Each week we speak to an inspiring go-getter as part of our Rising Stars series.
Here, Suzanne Jackson from SoSueMe.ie has joined us for an intimate chat about her incredible career, her best-selling gel-polish collection, and why she just doesn’t believe in quitting...
After steadily building up her profile over the last five years, 30-year-old Suzanne has cemented her status as Ireland’s top blogger. Success hasn’t come easily though; indeed, she regularly works seven days a week.
“People are often surprised by the hours a blogger works,” she admits. “They just see the Instagram pictures and the Facebook posts and they think you have the easiest life imaginable, but it’s not like that.”
At the beginning of each new year, Suzanne writes down her goals – which range in ambition from the small to the absolutely colossal – for the next twelve months. “Who says a massive dream can’t come true?” she adds with a smile.
“When I started my blog, I had a couple of readers, and I dreamed of the day when I would have maybe a few hundred. At the time, I never thought it would happen, but yet here we are today with more than one million readers!
“I’m a grafter, and I firmly believe you can make anything happen if you are willing to put the hours into the work.
“I don’t believe in quitting and I don’t believe in not trying.”
So while SoSueMe.ie may have begun as a hobby, it is now very much a business; and a hugely successful one at that.
“I was working in 98fm as reception manager and I had access to the steady stream of celebrities that were coming through the doors each day. I was constantly fielding calls from PR people and agents too, so I put together a list of contacts that could help me in terms of securing celebrity interviews and prizes for competitions.
“I am also a qualified beauty therapist so I knew I was well-placed to run a beauty section with honest reviews and recommendations.
“Once the whole thing was up and running, it just took off. And after three years, I decided to take the big jump and blog full-time. I went from having a secure income each month to not knowing if I would ever get another pay-cheque again! Fortunately, SoSueMe kept going from strength-to-strength, and I was able to turn it into a brand.”
Right now, a considerable amount of Suzanne’s time is taken up with her new gel polish collection, SOSU By Suzanne Jackson.
“I kept the collection a secret for quite a while,” she admits. “I’m a worrier by nature, so I was lying awake all night wondering if I was doing the right thing, if people would like the range, and stressing that the fans might be disappointed.”
However, her fears turned out to be groundless.
Within a week of the product hitting shelves, stock had completely sold out. Penneys is now looking to sell the range in its branches nationwide and possibly in Primark in the UK. There’s talk of limited edition box sets for Christmas too.
“I'm overwhelmed, because I never thought the gel polish collection would take off as fast as it did,” she says.
Suzanne’s social media figures are staggering: not only do a million readers follow her blog, but she also boasts 35,000 Twitter fans, 127,000 Instagram devotees, and 188,000 Facebook likes. Her own YouTube channels has furthermore collectively garnered millions of clicks.
“I know what it’s like to be unemployed and on the dole, and I know how disheartening it can be,” she says candidly. “But bad days don’t last forever. I always knew I would find my way in life, though I never would have thought that five years on, I would be sitting here with two best-selling books, and my own gel polish collection to my name.
“There’s definitely someone in the sky looking out for me. I’m blessed!”