BUSINESS boss Karen Lynagh used the inspiration of her impressive weight-loss experience to set herself up as an entrepreneur.
And now, she is expanding after enjoying a first ten months of trading with her Hartlepool-based company called Trading Treasures.
The town woman only opened in February last year in a unit at the Hartlepool Enterprise Centre in Brougham Terrace. Its been a success story ever since.
Trading Treasures stocks pre-owned and, as Karen puts it “pre-loved” items of clothing.
It also stocks new end of range clothing and accessories from designer and high-end high street labels.
Most of her products are available at impressively reduced rates compared to the original recommended retail price.
Her business is going so well, Karen has now moved to a different unit in the enterprise centre.
Karen added: “The business idea came about when I lost 2st 7lb at Slimming World in 2012 and had wardrobes full of lovely quality clothing two sizes too big.”
“I needed a complete new wardrobe. I set up a website and asked a few friends if they had anything they wanted me to sell and I got more than 100 items of quality clothing from just five people which resulted in me opening a unit in the enterprise centre.
“I wanted to appeal to either slimmers or ladies just looking for top label clothing at a fraction of the price.”
Karen is determined to support charity as well in her new venture. She said: “I am also passionate about recycling and helping local charities which is something I have done for the last six years, and felt that I could incorporate this in my new venture.”
Thanks to Trading Treasures, Karen has so far helped six causes including two hospices, a heart fund, a cancer trust and a Hartlepool charity which helps disadvantaged families.
One of her fundraising ventures was to hold a fashion show, pictured, for Hartlepool and District Hospice.
Karen added: “I stock everything from top quality everyday items right up to prom dresses, mother of the bride items and bridalwear, as well as shows and handbags.”
Karen, who also works as a mortgage broker, opens on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays as well as Saturdays by appointment.