I used to work at Redditch Library, in Worcestershire, and shared an office with Jane Clarke. One day I received an invitation to take part in a poetry reading in Malvern. "If you have a pamphlet of your work, do bring copies to sell", it said. I didn't have a pamphlet of my stuff, but a light bulb came on in my head and I asked Jane how easy it would be to make me a pamphlet. "Easy-peasy", said Jane, "we'll do it on Wednesday" and we did. We called ourselves Flarestack Publishing (for reasons I explain elsewhere) and the whole thing had started.
Once we had discovered how easy it is to physically make up a pamphlet, we started to offer the service to other local poets. Pretty soon word got out, and before long we were getting manuscripts from all over.