how she did it

Case Studies // Taking Early Retirement to Sta...

Taking Early Retirement to Start a Business

What does your business do?

My company is Cascade Colour & Style – an Image Consultancy providing help and advice for clients on how to build a great personal image. I provide consultations on:
Colour – the most flattering shades for each individual to choose Style – which clothing designs will best suit the client’s body shape and express their inner style personality Wardrobe Reviews – to clear out the clutter of unsuitable clothes and start building a wardrobe which really works for the client Personal Shopping Trips and ideas for special occasion outfits I aim to help my clients gain real confidence and enjoyment from their personal look – and to save them a lot of money on clothes they don’t wear!
My website is and you can contact me on or by phone on 01245 440162

What made you decide to start your own business?

The opportunity to take early retirement after a long career in the insurance business gave me a chance to do something I really felt passionately about. I’ve always been fascinated by the huge  difference in how people look when they are dressed in a way which really flatters them, so I turned that ‘amateur interest’ into a profession with formal training in Image Consultancy and my business is now in its fifth year.
I thoroughly enjoy my work and there is real satisfaction in knowing that I’ve helped people feel happy and more confident in their image.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Starting a business from ‘scratch’ means you have to get yourself known! Attracting clients is probably the biggest challenge for most new businesses so you have to think carefully about the people who are likely to be most interested in your services and how you can reach them.

How have you overcome this challenge?

I joined business networking groups, and give talks and demonstrations for various private groups and business organisations, as well as working on developing my ‘on-line’ profile. Building up a client base takes time but as it grows, so do the “word of mouth” recommendations from happy customers.

What advice would you give to other business owners?

It’s important to let people know how you can help them – not just what your business does.
You need to be patient and persevere sometimes; businesses don’t grow overnight. Make sure every single customer is pleased with what you have done for them and always treat them as you would wish to be treated yourself.

What is your favourite quote?

‘It is better to be looked over than to be overlooked’ – Mae West

Who inspires you?

Tamara Mellon – hugely successful with Jimmy Choo and looks fabulous. Helen Mirren, who shows us all that you can look wonderful and stylish at any age.

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