IT’S ONLY 10 am but after getting up, getting her children up, taking them to school and arriving back home, Michele Venton has: “Spoken to my supplier in China, Skyped my Virtual Assistant in the Philippines and contacted my designer in America.” She’s written two press releases AND optimised her listing on Amazon.

“I’m the living proof that you can run an entire business from a lap-top,” she says.

Michele, who has two children and is married to a teacher, has two businesses and ideas for several others. It’s a million miles from the traditional start-up involving premises, trips to the bank-manager and sticking with what you know. Two-and-a-half years ago, despite having no fashion background, she started with Wrapsimo; retailing wrap-dresses online, and is currently overseeing the expansion of her second venture, Fizz Bath Bombs, retailing the bathtime favourites to the USA and is about to start selling them here.

Wrapsimo started out of her love for this iconic dress-style and her desire to become involved in business again, after retraining as a business studies teacher.

“I worked in marketing and PR in London primarily, then we moved back down to Bournemouth,” she says. “I did re-train but all that did was make me realise I didn’t want to teach business, I wanted to do it.”

Deciding to make the most of being at home after the birth of her daughter, Jessica, six years ago, Michele began researching her ideas. “Part of my whole proposition was if you love my Wrapsimo dress you can buy it in the same fabric and cut in a new print for the following season,” she says. However, she soon discovered that her biggest problem was going to be sourcing suitable fabric.

“I wasn’t getting continuity between fabrics and sourcing the fabrics is a nightmare – if you want your own designs made up for you, you would have to purchase thousands and thousands of metres,” she explains.

Michele discovered that one of the best ways to get what she needed was to seek out part-runs of fabrics; what is left over after the big operators have fulfilled their orders.

“You can get fabrics made but the price point would be huge and I didn’t want that,” she says. Now she is preparing to launch a range of plain wrap dresses in wintery colours, including black and plum and her dresses have already been featured by Gok Wan.

Fizz Bath Bombs began after she started ‘learning what works’ on Amazon. “Eighty per cent of your sales come from the image you use and I knew I needed to sell something that looked good,” she says. However, she quickly learned that to optimise her offer she needed to ensure her bombs were packaged in a square box because: “You are given a white, square space for your image and you need to fill it.”

She likes the flexibility of Amazon: “You find a product, you sell it until your inventory runs low and then you decide whether you’ll sell it again or change to something else,” she says.

She believes her business has only become viable because she has outsourced so much work to others, including designers; she employed them from the site: “Prices start at $5 an hour,” and her Virtual Assistant in the Philippines.

“She does my social media: Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter, she will track the URLs of my press releases and she does my SEO optimisation as well as responding to inquiries on my Amazon account.”

Currently everything she makes is ploughed back into the businesses and she rarely has a day off: “The reality of working for yourself is that it’s work, work, work,” although she loves having the flexibility to schedule in time to watch her children in concerts or sports days at school.

“We do take holidays,” she says. “But the laptop comes too. The only difference is that instead of working down here in my kitchen or up in my office, I’m sitting by a pool!”