An aspiring entrepreneur is hoping to glow up a bright future after fulfilling a lifelong dream of carving out a career in the beauty industry.
Luxe by Elissa Grace was recently opened by 22-year-old Elissa Charles. Over the past six months she has successfully secured premises on Balby’s high street which she has turned into a haven for magnificent makeovers, luscious lips and beautiful brows.
Elissa first developed an interest in the beauty industry when she was just 14 years old. Working for a local hairdresser, she gained first-hand experience of salon life, but after deciding to leave school at 16, she decided to put her dreams of forging a career in the beauty industry on hold.
After spending a couple of years working in the care industry, Elissa felt unsatisfied in her career, and she began to re-visit her passion for beauty and make-up. In 2019, she decided to use the hard-earned money she had saved from her job to take the first steps towards following her dreams by signing up to a specialist beauty course.
The intensive training saw Elissa learn how to master eyelash and eyebrow beauty techniques including creating definition, shaping and tinting, and she began to practise her newly developed skills on friends and family. The rave reviews she received gave Elissa the confidence to give up her day job and follow her dream of working in the beauty industry and pursuing a career as a self-employed beautician.
However, with no previous experience of running her own business, it felt like a step too far. Determined to succeed, Elissa decided to reach out to Launchpad, a free-to-access business support programme designed to offer help and guidance to would-be business owners across South Yorkshire.
Working with business adviser Debbie Richardson, Elissa took part in a series of workshops, helping her to understand the skills needed to launch and run a successful business. The courses she took part in helped her to develop her plans and put them into practice, giving her the confidence to embrace social media to help her connect with new potential customers.
Since working with Launchpad, Elissa has quickly established herself as something of a social media influencer, regularly sharing transformations she has achieved for clients and resulting in an incredible 150,000 likes on her TikTok channel, as well as amassing over 7,000 followers on her company’s Instagram account.
Determined not to rest on her laurels, Elissa was also able to secure an Enterprise Chest Grant from Business Doncaster, helping her to bring new services to her business, including bridal make-up as well as offering semi-permanent eyebrows and lip treatments. Since securing the funds, Elissa has secured a second site for her business in Armthorpe, and she is hoping to follow her dreams of owning her own salon in the future.
Through her work with the Launchpad team, Elissa was also fortunate to receive a place at the annual Business Showcase event that takes place at Doncaster Racecourse in February each year. Here she was able to experience showcasing her business and products at a business event that attracts over 25000 visitors and 300 exhibitors.
Elissa Charles, founder, Luxe by Elissa Grace, said:
“I always liked the idea of owning my own business and having something that I could call my own. Like a lot of people, when I left school, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I often helped friends and family with their hair and make-up, and their encouragement gave me the self-belief I needed to follow my dream of running my own business.
Of course, I knew there would be a world of difference between knowing how to apply make-up for friends and family and running a business; the beauty industry is incredibly competitive, and to give my business the best possible chance, I knew I would need help, so I reached out to Launchpad for advice. Working with Debbie and the Launchpad team helped me to get to grips with what it takes to run a business and gave my business a solid foundation. I’ve been amazed by the response to the social videos I’ve created, and the tips I received were invaluable. The grant funding I received has allowed me to undertake additional training, allowing me to introduce new services – something that I didn’t think would be possible. Training courses can be incredibly expensive, and although I always planned to offer semi-permanent make-up the grant I received has allowed me to introduce this service more quickly, helping to generate additional revenue streams for my business.
Running a business isn’t like any other job in the world; it can mean long hours, as well as evening and weekend work. Without the right support, it can be easy to feel out of your depth, but Debbie and the Launchpad team have always been on hand to answer any questions and kept me updated about new opportunities”.
Launchpad Doncaster provides fully funded support to Individuals and businesses in Doncaster and the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.
It is a fully inclusive programme designed to help ambitious entrepreneurs set up, run and grow successful businesses it also supports businesses (with less than 10 employees and less than £10m Turnover) to take the next step and grow their business.
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