A former Apprentice candidate from Rickmansworth has made national headlines after saying she’s glad she didn’t win the hit show.
Natalie Reynolds, 36, was fired by Lord Alan Sugar on the BBC programme in 2013, but now that her new clothing company, Style Cheat, is set to make £1.2million this year, Natalie said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
She told The Mirror last month: “Looking back, I’m glad I didn’t win The Apprentice.
While it didn’t really open opportunities, it made me realise who I wanted to be in business and what was important to me.”
The real challenge came when the mother-of-two gave birth to her first daughter, Mimi.
“I lost all my self-confidence. I went from top sales girl in a male-dominated environment to the shy mum who couldn’t even start a conversation.
“I think my biggest challenge was dealing with the lifestyle change. I was no longer having business conversations. On the journey to becoming a mum I’d lost a major part of who I was and that was a successful business woman.”
She didn’t sit around sulking, though. Instead, while on maternity leave, she started selling products on Ebay.
She said: “I wanted to find a way to earn money on the side. I bought some caps from a wholesaler, they were clearance stock.”
She ended up making thousands of pounds a month, which gave her the confidence to start up Style Cheat last May alongside her younger sister, Lexi Panayi.
And just two weeks in, the duo had already sold £28,000 worth of attire. They’re now set to make over a million pounds this year alone.
Natalie explained: “Style Cheat is a womenswear clothing brand. Our family is in the clothing manufacturing business and we make for big high street brands.”
The brand’s focus is on affordable wardrobe essentials and trend driven pieces.
It’s been a long road to success, but one that’s clearly worked out for the best.
“It might have taken me six years, but I would have taken a £250,000 investment to give away half the company (if I’d won The Apprentice). We’ve worked hard to get this, and it’s all ours.”