Business journey: Allure Me Beauty
Creating a value proposition for both beauty industry professionals and their end customers, Nicola Gunby and Jason Iliffe have their sights set on being the number one name in the beauty industry. They tell us about their journey so far as founders of Allure Me Beauty,
Tell us about your business, what does it do?
Allure Me Beauty is an online service marketplace which allows customers to easily book a beauty appointment at the click of a button. Customers have access to over 2,000 stylists UK wide and can search for a beauty appointment in their location, whether that is a mobile appointment or visiting a salon or home salon.
Allure Me Beauty is revolutionising the beauty industry as freelancers are able to grow their current client base with the help of our platform and on the other hand, customers have easy access to book appointments anytime, anywhere.
What did you do before you started this business?
Whilst Jason studied an events management degree at Lincoln University, Nicola trained to be a makeup artist. However, after our education, we decided that we wanted to travel and see more of the world so we booked a one-way flight to South East Asia.
We only planned for three months of travelling. However, this ended up turning into three years. We moved to Melbourne for two of these years and this is the heart of where Allure Me Beauty was founded. Both of us knew from the beginning that we wanted to start a business and be our own boss as we always had that entrepreneurial trait.
What inspired you to start up?
Allure Me Beauty was created on Nicola’s personal experience of being a makeup artist in the industry. When we moved to Melbourne, she found it difficult to build up a client base without knowing anybody. Together, we came up with the concept of Allure Me Beauty, as we both knew that with our idea, we could change the beauty industry. Rather than the problem coming from the view of the customer, the problem came from the knowledge of a beauty professional already in the industry.
How would you describe your business to your grandma?
With Allure Me Beauty there is no need to spend time searching endlessly for an available appointment in your area, as our easy to use booking system allows you to book a beauty appointment at the click of a button. We bring the salon to you as we allow you to book mobile beauty treatments in the comfort of your own home.
Where do you get advice, support or help?
As we are a couple, we are lucky to have each other to go to for help and support. We always have the same views regarding the business and what we want to achieve now and in the future. To keep us motivated, we both enjoy watching inspirational videos, listening to podcasts and reading books on other successful businesses and entrepreneurs.
How did you access the finance you needed?
We always knew that it would be difficult in the beginning financially, so we made sure that we planned ahead and we were always clever with where our money was going. We started the business with our own savings, so everything that we have built so far is from our own hard work and determination. There is never going to be the perfect time and you are never going to have the correct amount of money to start a business. If you are passionate you will make it work.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
Allure Me Beauty is now an established name in the industry and our services are loved by many celebrities and VIP clients such as Laura Whitmore, Lucy Mecklenburgh, Ashley Roberts and many more. We have recently partnered with hotels across the UK and we provide our services at events such as ladies days, corporate events, influencer parties, brand launches and many other types of events.
Alongside this, we have developed our own brand and launched Allure Me Beauty Masterclasses in collaboration with highly influential makeup artists in the industry.
How do you differentiate your business from others?
Allure Me Beauty is the UK’s largest beauty booking platform for independent artists. We have over 2,000 artists on our platform and we are offering services that nobody else is.
On our platform, artists are able to set their own prices, services, images and availability as they are in control of their own profile and their bookings. They can work around their current lifestyle and choose when they want to work, and their standard of work. We provide everything that the customer needs to book a beauty appointment, in one area.
What’s it like to be your own boss?
We always knew that we wanted to be our own boss and work for ourselves as we wanted to be in control of our own lives and our future. Every day is different but exciting and that is what keeps it so motivating and gives us the passion to keep going.
We knew that we wanted freedom in our lives and this has given us exactly that as we are now able to control our own destiny. However, being the only decision-makers is rewarding but definitely challenging at the same time.
Where do you see your business in five years' time?
In the future, Allure Me Beauty will be a global company and our goal is to be the number one name in the beauty industry. The ideas for Allure Me Beauty are endless and there is so much room for expansion from us in the future.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
The best piece of advice is to just go for it as there is no better time than now. If you have an idea which you truly believe in, then make all of the sacrifices for it to happen as it will be worth it. If you believe in yourself then you will achieve success.