I grew up in Tamworth and unfortunately was seriously bullied during High School. I was tormented on a daily basis and believed their taunts that I was ugly. I received racist comments and I really hated how I looked, especially my big curly hair! Some days I would be the centre of the jokes and others the game would be to ignore me completely and the only person who spoke to me the whole day would be the teacher when she read my name out for registration. I was unbearably lonely, had no friends and was miserable!
During my time at High School, I was so anxious leaving the house that my teachers started to send my work home so I could study from there. This meant I often went all week only seeing my parents and little sister.
My home was the only place I felt safe, I was terrified that if I left I might bump into somebody from school, even a knock at the door from the postman would make me jump. I spent a lot of time indoors reading books and magazines, this is where my love for fashion developed. I would spend hours looking through fashion mags wishing I had somewhere to go and somebody to actually go with.
My parents changed my school and although the bullying was in the past I still suffered from the effects of it. I was painfully shy, struggled meeting people and had zero confidence. Not long after leaving school, I met Greg, (who I later married). I still find it amazing that he saw past my shyness and he was understanding when he had to order my food in restaurants and patient when I struggled in social situations.
Our two little girls were born and I plodded along thankful that I was a stay at home mum as just the thought of sitting in an interview made my heart race. I would have to force myself to the mother and baby groups so the girls weren’t stuck in the house all day. As the girls grew older it was amazing watching their own little personalities develop. They were both confident, bubbly and attracted attention with their beaming smiles wherever we went – the complete opposite to me! I worried my own lack of confidence and anxiety would somehow affect them and they would think it was normal. I didn’t want their personalities to ever change because of me.
So in 2016, I decided I needed to make some big changes in my life, for myself and for my family. Greg had grown up in the manufacturing industry and he encouraged me to pursue my love for fashion and to set up a clothing brand. Popsy Clothing was launched and I haven’t looked back!
I nervously set up a Facebook page and put on a post introducing myself. I continued to post daily and the response was amazing! We hit 100 followers and I remember feeling on top of the world! As people started buying Popsy dresses the reviews started to come in and our little social media page grew by the day! We set up our website and it was incredible when our very first order came through!
I quickly learnt that so many women struggle with confidence and I received lots of messages and reviews from women who had bought one of our dresses and it had made them feel beautiful – I felt so proud to be able to help women feel amazing about themselves through their clothing and I loved being part of so many women’s journeys to loving themselves again and along the way, I learnt to love myself too.
I was once told I would never succeed at business as I didn’t have the right personality. I actually believe my personality is what is going to help me get to where I want to be! I am myself and people can relate to that. My customers get to see what it’s like to have a business and be a mum. I am often replying to emails with a baby on one hip and I have in the past been in important meetings sipping pretend cups of tea which my toddler has made for us all as I have had to take the girls along with me. So I may not be your stereotypical business woman, my days can be completely chaotic juggling everything but I genuinely love what I do and couldn’t imagine it any other way!
Fast forward to today and in the space of 12 months, my confidence has completely changed.
Popsy Clothing now has a social media following of 6,000 ladies on Facebook and Instagram who all look to me for fashion advice – surreal!
I regularly do Facebook lives showing our dresses,
speak to women from all across the world, I am a guest speaker at an event talking to business owners about overcoming anxiety, I have been nominated for a Mums In Business award and my story has been picked up and being published in a book, Mumpreneur on Fire 2, which is being released on Amazon with an official book launch at Waterstones! If I could go back and tell that lonely teenager all she would achieve she would never have believed it!
I do not want to dwell on the past but I do want to share my story so people know they can overcome the effects of bullying and anxiety. Suffering from anxiety and low self-esteem can be an extremely dark place to be but believe me there is light at the end of that tunnel and you can achieve your dreams!
If I can do it, so can you!
The girl who at one point in her life did not have a single friend now has a tribe of 6,000 women behind her, now that is pretty special!
Founder : https://www.popsyclothing.co.uk/