces. She’s standing up for what she believes in, and we respect that.”

We could chat on the subject for hours but agreed we are all learning, and that it was a discussion for another day. Instead, we talked self-care. For Jill, this is controlling her internal dialogue and dialling up her positive voice. Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable has helped her to feel empowered.

“I realised if I didn’t work on myself, I would be sat with these feelings forever. Nobody could make the change except me.”

“I needed to validate my position, only I could do that. We remind women of this – that they have everything they need. A lot of us lean on a god, a spirituality, or a diet. We look for something to make us the way we think we should be, but actually, it’s all here. We have that power, we just have to access it.”

When she’s not working, Tracy is reading, writing, cooking up quirky recipes, and practising yoga. Meanwhile Jill spends her spare time walking her dogs, meditating, listening to music, choosing natural products and making her own. Together, they forage and share recipes, from rosehip facial oil to hawthorn tomato ketchup. They tell us they’re not perfect, but we admire their efforts in self-love, and can’t help but notice a lot of love for each other, and a lot of love for what they do. So what makes it all worth it? 

“Helping other women. It’s our time, it’s our life, and we’re deciding what we want to do. If we don’t get paid, it’s our own fault. If we do get paid, great. But we are actually making a decision about how we want to live our lives, every single day.”

“If you can find something that you love, do it every day and get paid for it, then you’ve made it. And that’s what we did.”

Where to find these wonder women?

Keep an eye out for The Women’s Exchange website and social channels, which will be up and running very soon.

Hannah Stark

As Senior Content Specialist, I'm a lover of the written word. My favourite novels include Rebecca (Daphne Du Maurier) & Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte). I spend my free time exploring the great outdoors and cuddling my dog, Nellie.
5 1 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments