What we learned from Aimee Connolly at the last Business Club Live event of 2022
Photograph: Dora Kazmierak
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the members of the IMAGE Business Club for becoming the core of our strong, exciting, forward-thinking community this year. We are so excited for 2023 and for everything that we will achieve together.
The final IMAGE Business Club event of the year took place last night in the festive surrounds of The Westbury, Dublin. The sold out, members-only event was packed to the rafters with Business Club members and their friends. We celebrated an incredible year for IMAGE Business Club, and for female entrepreneurship, with special guest was Aimee Connolly, who was joined in conversation by IMAGE contributing editor Melanie Morris.
As with all our IMAGE Business Club Live events, our members had plenty of opportunity to meet each other, the IMAGE coaches, and the IMAGE team. We raised a glass (or two!) to our community, our successes and achievements; and enjoyed live music from The Victory Dolls, before welcoming one of Ireland’s most inspirational entrepreneurs, Aimee Connolly, to the stage.
Aimee, make-up artist and founder of Sculpted, has had a phenomenal year to put it mildly. She is closing off 2022 with a store on Grafton Street, extended distribution in the UK and many other significant milestones, both personally and professionally. Here are some reflections and key learnings she shared from her meteoric success.
Aimee on entrepreneurs: “I’m very honest when I don’t know something, but I will go to the ends of the earth to find the answer. That’s one of the best things about entrepreneurs: the confidence to find things out. It’s always a constant learning – once you stay curious, you’ll hopefully stay ahead.”
On the importance of customer feedback: “I’m obsessed with customer feedback and engagement, you get the most invaluable market research from a quick poll on Instagram.”
On branding: “The one thing I would have done differently was hire a branding manager first off… my branding was totally amateur to begin, but I guess that’s how you learn. Good branding is so important, it’s your USP, it’s why your customers are drawn to you on the shelves. It’s the tiny, tiny details that make you stand out.”
On mentors: “I have been really lucky over the years. People have been really kind with their time. Go For Growth is an amazing programme I was a part of, and I’ve met many people through that. Oonagh O’Hagan is one of the first people I sat down with who took a chance on me. But really, my main support are my Mum and John, my fiancee.”
On age diversity: “We’re really proud of the age diversity of our customers. Our products are very age-transient. It’s important for us to appeal to all generations. I love seeing a mother and daughter buying gifts for each other in the store.”
On Irish women in business: “Ireland just has so many triumphant women that are blazing through what they’re doing. I have a huge amount of respect for Keilidh Cashell of Kash Beaty. We Are Reilly is another incredible Irish company I admire. They are three friends in business with a product around sustainable periods. Honestly there are so many women I admire.”
Aimee’s best makeup tip: “Don’t be afraid of cream blush. Use it on your cheeks and your lips so you have a sisterhood – you heard it here first!”
And the inside scoop that everyone wanted to know… what are Aimee’s hero makeup bag products? “I love Satin Silk foundation, it’s lightweight, and feels great on the skin, but has a full coverage. I can’t be without Hydra Lip in Blush (a coloured lip balm with SPF). My Mascara was the most phenomenal beauty launch this year, it’s such a good mascara. And I never go anywhere without our Bare Basics Palette and Cream Blusher. If you don’t have cream blusher you haven’t lived!”
Filled with inspiration for the year ahead, our members and friends headed off into the frosty night with a luxury gift bag from Sculpted by Aimee, and plenty of new friends made.
We would like to personally take this opportunity to thank the members of the IMAGE Business Club for becoming the core of our strong, exciting, forward-thinking community this year. We are so excited for 2023 and for everything that we will achieve together. Until then, Happy Christmas!