“In December 2002, I was made redundant. I won’t say it was the happiest day of my life – I have had two children since then – but I did leave the HR department with a big smile on my face and a generous pay-off in my pocket.
“I was leaving a job that I didn’t enjoy (and – to be honest – wasn’t very good at) with the time and the money to do something that I absolutely love and always felt I could make a success of.
“Not that everyone shared my confidence. I remember telling people that I was going to set up a business selling pyjamas and they looked at me with that mixture of surprise and pity that foretold disaster. “Who wears pyjamas?” was the normal response.
“Anyway, nine months later I started hush. And seven years after that, we are still here. We still sell pyjamas (and the best pyjamas on the market at that) but we also sell a wide and ever-expanding range of nightwear, daywear and accessories.
“As for me, I still absolutely love what I do. I am not one of these entrepreneurs who can turn their hand to any business – there’s only one business idea that I’ve felt really passionately about and this is it.
“Prior to starting hush, I had worked at adidas for the best part of a decade, first in my native Australia and then for five years in Hong Kong, which is where I got many of the professional skills I needed to set up hush.
“It was Asia, a continent which is a constant seduction of all the senses, that probably taught me the importance of relaxation.
“However, it was my move to the UK in 2001 and my first prolonged encounter with a northern hemisphere winter that convinced me that there was a real gap in the market for a company selling stylish clothes to relax in.
“I don’t claim any special foresight in that, but it is now a much more crowded market than it was in 2003, although we reckon we are still the only company devoted exclusively to making sure that you look good and feel good during your downtime.
“With two young children – Rosie (6) and Finn (4) – I don’t get as much downtime as I would like, which is why it is so important to me to make the most of the time I am able to relax and unwind.
“I’m sure the same is true of all of you.”