Carly Thompsett has a history of life and career pattern that is an example to any young entrepreneur out there. Her online business, Anaphase Store, is based in Cardiff and it’s supported by the Prince’s Trust.
It has been shortlisted for 5 different business awards, winning 3 of them. Carly was invited by Buckingham Palace to attend Prince Charles’ 70th Birthday celebrations, and she was listed as one of the 35 under 35 top businesswomen in Wales in 2018.
Anaphase Store covers a range of different products that go from clothing ware to cosmetics. The business is growing so quickly that she already has staff, some interns, and representatives around the country.
Midlands Traveller: To start with, I’d like to know a little bit about your professional background.
Carly Thompsett: I left school at 15 with some GCSE 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 all this while I became a manager at my job.
I continued working 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 to live my life, so I quit my job, packed my things and I moved up here to Cardiff in 2013.
I met one of my friends soon after moving here and we did talk 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 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.
MT: How and when did you come up with the idea of business?
CT: 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 would try startup plans etc with friends but no one was as serious as me, one friend I met in college called Danielle started a ‘company’ with me and we called it Dannarly Fashions (a play on both our names) but she never took it seriously so I moved on to work on my own with it.
MT: What is the concept of your business?
CT: The main tagline for Anaphase Store has always been ‘upstage your life’ by selling different and unique t-shirt designs, scents that go with seasons, and homemade bath bombs.
We did originally start out wanting to sell and stock plus-sized clothing but at the time we were so new to the scene we didn’t know how to go about it, so we started with what was available and grew up that way.
MT: What is the biggest challenge of a business like yours?
CT: Keeping up to date and valid. I see it like Richard Branson, he had a company with things that already existed – phones, trains, flights – but he made his service better to show people you can make changes and you can shop around for different businesses; he made his so popular even despite there being a load of companies selling the same items.
I feel Anaphase is like that, we sell clothing like a lot of shops do, candles like Yankee but you find ways to attract customers in and show them they can use a company that isn’t as well-known but has the same good quality.
MT: Do you think about expanding your business internationally? Please, explain.
CT: We have always offered our products internationally, we do get a few orders from Florida and Germany, but we haven’t grown anymore outside of those areas – we do most of our sales in Great Britain.
MT: What is your advice for someone who wants to start a business?
CT: Just do it, don’t overthink it because that’s when you talk yourself out of it. I always say to people ‘don’t live a what if life, even if you fail you still tried’. I’m anyone’s biggest cheerleader, I will support anyone, and I think everyone should reach for their dreams.
MT: What are the new plans for Anaphase?
CT: At the moment we are getting ready for Christmas to get all of our stock ready and uploaded as soon as the 1st of November comes by – we are currently promoting our Halloween stock as it was the first time we’ve done a dedicated holiday, so we are looking forward to getting into the Christmas spirit as well as building our current ranges to suit more customers.
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Photos | Anaphase Store