We did it our way

Posted by Greg Jacobs on 18/02/2014

‘I had the idea for the temporary blinds while Gordon and I were decorating our new house in 2003. We were waiting for our new curtains to arrive and needed something to cover the windows.

I hunted high and low, and when I couldn’t find anything suitable, I designed a paper blind that could be stuck to a window frame. I knew straight away i’d hit on a good idea, but I realised what a big undertaking setting up a business was, so I got two partners on board, who have been fantastic.

We each invested some of our own money (around £3,500) and set up a website. The business did well almost immediately, but when we appeared on BBC2′s Dragon’s Den and got the backing of Duncan Bannatyne and James Cann, it really took off. We’re now stocked in Argos and have an annual turnover of £100,000.

I’m quite a dodged person and I really believe that you can do anything you want. I’ve never let my age be an issue. At first, I regretted that I hadn’t done this sooner. But mine was an old-fashioned marriage – once the first of my three daughters was born, I gave up my work and my main role was bringing them up and looking after the house, as well as helping out with the admin for my husbands optometry business once they got a bit older.

I now think this is the perfect time for me to have my own business. I don’t play bridge or golf, so business is my hobby. It’s definitely kept me young. I’ve learned so many new skills, including how to use the computer and text on my mobile phone, which has been useful for communicating with my eight children.

I’ve been invited to give a talk at the school one of my granddaughters attends and my picture is on the wall of my grandson’s classroom.

They’re very proud of me.