A POLE dancing business has been chosen as one of 100 to appear in a national campaign which highlights local success stories.

The Pole Emporium, in Patcham, Brighton, sells clothing and accessories for “pole fitness”.

It has been selected to be included in this year’s Small Business Saturday and owner Colleen Budd is thrilled.

She said: “It’s a big opportunity for me. Small Business Saturday raises awareness of small businesses and we get a whole day where they celebrate us online.”

For the 100 days leading up to Small Business Saturday on December 7, the campaign will publicise one business per day on its website and social media.

Colleen said: “In December we go to the House of Lords for a reception so it’s all really exciting.”

Colleen’s idea for the business came five years ago during a difficult time, as her father had been diagnosed with terminal lung disease.

She took up pole classes as a distraction and a hobby and found it gave her more than just a confidence boost.

“People at my classes were buying all their products from America, and it took a long time for them to arrive – so that got me thinking.

“After Dad died I felt it was the right time to try something different, and do something for myself.

“I actually went to see a medium, and she said ‘Your dad is saying to go for it with your business plans’. It sounds crazy and I had never been into that kind of thing before, but I went with it.”

Colleen created the Pole Emporium and left paid employment two years ago, after working at a bank for 11 years.

She said: “Working for a big corporate company, sometimes you feel like you’re not making a big difference.

“I trade from a building in Patcham now, and we have grown from selling just the one brand to about 15 brands. No one sleeps any more, including me, but it’s all worth it to be my own boss.”