She discussed her career to date and how she achieved stand-out success with the help of the BBC show Dragons’ Den, how she lost it all and then went on to be not only a national success, but an international company that continues to grow.
In 2008, Charles won her investment from two infamous Dragons on the TV programme, and secured a 40 per cent share of £75,000. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing as soon after Duncan Bannatyne withdrew his share, leaving Charles to work with James Caan alone.
This saw her become one of the first candidates to re-negotiate a deal outside of Dragons’ Den, however Charles revealed that soon after the business plummeted.
‘I truly believed I had made it because I had been on Dragons’ Den,” she told the audience. “I was being taking to fantastic parties and meeting lots of people – including having lunch with Roger Moore – it was truly amazing.
“However, I started to take my eye off of the business as I was getting sucked into PR/networking. That was my downfall and when everything started to go bad.”
Having been in business since the age of 18, Charles recognised something needed to change urgently once the business had been lost.
She revealed that her brother was her saviour at this point, lending her a helping hand and from that the two developed the business and began securing clients, despite the company only running on a team of two.
“MY brother and I were working together in a kitchen off of one ancient PC and we secured Amazon in a £90,000 deal. Then we went and secured some offices and started to grow,” she recalled.
“We are now a national and international brand and we are growing everywhere. By 2017/18 we grew by 43 per cent and we are seeing growth in every area of the business.”
Charles advised that more often than not, anyone in business should listen to their gut – as if this was the case, she may not have had to witness the downfall of her initial business.
“Listen to your gut and believe in yourself. It’s not a bad thing to be wrong, it’s about owning up to it, learning from it and not doing it again. Then you will definitely be the best you can be moving forward.”