Inspirational Woman: Katie Mintram | founder of Beach volleyball venue Yellowave

Katie MintramTell us about your background? Professional & personal

I’ve been a waitress, a climbing instructor, completed a degree in Physical Education at Leeds Met Uni, worked for a magazine on sports stadia and a celebrity PR agency. I’ve also travelled round the world and lived in California. All the mixed experiences have provided me with a range of tools that have certainly helped set up the business. At the time I didn’t realise it though.

For ages I simply didn’t know what I wanted to do as a job, then suddenly it all came together and the experiences have helped me no end.

What is your proudest achievement?

It was opening Yellowave but has very recently changed to being a very proud mum to my baby girl who is 5 weeks old today.

Who is your female inspiration?

My mum – she is lovely and a right goer! She fits so much into her life – she runs her own business, loves the outdoors and is always on the go. She never lets anything get her down and has a great spirit – we have a great time together.

Tell us a bit about Yellowave and your inspiration behind it

I was a keen beach volleyball player and wanted to transfer the beach lifestyle I was passionate for into a career. Just because I lived in the UK I didn’t want to stop living the beach life that I so enjoyed in California and when I was travelling round the world, so I decided to try to set up a place that gave people a taste of that lifestyle.

No one believed it would work apart from my family, in particular my dad who supported me 100% and gave me so much advice.

Tell us about your successes

A year after opening I won a national ‘business woman of the year’ award for my age category, which was a lovely surprise.

But the success I most proud of is having a team of staff who are brilliant and I love working with.

My husband Spencer runs the centre as well as being a great hands-on dad. The rest of the staff are fantastic to work with, super friendly and make the place what it is.  We coach over 120 people every weekend so seeing all the hard work transferred into new players learning the sport of beach volleyball is very rewarding.

What about the challenges you have encountered

Convincing people it would work was tough and learning about architects, quantity surveyors, leases, employment law and all the things you need to know to run a business was certainly challenging. But one of toughest times was when we had an arson attack on the venue just 6 months after opening. It was devastating. After 5 years of hard work someone decided to burn the place down. But despite having to get a lot of new security and paying an enormous insurance premium we managed to get the place back up and running again.

What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

My dad told me not to be afraid to ask for help and admit when you don’t know what something means or how to do something.  There’s so much unnecessary jargon in the business world and when you are new to it all it can feel very intimidating. But as soon as you say you don’t understand something people are super helpful and actually end up helping you even more than they would have done in the first place.

What would you like to achieve over the next 12 months?

I’d like to enjoy being a mum to my lovely daughter Chloe.

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