What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I am the owner and founder of CML Boutique and I’m 17 years old. I started my business in the middle of April selling press on nails, faux mink eyelashes, nail decals, custom fashion illustrations and clothing. I have always loved the idea of having my own business and could not wait any longer to start.
All our products are cruelty free and as a business we urge everyone to choose cruelty free alternatives when purchasing beauty products!
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
I always wanted a job that involved some sort or art and design and that hasn’t changed. Each day involves art and designing! I get to design the packaging, draw new designs for our nail decals, create custom press on nails and draw custom illustrations for people.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
The best business advice I have ever been given came from Destiney Bleu, she said “When you do what you love, the world notices and appreciates it.” She has given me lots of advice but that was my favourite!
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
I get to work from home which I love because I get to work when I feel most inspired and I’m able to put my all into my business. If there is a day where I’m lacking motivation, I’m able to take time out and focus on something else. Likewise, when I have a day where I am feeling extra inspired, I can make the most of that and work for as long as I want to.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
My goal for five years’ time is to have a store where all my products are sold with a salon inside. I would love to create a space where people can go to get their nails, makeup and lashes done as well as buy a new outfit all in the same store. I also hope to keep expanding and introduce more beauty products.
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
Living Paintings is an amazing charity and I have been a volunteer for them. They have a library of adapted tactile books for the blind and partially sighted whereby anyone with a visual impairment can use their services completely free of charge. Their books are beautifully adapted by hand and I have completed painting projects for their books.
What drives you?
I love creating art and seeing other people appreciating and enjoying my work makes me want to do it more.
Any final comments?
I believe that if I keep working hard and give my business 100% I can be a successful business owner and hopefully expand and head up a team. I also believe that excellent customer service is an absolute must and I pride myself on the after care and attention that I have offered my clients; this is working well for me as I have many returning customers who I know are very happy with my products and customer care.
What does a normal day look like for you?
I spend each day managing the social media account replying to messages and emails, packing orders and promoting the business. As most of our products are made to order, I spend most of the day making new orders and sending them out. I also design all the packaging and built the website which means a lot of my time is spent testing new packaging to find the most environmentally friendly options and improving the website. In addition to this I am still at college full time so I am completing my coursework alongside running my business.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
I’m most proud of my business that I have created all by myself, CML Boutique; owning my own business has always been my biggest goal and I’ve been able to achieve this with my own skills and abilities and lots of determination at the age of 17.
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
It’s impossible to pick just one! I’m inspired by Sophia Amoruso because she openly talks about her life and the way she became the businesswoman that she is today. She also wrote the book ‘Girlboss’ which is my favourite book and the one I go to when I need motivation or reassurance.
Destiney Bleu also inspires me, she has given me so much advice on starting my business and she works hard to inspire and help others. She is also the person who told me to read Girlboss in the first place, so these two women have inspired me hugely!
What was your biggest failure?
When I was 13, I tried to start a clothing line with handmade clothing, but after a week I gave up because I was not getting any followers or sales. I don’t know where I would be now if I hadn’t given up, but at the same time my business has come really far since I set it up 3 months ago so overall, I have no regrets.
What do you like most about yourself?
I am not afraid to work hard or set myself big goals!
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
We need to keep talking about the issues in our world because the best way to spread awareness on something is by talking about it. Not everyone realises that our world is not as accepting as it could be, because not everyone has had to experience being rejected. If we all take time to educate ourselves on worldwide occurrences and understand how other people live, and that we are all equal then we could become a more generous and understanding society.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Communication is one of the most important skills I have used so far. I spend most of my time talking to people, telling them about myself and my business and that is what has initiated most of my business opportunities.
Creativity is also a skill that has been important to me as my products are all art related. I paint nails, draw designs for the decals, draw fashion illustrations, and then make the decals and I think it would have been much harder if I were not a creative person.