Carly Thompsett started her business Anaphase Store in 2015 despite struggling through her educational years being dyslexic and dyspraxic. She has now 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. This gives them the confidence to blossom.
Why do you think your story is inspirational?
I have struggled a lot through my life being dyslexic and dyspraxic; I have fought to get where I am today and grow my business. I was a young ambassador for The Prince’s Trust, so I would attend events and do speeches on how the Trust has helped me, I am now a volunteer and business mentor.
Along the way, I met Paul Mercer, who used to play for the 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! I also met Dan Bigger and Kelly Hoppen. Kelly loved my ‘Don’t touch my hair’ sweatshirts and posted it on her Instagram, which in turn sent a lot of people my way.
My business has also been shortlisted for 5 different business awards and in April I was invited by Buckingham Palace to attend Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday Celebrations. I have been mentioned in various news papers 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.
How did you get started in business?
I lost my grandad and felt I needed a change of scenery, so I quit my job, packed my things and I moved to Cardiff in 2013.
I met one of my friends soon after moving and we talked about my business ideas but 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 don’t do it now, I’ll never do it. I googled ‘how to start a business’, and one of the first results that popped up was The Prince’s 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 informationwas needed to run a business. The depth of the course was fantastic. I came out with a new lease of life and excitement for my new journey. I worked on my business plan and had weeklmeetupsps to go through all my information and make sure I had everything I needed before I went to the launch group – a Dragon’s Den style event, which I passed. My adventure began and Anaphase Clothing was born.
What challenges did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
I left school at 15 with some GCSE’s but being dyslexic, I was told I probably wouldn’t amount too much anyway so why bother. I got a job andwent to college for three years. I did hair and beauty for the first year and art and design for the last two. I wanted to become a fashion designer, I knew that was my calling in life because my room was always piled high with art books and designs. I was always making things, I just never knew what to do with them. I did all this while working to become a manager at my job.
I continued working there for a total of six 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 six months, or so.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
Last year, I changed the business name to Anaphase Store as I wasn’t just selling clothing. I have developed an online following and have a website that gets a lot of attention. The Tomorrow store that is run by The Prince’s Trust also stocks my items on their online platform. I have also collaborated with two other businesses that went through the enterprise programme and currently have a fully funded office in Caerphilly thanks to the Welsh government.
What advice would you give to someone trying to grow their own business?
I always ask people what they have to lose if they pursued it. So what if it fails, you tried. If you don’t try you won’t ever know and you don’t want to live a what-if life. Take the leap and live your dream!
What books have really inspired you?
The Million Dollar Blog is an amazing book – I heard it was amazing so I gave it a read, now I tell everyone to get it.
Find out more about Carly’s brand at Anaphase Store.