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recession

Janice O' Sullivan is the driving force behind the hugely popular Young Nails, and recently launched Sunkiss and Perky's Breast Lift Tape.

With over 13 years in the world of business, the married mum-of-three has her finger on the pulse when it comes to the Irish beauty market.

Developing Young Nails from its embryonic stages into one of the largest nail supply and training companies in Ireland to launching two new products just last year, Janice has made an indelible mark on the Irish beauty scene.

And yet her entrepreneurial journey was not without its obstacles; navigating the recession ultimately forced her to 'think outside the box' when it came to the creation of new products.

"We set up Young Nails 13 years ago. It was my dad’s idea and basically I was off travelling, I came back and he asked me to help him with the business and that’s where it started from," Janice tells SHEmazing as she reflects on her first business.

"I was really enthused. This is what I wanted to do. Once it was started, I was left to do everything else," she laughs.

After building the brand from the ground up, and making a name for herself within the industry, the recession hit, and like countless others, Janice watched helplessly as her business began to suffer due to the economic crash.

"The nail industry was booming back then when the recession kicked in, and the nail industry changed, the style changed. That's when we faced difficulties. Your business went from 100 per cent to 50 per cent overnight literally. People had no money and the nails were the first thing to go."

"It was a good three years after the recession initially hit before the business picked up again," she admitted.

Janice knew that the economic downturn was having catastrophic effects on various businesses around her, and decided to use that time to focus on new ventures.

"Throughout that time, I was thinking I need to think outside the box, think of a new idea to bring the market. I needed to get into pharmacies and look at different avenues that would bring in extra income," she explains.

And that's when the wheels were set in motion for the creation and development of Sunkiss Self Tan and Perky's Breast Lift Tape – both of which were launched last year.

At the beginning of 2016, Janice remembers considering her plans for the products, saying "I had a plan. It’s my year. I’m going to achieve. I knew it was going to be a challenge. But I got there and it was hard, but I’m really really pleased with myself."

"I designed Sunkiss and had a salon solution. That was the thing when I designed it eight years ago.There was nothing tailored to Irish girls. Because our skin tone is very, very pale, I developed Sunkiss with a pink pigment in it. Instead of being orangey, it's a nice tan and it doesn't make you look like you're orange."

"So then this last year I decided to work with pharmacies to extend the business. It’s selling very well. There is a very high demand for the product," she said.

Of Perky's, she says: "I have worked on it for three years. I had everything ready to go with Perky's. Last year, I just needed to focus on design and packaging."

And the businesswoman doesn't intend to stop there.

"The brain is always ticking on and thinking of the next thing. I have notebooks, and any ideas I have, I write it in and tick them off as I do them."

"At night time you’re lying there thinking about things and the following morning you’ll forget, so you have to write down all your ideas and challenge yourself to complete them. I have new products to add to Sunkiss. And for Perkys I'm working on other methods."

Reflecting on her entrepreneurial journey, Janice acknowledges that the recession was a particularly difficult period which forced her to reassess her creative process.

"With Young Nails, it was disheartening how everything went. Young Nails is an established business and a great nail product, and going very well, but it did get very slumped," she admits.

"I did lose a bit of my mojo for business and that’s when I said I need to excite myself and develop new products and new ideas. I needed a new lease of business life."

Having navigated her own way through turbulent times, Janice is well-placed to offer advice to budding entrepreneurs.

"For women: Always follow your dreams. Have self-belief and always go with your gut feeling. There were times when I had gut feelings and I didn’t go with my gut and it was the wrong thing to do," Janice admits.

And if you don't know where to start but can't ignore the business idea that has been swirling around your head for years, Janice insists taking the plunge is the best course of action.

"At the end of the day everyone starts off with no money. Take the risk, if you need to go get the loan, get the loan!"

"There was a risk taken with Young Nails as it was my first business venture, but from that I was able to develop all the other products. It might seem daunting at the start; things take times, money wise, you need money to invest in things."

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Despite providing essential, often life-saving services within our health system, newly-qualified nurses in this country face low starting salaries and increasingly tough working-conditions.

Understandably, the Irish Nurses And Midwives Organisation is now desperately appealing to the government to improve pay, hours, staffing levels, and post graduate opportunities.

But while unions and politicians remain embattled, ordinary, hard-working nurses are struggling – sometimes desperately so.

Indeed, recently one nurse felt compelled to take to a Facebook page that offers support to those working in the industry.

In a powerfully penned post that has now garnered significant traction online, the unnamed mother makes her compelling argument for pay restoration – whereby the penalties inflicted on the public service sector by Troika-led austerity are eased or abolished.

The nurse has chosen to remain anonymous in order to protect her husband and children; here is an extract from her post

I, like thousands of others, went to college for four years and got my nursing degree.

I got married to a tradesman. We got a mortgage for a three bedroomed house and we had two children. 

We could pay for our mortgage. We had one family holiday a year. We had two cars. Neither of us had new cars but the cars we bought got us to our jobs and back home again. 

We lived a normal life. Nothing fancy. But we got by. Then the banks and the government decided to gamble with our lives. My husband lost his job in the crash. 

And I was forced to take on all the bills including the mortgage. 

It was tough but I did OK. We sold my husband’s car for €3,000. We tightened our belts. 

Then the government decided to punish us even further for their mistakes. They introduced USC. Again we tightened our belts even further. My husband was getting the odd job here and there but his weekly wage was gone. We were struggling to get by.

Gone was the yearly holiday. Gone were the day trips away. Gone was the monthly night out for the two of us.

As if that wasn't enough punishment the government decided that because I'm a nurse, I must pay PRD (Pension Related Deduction). A tax that was only to be introduced as an emergency tax but for some reason we are still being forced to pay. 

We were already at rock bottom… but that destroyed us. Santa suddenly hadn't got a lot of money. Toys were second hand from charity shops. Food was bargain basement end of life food. And our mortgage? I just can't pay it any longer.

I try to pay some money off it but the money that I used to pay for the mortgage is now going to pay USC and PRD. Anything I have left is going on paying for heating, electricity and the kids’ food and schooling. Our heating is one fire in the sitting room and hot water bottles. 

And now the banks have decided that they're going to take our home. They're going to leave us homeless. I've tried to talk to them but they don't want to know. 

I've tried to come to a deal with them to pay off as much as I can but it isn't good enough. They are completely heartless. They want the house. 

We are now going through the repossession courts desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, our little family home. 

I'm used to being verbally and physically abused in my job. I'll never get used to the ward being constantly short staffed and always overcrowded though. Every working day is a nightmare but it's not as tough as constantly going hungry everyday and coming home to see my husband a shadow of his former self.

We were once just a normal couple going about our simple lives and now we are a very broken couple who are desperately trying to save the last thing we have left, the roof over our heads. 

And has our government even tried to help us save our home? Not at all. In fact they haven't even tried to stop the courts from taking our home at all and yet they are responsible for our home being taken from us.  

Have they tried to restore our pay? No. Instead they are trying to lay the blame at our feet that if they restore any of our pay that we will put this country into another recession. How dare they.

They talk about recovery non stop. What recovery? The only ones I see in recovery are the banks and all the self serving politicians! 

Not one of them have tried to help us and yet they're happy enough to hand themselves pay rises of €5,000 each. They make me want to vomit. None of them care. Not one of them. 

I'm a nurse. I'm no longer a proud nurse. I'm well and truly broken and I don't think I'll ever live a normal life again. 

I'm in tears writing this. My heart is just broken. We can't take much more. 

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Knocked Up star Katherine Heigl admits she hasn’t made  that much money in the past few years.

The former Grey’s Anatomy actress is starring in an upcoming independent film Jenny’s Wedding but the filming won’t be going ahead if it doesn’t reach its $150,000 target by 28th March.

So far it has only reached $32,311 and when asked by TMZ if she could help them out, Heigl replied: “I haven’t made that much in the last few years, man. I gotta support my family.”

Unfortunately, if this movie doesn’t go ahead it won’t be the first flop for the star. In 2013, Heigl starred in The Big Wedding which failed to earn big bucks, even though it had a pretty good cast including Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Robin Williams and Susan Sarandon. Her 2012 flick One for The Money also flopped and rumours had it that the 35-year-old was difficult to work with.

Katherine claims to have earned $12 million in 2010 for her role in Life As We Know It but things seemed to have gone downhill since then; however, she will be joining the cast of CIA in NBC’s upcoming drama so hopefully things are on the up.

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