In our “Inspiring small businesses” series we share and celebrate great stories from fellow small business owners who took their idea to the next level and built their own business. Starting your own business is a huge step, no matter how small your business is, so by bringing you closer to the great minds behind these inspiring businesses, we hope that you will find motivation and survival tips for building yours.
What is it that you do?
I am a hair stylist and makeup artist initially trained in TV, Film and Theatre Hair and Makeup and while I did start out in the filming industry, I soon shifted to create my own business working with private and corporate clients for weddings, special occasions as well as parties and events. Camillajcollins.com has been the website I’ve had from the start. It was initially just my own website and portfolio of work, but over the years it has grown to a hair and makeup agency which caters for private individuals for their weddings and special occasions as well as corporate clients for headshots and filming. While I still work occasionally in the fashion and filming industries on e-commerce shoots, editorials and the odd filming project too, I get the most enjoyment closely interacting with clients. I just love working with people, really getting to know them, their likes and dislikes and finding a way to bring out the very best version of themselves.
Glitter & Glo caters for the in-event, party entertainment side of things, and it all happened a little by accident really! A few years ago I was doing a bit of sideline work by providing glitter tattoos for bar and bat mitzvah parties and during one of these jobs a few things were going wrong and the food was very delayed coming out and the guests needed entertaining! The guests had been seated for dinner and there was only space for my glitter tattoo station in the reception room. So thinking on my feet, I had some UV paints and brushes with me as well as a brush belt that happened to hold the paints perfectly. I decided to take to the floor and roam around the tables, doodling on faces and painting on bodies whatever the guests fancied. After that event, things really took off. The roamability aspect was a huge hit as it kept people entertained without them having to queue up at a makeup station and it didn’t drag them away from any other aspects of the party that they were enjoying. Glitter & Glo has since evolved and we now have roaming usherette trays which can hold glitter and gems and other delights, so we offer a full on mobile service now for many corporate events and private parties.
What inspired you to start your own business?
As a creative, I like building and making things. I like to research and learn and I get a kick out of discovering new, creative and different ways to do things. So having started out freelancing and spending a lot of my days having to constantly look for work, it was only natural that I began exploring different avenues to gain work and learn new ways to capture people’s attention which led me to build more of a brand for myself with various marketing techniques, as well as when I was out and about meeting with people and networking. The creative industries can be a tough one to crack and it’s very much “not what you know but who you know.” I gained loads of experience when starting out in the filming industry and all the experiences I had, good and bad have helped shape the person I am today and the business that I have built.
As for the more creative side of things, as much as I love hair styling and beauty makeup, I didn’t want my creativity and prosthetics makeup training to go to waste and as I had seen that private and corporate events were getting more and more creative on the production and themed front, I decided to open up my stage and screen makeup training to the general public, so that everyone could have access to some of the creative makeup magic for their events. Cjccreatives.com looks after many bars and restaurants around Halloween time in particular; ensuring their staff are looking the part and also works with other companies and individuals during the year who need something a little out of the ordinary for their event.
What is the most difficult aspect of running your own business?
Not getting overwhelmed and learning to delegate. It’s all super exciting at first and manageable, but as things get busier with business expansion and you start branching out into new areas, it can become a little stressful and start to feel a lot like work when before it didn’t. Trying to spin all the plates and keep them spinning is a tricky task and there are so many aspects of the business now to keep on top of.
There are loads of weekly tasks in all departments of marketing, designing, networking, admin, social media, tech… the list goes on! It can be pretty stressful keeping all the plates spinning and although I’ve got some great people to help in some of these department, I’m definitely at a point where I need to get some more people with the right expertise to help me manage some other areas more effectively. This is now my main focus for 2019 – to get some awesome people on board to help me tidy up, restore some order, and get some systems in place, so that the business can grow properly and we can get our message across and look after our clients to the best of our ability.
What is the best thing about running your own business?
I just love the freedom it gives me to be able to work my own schedule however I like (most of the time!). As a creative I have random moments when I’m feeling super on it and flowing with ideas and motivation to get stuff done. But there are other times when I experience the complete opposite and even small tasks that should take me a matter of minutes when I’m “in flow” take me hours to do! Without set hours to be sat in an office, it means I can run with my 5am “eureka moments” or hunker down into creating things late at night if that’s what I feel like doing. The time in between is fully mine for whatever I want to do with it whether that’s catching up with friends and family, heading out of town for a few days to gain a bit of perspective or just getting myself out and about to experience new things, learn and see what comes up in the world around me.