Working in the salon and experiencing the same thing every day was becoming tedious for makeup artist Laura Platt. So, Laura decided to set up her own freelance makeup business. The opportunities found along Laura’s journey has led her to opening her own salon in St Helens.
Prior to taking the plunge, Laura worked in a beauty salon for 12 years. Laura is still currently working here. She started off as an apprentice on a worked based learning scheme. As time progressed, so did Laura’s career and she was then promoted to Salon Manager. ‘I saw it as a great privilege.’
|Laura in her own creation!|
There were a few barriers in the way for Laura. Her current employment was an issue as managers are not in favour of employees doing mobile work and working in the salon. Therefore, Laura kept her business secret for a year until she found the courage to tell her boss. ‘In the end, I told her I’d been doing a few make ups and that now people were asking me to do more...She was very supportive of me and my business and I think it brought us closer together.’ But working 49 hours a week restricted Laura from doing make up after work.
After losing her social life and being run down by long hours, Laura decided to cut her hours down. This was vital for Laura as she needed to focus on her freelancing business. Business varied for Laura, ‘Some days I was full, some I had nothing in.’ Initially, this worried Laura as she had cut her work hours to work for herself but it wasn’t as busy as she had hoped. ‘But that soon changed!’
|Some of Laura's work|
Another significant barrier for Laura was her anxiety and panic attacks. ‘This has affected my business somewhat over the past few months. I’ve had to cancel or rearrange clients due to it kind of taking over my life.’ Driving around a lot and going into stranger’s houses ‘can be quite daunting and can be very stressful.’ However, Laura is determined to beat this and not let it affect her life or business.
‘I received loads of support from The Women’s Organisation.’
Laura was recommended by a friend to receive support from Enterprise Hub partner; The Women’s Organisation to help kick start her business. It was our drop-in event which Laura attended that got her initial business idea started. From there, a meeting was set up with Francine Taylor; a Senior Business Advisor, who ‘Was amazing. So, nice and friendly, and ever so helpful.’ Laura was booked onto several courses at the organisation, including: Planning for Success, Basic Bookkeeping and Become a More Confident You. ‘I absolutely loved every course I went on. I met such amazing inspiring women. Everyone had ideas and was so helpful.’ Laura stresses the fact that these courses are free and ‘Fabulous!’ ‘The help that we can get and it’s right under our noses and yet people just don’t realise.’ All the courses Laura attended gave her that boost of confidence she needed to start up her business.
There are two main aspects about running your own business that Laura enjoys. Creating a business in an industry you love is ‘Always great, most of my days are spent playing with makeup which I love!’ Laura’s income is also another factor as she is earning more money than she used to…’So I can treat myself a lot more, which is always great.’
|Some more of Laura's work|
Laura’s business is continuing to grow. ‘I’ve got my Facebook page up and running, my business cards are a huge hit.’ Laura’s boss has decided she is selling the salon and offered Laura to invest. So, Laura accepted! She is currently in the process of buying her own salon.
This is a fantastic opportunity for Laura as it has been established for 20 years. ‘I’ve worked there my whole time as a beautician so all the clients that come in know me, and now I have somewhere to set up a makeup studio!’ Reflecting on her business progress, Laura is proud of how far she has come. ‘I had very much started to become a plodder with my job, and now I feel like I’m an actual business woman.’
‘I’m so excited.’
For anyone thinking of starting their own business, Laura advises them to ‘100% get down to The Women’s Org, or even just look on the website at the courses they offer…I told my sister and she now has started setting up her own private therapy business thanks to the Women’s Organisation.’
So, what does the future hold for Laura in terms of her business? Laura hopes to become a ‘Makeup artist and nail technician to the stars!’
If you are interested in the service Laura offers, you can contact her using the contact details below:
And if like Laura, you have a passion and want to start up your own business, get in touch with us. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 0151 706 8111