We were overwhelmed by the response as thousands of you got in touch to tell us about the business you dreamed of launching or the weight you were determined to shift. You all wanted Michelle – who founded the hugely successful Ultimo lingerie brand, overhauled her body by dropping from a size 20 to a 10, and emerged from a messy divorce stronger than ever – to help with your real-life issues.
After hours of deliberation, Michelle, 42, picked out three women who she felt she could help most in their quest to transform their lives. And now it’s time for you to hear their stories, too.
‘My dream is to get my business off the ground’ Polly Gotschi, 40, a healthcare account executive, is single and lives in Northampton.
Aged 20, Polly developed the skin condition vitiligo. Caused by a lack of melanin (the pigment that gives skin its colour), it leads to pale, white patches developing all over the body and there is no known cure.
For 20 years, Polly covered up her patches with long-sleeved tops and trousers, and smothered them with fake tans and corrective cosmetics more commonly used for burns and scarring. But not only were the thick, tinted creams costly and time-consuming to apply, they failed to disguise large patches on her arms, neck and chest –leaving her self-esteem low and her confidence dented.
Fed up and determined to help others like her, Polly set about developing a new product for vitiligo sufferers. Working with charities The Vitiligo Society and Changing Faces, she came up with the concept for a spray she called Vitiliglow, to cover up patches completely. Polly took out a loan and used savings to work with a cosmetics manufacturer to create the product. Her first batch of sprays is due to be delivered any day, and with Michelle’s help, she wants to launch Vitiliglow on the market.
Michelle says “I’m so impressed by how much Polly has done on her own. I can’t wait to guide her in taking the next step using the expertise I’ve gained from launching my fake tan range, Utan.”
Polly says “Making Vitiliglow a success isn’t just important to me from a business perspective, but from a personal one, too. I can’t wait to work with Michelle to help vitiligo sufferers like me.”
Michelle and an expert team will help Polly to…
*Create a business strategy so she can deal professionally with suppliers and customers.
*Aim to make Vitiliglow Corrective Cosmetic Spray a mass-market product.
*Develop new formulas to turn Vitiliglow into a wider range of products.