‘Fashion has always played a huge part in my life and I love sourcing unusual pieces. When I had my own daughter I decided I would love to do this for children too.’

Her passion for fashion has led to the opening of Kelly-Marie Designer Children’s Boutique. The shop finds and supplies unique children’s clothing, shoes and accessories by the best designers from around the world in one fabulous store based in Cherry Tree Shopping Centre, Wallasey.

Kelly-Marie has had to overcome a lot of barriers on her journey to opening her own business. Prior to her role as Hayley Ramsey in Channel 4’s Hollyoak’s, she faced various issues with applying for jobs because of her disability.

She explained: ‘I am disabled and I know only too well the barriers that a disability can have when looking for work as I lost my first job with a huge company as a result of becoming disabled and could not even seem to get past the application process with employers after ticking the disabled box.’

The Liverpool resident has managed to overcome these problems by passing by application forms and interviews, and creating her own job doing what she loves.

Another barrier Kelly-Marie has managed to overcome is that of childcare. ‘I am juggling being a mummy and family life with work…one of the beauties of my business is that I can do this quite easily as most of my customers are mums too they don’t mind Daisie my daughter being here with me on the odd occasion I’m very thankful for that.’

When the idea initially arose to become self-employed, Kelly-Marie began searching online for help in moving her idea forward. This was when she discovered the free support The Women’s Organisation can offer to women who wish to start up their own business.

‘The first thing I needed to set my business up was a business plan and if I’m honest it was all new to me so I found The Women’s Organisation and they guided me every step of the way, from placing me with my own amazing business advisor to putting me on lots of great courses from marketing to social media. I have opened my business without any fears due to the support I received which is great.’

Kelly-Marie’s main fear was her finances. She worried that she would not be able to make them add up. However, after working with her advisor at The Women’s Organisation, she quickly realised that there was every chance of her business being successful. She said: ‘I realised that things really could work and I soon realised that I could start my business with confidence.’

She continued: ‘the service I received from the women’s organisation has been life changing looking back at an idea in January and here I am now with my business going from strength to strength. I really cannot praise the women’s organisation enough.’

When asked what her favourite part of being self-employed is, the former Hollyoak’s star answered: ‘The best thing about running my own business is knowing that when my customers leave happy my hard work has finally paid off… I’m really proud of how far I have come…and with continued support from The Women’s Organisation the only way is up.’

Moving forward with her newly found confidence, Kelly-Marie is proving with the growing success of her business that no barrier is too big when you really wish to achieve something.

If you want to dress your children up in style this winter, Kelly-Marie Designer Children’s Boutique can be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Kellymariedesignerchildrensboutiqueor you can follow on twitter @KellyMarieKids

If like Kelly-Marie you would like to turn an idea into a business, contact The Women’s Organisation to find out what FREE services and advice we can offer – 0151 706 8111 / info@thewo.co.uk

By Beckie Kinsella