Rotherham’s young “make up artist to the stars” is celebrating a huge boost to her business and proving that with the right support start-up businesses can really fly.
Earlier this year Katie Daley-Ahern (24) from Swinton near Rotherham launched her own Professional Make-Up Artist business. She aimed to provide full make-up services for brides and bridal parties in her local area – little did she know that months after the launch her work would be featured on the front page of Hello! magazine and that she would be working with a raft of pop music celebrities.
Katie launched her new business in March after applying for funding from UK Steel Enterprise’s Kickstart Fund, which she used to pay for essential equipment and stock; she also received support from Rotherham Youth Enterprise with her business planning.
“It’s been amazing to go from starting the business to doing the make-up for former Miss England Georgia Horsley at her marriage to McBusted front man Danny Jones. I did the whole bridal party including singer Ellie Goulding and when Hello! magazine featured the wedding it felt out of this world to see my work on the front page. Next month I give tips on make-up in another Hello! title. I’m now having to think about taking on additional service support to cope with the calls I’m getting but I will never forget the help I got when starting out. Without the grant from UK Steel Enterprise I could never have set up the studio which got me going. Most of my bookings, including Georgia Horsley’s wedding, come from referrals, which is the best way to grow a new business like mine. I’m just loving being so busy at the moment,” said Katie.
Katie uses a salon room to do test sessions with her clients, which could be the bride, bridesmaids as young as 12 or any of the girls and ladies in the bridal party. The young entrepreneur has several years of experience behind her working in professional beauty salons that she used to draw on to launch her own business.
Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office and Rotherham Youth Enterprise to help them with business planning and mentoring through the early stages of running the business. The Fund takes applications from young people aged up to 30 that are looking to start a business and need help to get trading. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.
UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.
Hayley Middlebrook of UK Steel Enterprise says that Katie looks set to become a rising star in her business sector.
“It’s great to see Katie being so successful in such a short time. She clearly has the skills she needs to keep customers satisfied. With the start she’s had she really could reach for the stars; we wish her all the best for the future and look forward to seeing her business expand further,” says Hayley.
Jackie Frost, Manager of Rotherham Youth Enterprise encouraged more people to follow Katie into self-employment in saying; “Katie is a great example of what can be achieved with self-belief and determination. We are happy to have helped her with the grant application process and are already talking to her about how we can provide further support so she can grow the business.”
Anyone wanting to make an application to the Kickstart Fund should call Rotherham Youth Enterprise on 0114 269 5053.
Katie’s work can be seen on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/katiedaleymua