Abby aged 19 from Derbyshire runs an online retail business, selling colourful, supportive badges, stickers and postcards which recognise the complexities of those living with chronic illnesses. Abby opened her business Colourblind Zebra in October 2020 following completion of The Prince’s Trust Enterprise programme online.

Due to Abby’s chronic illnesses, which include Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, which can cause dizziness and fainting and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, working in an office environment would be difficult at this point in her life. 

Abby said: ‘My intention was for drawing to be a hobby that I occasionally posted onto social media. As I began to post, other people with chronic illness were reaching out to tell me how much my artwork had helped them.

I realised that my art was becoming much more than just a hobby. My social media and community kept on growing and so did the passion I had for raising awareness.

Working in an office environment or other types of jobs wouldn’t be a possibility for me. For years I had known that working for myself would be the best option as I could manage my time around how I am feeling and medical appointments, but I didn’t know where to start.

My Mum had told me about The Prince’s Trust and as soon as I learnt more about it, I knew it was right for me. Having the Enterprise programme online meant it was much more accessible to me. I was able to be in my own space where the environment is tailored for me to be able to manage my symptoms as much as possible.

Through the Enterprise programme Abby also received a grant, which enabled her to buy an address label printer, an ergonomic chair that helps with her joint and muscle pain and a desk that is height adjustable. Abby continued:

The support and encouragement I’ve received from my mentor and others from The Prince’s Trust has been amazing.

'Starting the venture of opening a business can be a daunting feat, but with the help and support of The Prince’s Trust, it felt so much more within my reach. I am optimistic about the future. The support that The Prince’s Trust offered me has already given me much more confidence in so many different aspects of life as well as in business, which I know will continue to be an asset to me in the future. With their support, I know I have knowledgeable and supportive people behind me to help me along with the first 2 years of my business.’

Abby is also planning to expand her business to sell clothing and accessories in the future.