"Follow A Fast-Growing Industry"

I saw an amazing opportunity.

Back in the 1970's (I had been a typewriter fixer for years, on the mainland) I'd come back to the Island with my young family and had started to supply customers with replacements. 

It started by luck – I managed to say “Yes” when a customer asked me to replace her broken dictaphone…

"Start Small And Often!"

I started small.

My husband was at work, I had young children and we needed more money.

I put my sewing skills to work. I bought my first sewing machine with £33 my granny left me.

I took in clothes to do repairs and alterations for neighbours. Word spread and soon I was doing quite a lot. Then I started to provide alterations for local tailors. It all got so successful, I had to make a change...

“The Challenge Was Exciting, But...”

I started my business with confidence in my profession as a solicitor, but as a first-time business owner. The challenge was exciting, but the responsibility was heavy. I really wanted it to succeed.

I'd had enough of big law firms. That was the obvious career choice, but I hated it.

I set myself to learn everything! And then I started to do everything.

As I got more and more busy, I couldn't keep up. I needed to get help.

“Always Say Yes!”

I went straight from school into working on the family farm until I was offered a chance to buy a record shop. My friend Tim and I were often in there, listening to music to play in our band. The owner wanted to move and said “You two are always in here, why don't you take it over?”.

That was the first of many opportunities to say “Yes!”.  Happy Daze was born.

I seem to be able to sense an opportunity, even in a casual enquiry. It usually works out – though once I was told to double my price if I wanted to be taken seriously...

"Build The Best Team"

Vikoma is a thriving business exporting worldwide from the Isle of Wight.

I was brought into the business three years ago to manage it, prepare it for sale and raise much needed investment. Key personnel were leaving and a strong management team was needed to achieve these goals and ensure Vikoma stayed on the Island.

As I began to talk to key people about the future, I found they were passionate about the business and wanted it to thrive once more...

"Hang On!"

I hung on to a growing business through thick and thin.

The owner's job is to fund the business. I started ICRTouch in partnership with my then boss, Andy.

I was writing new software to allow tills in cafe's and hotels to take orders as well as give receipts. This began as an offshoot of his business with un-computerised electronic tills.

After some years, Andy felt he wanted to slow down. I had to agree to selling the whole company to someone else, or...

"Spotting An Overlooked Opportunity"

My turning point was spotting an opportunity that others had overlooked.

Years ago, in the early days of renewable energy production, I was developing wind energy sites. I had to search for suitable areas. In those days, we used folding maps to find possibilities and check them in person. 

We became very active and successful in Cumbria, but the sites were running out. How could I keep the company going and use our experience elsewhere?