30 Years today (10th December) is the anniversary of when I first started in Business. You may doubt, but thanks to the Christmas fair in my first year of Secondary School (aka Yr7) it was the beginning of a very fun journey into business.

Back then I was not confident at all, it was only a few months since recovering from a thyroidectomy (having 80% of my thyroid removed), I had a husky voice and a huge prominent scar on my neck. But this project gave me focus, allowed my character to develop and my love of business to begin.

In groups we had to come up with a simple idea we could make and sell at the School Christmas Fair, to raise money for the School and be the winners. Thanks to my love of hair scrunchies, and the fact it would be low cost to make and high returns, we went with that.

I’m a natural leader and so took this role on to arrange meetings, manage team members as well as communicate (which having zero confidence and a rough sounding voice was massively challenging), plus motivate everyone. We had a deadline to meet, a stall at the Christmas Fair, and a purpose – to be the winning stall!

The team all worked tirelessly and the result… sold out in the first 90 minutes, even though we’d made a lot of scrunchies. And the best seller? Being 1988 just had to be velvet!

This taught me so much in my early years and was the seed that germinated into where I am today.

In my young adulthood, I worked in the Telecommunications Industry and with that same determination was promoted to Team Manager before the age of 21! I also attended Night School classes, for a degree in Business Management. And there started another business project, this time a perfume Shop… ‘Scentsations’. This one was only hypothetical but super fun!

“Business is about keeping it simple, low costs, high returns and an inspired team to make it happen. But.. it also requires determination, focus, hard work, resilience to overcome challenges which inevitably arise in business, resourcefulness to think and take initiative early on and to have fun along the way.”

For me, business must always have a bigger purpose, in that early venture it was about creating something people would feel good wearing. With CHAMPS Academy, it’s about making a massive positive difference to the lives of young people. And with the CHAMPS Franchise it’s about inspiring women to help them build a rewarding business, achieving their career and personal aspirations as well as helping the CHAMPS Academy Mission… ‘to inspire and empower 1 million children and teens by 2020′.

My heartfelt thanks to all the Teachers and fellow ‘Scrunchie team’, I hope life and business has been as wonderful for you too.

Annette x