A former businesswoman of the year who launched a lingerie company from her Warwickshire home is among those to be made an MBE.

Unperturbed after her bra size shot up when she became pregnant, Sarah Tremellen, aged 41, got together with a friend to set up her own company 11 years ago.

Today Bravissimo, the company she co-owns with husband Mike, employs 650 people and, last year, recorded a turnover of £42million.

She said: “When I became pregnant, I went up several bra sizes and couldn’t get them in my size, so I was shown larger cups in some dark corner of the store. I always wanted to set up a business and liked the idea of doing something that would make a difference as well as produce a good range of bras. It is all about women celebrating their curves.”

Bravissimo now has 20 shops nationally, including in Leamington and Solihull, although half its lingerie business is by mail order and the internet from Leamington.

“We were able to move out of my house and into premises after about a year, and then I bought my friend out 12 months after that.

“I own and run the company with my husband Mike, who left his job with Tetley to join me in 2000,” Mrs Tremellen said. The rapidly growing company resulted in her being voted Businesswoman of the Year in 2003, while a survey listed Bravissimo one of the top 100 places to work.