Hi all, so Brush Beauty is two years old this month and what better way to start my blog than to tell you all how it came about for me. I certainly never thought I’d be sitting here at 48 years of age typing this but hey, here I am! Life takes weird and wonderful twists and turns, some good, some not so good and this has definitely been one of the better ones.
My first dip into beauty and selling was in 2011 when I started selling Avon products, who didn’t love Avon? I set up a Facebook page called Avon Tramore (I know, overflowing with imagination!) and off I went. I was working full time too so I had no interest in being the “Avon Lady” and calling to houses etc., so good old social media worked well for me. I built up a great customer base in Tramore and Waterford and loved every minute of it! The extra cash was brilliant but better than that, I loved handing those bags of goodies to customers knowing I had made them happy, I got a great sense of satisfaction from it. I’m also pretty sure that may have been where my real make up collection obsession began. Avon was so keenly priced and as reps., we got great bargains and discounts. Unfortunately after 18 months of selling, Avon unceremoniously withdrew from Ireland and that was that, it was at an end.
In late 2015 I decided to give multi level marketing a go (MLM) and joined Forever Living. It was taking off hugely in Ireland at the time and the idea of working my way up the marketing ladder to a potentially huge income really excited me. The products were brilliant too, I still say to this day that aloe vera is one of the best things you can put on your skin or into your body but the business side of it didn’t work out for me and at start of 2016 I was losing interest and just plodding along with it. At the end of May 2016, I suddenly lost my beloved dad and I lost interest in anything except simply existing! Trainings with Forever Living were on Wednesday evenings and every Wednesday, rather than going out home to Tramore, I would come up to my parents house from work and have tea with dad out at the kitchen table and we’d have the chats and I’d head off to training. When he died, I just couldn’t get that association out of my head and seeing as things weren’t going well for me in the business anyway, I just gave it up.
I was on Snapchat at the time and was following Laura Cunningham – you’ll all know Laura as being editor of Confetti magazine and owner of Hippenings party website but she’s a little bit more than that to me, she’s my “step niece” (is that even a thing?) as Laura’s mother was married to my brother. From following Laura, I then started following the wonderful Karen Constantine aka Lovely Girlie Bits and while watching Karen one night, she was using this duck egg handled makeup brush and she mentioned that we should all go follow someone by the name of Nima Niamh! I had never heard of her, never saw these brushes before but okay, I’d give her a follow! I was only following her a few weeks when she mentioned that she was looking for people to retail the makeup brushes. Hand on heart, in the couple of months since my dad died, the idea of selling makeup brushes was the first thing that actually made me excited. God, I’m even crying writing this but it was and still is such an incredible loss that to find something that excited me was the best feeling ever! I wasn’t in the right head space to do it at the time so even though I got in touch with Nima and got the paperwork in August, it was October 2016 before I felt ready to go ahead and on the 9th October I launched my Brush Beauty Facebook page. At the time, my idea was that I’d “give it a go” until Christmas and see how things went and as the months went by, it served a much greater purpose in giving me something to focus on and put my energy into after dad died. Brush Beauty was taking off!
In March 2017, I met Niamh Martin (aka Nima Niamh!) for the first time at the Build It Up Tour she hosted with Terry McEvoy. Niamh already knew that I was interested in doing a few events myself around Waterford where I could retail the brushes and she was hugely supportive of that.
I started doing Nima pop-ups myself then at various events and by the following September when Nima ran their second Build It Up Tour, I helped run the Nima shop at the event in the Ballsbridge Hotel, the Pelo Dolls Day out in Waterford and in November, I ran the Nima pop-up at the Sinead Curvy Style Christmas Party and The Beautiful Truth’s Mother and Baby Event both on in the Clayton Hotel in Cork. Meeting these bloggers that I respected and followed was absolutely brilliant, I loved every minute! And I’ll admit it, I was kinda proud of myself too, I was the only Nima retailer in Ireland that wasn’t attached to a salon or a beauty business, it was just me and a Facebook page!
So it was starting to look like Brush Beauty was firmly established and I was beginning to be known as “Brush Beauty Sue” so I got more active on Instagram and quickly figured out that I loved taking photos and talking about makeup. I’ve still a very small account at the moment, it’s very hard to build a genuine following but I’m hoping it will grow over time. Even though I had been fairly active on Snapchat, I didn’t start using Instagram Stories for a while but when I did, the interaction was brilliant and I’ve made some fabulous “friends that I’ve never met” there, it’s a wonderful supportive community.
The blog idea has been developing for over a year in my head, I put if off so many times because of various reasons, mainly self doubt ones, I’m too old, no-one will be interested in what I have to say, everyone is doing it – you know yourself! But the thing is, I realised that the main reason I wanted to start a blog is because I love writing (I promise they won’t all be this long) and maybe late 40’s is the absolutely perfect time to give something new a bash! And something tells me my dad would be proud of me no matter what!