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I launched my own styling empire and now I help women follow their business dreams

Emma Murray, 28 from Donegal, is the owner of ELM Social Media, as well as a qualified stylist. As part of the Enterprise Nation She Means Business campaign, Emma helps women follow their business dreams.

Stylist and entrepreneur Emma Murray went after her dreams and launched a thriving styling business. Now she’s helping others do the same as part of a nationwide campaign.

Emma has been selected as a trainer on the Enterprise Nation She Means Business campaign with Facebook, which helps women grow their businesses online.

Setting up a styling business

Having grown up in a small town, Emma’s decision to launch a fashion blog ‘intrigued a lot of people’.

And when she left her job as a supervisor and visual merchandiser to pursue her dream, she was asked how she would make money.

But Emma had a ‘fire’ in her belly to make it a success.

Read more: How I help people improve their confidence with House of Colour

Fast-forward to 2021 and Emma, 28, is a qualified stylist, the owner of ELM Social Media, and is launching a styling academy. She’s also been named as an expert on the She Means Business campaign, delivering training to businesses across Ireland.

Now she is determined to encourage and help other young women go after their dreams.

Go after your goals

“There’s been knockbacks, tears, wondering when it will all work out, self-doubt, a lot of money spent on training and many sleepless nights but, the cost of not going after your dreams is spending the rest of your life wishing that you had,” says Emma.

“One of my favourite quotes is by Tony Gaskin; ‘If you don’t build your dreams, someone will hire you to help them build theirs.’

“I am a huge believer in everyone going after their goals in life – and taking that first step, which is always the hardest.”

Fire in the belly

Talking of her first step on the entrepreneurial journey, Emma says: “I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing because there would be too many opinions involved. I was certain this was something I wanted to take the plunge with. I had no other job lined up, just a fire in my belly that this was the start of an exciting journey and one that I was willing to work very hard at.”

Emma says she was asked, “Where is this going to take you and are you going to make any money from it?”, and she replied, “Not yet, but I will”.

“And a few weeks after, I had my first paid collaboration,” she says.

Building a business

During the time she was setting up, Emma continued to work in retail and her last job was store trainer and personal shopper in Debenhams, Galway.

“I began my diploma in digital marketing and at the same time and flew over to the London School of Styling every two weeks for three months to train as a stylist. How I afforded this, I do not know. I had hardly any income. But, when you want something bad enough, you will always find a way.

“I came out the other end with a styling qualification and my first business, ELM Social Media.”

Big plans for the future

In June 2020, she decided to turn her blog The Fashion Chair into a business and rebranded as Emma Murray Stylist.

Emma has worked with brands including Virgo Boutique, iclothing, Canella Lane, Rose & Poetry, Blank Canvas, Olivia Casey, On Trend EU and Pink Boutique.

And despite all she has achieved so far, Emma, from Donegal, has big plans for 2021.

She is launching the E Style Academy this month; offering affordable online styling courses for women.

Style school

“It has always been a dream of mine to launch my very own style school – a place where women can enrol on affordable, online courses and learn how to unlock their personal style to transform how they look and feel,” says Emma.

“Your style personality is very subjective so it will be different for every person but that’s what makes it unique. Wouldn’t it be a very boring world if we all dressed the same?

“There are some key elements which simplify styling such as knowing your body shape, the colours that bring you to life and building a capsule wardrobe so those will be the areas I focus on to begin with.”

Find out more about Emma her businesses on Instagram, at @emmamurraystylist

Bex Bastable
Bex Bastable
Bex is a journalist and the co-founder of The Women's Work Collective.


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