Summit 2018: ThePropertyStagers - Our Journey
Olivia Conlon left school at 17 and knew what she wanted to do, start her own business. Now 19, ThePropertyStagers currently operate throughout the UK, furnishing around 300 properties per year. Olivia shares our entrepreneurial journey with us and what she has learned so far...
Hi, it’s Olivia Conlon here, I’m 19 years old and I own and run a Property Staging Business based in Glasgow called ThePropertyStagers. We currently operate throughout the UK, furnishing around 300 properties per year.
My entrepreneurial story started when I was 13 & I started my first business. I imported goods (nails foils) and sold them online. I realised that I never wanted to work for anyone else, and left school at 16, despite being told by teachers I would never succeed at such a young age, that no one would take me seriously.
I started ThePropertyStagers when I was 17 & I have been building the business & brand over the last 2 years. My journey began when my mum & I attended a property course, and decided we would buy & sell properties. Our first property was on the market for 3 months it didn't sell. I knew about staging as a concept & looked to engage a staging service. I couldn’t find anyone who offered this service at an affordable price so I decided to stage the property myself. In three days it sold above the valuation, selling the furniture with a nice healthy profit…and so ThePropertyStagers was born.
Now that I had spotted a gap in the market, I networked like crazy to get myself in front of the movers/shakers in the industry and very soon I got my first client and the rest is history. I started the business without any start up money/marketing funds & through my people skills, creative eye and attention to detail I built the business. The majority of our work comes through referrals, as we pride myself ourselves in providing clients with top class service and flexibility.
We have now expanded into furnishing properties nationwide, with ten staff members. We furnish everything from properties for sale, HMO’s to serviced accommodation. There are no other company like ours in the market. We pride ourselves in making every property unique & we do this through providing original artwork, handpicked lamps/accessories & imported soft furnishings.
One of the most exciting things that has happened for me, is that my mum left her company to join me a year ago. I love working with my best friend everyday. ThePropertyStagers is now on track to turn over £1m per year, which I’m really proud of given the business is so young.
I am often asked what I owe the fast expansion and success to? I think it is because I’m a risk taker, I love taking an idea and seeing it through all of the stages from idea to implementation to finished article & beyond!
Young people in Scotland & nationwide need to know that there are lots of options when you leave school apart from going onto University. One of them being an entrepreneur. It can be a scary thought & at first quite daunting, but building a business, particularly in a subject you love will be the best decision you ever make. As one of my favourite quotes says “Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life” - Confucius