'Having my husband and kids behind me gives me the motivation to succeed'
Melanie Tansey is not afraid to grab the bull by the horns. She completely changed her career, then she demolished and rebuilt a new home from scratch.
When she rose through the ranks of Women In Business to chairman, you might think she wanted to see a complete overhaul of the organisation, but she is just keen to keep up its reputation.
"We're seeing a lot more women in business now," Melanie said.
"We're seeing a lot of them breaking through that glass ceiling.
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"Women are coming to us as juniors and working their way up."
The mum-of-two joined 17 years ago, when she was working as an independent financial adviser.
That was back when Women In Business was in its infancy, and she says the 70 members it has grown to shows how times have changed.
"I think the management in a lot of companies, especially in Hull, are seeing that having women on board in senior roles makes a better team," Melanie said.
The all-female group means there is a different outlook, and a shared appreciation of how difficult it can be to read over yesterday's meeting notes while making the kids' breakfasts.
"Sometimes you can feel like you're banging your head against a brick wall, when you're a mum and running a home as well," Melanie said.
"But most of the members have been through it."
She is not one to sit still, and her 40th birthday was the catalyst she needed to change direction.
Melanie went to a friend's house and came out with a new career, as an independent consultant for Captain Tortue.
"I was invited by a friend of mine, who's a consultant, for a get-together and I went and fell in love with the clothes," she said.
Not a familiar name but the brand is part of the same company that bears the prestigious Louis Vuitton monogram.
"What I do, in my little enclave of East Yorkshire, is bring those stylish clothes here," said Melanie, who lives in Camerton, near Thorngumbald.
It is no ordinary shopping service – Melanie brings rails of the brand's garments to clients' doorsteps and for many of her customers, it is the only way in their pushed-for-time day that they can shop.
Getting to know them, and being able to offer honest advice, is something that Melanie says personal shoppers cannot give.
"It's like going back in time really. You have a person who knows your taste, body shape and knows you," the 41-year-old said.
"There's nothing worse than buying something, where you love the fabric and the style but you can't understand when you put it on why it doesn't feel right."
She wants clients to really get their money's worth out of their wardrobe and is launching style workshops next month.
Talk in the Women In Business camp has already turned to next year's Women In Business awards.
They scooped newsreader Moira Stuart for the biannual event last year, who made an exception to her usual rule of not making personal appearances, because of the group's message.
Moira is an inspiration to many, as the first Afro- Caribbean female newsreader, and Melanie championed her from the start.
"She was fantastic, she was so genuine," Melanie said.
"You see people on the TV and you think, 'They're not like that in real life'."
But Moira really took an interest in the candidates' stories.
Although Melanie spent eight years away from the world of boardrooms, looking after her sons Carter, eight, and Fenton, six, when she returned to work it was not in ideal conditions.
She took on the job of unofficial "project manager" for the rebuild of their family home.
"We were living in a caravan for two years," Melanie said.
"We've just always wanted to build our own dream house from scratch.
"It was hard, especially in the winter. It was the year we had minus 19C temperatures."
She is just happy they are back indoors now.
"We moved in on Christmas Eve, which my boys said was the best Christmas present ever," she said.
Melanie and her husband Paul are still kitting out the house and, after 19 years of marriage, she credits him and her family for their support.
"You need to have your family behind you as well, and children who understand," she said.
"I do the school run every morning but sometimes I can't put the kids to bed because I work late hours.
"But it was my sons who said, 'Mummy, you could do that'.
"They give you the motivation."
Even though it is usually a women-only zone, the group make an exception for the biannual bash and Melanie's husband came along.
"We do let them in, just for the awards," Melanie said.
"He was sitting on a table with 11 women. I think he was secretly quite pleased."