A WIRRAL soap star-turned-businesswoman has been crowned young enterpreneur of the year.
Kelly-Marie Stuart, who played Hayley Ramsey in Channel Four drama Hollyoaks, opened a designer children’s clothing boutique in the Cherry Tree Centre, Liscard, eight months ago.
The disabled actress, who runs the business with her mum, picked up her Downton In Business Award during a glittering ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Liverpool this week.
She told the Globe: "It was a huge achievement to have been nominated for the award. I never thought I’d actually win, so, it was fantastic to win.
"I think it shows that anyone can make the jump from one business to another and make a success of what they choose to do.
"I live in Liverpool, but was living in Wallasey at the time I drew up the business plan for the shop."
Kelly-Marie was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré Syndrome, a condtion affecting the spine nine years ago.
She has been an actress since childhood, taking part in beauty pageants and is a former Miss Liverpool and Miss Commonwealth Liverpool. She also competed in a Miss Great Britain final.
She made her first on-screen appearance in Hollyoaks in 2009 as the sister of already established character Zak Ramsey.
Hayley was the first prominent disabled character in Hollyoaks, and also had Guillain–Barré syndrome.
Kelly-Marie's real-life pregnancy was written into the show and that Hayley would become pregnant.
Her final on-screen appearance a year later, but she did not return to the show after giving birth to daughter .
She now campaigns to raise awareness for disabled parents and is currently filming a documentary about disabled parents for BBC Three.