Academy 92, located in the heart of Dublin city, is the go-to destination for makeup lovers who want to build on their existing skillset or novices to the world of contouring who want to learn the tricks of the trade! They run both intensive one day classes as well as four week long fun and informative courses. The highly skilled team are made up of creative and fully qualified makeup artists who are willing to share their wealth of experience with their students. At the helm of this success is Jennie Guinan who chatted to us about carving out a niche for herself within the beauty industry.
What was the key driving force behind you becoming an entrepreneur?
My family. I wanted to have something extra besides my full-time job to give us all the best life possible and to have something to pass on to my little girl for her to love it as much as I do.
What do you wish you knew in the beginning about setting up your own business and working for yourself?
How to choose the right people to work with, and how difficult it would be. In such a saturated industry I found it difficult to get off the ground especially in what is well known to be a difficult industry. With hard work and perseverance though, there is room for everyone and you can achieve your goals.
What drew you to the beauty industry and setting up Academy 92?
I am obsessed with all things beauty related and having studied makeup artistry myself I felt like there was something missing in the industry. I wanted to create something where makeup artists have the option of upskilling and learning new makeup trends without the massive price tag. I wanted something I could put my own stamp on and create a welcoming and recognisable venue for anyone who comes through the door.
Could you describe a typical working day for you?
Where do I start! As mentioned I have a full-time job as an office manager of a busy office building. Actually two office buildings! As the academy is based in one of these buildings I am able to always be nearby if needed and work on administration and social media too. I meet amazing people every day from brands, new makeup artists and other people in business. I create new course content, organise for amazing artists to come from the UK or other locations for masterclasses and plan ahead for exciting things in the future. I then finish work and head home to my other job of being a wife and Mammy!
What are the best and worst aspects of your job?
The worst aspect of the job is spending time away from my daughter at weekends when we have events on or in the evenings when I don’t get everything finished in the office and have to take academy work home with me. The best part of it all is that I own something that I created from scratch and have grown in a short space of time. I have met some truly amazing people already and cant wait to see what the future holds.
If you weren’t working as the Director of Academy 92, what career do you think you would be in?
I think I was always destined to do something in the beauty industry so I definitely think I would have done something to do with it.
How do you generate innovative ideas for new courses and stand out from competitors?
I was always on the lookout for something new to add to the market and I genuinely look up to a lot of other women in similar businesses and I wouldn’t be doing what I do today without inspiration from them. I saw a niche to teach the ever requested ‘Instagram Makeup’ and went for it. I also wanted to be able to offer training from some of the best artists in this industry and luckily I have the space to cater for this.
What has been your career highlight to date?
My family telling me they are proud of what I have achieved and also winning Best Beauty Entrepreneur at the Hair & Beauty Awards in May!
How do you begin and end your day?
I begin my day by writing a list of all the things I am grateful for and end it by kissing my daughter goodnight and getting a sneaky cuddle in without waking her!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
Trust your gut – if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t!
If you could only bring three things to a desert island, what would they be?
My husband, my daughter and sun cream! 😉
92 Stephen’s Green, Dublin
T 01 428 3592