Starting a creative business at any age

Tricia Cusden proves that you can start a creative business at any age. I was so impressed with Tricia’s outlook on life and it was a real pleasure to be able to interview her for this podcast.

Tricia founded the pro-age beauty brand Look Fabulous Forever  when she was 65 years old and already retired. Tricia had become frustrated with beauty products that weren’t suitable for mature skin, so decided to take herself back to school as a make-up artist and then launch her own range of beauty products.

What I loved about Tricia was that she was repeated told that her vision wouldn’t work and that older women wouldn’t buy make-up. Rather than stop Tricia, it only encouraged her to continue.

Starting a creative business at any age can be daunting, but when you haven’t grown up with social media or computers from a young age, it can be hard to know how to connect with your audience through these methods. Tricia’s daughter helped her to upload a video to Youtube showing you how to apply make-up for mature women and it went viral.

This changed how Tricia decide to run her business. Originally she was going to follow the formula of holding selling-parties, where a host helps to sell the products to a group of friends at a small event. With the success of the online video, Tricia realised that she could connect more easily with her audience on-line.

Her business has gone from strength to strength and now turns over nearly £2 million. Not bad for someone who was told that older women wouldn’t buy make-up!

You can listen to her whole story and the advice that she gives the younger generation on starting their own business by listening to the podcast below.

How ever old you are it can feel daunting starting your own business. You have to wear hats for so many roles in the early stages, from being your own PA to marketing department. Here are some tips to help you get going when you have an idea but don’t know where to start.

Starting your own business

  1. Don’t begin blindly! You need to do your research as to whether there is a market for your idea, and if you can make a profit from it.
  2. Don’t be put off by other people’s views about your idea. If you have done the research and figures, and feel confident about your idea- you need to ignore other people’s judgements.
  3. Don’t be restrictive. If you have an idea of how your business looks you need to be able to adapt and change to your audience, just as Tricia did when she realised that she could reach them online.
  4. Get some support! It is hard to do everything yourself. Make sure you go out there and get some support. Whether that is through connecting to the CWI community or having some mentoring, it is important to be supported as you go on this journey.
  5. Review and reflect. As you build your business or career, make sure that you take time to review and reflect everything that you are doing. It might surprise you what is and isn’t working.
  6. Ask your customers. Customers are your best resource when it comes to working out how to build on your success. Ask them what they have and haven’t liked about what you are doing. You don’t need to take on board everything they suggest, but there might be some amazing things that you hadn’t thought of.What are you struggling with at the moment to set up your own business? Share your story in the comments below and let’s see if we can help you out.