How breaking stereotypes is good for business - my story.
Three years ago, at the age of 65, I was retired and feeling somewhat directionless. I needed a new challenge. I’d always been a makeup junkie but I hated the way the beauty industry could only sell me ‘anti-ageing’ products. I have never been particularly desperate to look younger, however, I do still want to look as fabulous as I can! I was also buying cosmetics from various brands but was often wasting a lot of money on makeup which was clearly formulated for younger skins than mine. I kept thinking that there must be loads of other women who felt as frustrated as I did, so I came up with the name Look Fabulous Forever, registered it as a domain name and Googled ‘UK cosmetic manufacturers.’ I also enrolled on a makeup artist’s course because my initial idea was to sell the new range I had created via makeover makeup parties. Most of 2013 passed in a whirl of activity. I worked closely with the wonderful manufacturer I found in Suffolk to test and produce my 12 key face, eye and lip products. I was also introduced to an excellent graphic designer who created our logo and also came up with the design for the packaging. The e-commerce website was also designed and made ready for our launch date on October 11th 2013.
From the start I knew that I only wanted to use real older women for all our photographs and in our video tutorials, so I also called up my friends, some of whom happily volunteered to have makeovers and be photographed for the gallery on the website. Two of them also agreed to be in video tutorials demonstrating how effectively the LFF makeup worked. The launch party was a brilliant success when around 80 people raised a toast to the success of my new venture. It was a slow burn with the videos and the parties, but over the first 6 months the momentum grew. By March 2014, it was clear that this could be a hugely successful online retail business. In the first year of operation I more than doubled the return on my initial investment, and now revenues are doubling every six months. I am loving every minute of my role as ‘the face’ of LFF and have appeared on both TV and radio as well as telling my story in numerous magazines and newspapers.
"I feel that my age is a positive advantage as Look Fabulous Forever brings together all my previous business experience in the most fantastically satisfying way."
I feel that my age is a positive advantage as Look Fabulous Forever brings together all my previous business experience in the most fantastically satisfying way. It is also a business which is allowing me to challenge the ageist assumptions that are often made about 'old-aged-pensioners.' I have the same level of energy and enthusiasm for life that I have always had and at 68 I feel that a whole new and exciting career has opened up to me!
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