Meet the New Breed of Cheshire Housewives.
The only gold they dig for is their own.
Intelligent, entrepreneurial, and high flyers in their own right, Northern Revive magazine, caught up with former WAGs – Claire France, Heather Dorigo and Mhari Oakes.
These women certainly don’t fit the stereotype of footballer’s wives and have strived hard to enjoy successful careers in their own right.
All three of these business-savvy females have raised families, supported their husbands throughout footballing careers, whilst creating their own success stories.
Is proud to work hard for a living and not rely on someone else’s money. Financial independence is really important to her and she wants to be a good role model for my daughter.
“I want to teach her that hard work is the number one way to achieve her dreams – not looking for a wealthy man. Strong values and being the best version of yourself are key to a happy life, plus it’s so much more rewarding if you’ve worked hard for something rather than achieved it on someone else’s coattails.”
Mhari was a newspaper journalist when she first met husband, Michael, they are now divorced. During their 17-year relationship, she started her own PR company and sold it. And then grew a 250-strong team with her New York jewellery business – Stella & Dot.
More recently, she has worked in business development for the LVMH (Louis Vuitton, Moet, Hennessy) Group and now, Temple Spa.
“I love my job and it’s so rewarding to be able to help other women and men to set up their own businesses with our skincare brand,” she explained. “Whether the goal is to pay off a mortgage, or to work flexibly around the family, it’s your choice.”
Wife of Sheffield Utd and Hull City player Ryan has owned a Temple Spa franchise for eight years and has been happily married for the same length of time.
She described the turn of events which led her to launch her own business with the brand: “I’ve always worked and would never want to live off a man. I like to earn money in my own right to contribute to the family and for my own enjoyment too,” she explained.
“I was happily married to an amazing guy who was living out his dream of being a professional football player and I had just qualified in accountancy. But in 2011, life threw us a curveball and Ryan had to retire from playing, which happened to fall at the same time as I was due to give birth to our second daughter. I felt I had two choices; stay with the office work and help to build someone’s dream or build our own.
“So I started my own business with Temple Spa as a Lifestyle Consultant whilst on maternity leave. I was self-motivated and hungry to succeed. We teach spa experience classes – at home and workplaces; it’s a great way to try the products and enjoy a free facial and some ‘me time’ with friends.
“My earnings meant I was able to support Ryan when he retired from playing football and re-trained as a financial advisor. That’s what marriage is about – helping each other.
“I must admit that another of the perks at Temple Spa is the all-expenses-paid holidays to places like Antigua, Zanzibar, St Kitts, Langkawi, and the Maldives – who wouldn’t want to go on these trips as a reward for their job. It’s very refreshing to earn great money alongside adventures to new places, rather than him pay for everything.
Heather had a successful modelling career when she met Tony Dorigo England international, who played for Chelsea, Aston Villa and Leeds during his career) they were together for 31 years before divorcing in 2017.
“Like everyone else I obviously enjoy the finer things in life and still attend some glamorous events from time to time, just as I did when I was married to a footballer. But believe me, being a WAG is certainly not the key to everlasting happiness or good fortune.
“Your own Identify is what makes you unique and wonderful – not the man you are with, even a famous one who kicks a football well. Any girl that pins all their hopes and dreams on that is missing something.”
Heather owns a business CryoHD’ supplying cryotherapy devices – state of the art equipment which use extremely cold temperatures to heal muscles, repair damaged tissue, lesser pain and reduce inflammation.
“The business is expanding rapidly, she explained. “I am currently spending a lot of time travelling throughout America, Europe and the UK – supplying and installing the devices in aesthetic clinics, physiotherapy practices, professional football and rugby clubs and now the equine world.
I have recently launched my new collection ’Skin Matrix HD’ luxe micellar cleansing pads as seen in Bizarre and Vogue.
“I work alongside my son and daughter. It gives me a tremendous sense of pride working together building our family business… I absolutely love it!!
A new breed of Cheshire Housewives is emerging – successful and independent business entrepreneurs: pictured left to right are Claire France, Heather Dorigo and Mhari Oakes.