Jessica Ricketts, Founder and Owner of Wynter Isabelle
A passionate bridal stylist and buyer running an award-winning boutique in Barry, South Wales
I was 16 when I very nearly lost my life in a serious car crash. For one of the passengers in the vehicle which collided with us head on at excessive speed, the outcome was fatal.
It was my leg being stuck under the dashboard which saved me from going through the windscreen, but I broke many bones and my face required extensive plastic surgery. The incident occurred during my GCSEs, and although I did well in my exams, my head wasn’t in the right place at college. I was still recovering physically and emotionally from the trauma.
After failing the first year of college, I decided to get a job. I spent four years at various call centres and would sketch designs of wedding dresses whilst speaking to customers. Owning my own bridal boutique had been my dream since I was 10. I was once a bridesmaid at a wedding and became obsessed!
In my early twenties, I took action – ringing every bridal shop within a 65-mile radius until I got a job. After all, if I was going to open my own, I needed to know exactly how it worked. I flourished in my role and absorbed everything; then I became ill unexpectedly.
It transpired I had a fibroid growing in my uterus. After a major operation to remove the growth, which was huge, I contracted sepsis. This was the worst I have ever felt. I was hospitalised for 10 days and thanked God it was caught in time.
I recovered well, but was left with fertility problems from multiple surgeries. A couple of years later however, in 2015, I fell pregnant naturally with my miracle baby – a daughter I called Wynter Isabelle. Her name is significant for a number of reasons that are deeply personal to me.
The goal was always to open my boutique before I was 30, which was quickly approaching in 2016. With a push from my husband to take the leap, I achieved my ambition and celebrated on the big day itself with my first day of trading. Fast–forward to today, I’m on track to have my first six–figure year!
My will to succeed has got me here.
Photo credit: Tom Collins