Amy accelerates business plan after skincare clinic takes off
A nutrition student from Cullybackey has used her studies and passion for beauty to fulfil her dream of owning her own business with the launch of a new skincare clinic, thanks to help from the Go For It programme.
Amy Fry launched her skincare business Bellaviso Skincare from her spare room in Cullybackey in September while she was at university, but soon found herself having to convert the garage to a clinic to cope with demand.
She said: “The Go For It programme played a massive part in helping me know where to start and have everything in place.”
Amy says she learned some of the basics of running a business from working alongside her father, who is managing director of Coleman’s Garden Centre in Templepatrick. She is studying food and nutrition at university and hopes to pursue a PhD but says she had always longed to run her own business.
“I kind of put two and two together and thought ‘What do I enjoy?’ I love beauty and skincare, and I knew that would link very nicely with nutrition,” she said.
Amy didn’t launch her business until first taking part in the Go For It programme - in association with Mid & East Antrim Borough Council. She was advised to opt for a ‘soft’ launch and trial period from her spare room at home to see if it was working.
“First I did the training in Belfast and then I registered with Go For It to try and get started. My business advisor met with me to do a business plan and I did that first,” she said.
“They suggested a testing period to see what direction I wanted to go in and what I wanted to change. Then I found I was so incredibly busy straight away that I had to convert the garage into a studio. That was on the business plan for later, but I did it sooner than scheduled because of the demand. I was working full time at university and then working an average of three or four nights a week on the skincare, with four or five appointments each evening - it was a lot to take on! It really did take off very fast.
“Go For It is fantastic in that way. There was no unnecessary preparation for opening, but everything was in place and ready to go. It was fantastic that I had something properly in place.”
The Go for It programme is delivered free of charge by a team of experienced business mentors across all 11 council areas of Northern Ireland. It provides expert advice and help with developing a robust business plan to help turn ideas into a commercial enterprise.
Amy has many clients who are dealing with problem skin conditions, such as rosacea or psoriasis, as well as those who are keen to maintain a good general skin care routine.
She said: “I’ve trained to expert level with Dermologica and I’ve able to put together what I know with the nutrition aspect.”
However, no sooner had she completed the garage studio than Covid-19 arrived and she was forced to shut her doors for many months due to the pandemic. Amy admits she has been inundated with queries from people asking when she is opening up again and, ironically, Covid has brought a rise in demand for certain types of skincare therapy.
Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Cllr Peter Johnston, said: “I wish Amy every success in developing and growing her enterprise when lockdown is lifted and encourage anyone thinking about starting their own business to get in touch with the Go For It Programme!”
If you have a business idea you’d like to develop or if you are thinking about starting a business contact the Go For It Programme on 0800 027 0639 or visit: www.goforitni.com.