Pixiwoo never imagined when they were younger that their passion for makeup and creativity would result in them being able to run their own business. Sam tells us about their story and why they chose to support #sub60.
In my teens I developed severe anxiety issues. I worried constantly about everything, from thinking I’d upset someone with a throwaway comment or thinking I wasn’t good enough at school. I found it hard to communicate these thoughts with people, so these worries would get bottled up until it all became too much and I’d have a teary breakdown and think I couldn’t cope with anything. It was a vicious cycle.
Nic on the other hand had a tricky few years at school. She struggled with the work but didn’t realise at the time that she had dyslexia. It’s something that is ongoing for Nic and there are times she is criticised for a small spelling mistake but she continues to work hard to improve her spelling.
We’ve both come to realise that these qualities don’t have to define us. They’re part of who we are and they certainly aren’t weaknesses.
Nic and I have both been interested in beauty products from a young age. Our mum loved fashion and we used to watch in awe as she experimented with differed looks, hairstyles and products. As soon as we were old enough to be given pocket money, we would instantly spend it on makeup products. I remember buying a pale blue eye shadow once. I loved it. I used to put it on over my whole eyelid and all the way up to the eyebrow! I thought it looked brilliant at the time!
Our mum saw the passion we had for the beauty industry and supported the pair of us in making a career out of it. Our Aunty was also a makeup artist and she also encouraged us and allowed us to shadow her.
At 16 we left school and studied a two-year media make up course in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. We learnt so much from our two years of studying, but we learnt even more in our first jobs. Working gives you a true sense of responsibility but it also gives you an enormous sense of pride and achievement.
Pixiwoo came about in a very roundabout way. A friend of mine asked if I could explain how to get the smoky-eye look. I’ve always found it tricky to write down makeup instructions, so I decided to film it and I posted it to YouTube for my friend to see. I didn’t even consider for one minute that anyone else would watch it so couldn’t believe it when people started commenting and sending in requests for other looks. Not long after, Nic joined me and that’s when it all started!
It sounds as though all of this fell into place quite easily but this couldn’t be further from the truth. For the first few years we didn’t make a penny! We spend our days and nights, working our socks off to make sure the business is going in the right direction but it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and patience.
We know how lucky we are. Especially when we know how many young people are out there, unemployed, reeling from the aftermath of the recession. Although the climate has picked up, there are hundreds of thousands of young people out there who left school during the recession, entered unemployment and are now competing with today’s school-leavers and graduates for vacancies.
This is why we are supporting youth charity The Prince’s Trust. They believe every young person deserves a chance to succeed.
Having confidence in yourself is key. We’ve turned down opportunities with huge brands because we felt that their aims and values didn’t align with our own. It’s hard to stand up to people sometimes, but we’ve come to realise that you have to follow your heart and do what you truly believe in.
We took part in The Prince’s Trust #sub60 campaign, which sees celebrities and business experts sharing their life and job advice in just 60 seconds.
We’re demonstrating a simple makeup look which will look professional in job interviews (because that’s what we’re good at) and on The Prince’s Trust #sub60 playlist you’ll find supportive videos to help you whatever stage you are at in the getting-a-job journey – from confidence-boosting tips to writing your first CV.