I faced the hardest time in my life but now I am successful business owner with an award nomination

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Stephanie Cochrane has been nominated for a prestigious beauty award after setting up Valentines Beauty in January, following a difficult period in her life.

A woman from Newcastle has been nominated for a prestigious award, despite only starting her business venture this year. 

32-year-old Stephanie Cochrane, has been nominated for Best New Talent in the UK Hair and Beauty Awards, for her business Valentines Beauty. 

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In just under three months, Stephanie has created a successful beauty business, offering many different beauty services to the North East, including nails, eyelashes, brows, facials, massages and more. 

The reason behind Stephanie’s quick success, was actually due to facing personal struggles in her life, which she says helped to spur her on to create a business she was proud of, and to find a career she enjoyed. 

Last year, Stephanie worked in a completely different industry, working from home in administration. At the time, she had no beauty experience or qualifications. 

After giving birth to her second child in May 2023, Stephanie sadly found herself struggling with post-natal depression, and four weeks later her grandad passed away.

“It was a really hard time,” Stephanie explained.

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Stephanie decided that after facing loss and depression, she wanted to make changes to her life which would make her happy. 

Stephanie explained: “I took beauty courses from November to January, in order to set up my own beauty business.

“I thought to myself, I don’t want to be in this situation anymore, I want to do something I enjoy.”

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Stephanie was also diagnosed with ADHD in November and is currently awaiting an Autism assessment. She explained: “Getting the diagnosis helped me to understand who I was. As a woman, ADHD and autism don't get picked up as much as girls are able to mask it. 

“Getting the diagnosis gave me a reason to start fresh. It all egged me on to realise that life is too short and I want to spend my time in a career I enjoy. 

“It was the best decision I made as it’s obviously become successful and I’ve been nominated for this amazing award.”

Stephanie always had a dream of owning her own business, and once she found a passion for the beauty industry, she knew she wanted to open up her own beauty salon. 

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“The driving force behind it was being in pain sadly, but luckily I’ve come out of the other side,” Stephanie said.

Stephanie Cochrane, the owner of Valentines Beauty.Stephanie Cochrane, the owner of Valentines Beauty.
Stephanie Cochrane, the owner of Valentines Beauty. | Stephanie Cochrane

Stephanie wants to send a positive message to other people who may be facing their own mental health struggles, to know that making changes and going after your dreams is possible. 

“If anyone else is struggling or is in a similar situation, you can do it! It’s possible.”

Speaking on the exciting nomination, Stephanie said: “I’m really proud of myself. I was so chuffed to be nominated for the UK Hair and Beauty Award and to represent Newcastle. I never expected to be here in a million years!

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“It’s an honour to be nominated and I still can’t believe that I’m a finalist.”

Valentines Beauty is dedicated to Stephanie's grandad, as Valentine was his middle name, which she also gave to her daughter for her middle name.

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