“Told that I wouldn’t amount to anything because I’m dyslexic and dyspraxic but now I live out my business dreams.” – Carly Thompsett
We at BoxHuman are passionate about highlighting and celebrating inspiring humans; especially the ones who are inspiring, helping, and bringing light to the world. We do this to rebalance some of the negative messages we often hear, see, and receive daily. We met up quickly with one of these amazing individuals…
Hey Carly, it’s great to meet you. Thank you for taking part in our BoxHuman Business Inspire Series. I can’t wait to get to know you so let’s get started! Can you please tell me a little bit about you and what you do?
I have been an entrepreneur for four years when I started my business Anaphase Store in 2015. I struggled through my educational years with being dyslexic and dyspraxic but I have broken those barriers down to live out my dreams. Since receiving help from the Prince’s Trust in early 2015, I have become a successful business mentor and ambassador. I love to give back and help other people who may have the same struggles and give them the confidence to blossom. I have met Prince Charles along with many celebrity ambassadors; I was even personally invited to Buckingham Palace which was a highlight for me.
Wow, what a superb and exciting intro, thank you, Carly! I’m so intrigued…Can you please tell me the name of your business and what your business is all about?
My business is called Anaphase Store which is online and based in Cardiff. We stock our own designs and slogans printed onto clothing ranging from newborn to 5XL. Our store stocks everything from friends themed designs, homeware; homemade candles to holiday items for the upcoming seasons. I am proud to say that Anaphase has won seven business awards, shortlisted for twenty-one others. I have also been chosen as 35 under 35 businesswoman in Wales 2018 & 2019 by Wales Online. Additionally, I was also voted top 100 businesswomen in Wales with Pinkspiration.
Congratulations on your store and your achievements Carly, very inspiring! It’s been said many times before that starting a business isn’t easy. Can you please tell us why you decided to start a business in the first place? What inspired you to do this and why?
I left school at fifteen with some GCSE’s but being dyslexic I was told I probably wouldn’t amount to much so not to really bother. I got a job and I started at College for three years, and 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 for a total of six years but I started to lose interest; so I left to change my career. From that moment on I never really stuck to a job, I bounced around every six 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 to live my life, 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. We had completely different businesses so he could only help me so far. 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 would never do it. To start I 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.
Now that’s an inspiring way to start a business! Sometimes the ‘calling’ can be so strong that you just have to follow it. It’s so good that you followed your gut and most importantly your dreams. Thank you for sharing that. So with life, it can come with some amazing ups and some real lows. With that being said…What’s been the biggest challenge that you’ve had to go through since starting and running your business and how did you overcome it?
I was given a mentor for two years to help me with any problems and to give me advice. I have also networked a lot doing the Princes Trust courses. For the first few years, The Princes Trust Cymru held a pop-up shop in St David’s 2 on Mothers Day weekend. I have been fortunate enough to attend this event for three years and I was able to speak to people that have been through the same journey so this 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. Even though this happened 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 but it has been a bumpy ride however despite this I still see potential in myself.
The Princes Trust was always there for me for whatever I needed. They were even willing to put me in contact with other mentors who would help me if mine couldn’t.
In 2017, I changed the business name to Anaphase Store as I wasn’t just selling clothing so it made sense to have a store to cover the different ranges that I sold. Since starting I have developed an online following on my social media accounts, I am verified on Facebook and The Tomorrow store which is run by The Prince’s Trust also stocks my items on their online platform.
I have also collaborated with four other businesses that went through the enterprise programme and currently I have a fully funded office in Caerphilly thanks to the Welsh Government.
Such a great insight into the highs and lows of running a business Carly, thank you. You’ve certainly inspired me so far, thank you! I think it’s a good time to start OUR BoxHuman Business Inspire questions. Let’s go…
1) What has been your biggest achievement and proudest moment so far and why?
I was a young ambassador for The Princes Trust, so I would attend events and do speeches on how the trust has helped me; I am now a volunteer and business mentor.
I’ve 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. I now also have two paid staff members, three interns, and eight reps around the country working for Anaphase Store – I feel extremely lucky to have achieved what I have in such a small time.
2) What do you do to empower or motivate yourself on a daily basis?
3) What is your favourite quote?
Don’t live with regrets. Always try, even if you fail you tried and you know how to change your next idea to work out. I always tell people to go for it, it’s never too late to live out your dreams.
Don’t live a what if life! – Carly Thompson
Continuing the positive questions can you please tell us…What would you say to inspire and empower someone who was going to start a business?
Just do it.
You will always talk yourself out of it, but what is there to lose?! Take every opportunity that comes your way, it’s your life, live it how you want to.
What brilliant insight and advice! So what future goals do you want to achieve with your business and why?
I would love to open my own shop, that would be my ultimate dream. I know the climate isn’t the best at the moment on the high street, but I hope that one day we can get to a stage where small businesses can open shops again. I would also love to take on more staff and build a female empire too.
Congratulations on your inspiring and successful business! Finally and to conclude this very inspiring interview…A BoxHuman is an empowered individual. They will not be defined by society’s labels. They show the better qualities of humankind, such as strength, kindness, and inspiration. Can you please tell us what makes you a BoxHuman?
People say I am inspirational and that I give them the courage to pursue their dreams. I always offer out my advice or ear to listen, sometimes you just need to be told what you need to hear.
“Thank you, Carly.”
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