I am Annette Spanggaard. I am born-and-bread in Denmark and brought up with values I highly cherish and advocate like democracy and inclusiveness, gender equality and an open and positive mind to the world.
I am a mother of two children, Amalie 22 and Aleksander 15. I have been a single parent most of their childhood – and although this has been tough at times – very tough in fact! – they constantly reminded me of how fantastic life is and if you want, although it is hard work – you can make your dreams come through – just never give up. Show your kids you can! and the world!
I have been working in advertising, marketing and PR for all my adult life for companies like Leo Burnett Advertising (serving Kellogg’s and Procter & Gamble), Mondelez and Coca-Cola, until I decided to become my own boss in 1998.
My daughter was then three years old, I resigned, gave up my apartment to save money and left for London. Even my bicycle punctured the day I left. I had then been alone with my daughter for almost since she was born and needed a break and to follow my dream: To write. I started studying at the London School of Journalism, few hours at school per week and a lot of writing at home. My daughter was attending a playgroup in a church and a young Danish girl lived together with us in a very modest house which was all I could afford as a student. We were poor – but tremendously happy and inspired.
On my return to Denmark, I started working part time allowing me to establish a PR agency, House of Communication, serving large brands like Pandora, ECCO, Alessi, Carlsberg, etc. I loved my company and my job blazing out my own trail. I was writing and guiding huge brands in terms of shaping their reason for being and make their “dreams” come through.
I got a lovely son – another dream fulfilled – and lived for seven years in Oslo, Norway where I established another office in addition to one in Stockholm, Sweden.
However, after many years, something higher was missing. I had a vision to start helping female entrepreneurs and women who want to step into their power – like I had done. I believe that by helping someone else to grow, you grow yourself. At that time I had moved back to Denmark.
I sold my PR agency in 2014 to the exclusive affiliate of Ketchum in Scandinavia. It’s now called GK Lifestyle. My empire was then counting three offices throughout Scandinavia and 20 employees I loved to bits – just like my two children. I remember I once thought that having an office in the middle of the hottest shopping street in Copenhagen – Strøget – would be a dream. I did at the time I sold, not only in Copenhagen’s Strøget, but also in central Oslo and central Stockholm.
I found out that my PR skills and tools could also be used for empowering women and help them rise to success. I established a smaller boutique PR agency together with a partner offering global PR services for design brands but further developed my PR toolbox to cater for female entrepreneurs or simply women who want to step into their power.
Finally, I established, Pearl Stories in 2015, a jewellery brand raising funds to female empowerment and offering inspirational stories about how women follow their dreams through the Beauty & Brains blog.