Mum with 99p in bank account after cheating husband left is now property entrepreneur

Nicky Bright, 51, from Cardiff, was once a store manager responsible for an outlet with an annual turnover of £ 3million, but fell on hard times after finding out her husband was having an affair

Nicky Bright runs a holiday let styling business called Nicky Bright Holidays
Nicky Bright runs a holiday let styling business called Nicky Bright Holidays

TO mum-of-two left with less than £ 1 in her bank account after her marriage collapsed is now a successful businesswoman.

Nicky Bright, 51, from Cardiff, remembers being totally immersed in her work as a store manager when her children, aged 16 and 21 at the time, called with the news that would change her life forever, Wales Online reports.

Nicky said: “So I take the call and, it happened really quickly, my son said: ‘Mum, Dad’s having an affair’.

“Both my children found out before me and I was just: ‘Wow, wow, it can’t be right’. I even thought my kids were wrong – how could they know he was having an affair?

“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.”

At home Nicky confronted her husband who confirmed it was true and he wanted to leave.

Nicky is seen working on a holiday let she owns in Pembrokeshire


Nicky Bright Holidays)

Nicky 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? It was going to be impossible.

“I cried morning, noon and night for the first eight weeks. I couldn’t stop – the feelings I was feeling were so overwhelming.

Logan and Laker Smith hanging out in the floating kids’ den


Nicky Bright Holidays)

“You feel as if you’ve lost somebody, like they’ve died, but you also lose yourself too and everything else that goes with that – it was horrific.

“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.”

Over the months Nicky struggled with the stress of the situation – she lost weight, her hair started falling out, and within a year she had to leave work.

Nicky said at her lowest she had just 99p in her bank account


Nicky Bright Holidays)

“She said:” I felt like my old life had completely gone and I struggled so much I couldn’t concentrate on work, I couldn’t do the job anymore. I was going backwards and it was absolutely terrifying.

“I started selling things to try and keep paying the mortgage because I knew I didn’t want the house to be repossessed.

“I remember going into my bank account and there was 99p in there so I couldn’t even buy food for the kids.

A renovated bedroom in one of her holiday lets


Nicky Bright Holidays)

“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.”

Then one evening when Nicky was at total rock bottom, as she lay in darkness knowing she was about to lose the house and had no fight left, she heard her children whispering in the hall.

Her daughter said she was too afraid to open the door and go into the dark room because she thought her mum might have taken her own life.

Remembering that moment makes Nicky emotional as she recalls hearing the fear in her daughter’s voice.

A chic dining room designed by Nicky


Nicky Bright Holidays)

It was the shock that she needed to try to drag herself back up.

Nicky said: “So from there I just decided: ‘Okay, you’ve been a boss, you know how to make money, you’ve turned things around in the store – now come up with a solution.”

Nicky had hosted foreign students studying in Wales at her home in the past so it gave her the idea to rent out the house to get some income as she worked out a plan.

She moved out with only a suitcase of clothes and belongings left, stayed with her parents, and took time to look at her strengths.

She had worked as an estate agent and she had run her own furniture upcycling cottage business when the children were small before she went into retail.

She loved interior design and felt she had a creative flair. Nicky came up with an idea of ​​focusing on styling and interior design and combining it with her di lei past property and hosting experience.

Of course, raising funds for a new business was hard so the house did get sold to pay off some debt but with the help of a solid business plan, the Swansea Building Society, local government grant money, and support from Business Wales her new business was born.

Through the COVID-19 lockdowns she worked on her branding and fine tuning the business plan and even changed her name to Nicky Bright.

Eventually Nicky Bright Holidays was born with the selling point of redesigning a client’s holiday let and then managing the property for them but also with the eventual aim of one day having her own holiday let too.

Nicky said: “I started taking on friends’ properties and I was doing those up for them and putting them on Airbnb and booking sites. I set myself up as a travel agent so I got trained up in that and then I’d go in and set them all up and manage them and they have all been growing. “

Now Nicky has secured and just finished doing up her own holiday let and she couldn’t be happier. She said: “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.

“I just really loved it. I could visualise straightaway what I wanted to do in there. It was very old-fashioned, very loved, owned by a woman in her 90s. It had a lovely feeling about it. So I worked hard to get all my paperwork together and business plan to the bank to show them what I could do with it I knew that I was going to turn it into a three-bedroom with two bathrooms. “

Now the holiday let transformation is complete and Nicky is glad she has spent extra budget on the finishing touches to the design to make it an extra special experience for her guests.

She said: “Everyone who has stayed so far has said that it’s gorgeous and even after days staying there they are discovering new things. I have got a range of beautiful books there, hidden mice made out of wood on top of the beams – I ‘ve just made it special for them. “

Looking back the journey Nicky has been on over the past five years has been full of battles with drama and depression that have eventually created a new dawn and the birth of a totally reinvigorated and determined person. Nicky said: “My husband did me a favor 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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