It all started with a dream. A dream about having really, really white teeth.
At just 19 years old, Alison Egan awoke inspired to start her own teeth whitening business after a strangely prophetic dream that she had amazing teeth.
But while many of us dismiss our dreams as nothing more than fantasy, Egan was determined to make that vision a reality.
“I went to work the next day, looked up teeth whitening and I couldn’t afford it. It was just way too expensive at the dentist,” Egan told Your Money Live.
That prompted her to look at starting her own business. And after a lot of begging, she managed to convince her parents she could make it work.
“Mum said ‘I’ll give you the money, however, it must be back before Dad sees it’.”
Egan kept that promise to pay back what she borrowed each month by continuing her full-time job as a nurse and learning what she could about teeth whitening on the side.
“Being in the nursing industry and working in a hospital, I actually had some connections. I actually went and talked to a dentist and said ‘Can you help me out with teeth whitening?’… And he helped me out and showed me what to do.”
Four years later and her business Sparkling White Smile has turned into a multi-million dollar business that serves more than 2,000 customers a week.
Like other beauty-focused start-ups, Sparkling White Smile built a name for itself through social media, employing the likes of Sydney socialite Roxy Jacenko and other top influencers to be the face of the brand.
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“[Previously] I wasn’t a social media fanatic at all, I didn’t really know it very well… I just literally started posting before and after [photos]… I didn’t even know when to post, what to post,” she said.
Today she admits she has a finely honed social media strategy together with a marketing team, that has helped to build the 56,000 plus followers on Instagram.
She hopes to expand beyond Australia next year.
To find out more, watch the full interview with Egan in the video above.