Norfolk woman quits 9-5 office job to run makeup school
- Credit: Onceuponabody
A Norfolk woman has given up her 9-5 job to run a makeup school for children - and is already enjoying international success.
Niki Etheridge, from Attleborough, packed in her office role to launch MUA COOP in June.
The business offers young people aged five to 18 the chance to sign up for virtual lessons and learn about a variety of makeup techniques.
Miss Etheridge's brave career change began in April, when she spotted a makeup challenge group on Instagram which invited people of all levels to submit their weekly looks.
The page had been started by Texas-based artist, Tina Delgado, who subsequently invited her British counterpart to be co-founder of a new venture having spotted her work on TikTok.
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MUA COOP was born and Miss Etheridge hasn't looked back as she teaches youngsters from across the globe.
"It has all pretty much happened overnight," said the 34-year-old.
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"I think because of Covid and lockdown there is an air of depression, and people are still a little bit apprehensive about going out.
"Some of our students have got used to being at home, so our school is perhaps more inviting because you don't have to go anywhere."
Despite only being in its infancy, MUA COOP has already attracted dozens of members - not to mention a number of sponsors and investors.
Hosted on learning platform Outschool, the curriculum includes safety and maintenance tips, photography, costume design and prop-making, while specific classes look at fantasy cosplay and SFX make-up.
While Miss Etheridge and Ms Delgado have never met in person, their firm is built upon a mutual desire to create an inclusive and safe space.
"We are living in a society where some children are struggling with issues like gender and identity," added Miss Etheridge.
"In our group you are free to express yourself. Young people need that freedom to experiment and do what they need to do.
"It has been hugely rewarding for me because it makes me feel like I am doing something good in the world."
To enrol with MUA or sign up to a free cosplay convention on August 28, visit muacoop.com.