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It has been a very busy September for Torquay Online. We’ve had lots of new members added to our network and lots more. Fortunately there’s still a little bit of time to announce our business man and woman of the month before October.

This month’s business woman of the month is Melanie Thornton, owner of Melanie Thornton Makeup Artists. Melanie has been doing make up for as long as she can remember, but her actual business has been running for two years.

The business isn’t just Melanie – she has a team of makeup artists all across Devon (Facebook page), so feel free to get in touch with her if you need someone to make you look fabulous.

This announcement has probably come at a perfect time for Melanie as she’s literally just opened her new salon – visit her on 29 Torquay Road, Paignton. See her opening video below.

I recently asked Melanie a few questions about her business. Here’s what she had to say….

How did you get into the business of being a makeup artist?

I have always absolutely loved everything to do with makeup. when I was in my teens I was always told makeup wasn’t a real job, so I studied IT and worked at Marconi until they went bust.

I then pursued a career in technical recruitment, including the rail industry.

However, whilst still working in IT and Recruitment I always stayed up to date with Makeup trends, brands and looking up to leading makeup artists.

In my spare time I would do makeup courses as some would call a “hobby” even though it was my passion.

I went on to set up an international recruitment agency which did really well but when the recession came I closed down.

I carried on taking short courses in makeup, paid for 1 on 1s with celebrity makeup artists and kept following new trends and brands all whilst working other jobs.

But in the last couple of years I realised how large the makeup industry was becoming and I decided with all of training and knowledge that my passion or so called hobby could be a full time job – a job I’ve always wanted to do and I job I absolutely love waking up every day to do.

I went on to do another diploma in makeup and started setting up my website and spreading the word.

What’s the most rewarding part of running your own business?

Doing something I absolutely love, something I was told many years ago was not a real job.

I also love empowering my clients.

When we look at ourselves in the mirror we look at the parts we don’t like. When I look at my clients I see all of their best features, features I want to emphasise.

What’s the most challenging part?

I think this probably applies to all self employed people but the most difficult part is that I can’t turn down work. You never know when more is coming, even though I’ve been insainly busy but there is always that worry “what if I have a bad month next month”.

So I’m constantly working as much as I can “just in case”.

Any plans to expand?

If there is demand I will always try to fill it with artists that share the same passion and goals as me.

What would be your advice to a person looking to set up a business?


If you have passion and believe in what you do then just do it, don’t be afraid to reach out to other business owners and networking groups to see what works for them.

While you don’t have huge bills and overheads give it ago while you have nothing to lose.

What’s your favourite thing about Torbay?

Believe it or not… The People and the way of life. I was born in Liverpool and raised in London, City life is fast and unnecessarily competitive. Torbay has a good crowd of people and the pace is amazing 😊

Thanks Melanie for the detailed answers, and congratulations on the success so far!

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