Festivals have long been a breeding ground for small businesses, from the weird and wonderful to the downright wacky.
Beauty brand In Your Dreams, which started as a mobile makeover service at festivals and was officially launched as a business in 2015, is one of them.
It has grown from success to success, decorating guests in body gems and glitter at international events, corporate parties and has even launched its own products available online and across stores worldwide.
But this year, as the coronavirus pandemic stopped live events in their tracks, In Your Dreams’ dreams became a nightmare.
In Your Dreams was one of the pioneers of festival make up, featuring body gems and glitter
Being a pioneer of festival make up, including face paint, body gems, and tons of glitter – a trend that has boomed over the past five years – was revolutionary for the firm, but it has been hit hard this year.
Festivals and live concerts in the UK have been in lockdown since March, with the country still unsure when events like this will restart.
In Your Dreams co-founders Madeline Griffiths and Roisin Cusack saw their turnover, which was a huge £100,000 in the company’s first year and which doubled in its second, plummet.
Madeline said: ‘When Covid hit us in March this year, we lost all our event and festival bookings within one week.
‘We are reliant on the events industry. Half of our business comes from our stalls at festivals, gigs, corporate parties and other live events.
Madeline Griffiths and Roisin Cusack founded beauty brand In Your Dreams in 2015
‘They are also how we’ve managed to grow so quickly. We meet people at festivals and then all of a sudden we are booked for the Google Christmas party.
‘We met the buyers of Pretty Little Thing at Glastonbury in 2016 and through that we were able to build a relationship and then launch our products on their website.’
This network is vital for In Your Dreams and in a bid to sustain relationships, the team returned deposits for cancelled events, not knowing the suspension would last so long.
‘I still believe we did the right thing giving the money back, but it has really burnt us,’ said Madeline. ‘We lost £100,000 in a week just from one franchise having to cancel 98 events across Europe.
‘We’ve worked with them for years and it’s an important partnership we hope to keep once things go back to normal. We also have amazing loyal corporate event clients such as Bloomberg, YouTube, RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Defected.’
As for the beauty product side of the business, which accounts for half of In Your Dreams’ revenue stream, things have been just as difficult.
While retail businesses with online stores have been fortunate in that people are shopping online more than ever, In Your Dreams has been dealt a rough hand as people aren’t exactly stocking up on festival gear.
Madeline added: ‘We also lost the majority of our wholesale orders. Sales just froze. We saw £60,000 worth of cancelled orders and the cancellations just kept on coming.
‘We hoped things would turn around by June, and were trying so hard to remain positive. But by August, we knew events and social gatherings would not really be back until spring 2021.
‘We knew we had to be super careful with our outgoings and focus on what we could and still can do which is utilise our online presence.’
In Your Dreams has had a stand at various festivals across the globe, adorning festival-goers with body art, gems and glitter – a trend that has become more popular in recent years
A new dream
Despite their financial woes, Madeline and Roisin have stayed positive and grown closer to their events family in the process.
They have used their social media presence to stay engaged with customers, share their platform with other creatives and collaborate with other brands in the industry.
‘We have really enjoyed collaborating with our creative community on Instagram via its live video service and doing Tik Tok challenges. We’ve spotlighted artists and freelancers from singers to yoga teachers.
‘We have tried to remain as positive as possible with light-hearted content and supporting our creative community as much as we can.’
The duo have also created a first-of-its-kind virtual beauty event.
Many companies have turned to online events via video conferencing services such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams, from gigs to home cooking classes and even stand-up – or rather – sit-down comedy.
Your invite to In Your Dreams’ Big Night In
The next Big Night In takes place on 16 December and will celebrate all things Christmas beauty for £37.
Viewers can learn new beauty skills from the professionals, see new brands and meet like-minded people.
All attendees will also receive a beauty box worth over £200 and can use their goodies to recreate new and exciting looks as taught in the workshop.
It will take place on Zoom and starts at 7pm and lasts for just two hours.
To buy your ticket, click here.
In the same vein, In Your Dreams created the ‘Big Night In’, an evening event featuring creative beauty workshops with the company’s make up artists.
The first event took place in the summer and was such a hit, Madeline and Roisin have decided to make it a regular event.
For a set price, customers receive a box of beauty and cosmetic products, snacks and drinks and can take part in the virtual experience, as if they were at the famous In Your Dreams stall at a festival.
Madeline added: ‘The mission is to recreate the vibe that we have on our magical festival stand. Our artists are so inspiring, they specialise in making people feel good and being who they want to be.
‘The workshop is a couple of hours of meeting new people, learning new skills and being introduced to new brands.
‘We hosted our first virtual beauty event at the end of the summer when we knew events were not coming back for quite some time.
‘After the success of the first event, we decided to host a second one over Halloween when London was back in full Iockdown.’
While it certainly wasn’t how they expected the business to develop, and of course they are desperate for live events to return, Madeline and Roisin are excited at the prospect of growing this part of the business.
‘We hope that the imminent vaccine release will mean festivals and all social gathering events will be able to take place again by spring 2021,’ Madeline added.
‘We all understand that hygiene and PPE are a huge part of the beauty industry within events so we have planned for this and we have prepared our make up artists and beauticians so they are ready to come back with a bang as soon as the government allows us to.
‘But for now, we have had to change our strategy, away from a focus on live events and doing fewer bricks and mortar store popups.
‘We will focus on our online product sales and exciting online collaborations as well as building our virtual events models.
‘We are developing a new product line for 2021 and with it, we will be doing more online tutorials featuring our creative dream team and the community we have built up over the years.’
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Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
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