Business management

Hannah Walkiewicz: The Build Bristol Group

As part of our campaign with Getty Images to change the image of female-led entrepreneurship, the founder of The Build Bristol Group tells her business story.

The Build Bristol Group is the only female-led and owned design and build company in Bristol, founded by Hannah Walkiewicz when she spotted a gap in the market for offering clients a turnkey service. The construction company has since grown to become a multi-disciplined team of 25. 

“I work really closely with brilliant architects, interior designers and garden designers to ensure we produce showstopping work,” says Hannah. “I have built and grown The Build Bristol Group brand through clever advertising, social media platforms and ensuring our team always look the part when on site. Our TBBG wheels can be spotted out and about on each site every day, checking in on progress.” 

For six weeks of the first lockdown in 2020, the business closed its sites so that it could assess the situation and understand the impact of the guidelines on the team, clients and supply chain. As Hannah recalls: “When clients were required to work from home and children unable to attend school, we felt the last thing they would want was to have our builders on-site daily.”

Be proud of what you do and want to achieve – shout about it. Invest in the things that make you stand out.

Hannah Walkiewicz
Founder, The Build Bristol Group

They adapted the business over the spring, rescheduling projects so all PPE measures would be in place. “Clients welcomed our proactivity and were happy to move start dates. The fact we moved quickly meant we only had to stop for six weeks in 2020.”

Hannah says she’s excited about what they achieved in 2021: new builds and whole house renovations are projects she could only have dreamed about a few years ago. In recent years, she adds, she’s been asked to judge on the Bristol Property Awards panel; the business has sponsored the under-9s Shine football club team kit; Hannah has ‘slept out’ for charity, and regularly donated to the Bristol Soup Run; among many other proud moments.

“All of these factors have helped me to realise what I have built is a brilliant building company,” she says. “When I come up against male-led competitors in the city, it hasn’t always been easy. But the relationship I build with clients has shown I’m more than capable in a ‘man’s world’.”

Being part of this initiative] has helped with my own confidence in my business and in realising what I do isn’t just good but excellent.

Hannah Walkiewicz
Founder, The Build Bristol Group

Her advice to other women looking to launch their own business is to go for it. “I look back and at times it has been very stressful, but I’m my own boss. Be proud of what you do and want to achieve – shout about it. Networking with other like-minded people has also been a huge help to my business.

“Invest in the things that make you stand out. Brand awareness has helped me no end. With the use of a strong brand, you stand out from the crowd.” 

Hannah says she’s thrilled to be part of the bank and Getty Images’ Female Focus #BeTheRoleModel initiative. “It has helped with my own confidence in my business and in realising what I do isn’t just good but excellent,” she says. “You don’t always get recognition as your own boss, so for someone else to recognise what you do on a national level is incredible. It’s also shown my 13-year-old daughter that you can do anything you want to with hard work and determination.”

Learn more about the winners in the experimental Metaverse virtual gallery.

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