A WOMAN whose business was born out of lockdown said it has taught her that there will “always be challenges” as it reaches its one year anniversary.

Lyndsey Clay, from Preston Park, started her business Connected Brighton as a way for people in the city to meet while doing a range of activities back in April 2021.

She thought of the idea during the pandemic following a breakup and being made redundant from her job, when she “wasn’t sure what life post lockdown was going to look like".

Since then, the business has grown and now has over 50 members who attend activities such as wine tasting, tapas dinners or even kayaking around the pier during the warmer months.

The Argus: One of the group's kayaking events by West PierOne of the group's kayaking events by West Pier

The membership scheme gives discounts across the city at various businesses and with Connected Brighton’s own events.

Lyndsey said: “It’s been crazy starting a business based on in-person connection during a socially distanced pandemic.

“In August, we were finally able to do more because the rules were eased. It’s been up and down working with restrictions, the whole hospitality industry was a bit nervous. There will always be challenges is the lesson I have learnt.”

The business now has its own free weekly newsletter and a monthly podcast alongside its regular meetups.

The Argus: The group enjoying a wine tasting eventThe group enjoying a wine tasting event

Lyndsey said despite the challenges of the pandemic, she has “nothing to compare” her business to as it was the first one she had set up.

She added: “I’m so proud of what we have achieved, it’s gone in some different directions that I didn’t expect. I wasn’t sure if we would go down the membership route.

“I think we have become a trusted voice in the city, our brand is about championing the city and championing local businesses.”

The Argus: Lyndsey was listed as one of Sussex's most inspirational business womenLyndsey was listed as one of Sussex's most inspirational business women

Lyndsey was featured as one of Sussex’s “inspirational business women” in Sussex Business Times’ edition for international women’s day in March.

The business is also partnering with Brighton Fringe festival which involves weekly fringe recommendations from May 6 until June 5 this year.

Connected Brighton is celebrating its first birthday on Saturday, April 9, at Amy’s Room in Preston Street, Brighton.

Lyndsey said: “We’re having a part on April 9 which is at Amy’s Room so we’re having canapés and margaritas and mocktails.”

For more information on Connected Brighton, visit their website.