Last updated Apr 03, 2024 and written by Lauren Felstead

Startup Story with Chloe Salmons, from Glam By Coco

We’re often told to ‘follow your passion’ and ‘chase your dreams’, but how many of us are surrounded by doubt when it comes to running a business? Spoiler – a lot! Chloe Salmons, founder of Glam By Coco, felt the same. But she decided to go for it anyway. Here we chat to her about what it’s like to quit the 9-5 and start working for herself.


Tell us a little bit about your business in your own words…

I’m a freelance make-up artist and I travel around the UK (mainly Essex and London) painting faces for brides, and helping out on photoshoots. I also teach 1-2-1 make-up lessons and group masterclasses too! 

How long have you been in the make-up industry and how did you get involved?

I have been doing make-up professionally for around 5 years now and pretty much fell into it! I started doing my friends and families make-up for fun and it grew from there!

Was there a ‘lightbulb moment’? How and when did the idea for the business come to you?

There wasn’t a ‘lightbulb moment’ and that’s why I feel I enjoy my job so much! I always loved make-up from a young age and following my passion for it lead me to do a job I truly love, which I feel so grateful for. My mum was the person who always pushed me when I was younger to pursue it, but the idea never came as a sudden thing. Once I realised I had a skill for it, I practised my craft until I felt I was able to charge for my services.

Describe a day-in-the-life running Glam By Coco…

Every day is different which is probably what I love the most. I hate routine so I enjoy being in different places with different people each day – no two days are the same! Some days I spend doing a lot of admin and working on my social media, other days I’m back-to-back with clients.

Were there any big ‘pain points’ when you were starting up the business?

I think I was surprised at how much consistency it takes to run a business, I am responsible for the growth of my client base, my reputation with clients and my self progression as an artist too. I’ve realised along the way that I am always learning and growing as an artist and a businesswoman, and that never stops. From month to month I find things to improve on or do differently; I enjoy evolving and watching my business evolve too.

And the highest point so far?

My highest point is always after I’ve made someone feel good, when I see them smile after looking in the mirror or receiving positive feedback and messages from clients. That’s what keeps me going!

Has there been any low points, and how did you overcome them?

When I first decided to go out on my own I spent a little while worrying if I’d made the right decision, but I kept telling myself ‘just follow your passion and you can’t fail’. Failure is never an option, everything is a learning experience!

Did you get any support along the way when setting up the business – or was there anything that you found useful when you needed help?

I didn’t get any help as such, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support from my friends, family and all my loyal clients. They really pushed me to believe in myself and it made me want to do it more – for them as well as for me.

What is the best thing about being your own boss?

Being able to control my own life, decide when I work and when I don’t and have a balance between work and play that suits me. I also love being busy so it allows me to cram in as much work as I can if I want to (I find it hard to say no!).

Has your life changed since starting your own business?

Most definitely! I’ve never felt more freedom in what I’m doing, I feel at my happiest and most confident. It’s been such a fulfilling journey so far and one that I’m excited to continue.

What advice would you give to someone thinking of starting up a business?

If there’s something you’re passionate about – do it! But do it because you love it, not for money, success or acceptance from anyone. Do it for you and you can never fail.

Would you say there are any particular qualities needed to run your own business, and what are they?

I think you need to be someone who isn’t afraid of slow progression and potential hurdles. Expecting it to be easy and to come quickly or all at once will probably cause you disappointment and may even cause you to give up. Being in a positive mindset is essential at the very beginning, the rest will flow after that.

You’ve organised a couple of successful make-up masterclasses now – congratulations! What’s the bit you love when running them?

Thank you! Masterclasses are so fun and I’m starting to plan my next one over the next few weeks, actually. My favourite thing about the classes is getting to meet and interact with people, to see people get excited about make-up and enjoy learning.

What’s the one thing you wish you knew in the beginning?

I wish I knew how rewarding it could be and believed in myself a little more as I probably would have done it sooner!

What are the future plans for Glam By Coco? What’s the ultimate goal?

I feel with anything in life there are no limitations, and whatever is destined for you will be reached as long as you stay focused and follow your passion. I have no doubt that make-up will take me to many new places and allow me to experience many more amazing opportunities. I’m just down for the ride!

And finally, what do you like to do in your spare time – what helps you to wind down after a long day?

In my spare time I love anything to do with music – going to gigs and events, listening to music. I’m really not a TV or film person. I’m rarely ever at home so most nights/weekends I’ll be going for drinks or food (probably more than I should!) with the people closest to me and hang out with them – and my dog, Benji!

Thank you to Chloe for giving us an insight into the life of a professional make-up artist. If you want to find out more about all-things-makeup (or fancy getting yourself or a loved one booked in for a class/makeover), get in touch with Chloe via the Glam By Coco website. You can also follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

If Chloe’s #StartUpStory has inspired you to delve into the world of business, take a look at our company formation packages here.