Today’s interview is with inspirational woman Carly who was told she would not amount to much and proved them wrong with the help of the Prince’s Trust. So if you have any issues that result in people writing you off, please read and take hope from Carly’s story. No matter where you are in life right now, things can and do change for the better. Carly now runs her own business which you can find at https://anaphasestore.com/
Please tell us a little about your childhood and teenage years
I left school at 15 with some GCSEs but I was told I probably wouldn’t amount to much anyway so why bother? I got a job and I started college. I did hair and beauty for my first year and then art and design for two years. I continued working for a total of 6 years but started to lose interest so left to change my career. From that moment on I never really stuck to a job. I bounced around every 6 months to a new job. I eventually became a mobile carer for the elderly which I did kind of enjoy because I was always on the move and not stuck in one place.
Why did you struggle to stick to one thing job wise?
I get bored really easily. I love a challenge and being thrown out of my comfort zone.
When did you find out you had dyslexia?
I found out I was dyslexic in my second year of college. My mum had just got into university herself and they found out she had dyslexia. She recognised some signs in my brother and myself and asked college to test me. I was tested pretty quickly and was then offered the extra help I needed to pass my other years of college.
What did you really want to do career wise?
I wanted to become a fashion designer as that was my calling in life. My room was always piled high with art books and designs but I never knew what to do with them. I wanted to live in London and create fashion. I was obsessed with it.
Tell us about the impact of losing your Granddad
Losing my grandfather really hit me. I was always close to my grandparents and I helped look after my granddad for the last year of his life so when he did die, I took it really badly. However, it did make me want to seek a new challenge in life. I talked with a new friend about my business ideas but did not know how to make them a reality. Then one day I woke up and just knew I wanted to go for it. I thought if I do not do it now I never will.
How did the Prince’s Trust help you?
As soon as I Googled “how to start a business” one of the first results that popped up was The Prince’s Trust. I called in and asked how they could help me. They welcomed me onto their Enterprise Course. Lots of the information was new to me and the depth of the course was fantastic. I worked with Gemma to do a business plan and get ready for the launch group which is a bit like Dragons’ Den. After that I had a mentor for 2 years and have networked and done more courses.
How do you help the Prince’s Trust?
I was a young ambassador for them attending events to give speeches on how the Trust has helped me. I am now a volunteer and mentor.
Tell us about your celebrity contacts
I met footballer Paul Mercer and asked him for his autograph. Kelly Hoppen loved my “Don’t touch my hair” T-shirts and posted on Instagram. Giovanna Fletcher posted oen of my candles on Instagram. I have met Prince Charles and was invited to his 70th birthday celebrations.
How have you used the media to promote what you do?
I have done radio interviews with BBC Radio Wales, Heat, Kiss, Kerrang, Planet Rock and Magic. I have had mentions in various newspapers and magazines.
What were the big challenges around setting up your own business?
I thought I would be a millionaire in my first month so when it was slow to take off, I got a little disheartened. I was not ready to give up so I got a job to help with business costs. I had not done enough initial research so was surprised when products did not sell.
Is your business going as well as you hoped
I am not a millionaire but I do make more profit every year.
What does your business offer?
We offer unique T-shirt designs, homeware, cosmetics, accessories, footwear, gymwear, art prints and holiday items.
What one tip would you give to a woman who wants to set up a business?
Don’t think about it too much because you will talk about yourself out of it. Take the leap and live your dream!