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Interview with Carly Thompsett
Who are you and what do you do?
Anaphase Store stocks our own designs and slogans printed onto clothing ranging from newborn to 5XL. We also sell friends themed designs, homeware where we make our own candles in big jars and bath bombs full of lots of different scents, cosmetics, accessories, make up brushes and holiday items for the upcoming Seasons.
Anaphase has won four business awards and has been shortlisted for their 5th. We have eight reps around the country selling items on behalf of our business.
“Don’t be afraid to push limits” Carly Thompsett
What’s the story behind your success?
The 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, The Tomorrow store that is run by The Prince’s Trust also stocks my items on their online platform. I also collaborated with four 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 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. 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 Radio Cardiff, 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 fifteen different business awards, we’ve won five of them, three in one day, an award being the enterprise award with the Princes trust awards – we became a multi award winning business all in one day.
I was also invited by Buckingham Palace to attend Prince Charles 70th Birthday Celebrations. I was listed as one of the 35 under 35 top business woman in wales 2018 and I have been mentioned in sixty three newspapers and magazines articles through my journey. It’s lovely to hear that people still find me just as inspiring. In addition to everything I 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.
What’s been your life’s biggest lesson so far?
That I don’t know better and I do need help. I thought I knew all the answers and I knew what my customers wanted. It wasn’t until my first t-shirt sales and no-one bought them that I realised I need to ask questions and for help; I realised I’m not alone and people are there to help me. After this, I had to start over again from scratch; a lot of people would have given up but I wasn’t ready to give up yet.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
There isn’t any advice in the way that most people would say ‘work harder’ etc, I’m happy with how everything worked out and in what order it went. I needed how my life went in order to make me realise how to run a business and have the confidence to pursue my dream.
What three tools makes your business run better?
Social media is one! I wouldn’t be at the stage I’m at now if it wasn’t for the free social media pages, I recommend everyone to take advantage of them.
Second is Planoly – I use this to pre-post posts on certain days so I don’t forget, its a life saver.
Third – I don’t know if this counts but my sister. She works on the social media side of the business and makes sure posts are posted, all the relevant information is there and answer any questions that come in.