Visible Start Graduate


Sonia only hopes her offspring will share her philosophy for life: to embrace it and take every opportunity you get.

Sonia Cottam

Like most of the women from the Visible Start class of 2021, Sonia exudes kindness and empathy. A lively individual who refuses to accept the sort of jobs society has earmarked for her – receptionist at the local doctor’s surgery is not in Sonia’s destiny.

Going straight into the world of work after leaving school, her sights weren’t set on a professional career but on starting and raising a family; to become CEO of Household Cotton.

Which she did. But not before picking up a variety of office roles and doing a stint in the US as a nanny. Saving Sonia from the toxic atmosphere of a health insurance company call centre, her children came along and she has spent the last 20 years nurturing and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.

Sonia’s an incredibly humble individual, but when pushed she’ll tell you that it’s how kind and genuinely lovely her offspring have turned out that makes her most proud. She only hopes they’ll also share her philosophy for life: to embrace it and take every opportunity you get.

And Sonia certainly has: she’s walked on fire more than once and been an extra in five Bollywood movies! But closest to her heart is assuming the role of Mrs Christmas. After her mother and stepfather died 12 years ago, she stepped up to the sleigh to make sure the family enjoyed the magic of the most wonderful time of the year – just like her mum did for her.

Now with her daughter off at university and her son soon to follow, Sonia wants to put her life skills to good use in the creative industries. After all, there’s only so much gardening, walking, baking (and eating!) of cakes that can distract her from an imminent empty nest!