Published On: Mon, May 9th, 2022

Mum who had just 99p in bank account now runs luxury holiday business | Personal Finance | Finance

The mum-of-two was a store manager for a successful retail outlet when it came to light that her husband was having an affair. She quickly began to spiral, but at rock bottom she found a way out that would enable her to follow her passions.

The 51-year-old Cardiff resident received a call at work from her son explaining that her husband was having an affair, which quickly prompted her to get home. 

She told Wales Online: “It took me about five minutes to get home and the whole time I was driving back I was just constantly thinking I just wanted to find out if this was true.” 

She confronted her husband who revealed it was indeed true and he wanted to leave, a concept which quickly sent Ms Bright spiralling. 

She said: “The complete shock of thinking: ‘Why wasn’t I aware of it? What happens next?’ This was the only life I’ve ever known. How would things change now? How could I afford to live on my own with the children and mortgage?

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“It was going to be impossible.”

For the first eight weeks after the affair was revealed, Ms Bright was inconsolable, noting that she lost herself and “everything else that goes with that”. 

Ms Bright continued: “I was knocked off my feet completely for a year – upside-down, on the floor – struggling to keep on top of the bills. Financially I was cashing in all my savings but I just couldn’t keep my head above water – the mortgage was big, gas and electricity was massive, I was falling behind with everything.”

Losing weight, hair and money due to the stress of the situation, Ms Bright began selling items to keep the bills paid. 


She added: “I remember going into my bank account and there was 99p in there so I couldn’t even buy food for the kids. I am so lucky my parents could come up and buy food. It is the most horrific feeling in the world. 

“I wanted to drown my sorrows and I was going into a very bad place. I knew I was going down and I almost felt like I was being dragged into the darkness somewhere that was so horrible. It was just very, very scary.”

At rock bottom, Ms Bright overheard her children, 16 and 21, whispering in the hall as her daughter shared she was too afraid to open the door in case her mum had taken her own life.

The fear in her daughter’s voice was the jump start Ms Bright needed to pick herself back up, now set on creating her own business. 

Previously she had hosted foreign students at her home in Wales, which prompted her to rent out part of the house for some passive income while she set to work. 

She left to stay with her parents, packing what little she still had, and focused on using her strengths in real estate, interior design and upcycling to make a living. 

Eventually Ms Bright sold the house to pay off some debts and jump start her business, working on branding and fine tuning during the pandemic, and making the move to change her name. 

Ms Bright said: “That felt like a rebirth – it was amazing. I felt really excited about the business too – this is something I’m really passionate about, that I love, and I know I’m good at doing. I thought: ‘I love Wales and I love property so I’m going to go for it.'”

Nicky Bright Holidays was created, redesigning holiday lets and managing properties for her clients, with the dream of one day having her own holiday let too, which has now come true. 

She continued: “It’s an amazing feeling to have my own cottage. Naughty me, I went to view it before I had funding but something in me said I had to go and see it – there was just something about it.”

The aim for her holiday let is to provide a luxury experience that feels like home, filling them with comfortable, handmade items and antiques, all of which has been greatly appreciated by her guests. 

Ms Bright concluded saying: “My husband did me a favour because by falling I picked myself up and by picking myself back up I created a new person, a new life, a new identity, a new home, and a new business and I would have, in the past, thought that pretty impossible to have done.”

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