She did hair and beauty for the first year and art and design for the last two; her dream was to become a fashion designer that she felt was her calling in life, her room was always piled high with art books and designs, was always making things but she just never knew what to do with them.
She continued working for a total of 6 years but started to lose interest; so Carly left to change her career. From that moment on she never really stuck to a job, unhappily bounced around every 6 months to a new job.
Carly eventually became a mobile carer for the elderly, which she did kind of enjoy because she was always on the move and not stuck in the same place. Losing her grandad made her feel that she needed to live her life for herself, so she quit her job, packed her things and moved up to Cardiff in 2013.
Carly met one of her friends soon after moving to Cardiff and she did talk about her business ideas but didn’t know where or how to go about it, her friend had a completely different kind of job so he could only help her not so far.
So Carly carried on with her day job until one day she woke up and really wanted to pursue her childhood dream. Carly bit the bullet and quit her job again, she thought if she doesn’t do it now she won’t ever do it, so she googled ‘how to start a business’, and one of the first results that popped up was The Princes Trust Cymru, she called in and explained what she wanted to do and asked if they could help her.
They explained they had a course she could go on called the Enterprise Programme and that’ll get her started. So she accepted, what did she have to lose?
Carly admits she wasn’t expecting much from the course, but was pleasantly taken aback and surprised at how much information she didn’t know she needed to know to run a business, and the depth of the course was amazing.
Carly came out with a new lease of life and excitement for her new journey; she worked with the team to do her business plan and had weekly meetups to go through all the information to make sure she had everything she needed before she went to launch group – Carly passed – which is like dragons den and so scary. Carly’s adventure finally began and Anaphase Clothing was born.
Carly was given a mentor for 2 years to help her all the way with any problems and advice, and she says she has networked a lot doing their courses. For the few years, The Princes Trust Cymru have held a pop-up shop in St David’s 2 on Mothers Day weekend, which Carly has attended for 3 years and speaking to people that have been through the same journey really helped her.
Carly’s business was slow to start off with which did dishearten her a little, especially as she thought she’d be a millionaire by the first month. But Carly wasn’t ready to give up – so she got a full-time job to help with the costs and kept her business going on the side; it has picked up a lot and has been a bumpy ride but she still sees potential in herself.
The trust was always there for her for whatever she needed – willing to put her in contact with other mentors who would help her if hers couldn’t.
Last year Carly changed the business name to Anaphase Store as she wasn’t just selling clothing now so it made sense to have a store to cover the ranges she had. She developed a big online following on her business social media accounts, the website that gets a lot of attention, Anaphase Store is verified on Facebook, The Tomorrow store that is run by The Prince’s Trust also stocks items on their online platform.
Carly has also collaborated with 4 other businesses that went through the Enterprise Programme and Carly was lucky enough to have a fully funded office in Caerphilly, thanks to the Welsh government.
Carly became a young ambassador for The Princes Trust, so she would attend events and do speeches on how the trust has helped her and has now become a volunteer and business mentor to help other people that are in the same position she was in the beginning.
Along with Carly’s journey, she has met Paul Mercer, he used to play for Portsmouth Football team, which her dad is a huge fan of, Carly 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, Carly isn’t sure if she left as his friend, also Dan Bigger and Kelly Hoppen. Kelly loved the ‘Don’t touch my hair’ sweatshirts and posted it on her Instagram along with Giovanna Fletcher who posted one of the candles on her Instagram story, which in turn sent a lot of people to the business.
Carly has also done an interview on BBC radio wales along with
Radio Cardiff, Heat, Kiss, Kerrang, Planet Rock, and Magic. She has met Prince Charles who laughed at the don’t touch my hair jumper and told her he loves eBay, at the same event Carly met Luke Evans, who was really nice and was tweeting about some ambassadors during the morning.
Anaphase Store has been shortlisted for 6 different business awards, they won 3 of them in one day and one of the awards being the enterprise award with the Princes trust awards – Anaphase Store became a multi-award winning business all in one day.
Carly was also personally invited by Buckingham Palace to attend Prince Charles 70th Birthday Celebrations, she was listed as one of the 35 under 35 top businesswomen in wales 2018, Carly and the business has been mentioned in 63 new papers and magazines articles through her journey and she thinks its lovely to hear that people still find her just as inspiring.
Carly now has 2 paid staff members, 3 interns and 8 reps around the country working for Anaphase Store – she says she feels extremely lucky to have achieved what she has in such a small time.