Interview Spotlight With Camilla Collins

Camilla is the founder of multiple beauty and entertainment agencies that work with individuals, corporations, and luxury brands. She is also the author of the book #nofilterneeeded – kicking unobtainable standards to the kerb and reimagining the power within yourself. Camilla now coaches individuals and corporations with their self-image, self-confidence, and lifestyle.

Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?

My name is Camilla Collins and I’m a confidence lifestyle coach, author, and the founder of multiple beauty and creative agencies.

Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?

Gosh, where to begin… there’s been quite a lot to it but I’ll try and wrap this up neatly for you!

So after my A-levels I went to study at Central Saint Martins art college. I did a 1 year foundation degree and then went onto specialise in design for performance for the next 3 years… but the course wasn’t what I expected it to be and I struggled with the lack of structure and guidance there.

I ended up dropping out after the first term to seek employment and some sort of security, but by this point my lifestyle was far from supporting me; I was mixing with “the wrong crowd”, drinking heavily, and abusing substances.

I began working at a film marketing company as a PA to the director, and then went into recruitment; both employments totalled a year before I ended up in The Priory rehabilitation centre on their month long addiction treatment programme as my life had become completely unmanageable and my mental health (to put it mildly) was in complete tatters.

I left residential care there in January 2009 and was pretty much starting from scratch. Having had a strong interest in art and a lot of my art work through school and university being focused on the human form and the distortion of it, I figured prosthetic makeup was something I could make a career out of… and so my journey as a makeup artist began!

I started out freelancing in the film and photographic industry before finding my calling in bridal hair and makeup – I just loved being part of someone’s special day and revelling in the atmosphere of a wedding morning!

I went onto build my hair and makeup agency – CJC Hair and Makeup – which specialised in wedding and event hair and makeup for both private and corporate events, and I then went onto build Glitter & Glo in 2016 which which provides festival glitter and day glo roaming makeup services for both corporate and private events.

Around 2018 I was feeling unsettled and unfulfilled, something wasn’t sitting right within me, and that is really were my journey into coaching began. I’d had many years of my own therapy (dating many years further back than the priory) and had always been fascinated by the workings of the human mind and had strong interest in personal development.

Saddened by the fact that nearly every single woman that sat in my make up chair immediately apologised for the way that she looked I was called to dig deeper to find out what was causing so many to feel uncomfortable in their own skin, and help them make lasting change by building confidence from the inside out, not the outside in.

I published my book ‘#NoFilterNeeded – kicking unobtainable standards to the kerb and reimagining the power within yourself’ which outs the marketing tactics of the beauty industry, which is so heavily invested in our lack of self worth, and guides it’s reader to find and build true confidence from within.

Since 2019 I’ve been building my confidence and coaching business, offering 1:1 programmes and sessions, workshops, keynotes, and I’m just about to launch my Reflect & Reconnect retreat for 2024, which I am SUPER excited about!

Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?

Oh there have been many changes over the last decade!  In terms of model I went from being a sole trader/freelancer to an agency model with the beauty and creative makeup artistry businesses.

As for navigating starting a coaching business during a pandemic with it’s (many!) lockdowns?  It’s been one big experiment!  But it’s benefited me in giving me time to play, and work out how best I work, as well as how best my services are delivered.

I’ve done 1:1, group programmes, group memberships, digital courses, and one off workshops (to name a few!) and some of these are still active but what I’ve found I have the most love and energy for (and I believe is the most beneficial and impactful on others) is in-person motivational and inspirational speaking, along with my in-person mindset and lifestyle workshops.

I tried hard to get on board the digital (and supposedly scalable) way of working online but it just doesn’t bring me joy; I struggle to connect with my audience and clients through a screen.

And so I’ve come full circle now in only focusing on in person experiences, be it speaking or interactive workshops, and now my 3-day new retreat!

Have you ever had a mentor? If so how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?

I’ve had therapists and coaches by my side for most of my life to be honest, I learned early on how valuable someone asking the right questions can be and how important support is.

I’ve enlisted the help of different people for different things professionally and personally; from bodybuilding and competing (perhaps one to delve into on another convo!) and business coaches and consultants to educate me and guide me to produce better products and services and serve my clients more effectively.

Then there has been therapists and psychologists to help me work through my own mind, and a lot of the work I do on myself allows me to coach others more effectively.

I consider myself self aware, driven, and self motivated, but I believe that even the most self motivated and disciplined person can only get so far on their own.

Our own heads can take us to some crazy unhelpful places, and other people (the right people!) can see and point out our blindspots, point us in the right direction when we’re unsure, and be a much needed source of support and cheerleading to get us through the wobbles that every single one of us will encounter – because that’s just life.

What outlets do you use for marketing?

When starting out I regularly attended networking events, from being members of certain groups and finding one offs wherever I could. I shared a lot on facebook, back when it was a lot quieter on there and reaching people was easier.

Social media has been prevalent in communicating with others, sharing my ideas, and building relationships. For the agencies, a lot of work comes through word of mouths, relationships built with event planners, and listings on online wedding planning directories.

I’ve now come full circle though and getting myself out and about more to in-person networking events. Physically being with people and building real relationships is what I enjoy doing most, and I’ve realised it’s a fun part of business that’s been missing for me for a few years now.

What or who has inspired you most recently?

I’ve lived in London all my life up until this February where I (rather suddenly) decided to upticks and move to Wiltshire!  It’s been the best decision and I absolutely love it here. Spending more time waking the dogs out in the beautiful countryside gives my mind space to decompress and come up with the creative ideas that it needs to.  And it’s also allowed me to rest and heal from burnout which has been the main source of inspiration for my upcoming retreat.

I also volunteer at a wonderful charity called Jamie’s farm each week. They combine farming and therapy for disadvantages and vulnerable youths and feels extremely aligned. The people there, and the whole vibe of the place is really wholesome and it is the location I have chosen to run my retreat, which also allows me to support them, and the work they do, further

And finally, the open, raw, honest, and vulnerable conversations I have with people is always inspiring for me. It’s all learning, and helps me look at things differently, as well as helping me support others better with my talks and workshops.

What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?

I’ve received lots of advice over the years, but I was reminded by someone the other day of a great one – If it doesn’t serve you, let it go.

It’s hard to let go of anything, particularly when we’re so personally invested in it, and this happens a lot in business too continuing on with products and services that don’t bring us joy, or working with people that drain us.  If we push on with things that don’t serve us then it can have a negative impact on our business and the work we do, and it can also then infiltrate into other areas of life such as relationships and spirituality etc. and negatively impacts them too.

How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?

I feel balance is a bit of an illusion. What is balance for me will not necessarily be balance for you. And I find that even when we get balance, it stops feeling balanced after a while and then we have to mix it up!

Agility is key with my routine and schedule.

I rework my schedule alot! It’s easy to take things on, book things in, when things are quieter or we may be acting on a temporary emotion at the time, but then other opportunities come in that we want to take and we overload ourselves so I think the best skill to master is moving things around, and being honest with ourselves of what we actually want to do and not what we think we ought to do.

I also create space often in my diary, with whole days just for me and no work or social activity, this allows me to process my own thoughts and make better decisions with my time and energy.

When you run your own business, and are passionate about what you do, it’s easy for work to consume you and your time so I always make sure I start my day doing something for me; this is usually exercising at the gym or a nice long walk with the dogs, but it could be journaling, or giving myself time to read and just be present with a cup of coffee. Sometimes it’s all of these things and I get to work later in the day in a much better place or it mentally.

Name a seminal point in your career so far?

Gosh, there’s been so many!  The most recent one is my move to the Countryside this year which has inspired my upcoming retreat, Writing #NoFilterNeeded and releasing it into the world gave me authority and built the confidence within myself to pursue my coaching career.

And being given a stage to speak on through RSVP (weddings and events network I am a member of) was the catalyst for my speaking career which I absolutely love doing.

What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?

Making an impact. I’m not driven by money, although I enjoy “the game” but feedback is where it’s at for me!

Whether it’s hand written notes from clients thanking myself or my team for making their day or event so wonderful, or people sharing with me how my talk or workshops have positively impacted them, it makes me feel so amazing to know that I am making a positive impact on people and helping them feel great about themselves.

Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?

Daniel Priestley is a mentor of mine having been a part of the KPI programme in 2019. I love the way his mind works and he has a wonderful way of explaining things and communicating his ideas.

Marie Forleo and also Carrie Green I greatly admire for the people they are, what they have built in business, and how they show up in the online world.

How do you define your own success?

Having a positive effect on others and creating transformations, both physically and mentally.  Be it a makeover that makes someone feel beautiful and confident, or helping people shift their mindset, or redesign their lifestyle, to support them better and enable them to do, be, and have more in the life.

Helping others to succeed with the dreams and goals means I succeed with some of mine.

Finally, what can we expect from you next?

As I’ve mentioned there is my new Reflect & Reconnect retreat launching in January and my brain is ticking away in the background at the moment on how to bring people together in creative and fun ways.

Physically being with people is important to me, and I believe important for us all, to feel connected, so the aim of any event I run will always be to empower, shake up some neural pathways, championing authenticity, and have each attendee embracing ALL of themselves and building the confidence to showcase that to the world!

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