When Aimee was a teenager she was diagnosed with Alopecia. She has now started a website to give tips and support to women and girls who suffer from Alopecia. Read her incredible story below.
What does your business do?
For the past three years I have been offering help and advice to women and girls suffering from hair loss, due to Alopecia.
I run a website called www.alopeciabeautytips.com that provides beauty tips on how to look good and feel great with Alopecia. I have filmed a DVD that provides practical tips and emotional support and I also write a Blog all about my own tried and tested experiences with wigs and make up.
I have also trained with the leaders in Permanent Cosmetics, Nouveau Contour, and benefited from the guidance of internationally acclaimed permanent makeup artist Karen Betts. I use my skills to give back the lost facial features to so many women suffering hair loss to their face. With attractive eyebrows that have a beautifully placed arch that takes years off their face, an accentuating eye enhancement that creates beautiful almond
shape eyes that look more open and alive or lip liner with a beautiful blended blush that gives great definition and fullness.
I feel confident that with my experience and knowledge of hair loss and permanent make up I will be able to bring confidence and acceptance to many lives.
These treatments can also hugely benefit those for purely cosmetic reasons too! Have beautifully applied makeup every day and night that saves you so much time! Beautifully placed brows can take years off your face, you don’t have to worry about your partner seeing your without make up, great for sports, if you are a busy mum with no time to be applying make up, If you have allergic reactions to make up products…. the benefits are endless.
A few years ago I made an appearance on Lorraine Kelly’s show to raise awareness for Alopecia, by removing my wig in front of millions of viewers and I created a real stir! I was really scared but the awareness that I created that day was immeasurable. You can see the clip here…
I have also been featured in the Daily Mail in an article focusing on Alopecia and I featured in Marie Claire with Trevor Sorbie supporting his new charity, My New Hair. You can see these articles here…
I love the work that the Little Princess Trust charity is doing and I try to support them as much as I can. They provide real hair wigs to children if they loose their hair to Alopecia or Cancer treatment. This is truly a wonderful charity, as kids just need to get on with being kids and not have to worry about their hair.
What made you decide to start your own business?
I have come a long way in the last fifteen years since I was first diagnosed with Alopecia and I have learnt to accept that it is part of who I am. The reason I started my web site was because I hoped that by sharing my knowledge and life experiences I could help others come to terms with Alopecia.
Personally, I found researching Alopecia to be a very negative experience as many articles portray it to be worse than it actually is. I believe that Alopecia does not have to be as bad as you think! Obviously, when your hair falls out it’s a very upsetting and traumatic experience. It will take time for you to deal with, but life goes on and you can’t let alopecia control who you are and what you do.
For the past 3 years I have been helping women through endless phone calls, e-mails and occasionally meeting. I felt like could do so much more if I could offer something really life changing that could help. I am the biggest fan of permanent make up as it has really transformed my life and really brought on my confidence. The lady who does my make always suggested that I should train… So I took the plunge and ever since then I have not looked back! I have so much passion for it and love how much I can create such fantastic results that women love and how the make up can give back so much confidence.
The great thing is that not only am I providing a service of the permanent make up, but I am also able to continue to offer my Alopecia beauty Tips. Women can see straight in front of them how I have not let Alopecia get in my way and I am hopefully an inspiration to them.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
When I trained to be a permanent makeup artist I was 6 months pregnant and the training was so intense, if I had not been so passionate about my future I don’t know if I would have made it through! You can see a video of my training here…
Other challenges have been being learning all the skills to run my own business which I had never done before and perfecting a new skill all at the same time. I felt like I always had a million things to do and did not know where to start. Sometimes after speaking to people for advice I would come away feeling more stressed than before as I would realise I had more things I needed to do! But over time everything started to slot into place.
For a while I was still holding down a full time job, trying to start up my own business and very very pregnant! There were days when I would feel like the world was against me… I would work so hard at things like getting a treatment room set up and getting all the dates booked for clients not to turn up, you would go through all that hassle for nothing. Very frustrating but you just have to keep going.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I have overcome many of these challenges by just talking with other women in the same situation running their own business. I like to keep in touch with all the women I originally trained with at Nouveau Beauty as we all have the same frustrations and issues with clients etc. I now ask my clients to secure their booking with a deposit! Associations like the female entrepreneurs really help when you are feeling overwhelmed and alone in the big bad world of business. Speaking to inspirational business advisors helps too as they have ideas of little ways you can just tweak the way you do things that can have really positive effects for the longevity of your business.
What advice or tips would you give other business owners?
Kim Thomas from Chamomile Medical gave me a really good piece of advice the other day that she heard from some business guru! Always spend the 1st hour of the day contacting clients and keeping a good relationship… it is tempting to just focus on getting more business and new clients but even more important keeping a good relationship with the ones you have.
What’s your favourite quote?
I will cringe when I see this online I know but I really love the Baz Luhrmann lyrics Wear sunscreen. There is so much in there that is so true! In particular…
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked….
Don’t waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind…the race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Who inspires you?
Many people have inspired me to get where I am today…
My Husband has been the most influential in making me see that Alopecia is something I should not be ashamed of. He taught me to look at it from a different perspective. I would see Alopecia as this big dark secret in my life and he would just say but you look so great what does it matter and be so light, silly and open about it.
Gail Porter has been a huge inspiration to me… I use to question why she would go without a wig when she could afford the best wigs money could buy?? I then realised what fantastic awareness she did for Alopecia. Before her hardly anyone knew what Alopecia was… now everyone knows!
Women who face any obstacle in life and do not let it get in the way of who they want to be always inspire me. There are so many people out there that have made things happen against all odds and that to me is the biggest inspiration of all.