When Michelle Neale realised she had forgotten to buy wrapping paper as she was racing out the door to a birthday event, she stumbled upon an invention which is set to make her a fortune.
Grabbing a helium balloon left over from her own birthday celebrations, she cut it open and slipped the bottle of wine gift inside, and Lux-Wrap was born.
That was back in 2010, and after a development and research stage Ms Neale brought her bottle bags to market.
They are now sold in in Budgens and Thorntons stores throughout the UK, and via retailers in countries including Finland, Germany and Portugal.
The entrepreneur has now launched a multipurpose wrap, and is in talks with multi-national companies about the product after winning a highly commended accolade at the Gift Of The Year Awards 2015.
Ms Neale, 46, who was born in Aylesbury and attended Quarendon Secondary School, said: “It’s speedy wrapping for awkwardly shaped gifts, with a professional finish at the end.
“With the product you can wrap up a box of Quality Street in about five seconds with no scissors or sticky tape.”
She added: “For twelve years I worked in recruitment and had my own business for four years.
“This is a totally different industry and I had limited experience but during a recession I’ve managed to bring the product to market which has been amazing.”
But the process has not all been plain sailing for Ms Neale, who lives in Milton Keynes with her lawyer partner Stuart.
She said: “The business has really become my hobby and a complete passion and all of my clients have been wonderful.
“But I’ve had to treat it like training for the Olympics, see the end result of winning the gold medal and work hard to make it happen. I’m so pleased with how well it has gone, and that feeling of seeing your idea turned into a real product is brilliant.”
To find out more about Ms Neale’s product email firstname.lastname@example.org