Nicola Gunby and her boyfriend Jason Iliffe didn't know what they wanted to do with their lives, so they packed their bags and travelled the world.
Their plan was to work out their next step while exploring different corners of the globe – but they had no idea they would dream up the perfect business plan while lying on the beach in sunny Australia.
During their trip make-up artist Nicola struggled to find clients as they didn't know anyone in the cities they visited, which got her thinking.
The couple came up with a website which allows professional hairdressers and beauticians to create online profiles where potential customers can book them for work.
Their site works in a similar style to Treatwell, however it connects customers to freelance and mobile beauticians rather than salons.
Nicola told Mirror Online: "I realised how hard it was to get work without knowing anybody. I was really struggling.
"We had to make our own friends, we didn't know anyone. I found it really hard to get myself out there.
"I thought it would be amazing if I could put myself online so people could book me.
"We saw a gap in the market and thought why not just go for it."
They did all the work while they were away so were ready to hit the ground running when they landed back in the UK.
Fitting the preparations around their travel plans, they spent about four months getting everything ready.
"We were literally on a beach in Sri Lanka designing the website.
"We knew it was going to be hard but it really took off."
Allure Me Beauty launched just days before they came home, and they knew early doors they were onto a winner when they had 200 sign ups in the first day.
"We knew it was going to work, which was just amazing.
"There was no Plan B, it was a case of just go for it. It really worked for us."
And since then things have gone from strength to strength, and they now have 2,000 professionals on their books.
Jason has a degree in event management and business while Nicola's experience in the industry means she knows what professionals and clients want – making Allure the perfect business for them.
Nicola said: "I know what people want.
"We combine both of our ideas together.
"We've got different ideas but we both know what our goal is in the long run.
"It's been a whirlwind. It's been crazy but in the last three of four months we've seen a big bang. Before it was slow and steady and we weren't sure what was happening but now everything has come together.
"I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do do when I went travelling, it really opened our eyes to the opportunities in the world."
But Nicola admits that working so closely with her boyfriend was a daunting concept.
She said: "It was scary but when we were travelling we were together 24/7.
"It can be tough working so closely together but it is rewarding.
"We knew we wanted to do something. We knew we didn't want to go home and get a job.
"We both knew we wanted to work for ourselves.
"We've both really passionate as well, which really helps."
They also provide services for corporate events, influencer parties and fashion shows and run their own masterclasses.
The couple are currently in the process of redesigning their website and booking system to make sure they can continue to cope with increasing demand.
And their next step? To turn their UK company into a global name.
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