2023 Sustainability Award winner Gaynor Thomasson, founder of Heelz and Toez,  shares her thoughts on awards, challenges and following your dreams.

“Winning the Inspiring Woman Award in 2023 was truly the highlight of my year, and I’m deeply honoured.  I want to talk about something that goes beyond me and my achievements. I want to talk about how every woman can harness her inner strength and follow her dreams, just as I did, and make a lasting impact on the world.”


“Being an entrepreneur is a journey filled with highs and lows. It’s not always smooth sailing, but when you find that one thing that ignites your soul, the journey becomes an adventure, and every challenge becomes an opportunity for growth. For me, that journey began with a vision of making sustainable shoes from algae bloom, a vision inspired by the desire to protect our planet and provide children with the best comfort and fit in a shoe.

Innovation is the heart of progress, and as women, we have the power to revolutionize industries and change the world. It’s not about the numbers; it’s about the determination and the journey that lead us to our defining moments. My dream is to reduce the number of shoes ending up in landfills, to make a difference in the lives of children by providing them with sustainable, comfortable footwear, and to inspire a generation of women to innovate and follow their passions. Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a responsibility. By using algae bloom to create shoes, we not only reduce environmental harm but also pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future.”

“So, I implore every woman here to embrace her dreams and passions, to believe that she can and will make a difference. When you wake up every morning inspired by your purpose, you become unstoppable. The path may be challenging, but remember that every obstacle is a stepping stone to greatness.”

“Let’s make 2023 the year of innovation, determination, and progress. Let’s unite as women and pioneers, working towards a sustainable future, one step at a time, or in my case, one shoe at a time. Together, we can inspire change, and together, we can make our dreams a reality.”

“Thank you to Jaqueline and her team at Inspiring Woman Awards for this incredible honour, and thank you for joining me on this inspiring journey towards a better world. The future is in our hands, and Awards like this emphasis how incredible it can be with a little inspiration and belief in each other to lead us there.”

Nominations for the 2024 Sustainability Award for women making an impact and 5 other awards are now open and close on 31/12/2023.