I started my small business just over a month ago now (click here), and since then I have had SO MANY QUESTIONS about how I started up and just general questions. I try to be as open as I can and make sure that I am being as honest as possible about the whole experience, as I would have loved to have read something like this a year ago when I was in the planning stage of starting a business.
For a bit of a backstory: I am 18 years old and in January 2019 I launched my business selling cruelty free false eyelashes through my online shop. I manage my whole business myself alongside my university studies and my blog… I am a busy girl! However, this has led to a lot of questions about how I genuinely manage it all and how I have been able to fund starting a business so young. And here are some of the answers to them most popular questions! I asked for questions on Instagram stories, which is the best way to get questions quickly now they have launched the new questions feature. If you don’t follow my shop Instagram then click here to be redirected over there, I would really appreciate a follow as we have been growing so quickly at the moment!
How long did it take you to start your company? @heidiismakeup
I knew that starting a business was a priority for me a long time ago, but was waiting for when the time was right for me to actually put it into practise. I started planning the business and brand around 9 months ago, and really increased my time spent on it about 6 months ago. I am at university so was also studying alongside this, but I would say that in the last 2-3 months before the launch I was putting in ‘full time’ hours’ into my business alongside my studies. I was (and still am) a busy girl!
How much money roughly would you say that you need to start a business? @heidiismakeup
I am going to start by saying, throughout this blog post I am not going to be using any figures. I don’t want to reveal specific details as A.) I don’t think it appropriate to reveal my finances on the internet and B.) after all it is my livelihood and I don’t want to be giving away basically a step by step guide to recreate my own hard work when starting a business. What I will say is that it all depends on how much money you have and how much you are willing to spend, its very relative. For example, Jeffree Star might throw $10 million at a new product launch and not bat an eyelid but then a girl down the road could bankrupt herself by investing £200 into starting a business. You can start a business for very cheap or you can invest lots into it, however whatever you invest is not going to equate to your success. I wanted to do things in a pretty ‘extra’ way so I invested what I deem to be a lot of money into my launch party and sending out PR, but that was my personal choice. What I’m trying to say is don’t let money be a reason for putting off starting a business. If you want to do it, just do it!
How did you start your business? Is there a lot of legal terms you must follow? @nicolekirkmakeup
Again, it depends on what your business is and how far you want to take it. In the cosmetic industry, there are quite a few legal terms you need to follow when starting a business to make sure that all of your products are eye-safe and suitable for sensitive skin. I always made sure that all of my products were cruelty free as well, so I needed to get proof of this. I have my products made abroad, so the import tax was something that caught me out and ate into my profit! That was a lot of money but at least now I know I need to pay it in the future. Keeping your eye on the ball and making sure everything is completely above board is the best way, because although it might cost more money it is better than cutting corners.
Do you think you will collaborate with any influencers? @nicolekirkmakeup
I would love to do this in the future! I just don’t know how I would go about it and I need to research into it more, because I wouldn’t know who to choose. Collabing with larger influencers would be better for me financially, but equally I would love to collaborate with smaller people who I think are super talented. Definitely something I need to look into for the end of 2019, or 2020!
What is your favourite pair of lashes? @megganmua
Which is your favourite style? Is this like asking to pick a favourite child? @violetglenton
I thought to pair these questions together as they are very similar, and yes it is like choosing my favourite child. I love and wear them all, and I wouldn’t have sold anything I don’t love with my whole heart. That being said if I was pushed into a corner, I would say that my favourite pair is Vonnie, and it surprises me that they are actually the least popular ones out of the three! I love that I can wear them both during the day and on a night out, and the wispiness means that they don’t look too ‘fake’ looking. I wear them all of the time, and they were actually named Vonnie because my nan is my favourite person and these are my favourite lashes.
What inspired you to want to start a business? @michellehopewell
I have been raised around business as both of my grandparents run their own businesses, so I have always been submerged into the world… and I have been taught how much hard work it is! After doing business at both GCSE and A level, my love for the subject continued even more when I found out I was generally pretty good at it and a lot of the concepts came naturally to me. I have been craving starting a business for a while but I have been putting it off for so long because of various reasons, but last year I realised that there will always be a reason for me not to do it and after I came to that realisation I got started on it straight away. I am so glad I did, because although I have increased my workload massively alongside university and I have to spin a lot of plates to avoid stress, it brings me so much joy. I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.
How did you come up with the names for your lashes? @jazminheavenx
I am not going to go into too much detail about this here because it is featured in depth on this post (click here) but as a short debrief:
Vonnie– my nan’s nickname. She raised me, is my best friend and also the woman who introduced me to the world of makeup when I asked her if she could put some mascara on me when I was about 7 for my dance class!
Sugar– this is a name of a pretend business that I used to “run” when I was about 8, showing that my love of business started pretty early in my life. One day I want to find all of the old business cards I made from out of the loft as I think it would make such a good blog post. Starting a business has always been a dream for me!
Confidence– this one is probably the most obvious, as lashes are the one item that will always make me feel confident and like I can conquer the world no matter what.
What age did you start wearing lashes? @hhlifestyletravel
I used to do a lot of costume makeup on my Instagram before I started my blog, so I always used to wear them for looks but never out of the house. Then I wore them for a GCSE results day party and since then I have never looked back. I used to wear them every single day at college… now I don’t have that much effort (or time!) but I wear them every time I go for a meal or a night out. They are my staple product now and what I feel makes me feel like me!
What gave you the idea to start a lash line? @surrealserene_
I don’t know really! I have always wanted to own my own makeup line but obviously that is very expensive and more of a long term project so I thought to narrow it down to focusing on one item and doing it well at first. As I said previously, my favourite makeup product in the world is lashes so it felt only natural to release them as my first design when starting a business. Plus they suit everyone and there are so many varieties that there is a lot of scope for expansion in the future. That being said, I do hope that there is an Indigo Rosee makeup line in the future!
What has been the hardest part so far? @kirstyleanneuk
Definitely finding the right styles! I wanted to have something that everyone would love but equally that I would love, so it was hard to find the balance between just doing what I like and also thinking about others. I ended up recruiting my friends to look at samples and say which ones they preferred to make sure I had something that everyone would love. I do think that I have achieved this as there are 3 different styles that would suit everyone and every eye shape.
What is your favourite thing about running your own business? @aleesha_xx
I love seeing people wearing my lashes! So many people are kind enough to tag me in photos of them wearing their lashes, and honestly the novelty wear off. Seeing people loving products that I have done 100% myself makes me so happy and proud of myself, and if anyone ever sends me a photo you better know that I always smile when I see what looks you have creative. Everyone has been so supportive, and it is such a surreal feeling that I honestly love.
What inspired you to start a business so young? Have you found a mentor who is able to guide you through setting up a business and if so what is the best advice that they have gave you? @charli_russon
This is such a good question but I don’t think I’m going to give a very good answer! I just kind of knew that I never wanted a conventional job and instead wanted to go down the starting a business route. Like the name of my lash sugar represents, my idea of fun as a child was to create pretend businesses. I didn’t actually have a mentor as such, but my grandparents both run their own successful businesses and gave me a lot of tips and advice along the way to help me, which was much appreciated. I wouldn’t have known where to start without them to be honest!
So there are all of the questions that I was asked! I hope this has answered some of the top queries, and if you want me to do anymore ‘behind the scenes’ business posts then let me know. I would love to share more about actually running a business because its not what I expected so far, and I think it would be interesting to read about. Let me know! I might do another one as time goes on and more questions arise. As always, thank you so much for reading this and if you do want to have a nosey at the shop then click here to be redirected over there.