A Troy College alumna is making her mark via her personal beauty business, referred to as Upgrades.

Conleigh Gilmore began her training on the College of Alabama as a public relations main, however transferred to TROY in 2014 after having the distinction of representing Pike County at Miss Nationwide Peanut Pageant.

After graduating with a level in Broadcast Journalism from TROY in 2016, Gilmore moved to Cellular, Alabama, for a full-time place in advertising and marketing, in addition to a part-time place as a make-up artist for Iredale Mineral Cosmetics.

Gilmore’s love for make-up started on the age of 4 when she and her grandmother would spend hours attempting completely different lipsticks and shades of eyeshadow.

“In highschool, I labored as a gross sales affiliate for Glow, a beauty boutique which nonetheless sits in the identical downtown location,” Gilmore stated. “At the moment, Glow carried six or seven manufacturers of make-up.

“My favourite days have been when model representatives got here to show us concerning the merchandise’ components, greatest practices and sanitation pointers. My love for make-up remodeled to a love for serving to different ladies really feel their greatest.”

In 2019, Gilmore discovered herself uncertain of her profession path.

It was when Gilmore moved again to Troy, Alabama, that her future started to look slightly clearer.

“I knew I may do two issues very properly and with little funding to outlive: make-up and spray tanning,” Gilmore stated.

In October 2019, Gilmore obtained her business license and her firm Upgrades was fashioned.

“I took out a small mortgage to purchase a tanning machine and different provides and sprayed my first shopper the subsequent day,” Gilmore stated. “My shopper walked nearer to her mirror, testing her freshly tanned physique when she turned and stated ‘Oh my god, I really feel superb!’

“My coronary heart fluttered. She was already superb.”

Alongside along with her new business, Gilmore started her journey to grow to be a licensed esthetician, however upon paying again her very first mortgage, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic started.

Shortly after mandated shutdowns started, Instagram grew to become Gilmore’s supply of inspiration.

“We grew to become a neighborhood of help for one another,” Gilmore stated. “It was essentially the most unbelievable motion I’ve ever been part of.”

Gilmore made it her mission to help small companies by sharing content material and doing clothes try-on periods for native boutiques, all whereas working her personal.

“It’s my hope that women and men will be impressed by my story to dream greater, regardless of the challenges life repeatedly brings,” Gilmore stated. “I’d wish to let you recognize that you’re lovely and succesful.

“There are such a lot of individuals cheering for you, silently. You will be supported. You have got each useful resource to construct the life you need, and I’m right here that will help you in any manner I can.”

In early January, Gilmore was Miss Troy USA, representing the town on the Miss Alabama USA competitors, and completed throughout the high 16 contestants.

Gilmore says essentially the most empowering a part of the expertise was assembly ladies from throughout the state with a starvation to unfold “an analogous power of hope.”

“I used to enter competitions questioning if I used to be ok to carry the title, evaluating myself to different contestants and permitting a foul consequence to steer me down a path of questioning my very own self-worth,” Gilmore stated. “I do know now, via life’s mountains and valleys, I will love myself and really feel happy with my work and dedication to my targets.”

Gilmore is now an authorized esthetician and is working part-time at a medical spa in Montgomery whereas working Upgrades.

Gilmore’s personal model of tanning merchandise is about to launch in March.

On her Instagram accounts, Gilmore shares skincare recommendation, make-up methods and tannings ideas to assist individuals of all ages and tones.

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