AN entrepreneur who opened her first beauty salon less than a year ago is set to represent Essex in a national competition.

Ellie Wilkins, 25, who has had a love of make-up and being creative since she was younger, launched her first salon in June 2023 and is already leaving her mark in the industry.

After gaining experience in her craft in London, Essex and all over the world, Ellie decided to open up her own store “By Ellie” in Rayleigh Road, Thundersley. 

The young entrepreneur has now been nominated for the national Hair and Beauty Awards as a finalist in the 2024 Make-up Artist of the Year category.

The annual events showcase the top talents in the beauty and hairdressing industry across the UK. 

Ellie said: “It feels absolutely amazing, and I was quite surprised when I got the news. 

“I started my career in 2016 after I took a business class in college and felt that wasn’t it for me. 

“I’ve always been interested in make-up and being creative. I used to steal my mum’s when I was younger.” 

Ellie offers a range of services at her salon, including occasion make-up, bridal make-up, masterclasses and one-to-one lessons for different ages. 

“It’s a great honour to get recognition for my hard work and just to have the official certificate in the salon,” she added. 

“A lot of people have been asking me about it and obviously it is good for business. 

“I’m proud to be the one to represent Essex as a county at the awards later this year.” 

With undying support from the community, Ellie is optimistic about her business’ future and hopes to open up a second salon. 

“It’s been going really well over the last year and I only opened my salon last summer. 

“I love being creative and I had a lot of people telling me I should go for it. At the moment I have one other girl working with me, but hopefully, I can have a whole team. 

“Everyone has their own talents and that’s great when you work together. You have so many ideas.” 

Ellie is also preparing to get her teaching accreditation to teach new generations of make-up artists.