‘I was able to buy my sister a house’ – Teacher explains how she made £200million business

Mrs Barrett spent majority of her career in education, working in a sixth form college, secondary schools and pioneered a European funded programme for Post 16 vocational education. Undeniably she has always been a trailblazer and this did not change when she turned her hand to entrepreneurship.

However, she noted that the success of the business does not necessarily translate directly into revenue: “I don’t think success is selling for 200 million. I think success is making sure that you have the right work ethic, that you’re doing your best job, people knowing about you, loving you, trusting you and buying in to the brand. There’s also an element of luck and timing and, something a lot of people overlook, an actual market for the product!”

Like most entrepreneurs, the founding pair weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and take on running the business all by themselves: “When we first launched Grenade, we did everything. We did the magazines, trade shows and we supported all the distributors. We had a great idea, we paid attention to detail, we focused on the branding, we had knock backs but always learned from them, we built an amazing team, and we didn’t take a holiday for four years.”

While this routine sounds incredibly gruelling, just a few years later and Mrs Barrett has had the holiday most only dream of since selling Grenade.  

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“I was away from the business two years before it sold in March 2021, so pre-pandemic, I had some phenomenal holidays. I didn’t really have any time off in the 10 years I was working on Grenade, so I travelled the world and spent time with my family.”

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