Page last updated at 00:05 GMT, Thursday, 31 December 2009

Bra tycoon 'delighted' with OBE

Jenni Falconer and Michelle Mone
Michelle Mone (right) left school at 15 with no qualifications

Underwear tycoon Michelle Mone has said she is "thrilled, honoured and delighted" to have been appointed OBE.

The 38-year-old Glaswegian, who created the cleavage-enhancing Ultimo bra, was recognised for services to business in the New Year Honours list.

Now one of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs, she has expanded her brand into stores around the world.

Ms Mone said she would never have dreamed of such recognition having left school at 15 with no qualifications.

She was in her mid-20s when she had the idea for the Ultimo bra while at a dinner dance with her husband Michael.

While wearing an uncomfortable push-up bra, she vowed to create an "attractive, comfy and affordable design".

I feel very fortunate to be recognised for my achievements and I'm thoroughly excited about meeting the Queen
Michelle Mone

She set up MJM International with her husband and in 1999 the Ultimo bra, with its patented technology of liquid silicone gel, was born.

Its success grew the following year when it was worn by Oscar-winner Julia Roberts in the hit 2000 film Erin Brockovich.

Since then the range has grown, with Helena Christensen, ex-Spice Girl Mel B and Girls Aloud member Sarah Harding all appearing in advertising campaigns.

Ms Mone's success has seen her receive numerous business awards, give advice on the BBC show The Apprentice and sit on the board of directors for the Prince's Scottish Youth Business Trust.

The mother-of-three said: "After 13 years in the industry I'm still passionate about lingerie and committed to delivering quality brands for the high street.

"I feel very fortunate to be recognised for my achievements and I'm thoroughly excited about meeting the Queen."



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