Sunday, 13 July 2014

An Independent Woman

When I left my call centre job three years ago, the one thing I looked forward to is not having anyone to answer to anymore.  The thing you need to know about me is that I do as I please.  That doesn't mean I disregard others or I'm a horrible person, I just don't take "being managed" very well. 

Being self employed allows me the freedom that I craved to do as I please on a day to day basis.  Obviously I have my regulars and I work 7 days a week to fit them all in at a time to suit them, morning through to night time.  Aside from that, I solely run everything to do with LiverpoolLashes.  I film the videos, edit them, I voiceover them and upload them all myself.  I also reply to any questions on my videos, I reply to every person who emails me or privately messages me me through my Facebook page myself because that's how I like it. Obviously I also do this daily blog too but that's all good as I type super fast!

A few months ago I was having a think about my Facebook page.  The majority of the followers on it are CND nail techs and I would never want anyone to think that just because you're not CND trained / even a nail tech means that you can't follow.  I started this journey as a girl who liked to put pretty designs on her own nails, I certainly would never want to give the impression that if you're not qualified then you can't join in, how hypocritical would that be?!  I think we can all agree that some ladies who just paint their own nails can sometimes do the same or better standard than some of the trained professionals.  Obviously a lot of what I talk about it CND Shellac because that it is the product I chose to use for my own business.  I could talk about 'acrylics' (liquid and powder) the brand I use is NSI (that's what I trained using so I've never changed) but there's nothing much that's brand specific to talk about there so Shellac is my main topic of conversation. 

I love that LL is a completely independent business (do I call myself a business? I assume so although it feels a little odd)  That way I'm not obliged to only show you products from a certain brand or store.  As above, I've just shared with you that I use two different brands within this industry for my business and I'm not afraid to tell you that.  If NSI wanted to contact me to showcase something new of theirs, I would happily do it as long as it's not Polish Pro ** shivers **  See how honest I am?  I don't mind blatantly telling you my opinion.

This is actually a fridge magnet someone bought me

You may notice, if you've followed me for a while that I mention Creative Academy Manchester a lot, would you like to know why?  This is for various reasons, I like them as a business and as individual women, they stock the product I buy which also happens to be the main topic of a lot of my videos.  Also, as they are my local training academy, I have been there and witnessed their training, I feel confident to refer anyone new to the industry to them and know that they will be in safe hands.

When I started doing Shellac videos back in 2011, I used to wait until midnight on the Monday night/Tuesday morning to order them for delivery from Sweet Squared.  I would then print all of my labels for my colour pops, ready for the Thursday delivery.  It meant it would be a mad rush to film a full on video, edit it and upload it as quickly as possible.  At that point, most nail techs would have probably already made their decisions on the colours so my video was still useful for some people but not for many.  I did consider contacting Sweet Squared at one point to explain what I did and ask if there's any way I could even be allowed colour pops with any new collection on before the launch date but I figured they wouldn't allow that so I never bothered.

So... back onto the topic.  Can you imagine how ecstatic I was when Julia Moran came across my videos for the Open Road collection in December?  I had had a bleak year last year which I've never really shared online - perhaps one day - but it completely turned things around for me.  (oh dear, I'm starting to well up as I type)  She gave me the opportunity to actually come up to the Academy and preview the collection the day before it launched which meant that everything I'd dreamt of (being able to get my video to you in time for the release) had come true.  That's all I ever wanted.  I still stand in that queue at the till in their shop and pay for them myself, just like the rest of you.  

On another note, if you knew the amount of people that ask me to promote them or their business, it's unreal.  My You Tube channel and blog would just be a constant advert for others, how boring would that be?!  You can be guaranteed that any company I mention or provide links to have the LL seal of approval and they're virtually all people that haven't asked.  It's highly likely that they didn't pay me a penny to talk about them but I do it because I like what they do.  I enjoy being able to surprise people as well, I will often mooch around Instagram and if I see someone's work and I like it, I'll screenshot it with their Instagram name and put it on my Facebook page.  It seems to make people really happy, they didn't ask for it, I wasn't bribed or paid - it's just who I am and equally, I tell myself that I'm bringing fresh ideas to my followers as well.

Those of you who have met me will vouch for what I'm like.  Julia tried to get me to sign a poster at the academy and I'm like 'Me? sign something? ME?!'  It's not an act, I genuinely feel like some sort of fraud.  To me, signing something is insinuating you're some sort of a celebrity when in reality, I'm just this random Scouse bird who fell into the nail industry in a bizarre fashion and over time somehow people got wind of my username. 

As I moved from an employee to owning my own business, particularly the growth of LL, I see that a lot of people try to befriend you for their own personal gain.  This is probably the sign of a good business person but to me, if I'm good to people then in time that goodness will hopefully reflect back on me.  I don't need to to force a 'friendship.' 

Taken from Scouse Bird

My hopes for the future is that LL continues to flourish.  I will continue to be who I know I always have been, an independent source of information.  If it seems that I favour one brand over the other then that's because I'm not rich, like most people I haven't got an unlimited stash of cash to buy the entire range of every product line.  Even if I did, I wouldn't want to, what on earth would I do with it all?!  I hope that if I say 'go and check out here' that you will all know it's because it's good stuff and not that they slipped me a tenner to do it.  If something I do is sponsored I have to declare it, even if it isn't paid but they provided the product free of charge.  I generally say it right at the start of the post with something like 'I was lucky enough to be sent...'

I hope that now I've said of all this you can see all of the opportunities I get for exactly what they are.  They are intended to be another way of helping to the best of my ability so that you can make your own decisions when purchasing products and equally, what to avoid ** coughs - Polish Pro ** although if you do like it that's perfectly fine, I said it to make you laugh but also because it's true.

To sum it up, I am an independent woman!  It's the only way I can remain impartial by not working with solely one brand or business.  I take any recommendations I make very seriously and just like you would with a friend, will only guide you to trusted businesses.

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