Lifestyle

I was in the lowest grade at school and the teachers wrote me off, now I’m 21 and making £200,000 a year

Exam season is almost over and parents are hoping their children are getting results that will prepare them for college or university.

But if you’re concerned about grades, don’t panic — Millie Goodwin is 21 and proving that being an A-star student isn’t everything.

Although Millie Goodwin was in the bottom echelons of school and then dropped out of college, she now makes £200,000 a year from her makeup business

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Although Millie Goodwin was in the bottom echelons of school and then dropped out of college, she now makes £200,000 a year from her makeup businessCredit: Paul Tonge
Millie, now 21, built her success in her bedroom when she was 14

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Millie, now 21, built her success in her bedroom when she was 14Credit: Unknown, clear with picture desk

Although she was lower ranks in school and then dropped out of college, she now makes £200,000 a year from her make-up business, which she set up in her bedroom from the age of 14.

After mom Tina, 52, and dad Paul, 56, a hardware store owner, refused to buy their expensive cosmetics, she began making her own using YouTube videos.

Seven years later, Millie’s company With Love Cosmetics is now a smash hit — and she even employs sister Holly, 26.

Millie from Boston, Lincs says, “I wasn’t very academic and none of my teachers thought I had much potential. I was obsessed with my makeup and they wrongly assumed that someone like me would end up in a dead end.”

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Mum Tina adds: “In secondary school, Millie would get up at 5am to put on her makeup. I would say: ‘You can’t wear that, you know it’s not allowed’.

“In the end we gave up and left it to the school. They made her take it off but she thought it was worth it.”

“It started with me experimenting with color”

Instead of studying for GCSEs, Millie spent hours in her bedroom trying out concoctions she made herself from old makeup palettes. Tina says: “I was worried because she was never very academic, but she really wasn’t interested. During exams I used to say, ‘Millie, you have to study or you won’t do so well.’

“Friends’ children studied so hard that sometimes they didn’t have time for tea. I would think ‘Millie glues on lashes’.”

But Millie says: “I didn’t want to go to university and be a doctor or a vet and the teachers weren’t interested in me. Nobody told me I would fail, but I’m sure they all thought so.

“When my GCSE results came in they were a mixed bag – an A, then Bs, Cs and Ds. But it was better than I expected. I went to high school and my friends were very academic, university focused. I really didn’t want to stay at school a moment longer than necessary.”

She had now set her sights on becoming a makeup mogul and shared photos of her DIY creations on social media. She says: “It started with me experimenting with colors, scraping old makeup out of palettes and mixing them.

“When I was 15, I shared a photo of one of my homemade eyeshadows on Instagram and a friend texted me and asked if they could buy it.” Initially, Millie’s parents donated a few pounds to help buy powdered ingredients and to help containers. The business became a part-time job alongside a business degree from college.

I was up until the early hours doing everything myself, from making the products to packing the orders. It was exhausting, but I was determined.

Millie Goodwin

Then, when she started earning a small income, her parents put in £1,000 to help cover packaging costs – and a year later Millie had dropped out of college to focus on her makeup business.

She says: “My parents didn’t approve of me dropping out – but they said if I worked hard and could cover the cost of the ingredients, they’d be happy. I got a job caring for about £9 an hour, often working 50 hours a week. I volunteered to do nights to earn double.”

At 18, Millie was charging £2.50 to £5 for eyeshadow and started selling on Etsy. In 2019 she launched a website – and made £160,000 that year.

She says: “I was up until the wee hours doing everything myself – from making the products to packing the orders. It was exhausting but I was determined.” In 2020, as the country went into Covid lockdown, Millie’s turnover soared to £300,000 – higher than expected.

When Covid restrictions ended last year, sales returned to normal and turnover for 2021 was £200,000. Colorful cosmetics are back this year, and Millie’s products — all PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) certified — are selling fast.

The shop now operates from a 150 square meter building converted from shipping containers and some of the products are made in China and America using Millie’s formula. But the pressed glitters she first made in her bedroom are still handmade by Millie and her sister.

Over 350,000 followers

Mama Tina adds: “To this day I help with the pressing when she gets a big order. I also use all of their products. I’m 52 but I go out with glitter eyeshadow and highlighter.

“I’m incredibly proud of Millie. Your determination is paramount. It turns out – what does she need all those qualifications for? That’s not to say they aren’t important, but Millie didn’t need them.”

Millie, who has more than 350,000 followers on social media, adds: “There’s a lot of cruising in school and you don’t learn how to be an entrepreneur. Friends I went to school with are leaving university with around £24,000 in debt and unable to find a job. I know people who work at Tesco after three years at university.

“A girl I know applied to me for a job as an intern.

“I still live at home – I will stay here until my parents kick me out. But I don’t have to worry about college debt or getting stuck in a job I don’t like.”

Instead of studying for GCSEs, Millie spent hours in her bedroom trying out concoctions she made herself from old makeup palettes

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Instead of studying for GCSEs, Millie spent hours in her bedroom trying out concoctions she made herself from old makeup palettesCredit: Paul Tonge
Millie says,

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Millie says, “In school, a lot of boxes are ticked and you don’t learn how to be an entrepreneur.”

https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5619069/lashes-company-success-business-bottom-school/ I was in the lowest grade at school and the teachers wrote me off, now I’m 21 and making £200,000 a year

Jessica MacLeish

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