Inspiring Business by Sharing Success

Carly’s business success is a beacon of hope for budding entrepreneurs

A business that began in the spare room of Carly Bartram’s Mickleover home has expanded into a specially designed, four-room clinic in Littleover and she has employed four staff members – with more to come.

Now, Carly hopes her story will inspire others with the desire to be their own boss to ‘go for it’.

“It’s been hard work,” said Carly. “But I had an idea and the passion and determination to see it through and now I feel as if I’m living the dream.”

Carly is open about her struggles with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) but says she has developed strategies to cope and be organised:

“I refuse to let anything get in the way of my goals.

“Every December, I have always created 10 realistic goals – personal and business-related - and put them up in the kitchen which motivates me every day."

As a child, Carly loved playing ‘beauticians’ and as a teenager she was always volunteering to paint her friends’ nails and apply face packs for them. Beauty continued to be a hobby until she began professional training in 2004. After working in salons across Derbyshire, she started to pursue her ambition to run her own beauty business.

When she set-up business from her Mickleover home, she delivered a wide range of beauty services and worked long hours, six days a week.

“Talking to my clients I realised that unwanted hair was a major misery for many of them and they longed to find a more permanent solution that saved them time in their busy lives.

“I knew I wanted to offer the best, safest solution, so I started detailed research and realised the power and potential of lasers. I also identified the company that I believe offer the best lasers, Lumenis.”

Carly had to wait two years to be able to afford her first laser machine last summer – and only secured it thanks to a friend who re-mortgaged their house to help her.

She went through rigorous training with Lumenis to become fully-qualified in operating it and, within a month, Carly was fully-booked. She no longer had time to offer manicures, pedicures or other beauty services. She re-branded her business as the Avance Clinic and began looking for new premises.

“I know I had to expand to meet the demand,” said Carly.

Working hard to raise her profile on social media has also been a factor in Carly’s success. That, and her commitment to ongoing training and growing her business, brought her to the attention of bosses at Lumenis. They believed in her so much that they acted as a guarantor when she invested in a second machine. They have also asked her for help with marketing for other laser hair removal business owners.

Carly has now relocated Avance Clinic to Tutbury Avenue, on the Highfields Estate. Financing of the new premises was achieved with support from the British Business Bank’s Enterprise Finance Guarantee.

She has been putting in 75-hour weeks and is grateful to husband Matt – who she calls her ‘rock’ - and her wider family for their unfailing support. Over the past year, they have become the main carers for her daughter who turned six recently.

ADHD can run in families, and Carly’s daughter has also been diagnosed with the behavioural condition. Carly said: “It’s a big sacrifice to spend so much time away from her, but I want her to be proud of me and think ‘If mummy can do this, then I know that with ADHD I can achieve anything'.”

Carly has employed a second full-time, fully-qualified laser technician and three part-time receptionists. New staff will be joining the business in January and Carly also plans to expand into Nottinghamshire in 2020.

Carly said: 

"My new, full-time technician is Sarah Bailey who I first met in the beauty business 20 years ago. We have stayed friends and I knew I wanted her with me on the next stage of my business journey. I have worked incredibly hard to deliver the best customer service and the best laser hair removal services so it’s essential that anyone who works with me has the same work ethic and is someone I know personally and can trust.”

Carly now has two laser hair removal machines, plus a third machine that can also deliver treatments for more than 30 different skin conditions, including acne, thread veins and the removal of dark tattoos as well as hair removal. It can also stimulate collagen production to rebuild the surface of the skin without the need for injectable fillers and Botox.

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