Emma Lanman from Crouch End has recently launched Van Girls with the aim of giving customers a unique friendly, customer oriented 'van & woman' service.
As the business is establishing itself, Emma, 28, runs it from her Uplands Road home alongside a job in the emergency services.
In fact it was experiences in her job that first gave Emma the idea for the business. “I realised from what I was hearing first-hand and from colleagues in simillar jobs that people react very positively when a female turns up to help”.
“I looked around at forums and feedback sites and kept on coming across real frustration over the poor levels of customer service with many ‘Man & Van’ operations. I know it’s possible to do better. And to my surprise, I also found that some people were saying that they wished they could find women to use for their van+ jobs”
The branding for Van Girls is intentionally quite retro in feel, with a reassuringly familiar logo and liberal use of pictures of wartime Land Girls. “We want to provide a service that’s honest, dependable and friendly. So we’ve chosen an image to try and convey that.”, Emma told Harringay Online. “The thing I was most worried about was that people would think girls wouldn’t be capable of doing what till now has been regarded as a ‘man’s job’. The Land Army showed decades ago that women have always been capable of doing the same jobs as men”.
“At the moment there’s no real option for people to choose ‘woman & van’, Emma told us. “I was able to find isolated set ups where a woman is offering a van+ service but there’s still no women only option beyond those independent operators.”
So Emma gathered together a women only team. At the moment all tend to have occupations that give them the flexibility to work at the hours customers need them. The group includes students, freelance journalists, hospitality workers and so on.
Right now Emma’s focusing on work north of the river (though she’s happy enough to take jobs wherever she can) and most of her business is coming from word of mouth. I have a sneaking feeling that people may rather like what’s unique about Van Girls and she and her team might get busy once the word is out.
In the meantime, when she’s not working, Emma still has time to play rugby on Hampstead Heath for the Hampstead Ladies Rugby Club. “Actually it’s been a great recruiting ground for Van Girls!”, Emma reflected.
Facebook: Van Girls Ltd
Not the first. For years Lesbus trucked our stuff about. It started as women-only but is now reincarnated as Shirley's, which also has optional specially-chosen grunt-free chaps. I've used Shirley's several times and the best thing is that they are CALM - an essential quality at what is often a stressful time.
I think they mostly do removals, so a woman-with-van service will be handy for when I finally get that sofa sorted out.
Yes! I saw Shirley's in my research and was impressed. I don't see us as competitors at all as we're providing different services and the more the merrier I say!
Delighted to hear they're 'grunt-free'! Even more delighted to find out that lesbus is, in effect, still going. What a wonderful thing social networking is :))
Another handy link from browsing from there - Home Jane. "A 60 strong team of lady carpenters, decorators, electricians, plumbers and general handywomen working across London and the Home Counties." £40 an hour, no call-out charge for most trades. One to bookmark.
Great to hear about all female services such as this as we do indeed need them and appreciate them... Wish the best for all "Crews" Lesbus, Shirley's and VanGirl abd others... If you are interested in this kind of thing, see the Women and Manual Trades website for information on professions, courses and a search engine to find local female only services:
We just moved into the area and used Van Girls for our move. They were absolutely fantastic and it made for the lowest stress move of our lives. Have now unpacked and not a single breakage. And they were good fun on the day too. Could not recommend highly enough.