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Beauty queen Holly is living the dream

By Fiona Reid
Beauty queen Holly is living the dream

BEAUTY is Holly Sturgeon’s life, but it hasn’t always been that way.

The 29-year-old from Mouswald is one of the UK’s foremost beauty blogger with 3000 visitors to her site every day.
It’s a far cry from her schooldays when she wanted to be a history teacher and make up and hair were not so important.
All that changed when she failed her exams and didn’t get into university. After repeating her final year she went to work at the family firm.
About five years ago she started to blog in her bedroom in her spare time, never imagining it would one day become a successful career.
Holly said: “I remember some teachers telling me I should ‘aim lower’ in my career choice and when I changed path, some people said I didn’t know the first thing about business and laughed.”
But now she’s having the last laugh: “Fast forward a few years and I now own my own business which I built from the base up. I now work with some of the biggest brands in the world and am regularly asked to review products and model plus size fashion for my blog.”
She became semi professional two years ago and has since made it her main income.
Highlights have included over 100 invites to movie premieres and brand launches, most notably with Joan Collins and Children in Need, and being shortlisted as a newcomer in the 2015 Plus Size Fashion Awards.
The former Dumfries Academy student has also enjoyed working with global beauty brands and said: “One of the biggest moments in the first year was when Leighton Denny offered to do an interview with me and sent me products. He tweeted my link and he had thousands of followers so it was a turning moment for me.
“It was onwards and upwards from there.”
Based in the family home near Dumfries, she said: “I understand why people think I should be in London but I love Dumfries and do not want to leave. The great thing is I can do this anywhere in world.
She added: “My blog started out about five years ago when blogs were not such a huge thing. It gradually built up.
“It has worked out really well. It has given me a lot of opportunities.”
Looking ahead, she hopes to expand to a YouTube channel and and eventually have a collaboration with a brand, like Simply Be, Nars or Urban Decay.
Ironically, she points out that as a youngster she was “the biggest geek ever” and self conscious about her glasses and curly hair.
“I was not into beauty at all then and was an overweight child,” she said. “When I started blogging I had zero confidence and would hide away in background. I’m now more comfortable putting myself out there.
“I get negative comments everyday but for every one, I get 100 positive ones.”
Offering advice to others, she said: “Another door always opens, it does not always depend on how you do at school.
“Regardless of qualifications or exam results, you should never allow others to put limitations on you. You can do amazing things – even from a computer in your bedroom!”



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