TV presenter turned entrepreneur Carol Smillie talks to us about Pretty Clever Pants, her business venture that’s gone global this year. Seeing as we’re just a few sleeps ’til Christmas Day, we couldn’t resist asking Carol about her plans for the festive season, and what’s coming up for her in 2018.
Tell us about Pretty Clever Pants, what they are, who they’re for, what they do and why you created the product?
Pretty Clever Pants are exactly as the name suggests… pretty pants with a cleverly hidden secret waterproof panel that’s designed to protect against life’s little leaks. There are so many reasons why a woman might leak in her lifetime: periods, post childbirth, stress incontinence, endometriosis, crohns & colitis, sensitive bladder – the list goes on. After listening to my two teenage daughters discuss sleepover arrangements when their period was due, it was clear that not much had changed since I was their age, so I wanted to make something that looked and felt exactly like a pair of normal pretty pants, but a pair that would save their blushes, and give them confidence. They had to be machine washable (who has the time otherwise?) and have a wider gusset to be able to wear a pad to liner without being seen. Pretty Clever Pants was born!
Tell us about your career move from TV to panty entrepreneur?
I’ve been a TV presenter for more than 25 years, with a career most could only dream of, so I knew it was time to move over and give others a chance. I’m 56 now, and was happy to try something new and completely different.
It was a daunting process at first, but learning how to bring a product to market has been so exciting. It keeps my brain active, and although it’s been scary at times, with a LOT of sleepless nights, it’s really starting to grow internationally now, and I couldn’t be more proud!
How are you spending Christmas this year?
It’s going to be really strange this year, as two of my three children are on the other side of the world, and won’t be with us. Christie (22) is travelling across South America Australia, NZ and Bali for a year, and Robbie (20) is working a ski season in France, so it’ll just be me, Alex and Jodie (18) at home, with my sister and her family joining us for Christmas dinner. I don’t like us all being apart, but it’s such an amazing experience for them.
Most wanted and least wanted gifts this Christmas?
Most wanted – my kids all back home. Least wanted – a sparkly xmas jumper… No thanks!
Do you have any particular Christmas traditions in your family?
The TV stays off on xmas day so we can all eat, chat and play daft games, but I do love The Holiday on the days running up to the 25th!
Fav Christmas song?
Live Aid – Do they know it’s xmas?
Your favourite family recipe?
Alex is a spectacular cook and does an amazing roast, but his carrots in marmalade, rosemary and fresh orange make me actually like vegetables!
What are your plans for 2018? Anything exciting in the pipeline?
Worldwide domination in pants. We have ten new territories across the globe, trialling the pants in January and February, if they all decide to place orders, that could well happen!
Tell us your New Year’s Resolutions?
Never make them, it’s a ridiculous idea to get morose and decide things have to change at this time of year. If it needs changing, it should have happened ages ago!
You can check out Carol’s Pretty Clever Pants here.