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Law graduate gets lippy!

BUSINESS MIND: Dianne Woode

BEING a young professional in the UK is pretty bleak at the moment. With youth unemployment at record levels, nearly one million school leavers and graduates are out of work.

But one recent graduate is refusing to be defeated by the jobs market and has instead used her tenacity to build her own cosmetics company, Lipavenü. Dianne Woode, has braved the volatile cosmetics industry and created a new range of lip-gloss that is high quality and affordable.

After leaving university, the London-based law graduate found it near impossible to find a job as a trainee solicitor, despite having a first class degree. Now, the 27-year-old’s glosses are being stocked by London retailers and look set to light up lips around the UK. Here, Woode reflects on her decision to leave her legal career and take on another passion.

Tell us about your career journey…
After I studied law, I found it harder than I thought to get a job at a law firm. I was able to find a job as a case worker, and even though I was working in the law sector, it wasn’t as a trainee lawyer. So I thought I would channel my energy and passion into something else.

As a young professional, is it easier to start your own business rather than get a job in your desired field?
With perseverance, I think anything is possible. But with the current economic climate, I do think on the whole it is harder to get into most professions. Personally, I still want to get into the legal profession and qualify as a solicitor so it’s not something I have written off.

Would you consider having representatives sell your product around the UK, as opposed to selling them in shops?
The way things are going now, I have two good London based retailers. I don’t envisage it going down the Avon route or having representatives. For now, having retailers suffices. There are bigger retailers out there but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.

Do you plan to extend your range of cosmetics from lip care?
I definitely want to extend the range. Later on this year I will be introducing more colours that are innovating and fresh. I don’t think it would look odd seeing Lipavenü selling mascara but for the time being I want the brand to be known for lip products. Ultimately I want Lipavenü to be the go-to cosmetic brand for everybody. Fantastic products at really affordable prices.”

Have you always been passionate about make-up?
I started wearing make up when I was 13 or so and my mum was quite liberal with me. At school I did well academically so she didn’t really mind as long as I delivered the results. Lip-gloss has always been something I have worn.

If you were stuck on a desert island what three things would you want to have with you?
My Bible, my BlackBerry and my lip-gloss!

For more information on Lipavenü visit www.lipavenu.com

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