Balancing a university course and a new business is not easy, but Emily Potts is making a success of it – all before the age of 21.
The 20-year-old has opened up a new lingerie shop, Bella Unique, in Hough Lane, Leyland – all whilst still studying business and economics at UCLan.
She says: “I have worked in retail all my adult life, as well as studying. I am a born leader and I thought I would give it a whirl.
“There is nothing like my shop in Leyland anymore. I did my research and there was a lingerie shop opposite Aldi in Towngate, which had been there 20 years, but the owner retired.
“There is a niche market out there. A lot of people don’t want to go to a supermarket for their underwear and be served by a random assistant.
“Underwear is an intimate thing and customers should be offered the VIP experience.
“I make sure I offer a great personal service. I am fully qualified to measure the bust and offer a bra fitting service for customers, which is really important. If women have children with them, they can sit in our children’s area.
“I have basic lace brands, as well as boudoir lace and classy French lace.
“All my stock is made in the UK and is within Fair Trade rules.
“At the moment, with Christmas around the corner, I am selling satin night gowns, which are a bit special.
“I am putting sexy back into Leyland.”
The shop is a family affair, with the name inspired by Emily’s nan – 84-year-old Annie Isobella Potts, of Leyland, and relatives of her partner, Sam Hogg, helping out.
She adds: “I have had my family around me, helping out, but I have been doing it myself.
“I am at university for two days a week and my partner’s family cover some days for me, which is a massive help. It has been difficult balancing the shop with university, but I feel a sense of achievement doing it by myself I have also passed my first year of university with a first.
“I have been extremely anxious, but it has been worth it.
Business acumen runs in the family, as her dad, Mike Potts, runs The Unconventional Menagerie, offering educational talks on exotic animals in Stoke on Trent.
With the shop launch a great success, Emily is now looking ahead.
She adds: “I want to start doing underwear parties and bridal shows. I want to bring something really special for Valentine’s gifts and Mother’s day.
“A nice pair of satin pyjamas are just as good as a box of chocolates.
“I cater for all generations – young and old.”