WHEN Sandie Ellis launched her new business in North Harbour, it was the beginning of a brighter future for her.
A former business enterprise lecturer at the University of Portsmouth, Sandie has fought her way back from physical and mental illness to launch Seventy Miles South, a brand and design agency, with her husband Simon.
‘I had been under a lot of strain in my personal life,’ she said.
‘It wasn’t depression – I was hearing things and seeing things, I was very anxious all the time. It was terrifying.’
It got so bad that Sandie ended up being hospitalised.
‘My friends and family were told that I probably wouldn’t come out again,’ she said.
Sandie says a combination of medication and determination saw her fight her way back to health after two months in hospital.
It took her another two years to get properly back on her feet and, last year, she and Simon got married.
But she added: ‘I ended up getting ill on my wedding day and spent three months in and out of hospital. Basically my liver stopped working, I had a hernia and a stomach ulcer.’
Sandie is still being tested to find out the cause of her medical problems, but she decided to go ahead and launch her business, Seventy Miles South, at 1000 Lakeside yesterday.
‘Simon has been designing for the last 16 years, and his experience is with brand management and creation, and he has worked with Marks and Spencer, Orient Express, Harrods and companies like that. We can create a brand for a company which doesn’t have anything.
‘That’s why we’re called Seventy Miles South – we want to highlight that there are creative industries outside of London, and we’re 70 miles south of there.’