Being dyslexic, Carly Thompsett was told that she probably would not amount to much but this did not stop her. When she knew she wanted to set up her own business, Carly looked for guidance and support which she found in The Prince’s Trust. Carly did not let anything get in her way even when she had to take a full-time job to fund her new enterprise. Three years later; Carly is the proud owner of an expanding clothing and homeware store, she is mentoring other budding entrepreneurs and has rubbed shoulders with some well-known celebrities.
I left school at 15 with some GCSE’s but being dyslexic I was told I probably wouldn’t mount too much anyway so why bother. I got a job and I started at College for 3 years, which I did both full-time. I did hair and beauty for the first year and art and design for the last two. I wanted to become a fashion designer that was my calling in life, my room was always piled high with art books and designs, I was always making things and I just never knew what to do with them. I did all this while I became a manager at my job.
I continued working there for a total of 6 years but I 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 the same place. I then lost my grandad and felt I needed a change of scenery, so I quit my job, packed my things and I moved up to Cardiff in 2013.
I met one of my friends soon after moving here and we did talk about my business ideas but again I didn’t know where or how to go about it. So I carried on with my day job, until one day I woke up and really wanted to pursue my dream. I bit the bullet and quit my job, I thought if I won’t do it now I won’t ever do it, so googled ‘how to start a business’, and one of the first results that popped up was The Princes Trust, so I called in and explained I wanted to start a business and asked if they could help me.
They explained they had a course called the Enterprise programme that I could go on and that’ll get me started. So I accepted, what did I have to lose?
I wasn’t expecting much from the course, but was pleasantly taken aback and surprised at how much information I didn’t know I needed to know to run a business; and the depth of the course was fantastic. I came out with a new lease of life and excitement for my new journey. I worked with Gemma to do my business plan and had weekly meetups to go through all my information to make sure I had everything I needed before I went to launch group – I passed – which is like dragons den and so scary. My adventure began and Anaphase Clothing was born.
I was given a mentor for 2 years to help me all the way with any problems and advice and I have networked a lot doing their courses. For the last 2 years, The Princes Trust Cymru have held a pop-up shop in St David’s 2, a busy shopping centre on Mothers Day weekend, which I have attended and speaking to people that have been through the same journey really helped me.
My business was slow to start off with which did dishearten me a little, especially as I thought I’d be a millionaire by the first month. But I wasn’t ready to give up – so I got a full-time job to help with the costs and kept my business going on the side; it has picked up a lot and has been a bumpy ride but I still see potential in myself.
The trust was always there for me for whatever I needed – willing to put me in contact with other mentors who would help me if mine couldn’t.
Last year I changed the business name to Anaphase Store as I wasn’t just selling clothing now so it made sense to have a store to cover the ranges I have. I have developed an online following on my social media accounts, I have my website that gets a lot of attention, I am verified on Facebook, The Tomorrow store that is run by The Prince’s Trust also stocks my items on their online platform. I have also collaborated with 2 other businesses that went through the enterprise programme and currently have a fully funded office in Caerphilly thanks to the Welsh government. I have been growing my brand to attract all different types of customers so I can create a bigger collection.
I am also a young ambassador for The Princes Trust, so I attend events and do speeches on how the trust has helped me, just like now, I am now training to be a volunteer and business mentor. Along the way I have met Paul Mercer, he used to play for Portsmouth Football team, which my dad is a huge fan of, I asked him for an autograph which he was okay about until the whole room saw, rushed over and formed a line. He was stuck there for about 30 minutes, not sure if I left as his friend, also Dan Bigger and Kelly Hoppen. Kelly loved my ‘Don’t touch my hair’ sweatshirts and posted it on her Instagram along with Giovanna Fletcher who posted one of my candles on her Instagram story, which in turn sent a lot of people my way. I have done an interview on BBC radio wales along with Heat, Kiss, Kerrang, Planet Rock and Magic. I met Prince Charles who laughed at my don’t touch my hair jumper and told me he loves eBay, at the same event I met Luke Evans, who was really nice and was tweeting about some ambassadors during the morning. My business has also been shortlisted for 5 different business awards and in April I was invited by Buckingham Palace to attend Prince Charles 70thBirthday Celebrations. I have been mentioned in various newspapers and magazines through my journey and its lovely to hear that people still find me just as inspiring, I hope to inspire the whole world when I take it over next year.
I got so many opportunities from the trust, that I would never had got before, my first event I read a speech in front of 500 people, that is scary stuff but it helps me build my confidence so it helps me hugely as well as shouting about the trust and everything they have done for me.
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Carly has been an entrepreneur for 3 years when she started her business Anaphase Store in 2015, Carly struggled through her educational years with being dyslexic and dyspraxic but she has broken those barriers down to live out her dreams. Since receiving help from the Prince’s trust, Carly has become a business mentor and ambassador to give back and help other people who may have the same struggles and give them confidence to blossom. Carly’s business Anaphase Store is Online and based in Cardiff. They stock their own designs and slogans printed onto Clothing ranging from newborn to 5XL, Homeware where they make their own candles and bath bombs, Footwear, Cosmetics, Accessories, Gymwear, Art Prints and Holiday items for the upcoming Seasons.