By James Somper
A schoolgirl who started a cosmetics business as part of a school project decided not to go to university so she could turn it into a full-time business – and now expects to rake in £150,000 this year.
Straight A student Rose Dyson, 19, shocked her family when she opted not to go to university so that she could run her lip balm business full-time.
Rose, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, set up ethical beauty product business Pura Cosmetics in 2015 as part of a school competition where children were given £25 to create and sell a product.
Four years on, Rose has won a host of young entrepreneur awards and was even asked to appear on Dragon’s Den – but was later turned down because of her young age.
She said: “I never thought I’d run my own business or be an entrepreneur.
“It’s what I love and it doesn’t feel like a job.
“It hasn’t been without its challenges though. I went into a networking event and someone asked me who’s daughter I was and who I belonged to. No one realised I was there for my business.
“I approached a local shop who said you can’t possibly have a professional product at the age of 16.
“I sent them samples and they immediately asked me for the product.
“I took it on the chin and thought I won’t let anything stop me.”
Rose started Pura in 2015 after being given £25 as part of a school competition to design and market a sellable product.
Sensing a gap in the market for an ethical but affordable lip care, Rose came up with a recipe for a product of her own which she began making in her mum’s kitchen.
Rose earned £40 after selling the balms at a Christmas fair but instead of ditching the product, she expanded the range to 10 lip scrubs and 12 lip balms.
After beginning to sell the product locally Rose has own her own shop, online store and now stocks 30 independent retailers, sells 20,000 individual items and is growing the business now that she’s running Pura full-time after leaving school back in July 2018.
She said: “Last year we turned over £50,000.
“The plan is to triple it this year now that I’m full-time.
“In the next few years I want Pura to be the number one ethical lip scrub and care provider in the UK.
“I want to take the product and expand it to other ranges and countries.
“In 10 years I want Pura to be on the shelves of retailers all over the world.
” If I can go back to my local Boots and see my product on the shelves then I’ll be happy.”
Rose said that her age has brought challenges and that at times, some people wouldn’t take her seriously because of it.
She said: “It can be risky and nerve racking.
“People see my age before they see me.
“I was turned down for Dragons Den because I was too young.”
While most of her friends are at university, Rose said she doesn’t feel like she’s missing out despite devoting herself at least 16 hours a day seven days a week to her business and even has her own shop from which she makes the products.
She said: “You never stop, you never switch off.
” I get in at 8am and am usually in the shop until 6ish. In the evenings I’ll be on my laptop going through my emails till late.
“My friends at uni are shocked at what’s happened.
“They love it, my really close friends have seen it from the start, they’re so proud and supportive.
“They’re always out partying but this is the point in my life when I need to get stuck in and grow my business.
“For anyone who wants to set up a business but thinks they’re too young, I’d say start as early as possible. It’s never too early to start, being young you can give it your all.”