Inspiration can come from the strangest places, in fact sometimes the stranger the better! Our own life experiences can lead us to discover products and services that are in demand. When you spot a gap in the market, this can give birth to an original and successful business idea.
Victoria Scott was an established businesswoman, used to helping companies find their feet and develop their marketing campaigns. The last thing she expected was for a friend’s illness to inspire a highly successful online business.
Victoria was on holiday in Spain with a friend recovering from breast cancer and was pleased to see her friend looking amazing in the same bikini she’d worn the year before. It turned out that, frustrated by the range of mastectomy swimming costumes available, Mel had been forced to use a needle and thread to adapt her old bikini to hold her prostheses when she could not find a swimming costume that she liked.
Victoria says, “Mel has always been very stylish so I could understand her frustration when the only mastectomy swimming costumes she could find were bland and dull. We decided that we would set up an online shop selling a range of swimming costumes that would make women look and feel great on the beach.”
Originally the main motivation for the business was to help women in the same position as Mel, but it quickly became obvious that demand was so great that this could turn into a very profitable business. The company has been so successful that they have extended their range to underwear and mastectomy bras.
Ironically, just 8 months after the business was launched, Victoria herself was diagnosed with breast cancer. Breast cancer is now the most common cancer in the UK and one in eight women will develop the cancer in their lifetime. Both Victoria and Mel have made good recoveries, and wear the Caleya range of mastectomy swimwear with pride.