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I would like to tell you about my business inspiration…

When my mother was running her mail order bead company, Janet Coles Beads, one event totally transformed her business.

She was featured in the Daily Mail – it was a very small mention but this small mention had a huge impact on her business.

Her company went from invisible to highly #VISIBLE literally over night as she received sack load after sack load of mail requesting her catalogue (it was the 1980’s long before email existed!)

As a result of this one mention, things snowballed as other journalists heard and read about her story – a mother of four, starting a creative business from the kitchen table.

She’d been inspired whilst on a trip to Paris seeing a beautifully lit up shop selling colourful beads and had a light-bulb moment of ‘Why don’t I sell beads in the UK? I can do it too!’

Here is a 10 mnute video we recorded together as I interview My Business Inspiration, Janet Coles:

So she set about sourcing the beads and her first ‘catalogue’ was literally a photocopied sheet of A4 folded over with her hand drawn sketches of the earrings and necklaces using the beads she sourced.

Later on, her catalogues become beautiful highly designed glossy magazine style creations and were even stocked in WHSmith.

The press coverage her company had would have given credibility and kudos when we sat together at the Buyers Meetings at WHSmith head office in Swindon pitching for them to stock the catalogues (pictured below).


As the company grew, my mother took on a PR agent who helped her secure some excellent TV appearances such as a long feature slot on the Clothes Show.

I had to get up at 4am once to be a guest on Ann and Nick on Good Morning Britain discussing ‘objets trouvés’ so I had my first taste of being the expert ‘s daughter at just 20. Scary but amazing.

Little did I know that what I was doing was in fact learning on the job how to get publicity and how the pure power of PR can have a direct impact on sales.

Janet Coles Beads became a household name and my mum was the go-to expert in the industry.

Many of you are experts who’d love to be invited to speak and comment on the radio and TV news programmes so that you can be seen as one of your industry’s leaders.

It is possible and you can do it.