Liv Conlon was only 13 years old when she started a fake nails business.
At that time, she was bullied at school for her low grades but the experience motivated her to do something for herself.
And six years later, she already made her first million! Condon revealed how she went from selling fake nails to running a million-pound company.
“I was bullied at school for getting good grades, and had to move to a new high school because of it,” she expressed. “But it spurred me on to make something of myself. So when I was 13, I set up my first business importing fake nails from China and selling them on eBay.
“I invested £300 I’d saved from doing household chores and made £5,000.
“In 2015, I set up my next business, The Property Stagers, which temporarily furnishes empty properties before they’re sold or rented.
“The inspiration came when my mum Ali struggled to sell a flat she’d bought as an investment, so I suggested I style it to make it more attractive.
“Three days after I transformed the flat, it sold.”
Condon continued: “I attended industry events and spoke to people about what I’d done and realised I’d found a gap in the market.
“Teachers said I was ruining my life by not applying to university and choosing to start my own business, despite achieving five As.
“Mum was supportive, but some friends and family believed it was just a phase.
“I found my first client in 2015 through networking at property events. I was worried my age would be a hurdle so I cut my hair short to look older.
“I had zero funds to begin with, but with the upfront £1,000 fee I was paid for my first job, I bought second-hand and Ikea furniture, and began building up my stock.
“In the first year I transformed 25 properties, mostly in Glasgow and Edinburgh, building up a portfolio and networking to find new clients.
“It was exhausting but exhilarating as more jobs came in. Working 18-hour days, my life became different from my friends’. They were out clubbing while I was doing my accounts, and over time we drifted apart.
“The business turned over £30,000 in year one and I was able to pay myself a salary as well as re-investing in new furniture and soft furnishings.
“My mum left her job as a training consultant to work for me and in the second year, the business turned over £1million.
“It felt incredible, but it was a crash course in managing the finances of a fast-growing company. Luckily, I’ve always had an accountant to help.”
Condon has now a team of 10 people in Manchester and Glasgow. They have several warehouses and outsource the manufacturing of furniture.
“Last year, I was named UK Young Entrepreneur Of The Year. Most people have been positive, but I’ve been targeted by trolls who’ve said I have ‘no life’ and that it must be a family business.
“When people discover I’m 21 and have been running a million-pound business for five years, they’re usually stunned. But I’d like young people to realise, if you have a great idea, age isn’t a barrier. If you believe in yourself, anything is possible.”
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