Saturday 29 October 2016

From the dole queue to top of beauty industry

Published 29/05/2016 | 02:30

Beauty queen: Suzanne Jackson has built a new career around her women's lifestyle blog
Beauty queen: Suzanne Jackson has built a new career around her women's lifestyle blog

She's gone from the welfare queue to becoming Ireland's top beauty blogger with 1.2m readers a month.

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Now Suzanne Jackson enjoys the kind of lifestyle that prompts envy.

Her bathroom cabinet is overflowing with free beauty products, there are monthly additions to her wardrobe and she is flown around the world to road-test the latest trends for women.

And she gets paid for it all.

After picking up two gongs at the Irish Beauty Blog Awards on Thursday night, the former radio presenter said that it was only after losing her job that she had the courage to follow her dreams.

"I was working for a recruitment agency and I was made redundant. It was horrible. I felt everything I had worked towards was taken from under me. I felt I had finally found my feet and then all of a sudden it was gone."

After joining the welfare queue, she "felt stuck. I wondered: 'How have I ended up here?"

It wasn't until she took a special interest in blogs in the UK that she saw a gap in the Irish market:

"I literally went to a free blogging platform and started one Wednesday from scratch," she says. "I thought the name '' sounded catchy and that was that."

Having developed the site, she soon began to attract a huge following. It is becoming a crowded marketplace and hundreds of wannabes are now joining the blogging game but Suzanne says there is plenty of room for everyone.

"The blogging market is fairly saturated, there's no doubt about it.

"But I think if you're passionate about something then just get out there and do it. If you have something to tell the world and you work hard at it, then the best will always rise to the top."

The 31-year-old now knows that you must ignore the critics.

"My blog was only one day old and off the ground when they (anonymous online critics) posted a link to it on a showbiz website tearing me to shreds. It really took me aback. It took the wind out of me."

"My mother said to me: 'If you are going to do this you can't listen to the critics. Just believe in yourself and you'll have the last laugh.' And do you know what? She was right."

Sunday Independent

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