• Izak Hannard

Fashion Designer Carly Thompsett On Achieving Her Dream Career With Dyslexia!

There's no doubt about it - we all have dreams and aspire to be the best we can be. But getting there most of us know is a huge challenge that takes significant time and effort. Though we feel that this can be very off putting, it can actually turn out to be a powerful motivator!

I've been chatting with business owners from across the country from the start of the year and have been sharing their powerful and inspirational stories, finding out how they achieved the things they thought was once impossible.

One business owner in particular that I got to chat with exclusively, fashion designer Carly Thompsett, shared with me the challenges she faced as an aspiring business owner and fashion designer. Carly has battled dyslexia for the most part of her life and this has been tough on her education and even tougher carving out the first stages of creating her brand.

Dyslexia is demanding for anybody no matter what career you choose because it can tend to make life seem much more difficult. Carly certainly didn't let it defeat her as a strong business owner, which is why it is no surprise that she has achieved so much in her career so far.

Here is my talk with Carly Thompsett and how she built her brand from scratch and how she became a success in the fashion business!

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 wont do it now I wont 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 a back 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 meet ups 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 Store 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 were always there for me for what ever 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 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, TheTomorrow 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 have 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 a small business award.

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."

This just goes on to show that you can empower yourself to be the best that you can be and most importantly - be your own boss!

If you'd like to know more about Carly's clothing brand Anaphase Store and view the full range of clothing and cosmetic products, then you can visit the website here:

I hope you enjoyed Carly's story and gave you all the motivation you need today! Remember to subscribe to the mailing list at the bottom of the page for monthly alerts on when new articles are posted!