With limited work opportunities in Cyprus, some spouses and partners make the most of their time in the sun by using their passions to earn a second income. Carolyn Aggar, AFF’s WSBA Co-ordinator, met with Army spouse Charlotte Page who has her own business, Lottie’s Vintage Loft, on the island…

How long have you been in Cyprus?
We got here in June 2017.

Did you have a job in the UK?
I worked for a company that specialised in antiques and retro homeware. I also started my business in the UK.

What’s your business?
I upcycle furniture and homeware, design soft furnishings and have a diploma in interior design, which is great as I can help people make their quarters more homely. I love creating unique pieces and being in Cyprus gives me a lot more financial freedom to focus on the business. I work simply because I enjoy it.

How did you go about getting a business licence?
I went to the fiscal office on camp. At the time, the business licence cost €50. I submitted the application and within two months I was accepted and able to trade within BFC. The form was really easy to fill out and the process was quite straightforward.

What advice would you give to someone who is posted to Cyprus and looking to run their own business?
Do your research to see whether anyone else is doing something similar – it isn’t a large community but it will be harder for you if there is someone who is already well established. I would also see how accessible it is to buy more stock out here – things that are readily available in the UK might not be so easy to find or as reasonably priced.

To find out more about running a business in Cyprus, contact rmcyprus@aff.org.uk

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