16/08/2017 10:33 BST | Updated 16/08/2017 10:33 BST

Pretty Clever Pants

Pretty Clever Pants began as a casual chat between my daughters and I about their worries around staying overnight with friends when their period was due. I remember feeling exactly the same as a young girl, and couldn't believe a quarter of a century later we had not come up with a solution to such a common problem.

If we're able to understand that Spanx make us thin, and sports bras protect our breasts (both modern day solutions to problems that have been around for generations), surely something as simple as a pretty pair of pants with an undetectable waterproof panel could end the worry and embarrassment that millions of women of all ages have suffered from for years?

One in three women leak when exercising, one in 10 have endometriosis, then there is those who just generally suffer from heavy periods, or peri-menopausal flooding and you end up with a whole lot of women leaking for different reasons, none of which are sexy and they are definitely not talked about.

I felt as if I'd had the best time in my television career but was keen to do something totally different. If I'm being completely honest, I went into it rather naively. I was completely unprepared for the stresses of manufacturing problems, form filling, sleepless nights, financial costs, and sheer hard graft that is necessary to create something from scratch, and then to try and educate a global audience as to how simple yet effective it was - and that it could actually change their lives, with very little budget or knowledge of where to even start.

We quickly gained listing with some major high street names, but without the support of education and understanding behind them, it was just too much too soon. Because they look and feel so normal, most customers assumed they were just a rather pricey pair of knickers, and so began the long slow road of discovery and learning...

My husband of 26 years has been incredible, my three children have been right behind me (one of them even modelled for me) and my friends have been superstars, on occasion rolling up their sleeves to pack knickers when asked! (Thankfully we're through all of that now, after all there's only so much you can ask your friends to do!)

Today, I'm happy to say, we're in a much better place with High Street TV behind us who supply to a huge network, not to mention being the brand behind health food market leader NutriBullet, and it really does feel like the world is our oyster - which in fact it is as we now have a plan to take the product worldwide via their many global territory partners!

I've witnessed first hand the generosity of spirit amongst women in the business world, the cut throat reality of supplying retail chains, and the awkwardness of so many people when tackling such a taboo subject, yet here I am, five years later, a warrior for leaky ladies everywhere, and somewhat battle scarred, but what I don't know about the female pelvic region is probably not worth knowing!

My business has gone from strength to strength, it's taken far longer, cost far more and taken far more out of me than I'd ever imagined, but I'm incredibly proud of what I've achieved and surprised myself as to what I'm capable of.

Pretty Clever Pants designed by Carol Smillie, available at