Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Camilla Collins, owner of CJC Hair & Makeup, located in London, UK.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
We are a UK-based hair and makeup agency that work with individuals, corporations, and luxury brands. The CJC agency was created to give more people the friendly and professional 5-star treatment that I believe every single one of us deserves.
It’s our ethos to ensure that every individual that we work with looks and feels like the star that they truly are.
Tell us about yourself
I was trained in all aspects of hair, and makeup styling, including prosthetics and SFX, and initially started out in the TV and Film industries. Two years into my career, however, I assisted on a wedding and just loved every minute of it! It didn't feel like work to me, just like hanging out with the girls on a Saturday morning. I loved reveling in the joy and magic of a wedding day morning and being part of it all that I decided to specialise in weddings. That was in 2011, and I have since built multiple agencies to ensure that the make the magic of makeup transformation isn't just reserved for the stage and screen and is accessible for all to experience.
It is the excitement from the variety of work that motivates me each day. We serve many different people for different events and work across many different industries. The opportunities are endless, and every day is different. I'm always learning from the new environments that I'm in and the new people that I meet.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Creating the agency. Relinquishing control over something you have poured your heart and soul into and worked so hard to build isn't easy, and trusting others to give the same amount of love and care to your clients as you isn't plain sailing either, but it was the best thing I ever did as it gives back in so many ways - we are able to deliver a 5-star service to more people than I ever could alone, and the agency creates more work and opportunities for our super talented and creative artists.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Time and energy management. It's so easy to get stuck working in the business rather than on it. When the majority of your time is spent working in it, then you have little time and energy to work on it, and then the business cannot grow. Awareness of exactly where your time and energy is being spent is something that needs to be kept at the forefront of the mind, and admittedly this is something I lose from time to time.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Look after yourself and manage your lifestyle well. If you don't work, your business won't either. Listen to your body, put yourself first, and make sure you get enough rest.
- Surround yourself with people that support your ideas and that inspire and motivate you. Anyone that doesn't believe in your or your ideas will drain your energy. If you don't have many of these people, then find a business or mastermind group or venture out to network meetings and do this regularly.
- Be visible and build your personal brand. People don't do business with businesses; they do business with people. The more you show yourself, the easier you will find it to attract the RIGHT clients, team members, and opportunities.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Anything new can be daunting and scary. When running our own business, we always have to be forward-thinking and embrace the new. It's not for the faint-hearted, but it's so worthwhile to live life and do business on our own terms. The quicker we get at pushing through fear, the more obstacles we can overcome, which builds our confidence every time and allows us to get further and further ahead. Keep pushing, keep going.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email firstname.lastname@example.org; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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