Posted on March 8, 2016 12:11 am
We’re celebrating International Women’s Day with some of our fabulous friends!
This year our theme is Inspirational Women on the Silver Screen and we love meeting and spending time with awesome inspirational women. Reese Witherspoon recently said that women are infinitely capable of achieving great things and we most certainly concur (little Legally Blond reference there!)!
Every year we meet amazing women who enter Miss Pinup UK and Miss Pinup International for all kinds of reasons and they’re all phenomenal women who deserve more than anything to be celebrated for simply how fabulous they are.
From our Entrants, Mentors, Team members, Stage Team, Performers and Sponsors we are most certainly surrounded by a whole lot of AWESOME!
Here are some of our amazing friends, we asked them what their business is, how they were inspired to start their business, what are the best bits about having their own business and what advice they would give to somebody wishing to set up their own business.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Online clothing business – Festival + Rave goers / anyone who wants to stand out!
I’m Abby / 26 / from South Wales. I started my business 3 years ago after quitting my hairdressing job. My heart was never in hairdressing and i had always dreamed of having my own brand of clothing and being self-sufficient. It has been (and still is) a struggle at times but is very rewarding too when you see people posting pictures of themselves wearing something you made and love it!
The best bits are receiving random messages from strangers telling you they love your shop + being able to say that you created your own successful business from nothing. It is also a great feeling when you tell people you have your own business 🙂
My advice is to just go for it! Worry about the consequences later. If you don’t try, you will never know how successful you could have been. It is always a good idea to do some research first though! Also there are people out there willing to help you get to where you want to be.
Bunny Pumpkin Boutique
Custom handmade shoe service, specialising in unique and striking designs. We offer a wide range of sizes, width fittings, and heel heights and a custom design service for something completely unique. Our customers are mainly women, of all ages who love fashion and fun.
I had been an Art teacher for 3 years and a visual artist for 15 years specialising in Photography and production arts, and one day a few years ago I had a conversation with a student about shoes and how difficult it is for her to find unique and exciting footwear as she has a 7.5 wide fitting. We spent some time chatting and she asked me if I could make her a pair which I agreed. so I sat down and sketched out some ideas and after a few days and much research “Painting the Roses Red” was born and a very happy lass was my student! Word spread round her group of friends and I put a photo on Facebook and made a couple more pairs, and showed a few more people and I got such a wonderful and positive response that I started to create more and then Bunny Pumpkin Boutique was created.
I have always been a bit of a shoe addict and love really extravagant and eccentric shoes, but I am also one of those girls that has large and wide feet and found I could never find the perfect shoes for me, because of this I had always created my own bespoke shoes for myself. I had never thought that this would turn out to be a business, and when I had such positive feedback from friends and family I enrolled on a business start-up course and went from there.
The best part about owning and running a business is that I have full creative control in what I do, I love designing and creating new ranges and interacting with lovely people who want something really unique, being able to create something that a customer has dreamed about but never found is really rewarding. I have also met some of the most wonderful people in my journey into fashion and made great links with lots of different niche industries.
My advice to anyone wanting to start up in business on their own is;
Have a great support system, starting up is ridiculously time consuming and can be really hard work. it can be really easy to become or at least feel very isolated, don’t let that happen or you will give up before you give yourself a chance to be successful.
Do all the paperwork! Write a business plan, calculate profit and loss forecasts, work out what you need to survive financially (rent bills etc) keep your receipts, and register with HMRC asap!
Know the law. If you are going into any creative industry, make sure you know any legal ramifications that may be associated with it. This includes copyright law , distance selling laws, advertising, even Facebook rules. Chances are you’ll never have an issue, but it’s always best to be prepared!
The Hourglass ®
The Pin up Experience
Make overs and photoshoots for pin up girls, burlesque divas and every woman who wants to be glam for one day!
The Hourglass® took its first wobbly steps in October 2006 with the idea to make ‘ordinary’ women feel sexy and good about themselves. It was born out of the frustration about the way women were presented in the main stream media and the sometimes devastating effect it had on women’s self-esteem.
Back then, there was nothing like this on the market and I felt very strongly about helping ladies find their inner glamour girl.
I come from a background in hair, make-up as well as performance and acting, so I understand both sides of the camera and enjoy putting people at ease and get them to have a great time during their shoot with me.
Why it’s so rewards – Whatever you do, however much you have to work, you do it for yourself, not for another company or boss or anybody else, that for me is the most important reason to be self-employed.
You have to challenge yourself to come up with new ideas and new inspirations, when you think your job is getting a bit dull, you can change direction.
My 3 pieces of advice – Just do it! It’s going to be scary and you will lose sleep over it, but I rather have a sleepless night than be stuck in an ‘ordinary’ job.
Don’t wait until ‘ the kids are older’ or ‘ the financial situation changes’ or ‘ the mortgage is paid off’ or whatever the reason might be you have in your head not to start your own business, don’t listen to it. There will always be a lot of reasons not to go ahead, just see them as the first obstacle you have to jump over.
If you have a significant other in your life, make sure they are behind you. It will make everything so much easier!
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. You will make them anyway, but learn from them and move on. If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything!
Website: www.thehourglass.eu and www.nicoleklein.co.uk
Photographer to budding pinup models and everyday ladies looking for a boost in confidence.
I fell in love with pinup through my love of burlesque and having done some modelling myself I naturally took to taking photos. Making people feel good makes me feel good too, I couldn’t imagine ever doing anything else. Pinup is such a beautiful art form and as I get to explore it in all kinds of forms, it keeps my creativity flowing.
Working for myself does an awful lot for me. Firstly, the sense of achievement you get from being successful doing something you love. Secondly, although it is very hard work and you have to put in the hours, I can always work it in and around my family time, which we all know is very precious.
Start small and build from there, it’s really important that you get your solid foundations first before you run away with yourself. Ask people to recommend graphic designers, web designers, suppliers, a lot of time can be wasted not finding the right person for the job. Social media is key, let people know who’s behind your brand, people feel better when they feel they know you.
We are a 1950’s inspired, hair, beauty and makeup salon in North London, as well as a retro pinup photostudio.
Having recently had the opportunity to take over a shop and set up my beauty business by myself, and having always had a love of things from times gone by, I thought ‘why not combine the two!’ There isn’t anything like our salon in the area, and I was fed up seeing the same style salons everywhere I went. I wanted to offer my clients an experience as well as fabulous treatments, and the chance to step into ‘my world’, and step back in time to the 50s!
I wanted a better life for my children, and wanted to show them what hard work gets you, and so I took the chance and opened up Jitterbug!
It’s extremely rewarding having your own business, seeing it grow from nothing into a recognised brand is fantastic! It’s even better hearing the feedback from clients of how happy they are!
My advice to any women out there thinking about setting up a business, I would say listen to your heart. If you think you have a fantastic idea, and you think it will work, then it will! Stay positive and never doubt your abilities!
I had people doubt me, and had people put me and my ideas down before I even started, and there is no better feeling than showing those people in particular that you were right all along, by being successful and by being you!
Illustrator/Designer – Vintage dames and cheeky chappies
Photo credit: Retro PhotoStudio
I always wanted to be a singer but when I lost my hearing aged 18 I chose to pursue my passion for art. My final project at university was about telephone boxes and I designed my first wallpaper – Call Girls. I found wallpaper quite boring at the time and wanted to do something fun with it, so I started Dupenny.
I love the creative freedom of working for myself and not having to answer to anyone. It amazes me that there are people who see my work and love it enough to spend their hard-earned cash on it. I still find it hard to believe! I’m always grateful to my customers and fans, they make all the hard work worthwhile.
My 3 pieces of advice would be to:
1. Choose something you’re passionate about. Starting/running your own business is harder than you can imagine and you’ll only be able to push yourself if you really love what you do.
2. Keep it as simple as possible. I’ve learnt the hard way how stressful it is to juggle too much and am constantly reminding myself not to take on too much!
3. Look after your customers, they are your business. Always make sure they’re happy enough to come back.
Malice Art & Design
Artist and illustrator
I have various different clients ranging from those who just enjoy art, to business owners who want logos and designs for their different projects.
My name is Alice and I started my own business just over a year ago now.
Art is something I have always had a passion for. Whether my skills came naturally or through years of practice, I’m not sure, but I hope to keep progressing.
I started my business for a few different reasons but mainly because I wanted to work doing something I loved.
I feel like my business is a flower. Something I have to care for and need to keep nurturing for it to survive and in return, I get a great sense of accomplishment in that I have achieved something worthwhile.
With art especially, there is nothing more gratifying that creating a piece of work and seeing others enjoy it.
Creating commission pieces can be challenging at the best of times but when you overcome those hurdles involved and complete the given task to the customer’s satisfaction, all the frustration (and swearing at your pencils) is definitely rewarding.
If I could give advice to someone else that wanted to start their own business it would be:
– Make sure you have a passion for what you’re doing. If you enjoy your work it is much easier to stay motivated.
-Don’t give up. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially at the beginning but it’ll all be worth it in the end.
-Be confident and believe in yourself. Running your own business can be lonely at times and you will feel discouraged occasionally, so it’s important to surround yourself with people who will motivate and elevate you when you need it.
FB: https://www.facebook.com/M.A.D.49/?ref=bookmarks / Malice Art & Design
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliceMalice49 /
LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/in/alice-malice-51230b92?trk=hp-identity-name
Kiss Me Deadly
Vintage inspired lingerie for femme fatales!
I’m a psychologist with a life-limiting illness, so it was vitally important I find a way to mess with peoples heads, make money, and, crucially, not have to leave bed.
Obviously in retrospect I should have just done a blog, but I guess a decade of wearing lingerie as clubwear probably predisposed me to getting involved with my then-partner’s online stockings business, and basically, it was all downhill from there 😉
Honestly, there’s not much difference between running a small business and being senior managerial staff, at least if you’re working for someone good and have a reasonable amount of autonomy. The main plus for me, outside of the whole disability/bed thing, is that unlike my former line of work, nobody ever died from underwear. There is literally no chances that I will ever again end up having to report to a coroner again or have to risk assess any sort of domestic abuse situation, which is nice!
I don’t know that women entrepreneurs need to know anything very different to men – business is about making a profit. Most of the mistakes I’ve made and other people have made have been made pretty much by everyone regardless of gender, and it’s much easier to identify mistakes than figure out what makes things work.
I would say women are more prone, on average, to the pressure to be “nice”. It’s not that there isn’t room for nice, but ultimately profitable will beat nice any day of the week, so if you have stronger feelings about supporting people than about making money, you’d want to set up a social enterprise or charity, not a business.
You’re going to face sexism whatever role you take in society, because it’s endemic to our culture, so for God’s sake don’t let it put you off business!
Rio Wild Limited
My business is about empowering, inspiring and supporting all women. I created & run the Miss Pinup UK, Miss Pinup International, Miss Tease & Cake and Hairy Rascal competitions. I also have a popup Pinup hair and makeup parlour and run burlesque events mostly for charity.
I’m a determined, focused and caring woman who loves nothing more than making other women feel great! For as long as I can remember I’ve wanted to empower women to achieve whatever they want. Many years ago I was using holographic glitter for a burlesque costume. It got everywhere! After one of those typical girly nights where you turn yourselves into superheroes (I was Fire Girl) with an animal sidekick (I had Sovereign the Wonderhorse) and a super power (I chose empowering women). I imagined that every woman who picked up a piece of my glitter about their person, often their feet in the post City of London gym I was a member of, and was then empowered to achieve their dreams. Nothing much has changed and I still cover everything and everyone in my holographic glitter, it is a magical endless supply!
How I manifested this into the Miss Pinup UK competition came about during a trip to Finland to a tattoo convention. I met a beautiful woman in the queue to the toilet and we started talking. She was a Pinup model there and ran a Pinup competition to celebrate all women. I was so inspired by her competition that on my way home I had a flash of lightening and decided that I wanted to do something similar myself. The woman I met was Ariell, followers of the competition will know that she was one of our fabulous judges for the first couple of years.
Running my own business is the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m a bit of a workaholic and I love being able to get up in the middle of the night and start working on something that’s suddenly come to me! It’s usually magazine features at that time of night. I also love having my best pal, my little rescue terrier Ben, sitting on my feet under my desk while I’m working. I have the freedom to be able to do as much or as little as I like, when I like and this enables me to be as creative as possible. Thankfully I spent my working life, before becoming self-employed about 6 years ago, gaining all kinds of skills that I now put to good use. I’ve worked in bars, been Board level Executive Assistants, a Stripper, a door to door saleswoman, worked in Burger King, assistant project manager for a building firm etc. I somehow manage to fit in business mentoring work and volunteer for a local amateur boxing club assisting with sponsorship and communications, setting my own hours helps me do this.
If you’re thinking about setting up your own business I can suggest these three things:
1. Research, research, research – if you’ve got an idea, research who you’re going up against (if it’s not a truly unique idea)
2. Know who your customer is
3. Perfect your USP – your Unique Selling Point is what sets you apart from you competitors and makes you most attractive to your potential customers
Little Miss Retro UK/Stitch and Kitsch
Both businesses are relatively new in the grand scheme of things as I have been in the biz for nearly 40 years!
A degree in Fashion and Textiles beckoned after seeing the Sex Pistols play a gig in 1976!! I knew something amazing was about to happen in the world of fashion and music and I wanted to be a part of it!!
I have been a proprietor of five shops. In the eighties two of which were in Hyper Hyper and Kensington Market, London.
During my installation in Hyper Hyper I worked for a variety of theatre companies and also as a wardrobe mistress. My designs have been bought and worn by some notable names within the music industry and have been on Channel 4,MTV,Network 7 and Top of the Pops.
I design and create a great many commissions from prom dresses to wedding dresses,theatrical costumes and fancy dress costumes. I am also a fully qualified lecturer and have been head of fashion at two notable Bucks colleges.
The best bits,of course, are being my own boss and not answerable to anyone!! Being able to talk non stop about my favourite subject and it allows me freedom of thought and an acceptance of responsibility!
My advice would be to never stop learning.Training and knowledge do matter.Surround yourself with like minded people so you dont feel isolated. There is never a good time to go for it,if you are going to do it,do it!!
I currently use Facebook as a way to acquire commissions and sales. It has served me well. I will also be running creative workshops from this month.
Pin cushion body piercing
Body piercing and body modifications- Male and females all above the age of 16 (18 for some) from all walks of life wanting to adore themselves with piercings and unique work.
While studying at University at second year level I took it upon myself to also study an apprenticeship in body piercing, almost burning myself into the ground with an evening part-time job to pay my way I was pleased to graduate with a high class honours and fall into a job with the gentlemen I had worked alongside in a tattoo studio in Canterbury, Kent.
Following a number of years working at 777 body piercing it was time for me to spread my own wings and embark on a new adventure bringing me back to the South West working in a studio in Worle. This was a very tough time for me as I was living in Newport, South Wales, piercing in Worle, Weston-Super-Mare and working in a public house in Bristol with no car.
Travelling was a nightmare and it really took its toll trying to get the shop busy with piercing’s as the tattoo studio had been open for 10 years and never had a body piercer in its premises.
Once I had realised that my business would not be profitable within this studio I went back to the drawing board and started to re-think my next step.
Following a small break and a move to Bristol I was back searching for the correct premises for me to operate in and I found this in Purple Rose Tattoo Studio.
I have now been piercing in this studio for 5 years and business is booming! Pin Cushion Piercing has a great reputation in the South West and we are one of the busiest studios in Bristol, so much that I’ve now expanded to Savannah studio’s in Keynsham.
I’m a firm believer if you want something bad enough you will find a way of making it happen even if some days seem tougher than others just keep at it!
Why be your own boss – Being your on boss is so rewarding, when you can see your business growing it fills you with a feeling of pride and the knowledge that you started something from nothing and it’s successful. I’m please to say that now I operate in two tattoo studio’s in the South West, run an art school and I also perform dance around the world, all because I can manage my own time and do the jobs I want to, do things that inspire me and above everything hold a career that make me, me.
1) Never give up, it is possible if you really work hard for it!
2) There is always help with funding! I never asked and worked part-times as well (which is great in some ways as now I don’t owe anyone anything,However sometimes a little help could have gone a long way!)
3) Always prepare for a rainy day! Yes your business may be making a killing for 9 months of the year but there is always times when you will be slower than the rest of the year but if your prepared and saved then you will be ready for anything that hits 🙂
Tel: 0117 33 00 123
Kittys Cake Emporium
A vintage Cake business, with a pink tea trailer that goes to Music festivals, weddings and other events and also caters for wedding cakes, event cakes and birthday cakes ect. I make cupcakes and all kinds of sweet treats as well.
I was inspired to set up my business because I have a passion for flavour and wanted to make some interesting cakes that are just too hard to find on the current market. I cater my designs to the alternative crowd and like to create some more unusual designs with colours, textures and of course flavour. I have such a passion for all things sweet and with my natural love of vintage and burlesque, thought I would pull my sweet tooth into the mix and open up Kittys Cake Emporium
It’s rewarding for me because of the huge variety of wonderful people I meet and make friends with. The really awesome customers I get to meet and of course all the wonderful places I get to travel because of it. I get to create constantly which is just fun and the most rewarding of all has got to be when I give a cake to a customer and they are over the moon with my creation. It fills me with a sense of joy and accomplishment that is so hard to put into words.
Advice to give to women who want to start a business? Well firstly make sure it’s something you have a passion for. Its hard starting a business and without passion to keep you going through the times when the business is struggling it will be so hard to keep it afloat. Invest your time and your love. A business thrives on this. And most importantly have fun and enjoy what you do!
You can find me on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Kittys-Cake-Emporium-380652615944/
and on my website www.kittyscakeemporium.com
V’s Anchor Studio
Photographer / Customers are burlesque dancers, pin up models, fashion models
I have always been a creative person, and began my career in fashion working as stylist. I have always had a love for the elegance and edge of the 1950s and coupled with my desire to practice photography I realised that there was a gap in the market. There are many photographic studios offering makeover packages and various photoshoot options. However Rockabilly was not just a look or a passing fashion, for me it was a way of life. I realized from working in from of the camera in fashion, the confidence and empowerment that can come from seeing yourself as you’d need imagined. So, being behind the camera, I could use my skills to hopefully help other women see themselves as a pinup princess for the day, and have the memory to take home with them in the form of a beautiful photograph. And so, Verve Rockabilly Studio began. As the studio name got out there, I was lucky enough to work with a variety of clients, from ladies with their daughters wanting to spend quality time having fun, to professional models and burlesque performers enhancing their portfolios. Having a vintage makeover is almost like becoming a character. I have seen shy clients walk away with the biggest smiles, as they really embrace the opportunity to enjoy a day of pampering and discovering the elegance of retro styling. Over the years I have compiled a vintage wardrobe of accessories, retro clothing pieces and props to really get the most of each individual shoot. As well as working with some fantastic makeup artists. I reflect the era in my own style, as it is such a passion of mine. As my business grew, I recently relocated and have given the company a little makeover of its own. Now known as V’s Anchor Studio, I am based in South East London, Hither Green.
I have been going from strength to strength and have been even featured in Vintage Life magazine, Slovakian OK magazine etc. and have worked with celebrity clients such as TV chef Tonia Buxton, Jasz Vegas, Chelsea player Ramires, Miss Czech Republic Aneta Vignerova, What Katie Did and I am also an official photography sponsor for Miss Pinup UK.
Rewards : The best reward to me is when a client who is not very confident about themselves is leaving with a huge smile on their face and finally love themselves!
Advise : I have only one advise, if it’s your dream, go for it!!!! It is very rewarding!!!
Posted on February 9, 2016 7:17 pm
Miss Pinup UK 2016 Mentors
Miss Buxom Beauty
Hi, I’m Miss Buxom Beauty, I started out in the Pinup World as Miss Pinup UK Entrant in 2014 and have had a ball!
I’m all for embracing who and what you are and your feminine sass! Bottoms up and boobies out.
My skills are Modelling and Burlesque and how to find your inner confidence.
I have been about the Burlesque scene some 10 years. I was the first ever British performer to headline the first ever Australian Burlesque Festival. I have been repeatedly invited to star at the Paris Burlesque Festival and have even performed for British Science Council. From making movies with comic book legends to powersliding for rock stars, I have pretty much done more than I can remember and lots more than I have forgotten.
10 yrs? That’s a whole heap of skills. I can advise from a teacher perspective as I have a 100% sell out rate across ALL my classes I have arranged. I am known for my stage presence and high energy performances. I have a hard work ethic and believe that you are nothing without your audience.
I can help with stage craft to ensure whilst your costume can be amazing, you need to engage with the audience to be bookable, bankable and memorable.
My Business of Burlesque class has been taken by 100s of performers across the globe and I have been 100% self-employed for 7 yrs of my 10 yrs in Burlesque. I have set my business up to ensure my social media management is fine-tuned, my contracts are sound and I happily pass on my knowledge. I have an award winning photography studio so hit me up for all things imagery from copyright information to what makes a good promo image.
Lou Leigh Blue
Hello from the Merkin Queen!
It’s another year of Pinup UK and I cannot wait to meet all you lovely new entrance and work alongside you all.
This will be my third year as a mentor and my 8th year of performing as a Burlesque dancer and singer.
In previous years of Pinup I have been able to help entrance develop their special skills with my background in classical dance and singing as well as my passion for cabaret, bump ‘n’ grind and the theatre.
I have danced my way around the UK, Europe and America, Go-Go danced with a variety of rock bands and flashed my merkin to hundreds of people along the way and once again I am delighted to be offering my assistants to all the beautiful ladies of this competition.
So…you’ve already signed up to be the next Miss Pinup UK which just shows you’ve got what it takes. The hard part is done, now it’s just about having the best time as one of the entrants for 2016.
Lady Lolly Rouge
Hello Ladies, My name is Lady Lolly Rouge. I am a classic Burlesque performer, model and all round showgirl. This will be my fourth year mentoring the competition and it has been an unforgettable journey. I have had the pleasure of mentoring some wonderful ladies over the past few years each with their own unique sparkle. I cannot wait to get stuck in again and spread the Pinup love with you all this year.
Although I have performed both in the UK and Europe, by day I am a mum to two young girls. (Never a dull moment!) As well as performing I also enjoy learning new skills like costume making and trying out new styles of dance.
I am a strong supporter of being body confident and admiring beauty in its varying ages, shapes, sizes and colours. Beauty really isn’t just skin deep which is why I love the Special Talent section of the competition. You really get that opportunity to show who you are and dazzle us all with your star qualities.
My Skills 1. Stage persona development 2. Costuming 3. Choreography 4. Confidence Issues 5. General Support
Described as “Explosively Gallus” Roxy Stardust all brings 100% to each performance and so much more! With many years’ experience on the stage, Roxy Stardust combines her knowledge of acting, singing, and dance to create unique, fun and quirky routines that light up even the darkest rain cloud!
Specialising in Singing and Comedic routines, Roxy is the mastermind behind Monster-A-GoGo, Roxy’s Round-Up and various other shows the UK, and is the founder of The Glasgow Festival of Burlesque. Roxy has performed all over the UK and in 2012 made he first US appearance and then toured the states in 2014 and 2015 performing at some of the top US shows and alongside some of Burlesque premier performers such as Chrys Columbine, Kitten Deville and Dirty Martini.
She’s a professional events organiser, a cabaret artiste and she’s not too bad dealing with hecklers either! No audience is too big or too small, Roxy will always give it her all! So if it’s fun, frolics, and a cheeky wee wink yee seek then add a little sprinkle of Stardust to get the ball rolling.
I am Trixie fucking Whipp!
I’m the curvaceous, vivacious and highly flirtatious Trixie Whipp. I love life but more importantly helping make people love themselves.
I am friendly, reliable, always on hand to provide support (both for your Pinup journey and your Special Talents during the competition) and a shoulder for everyone, not just you fabulous entrants.
Ophelia is the type of performer that has the ability to take an audience on a journey. She can shock, amaze, astound and wow a crowd with her incredible musicality. Her wide variety of influences and extensive training shines through in her eclectic mix of acts. From her beautiful lines, to her edgy rhythms, when you see Ophelia, you can rest assured that she will blow your mind.
Skills/strengths: My main strength is choreography, due to my extensive training I have the ability to choreograph to all levels and to a wide range of styles. I have been teaching dance for my own company for the last 3 years so my coaching and development skills have been honed. I am able to identify what development and coaching styles people respond well to, giving them the tools they need to enhance their performances.