I beat cancer in my 20s – now Meghan Markle wears my necklaces’
Since its launch in 1976, the Prince’s Trust charity has helped more than a million young people from disadvantaged communities gain essential life skills and job opportunities. OK! spoke to three woman with inspiring stories who owe their business success to the King.
If you want to hear about how King Charles has helped change the lives of people up and down the country then visit our previous articles to find out more.
Sophie Rogers, 31, from Castle Bromwich, West Midlands, opened a holistic crystal business after a horrifying cancer diagnosis made her dream of a new career. Here, she tells her story…
“I’d just finished uni and was working in my dream job designing baby clothes for a high street fashion retailer when I was diagnosed with cervical cancer aged just 22.
Within a week of the diagnosis I had a radical hysterectomy to remove my ovaries, womb and cervix. This put me straight into the menopause and I also had to have chemo and radiotherapy treatment.
It felt like my life had come to a halt. I didn’t want to leave the house or see friends. I hated that cancer made me look as ill as I felt. It was a dark, scary, negative time.
During the year I was off sick I went to a cancer support centre where I was introduced to holistic therapies including meditation, yoga and crystals. The hospital had cured me physically but I’d been left with a lot of emotional damage. The yoga and meditation classes filled my heart with so much positivity and I began to feel better.
I bought a set of crystals and a simple jewellery kit – I found making my own bracelets and necklaces really calming and relaxing. Friends commented on my jewellery and I made some for them too. Word got around and soon I was selling my jewellery at car boot sales and on eBay.
Though I tried to return to my fashion job, facing cancer had made me reflect on what I wanted to do with my life. Through a friend I came across a young woman around my age who was doing well with her clothing business. She told me she’d been on The Prince’s Trust’s Enterprise scheme.
I thought there was no way a charity would just give you money to try out a business, but it was true. I called them and went on the Enterprise scheme, meeting lots of other young would-be entrepreneurs. It was wonderfully inspiring.
With a business loan I was able to buy more stock. My mentor was amazing and took me under his wing. The business, High Vibe Alignment, has been going for seven years now. I have my own shop, High Vibe Crystal Cabin, in Tamworth, which is a work studio as well as a shop selling jewellery and ornamental crystals from around the world.
I’ve just signed the lease on two other business properties. One has a yoga studio so I can run classes, having trained to become an instructor. I’ve employed two members of staff to help run the shop, which makes me feel very proud.
I attend lots of Prince’s Trust events now and it’s such an honour to be able to talk to other young people about my experience.
I was even invited to a garden party to celebrate Charles’ 70th birthday. Harry and Meghan were there, attending their first engagement after getting married. I presented Meghan with one of my necklaces and I was thrilled when she accepted it and complimented the necklace I was wearing."
For more information and to check out Sophie's business, visit highvibealignment.com
If you know a young person who needs support, or if you would like to donate to The Prince’s Trust, visit princes-trust.org.uk
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