The proudest moment was the day I actually opened SE20 Cycles.
The banks had closed on me the day before I opened the business. I went through a charity called Leonard Cheshire who were working with Barclays Bank at the time to help people with disabilities get into the business. I’d been liaising with them for a year beforehand and they’d helped me.
The next step for me was to find a shop; did that. Pay the rent, did that. Order the stock, did that. And then the day before opening they said that they couldn’t help me any further. The year before, I had met all of their requirements for a loan, and then the day before I opened the shop I didn’t meet their requirements for the loan?
This all happened when we had the credit crunch come along in 2008 and no one saw it coming. I was due to open in the September, and the credit crunch started at end of August that year. The banks turned around and said that they couldn’t help me. So, I had £20,000 of stocking coming in that was cancelled and £8000 of tools coming in which were also cancelled; I had no stock, I had no tools, but with the support of a loving family and friends, I still opened.