PODCAST: Melanie Morris & Aimee Connolly: Episode 10
In this new episode of the IMAGE Business podcast, Aimee Connolly, creator of make-up brand Sculpted by Aimee, shares how she's grown her brand from a start-up to the award-winning company it is today and the insights she's gleaned along the way.
04th Jun 2022
Work Rest Slay is a monthly podcast hosted by our contributing editor Melanie Morris, who speaks to some of the most compelling Irish and international people in business, spilling the truth on the real secret sauce for a successful career.
Our next business podcast in the series launches on Saturday, June 4, 2022, and features Aimee Connolly – one of Ireland’s top MUAs and creator of the award-winning make-up brand Sculpted by Aimee.
Work Rest Slay: Episode 10
In conversation with Melanie Morris, Aimee shares highlights of her career journey, the highs and lows of entrepreneurship and how passion is absolutely key to your success.
Founding a start-up
Like every entrepreneur knows, passion has to be the main driver of your career journey; it helps you weather the stressful storms of starting your own business. Luckily, Aimee has had this passion from the beginning, starting as a make-up artist and eager to turn this skill into a business from a young age.
“When I graduated in 2015, I knew there was no chance I was going to work for anyone else,” she said. “I was going to mix business and make-up together and that ultimately led me to the brand. Like I always say, it starts (and it’s probably the same story for a lot of entrepreneurs) as an idea of a product or a service, but you don’t think about all the extra things that are going to come when you create a business from that.
“So, it’s all well and good me going to the manufacturing site saying, ‘I want to create this product and it is going to look like this’, but then you’ve got the logistics. You’ve got the finances; you’ve got the operations; you’ve got the people that join the team to grow it.”
Her company has scaled so quickly, growing from one full-time team member in 2019 to 27 team members by this summer. And as great as that has been, this rapid growth has also brought its own challenges.
“We actually launched our first ever mascara last month, and it was a bigger sell out than we anticipated. It sold out in 23 minutes! We basically sold one per second, and it was absolute carnage behind the scenes. But it was so amazing because you have to take the win when it happens. We created that much demand and momentum, and we have that many loyal customers waiting for it.
“Particularly in a start-up, it can be really overwhelming at times because it’s so fast-paced. It’s so changing that when someone goes on holidays for a week they could come back to a completely different business nearly. And it’s so exciting but you have to be a certain type of person to be able to manage that so I am really lucky my team are all on board for that.”
Passion is key
But, it’s Aimee’s passion that’s motivated her to push through, adapt quickly and scale even faster – something that she says has been key to her success.
“I think the biggest thing is your passion for it. If you are the founder of whatever you are trying to sell, you should be the one selling it at the beginning, particularly if you are a smaller startup. No one is going to buy into a product more than when the actual person who has created or thought about it is selling it to them, because you are so passionate.
“And this is what I always say to those thinking about going into business just to make money – it’s never going to work. You need to really love what you’re doing and what you’re selling or what you’ve manufactured because the days can be so tough that if you don’t you’ll just burn out and not want to continue with it. But I think passion is super important, so is knowing exactly what your product is, why it is different and what your unique selling point is.”
For more on Aimee’s career journey, listen to the newest episode of Work Rest Slay below:
Aimee Connolly is the founder and CEO of Sculpted by Aimee. The award-winning company is one of Ireland’s fast-growing beauty brands, with the range increasing from one product to over 70 since it launched in 2017.
An entrepreneur through and through, Aimee set up the brand at the age of just 24, combining her experience in the make-up industry with a degree in commerce and French from UCD. The brand was and remains entirely self-funded, with Aimee starting to save the capital she needed to launch when she started working part-time at 16. Sculpted by Aimee now has 27 staff, over 300 stockists in Ireland and has recently expanded into the UK.
The brand also has a flagship store in Dundrum as well as an education arm, Sculpted The Academy, which has trained hundreds of make-up artists since it opened. Aimee has also developed a strong following and loyal community online – her social media channels and the brands have a collective following of over 250,000. Plans for 2022 include entering the Middle East market as well as strengthening the brand’s foothold in Ireland and the UK.