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 23 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. I had only few belongings, but lots os hope (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. My daughter attended 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 for Mondelez, my old employer, allowing me to establish a PR agency, House of Communication, serving large brands like Pandora, ECCO, Alessi, Carlsberg, etc. throughout Scandinavia. I loved my company and my job blazing out my own trail. I was writing and guiding huge brands in terms of shaping their reasons for being and making 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, Geelmuyden.Kiese. 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, pearlstories.dk, a jewellery brand raising funds to female empowerment through the sales of jewellery and offering inspirational stories about how women follow their dreams through the Girls&Wisdom blog – girlsandwisdom.com.