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Why I set up an eco glitter company and went on BBC’s Glow Up

Nic Marilyn, 28, lives in Tottenham, London. She set up eco-friendly company Disco Dust London in November 2016.

I set up my eco-glitter business as I wanted to learn how to run a company.

After studying fashion textiles at uni, I had been assisting a photographer, travelling and then began doing pop-up stalls creating hair textiles pieces. I was asked to bring glitter to one of my pop-up’s one night. The reaction I got from people was crazy so I thought, ‘okay, maybe this could work?’

What makes Disco Dust eco-friendly?

Disco Dust glitters are much safer for the environment than the glitter people are used to. Usually, glitters are made of microplastics but ours break down as they are made up of regenerated eucalyptus from sustainably sourced plantations. All our packaging is either compostable or recyclable, and we source our products as locally as possible to reduce our carbon footprint.

Setting up my own business

It was quite overwhelming at the beginning as I was learning on the job and learning from mistakes. But I started small and it was rewarding to have such a varied work schedule because I tend to get bored really easily.

I loved being constantly busy, building the brand and meeting people at events, shoots and trade shows. That’s my favourite part.

Biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free glitter

It took a lot of research and a lot of testing to find the right products but my dad always says ‘nothing worth doing is easy’.

It was fab when we got our first stockist; Sophia Hilton’s ‘Not Another Salon’, a really fun and well-known salon to start with!

My love for make-up

I enjoy being creative and working in a hands-on way. I also love working in a team and being inspired by other creatives, so shoots are epic for that, especially as it combines my fashion background.

Before I started doing makeup, Disco Dust was a lot of computer work so I watched Glow Up season two at the beginning of lockdown and thought ‘I’m gonna have a go at that!’

BBC’s Glow Up

At the beginning of lockdown, the sales for Disco Dust slowed down a lot as trade shows, festivals and shoots were cancelled.

I also was grateful because it gave me time to really have a go at learning makeup which I always wanted to learn more about!

I started a makeup short course before it was cancelled on day 2 for lockdown and spent the next few weeks creating makeup looks with my new kit on Instagram (@nicmarilyn). On the last day to enter, I thought ‘I’m just gonna go for it’. Then somehow I ended up on the show!

I thought it would give me a foot in the door of the makeup world as well as a platform to talk about my eco glitter brand.

Read more: BBC’s Glow Up and working with Rankin

Glow Up was a rollercoaster of ups and downs and I learnt a lot about myself and how I react in different situations.

It was a crazy and surreal experience and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to do it and for all the gorgeous people I have met on the journey both in front and behind the cameras. I love throwing myself in the deep end!

My advice and the future

Chill out, enjoy the process. learn from everything.

I’ve been working on a super exciting rebrand with Disco Dust over the last few months. Currently, I’m working on a new website, new products, ways to be even better at makeup, even more eco and planning some super exciting collaborations with brands and makeup artists who you might recognise in the next few months!

If you’d like to hear more then I’d love to keep in touch over on Insta/TikTok –  @nicmarilyn @DISCODUSTLONDON. Feel free to use code ‘JOINTHEDISCO’ for 10% off valid until 2021! Visit: www.nicmarilyn.co.uk

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