1. What is your business? What do you do? How long have you been in business?
I’m an MUA for all occasions:
I have a studio based in Heywood North Manchester. There’s a team of us there and we have all been working in the make-up industry each for over 10 years, glamming up the people of the North West of the UK, making each client welcome and relaxed.
I set up Make-up by Frankie after working for Mac at Selfridges for 3 years. I absolutely loved it there and got so much experience but I’d started doing some freelance make-up too and just couldn’t juggle both so I made the leap and over time, my team joined me too (all ex-Mac).
2. How many followers do you have on Instagram and how did you build that following up!?
Just over 13,000 and I honestly can’t tell you a magic formula. It’s just grown organically over time. I do spend A LOT of time on the ‘gram though 😊 All my followers are so lovely and I really enjoy chatting to them all every day. Once a week, I run short tutorials, creating a different make-up look each week. It can just be something I fancy, but mainly, it’s a request from one of you guys. Absolutely be sure to get in touch if you want to request, or need help with something in particular.
3. Tell us about the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator course and what you learnt from that.
Back in November 2019, I attended one of Caroline’s FreeAgent training event at the NatWest Accelerator hub in Manchester. I walked in late (sorry!), a bit hungover and embarrassingly the lady doing the talk about the Accelerator talk recognised me from Instagram! Once I got over that, I listened to the talk and was really interested so I applied.
The NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator is a six-month programme for entrepreneurs with high growth businesses who are looking to scale up.
If you’ve already got traction, and are selling to customers and you’re growing your team, may be aiming to expand your reach into new markets, seeking further significant investment or scaling your turnover and profitability.
The interview process was pretty gruelling, having to pitch myself to a panel but in March 2020, I got the news that I had been successful and could start the 6-month programme.
4. The beauty industry has been hit hard in 2020, how did you feel in March last year when you had all the bridal make-up cancellations and what did you do about it?
It was awful, all these brides who were cancelling or postponing their weddings. Some of my team are newly self-employed too so there was to be no government support for them either.
I threw myself into the accelerator course, I was learning so much about business and it was really making my focus on areas I hadn’t looked at much before. I started to think of ways that I could pivot the business. I’d been thinking for a while about selling products, so started with brush cleaning kits. I couldn’t believe it when they sold out on the first evening I put them on sale! Then I started to have the idea of creating my own branded brushes… and FrankieBrush was born.
5. Tell us about FrankieBrush!!! How did you do it all? – From manufacturing to ensuring the quality, creating a website, launching and finally managing the influx of orders!?
In November 2020 I launched my own branded range of make-up brushes!! 28 brushes. Vegan. Cruelty-free. The BEST quality synthetic! And affordable. FRANKIEBRUSH★.
I researched quite a few manufacturers in China and got some samples shipped over. The quality on the first few batches wasn’t up to scratch so I ended up sending some brushes over to them to let them really know the kind of quality I wanted and I didn’t settle until I had it perfect!
I had a website already but it was a WordPress one that I’d paid someone to build years ago, I tried to update it but it was all so confusing and I couldn’t get hold of the web designer who did mine so decided to start from scratch and used Squarespace which I found so much more user friendly and I built it myself.
The launch was amazing! I loved it. Apart from, on the date I was planning to start talking about the launch, back in October 2020, I got coronavirus! And so, did my husband, we were completely wiped out for a week. It was awful. But once I was out of bed, I started talking about the launch on Instagram and building up to the date. I launched in mid-November and got 500 orders in the first week! I had to get all the family on board packaging, labelling and posting. It was a proper production line with me getting all the family involved 😊. The orders have been steady since then, I got married and went on honeymoon to Dubai in December and the orders didn't stop whilst on honeymoon, I employed my sister to run the show for me whilst we were away! She turned into me for a month! And now she's working with me still too. Orders are coming in fast still and it’s all going really well. As well as the brushes I also sell top quality adult and kid’s hoodies, make-up bags, still sell the brush cleaning kits and you can buy lashes on my website too.