THE STYLE EDIT’s Jenny Taggart chats with award winning blogger turned businesswoman, Suzanne Jackson – the brains behind one of Ireland’s leading fashion, beauty and lifestyle blogs SoSueMe.ie
Where were you born and raised?
I was born in Holles Street Hospital in Dublin, and I was raised in a small seaside town in North Dublin called Skerries. I love that I got to grow up in a place that always felt so safe. I had a great childhood in Skerries – everyone knows everyone there and they always look out for each other.
At what point in your life did you realise that you possessed entrepreneurial skills?
I think it’s something that has always naturally been there, as I always knew in the back of my mind that I would run a business someday. When I progressed into the beauty therapy industry, I dreamed of having my own product range. Entrepreneurship is something I always gravitated towards.
Were you a high achiever at school?
I wasn’t academic and I was never a grade A student but I was always a very hard worker and I gave everything 100%. My strengths lay in the more creative subjects such as art. I always had a good imagination as well – my English teacher Mr Higgins, would tell my mam that he loved reading my short stories because I had an amazing imagination and my stories were always so different to everyone else’s.
What career path did you take after secondary school?
After secondary school I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I suppose I was a little bit of a job bunny in that I hopped through various jobs. Thankfully all of those jobs contributed to where I am today. I learned something from each and every job I was in – whether it was in fashion, the beauty industry, or the corporate world. Everything I experienced in those jobs has contributed to where I am today.
What inspired you to start blogging?
I set up SoSueMe back in the summer of 2010 because I realised there was a gap in the market. I loved reading international blogs, but there weren’t any Irish ones at that point, so I decided to set one up myself. At the time I was working as an office manager in a radio group, and because it was a media environment, every day was fun and exciting. Celebrities were a common sight in the office, and invitations to film premieres and after-parties were plentiful. One day it occurred to me that I had great content for a blog. This was what I call my ‘lightbulb moment’! It was at that moment SoSueMe was born and it’s been going from strength to strength ever since.
‘One day it occurred to me that I had great content for a blog. This was what I call my ‘lightbulb moment’!’
As Piers Morgan’s Twitter bio states, ‘One day you’re cock of the walk, the next a feather duster’ – do you believe this to be true when it comes to ‘Instafame’ and fortune?
Absolutely, but it doesn’t just apply to Insta-fame, I think it can apply to life in general. For me, that quote reinforces how important it is to work hard and not become complacent. Like my mam says, it’s hard to get to the top but it’s even harder to stay there. That’s why I continue to work so hard. I don’t take what I have for granted.
It seems everyone is a blogger these days. Is the industry getting old and how do you remain unique?
It is a saturated market at the moment, there is no denying that, but I feel that those who are in it for the right reasons will continue to do well and make a career out of blogging.
Do you feel pressured to look good all the time?
Not at all. I regularly go on Snapchat and Insta Stories without a scrap of makeup on. I don’t feel pressured at all. You have to be comfortable in your own skin as much as possible. No one looks good 100% of the time.
How would you describe your personal style?
It varies depending on my mood. I do love tailored, classic looks though. I think one of my go to outfits would be high-waisted jeans and a nice shirt. I’m a big fan of monochrome, but then there are days when I might wear something completely different. For instance, recently I wore a fab floral dress from Nasty Gal which had a real 70’s vibe about it. So as you can see, it does vary. In terms of high street brands, I love Zara, Primark, River Island, H&M, Mango, and like most fashion lovers, I’m also a big lover of online retailers such as Pretty Little Thing, Nasty Gal and Missguided. In terms of fashion designers, I love Umit Kutluk, Chanel, Christian Louboutin, Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Who’s your ultimate style icon?
Olivia Culpo, definitely. She always gets it so right. I love her super chic, elegant style. She is definitely a huge inspiration when it comes to my own style.
What has been your biggest fashion faux pas?
Years back, not long after I left school, I applied for a job in an office. When I was called for the interview, I wore the kind of outfit that I thought was the regular office style because of what I had seen on TV. I don’t know what part of the attire was worse, the fishnet tights or the red leather gloves! I looked like someone who had stepped off the Pearl Harbour movie set.
You’ve travelled the globe as an international blogger, where is your favourite destination so far?
It would have to be the Maldives. We got engaged there in 2015 and it was the most perfect, most romantic, and most memorable moment ever.
If you could choose a road trip anywhere in the world, where would you go and who would you take with you?
I would take my husband Dylan. I would love to road trip across Italy or the south of France during the summer – either of those places would be incredibly beautiful. I imagine Switzerland would be another stunning place to take a road trip.
Was it difficult choosing a location for your wedding?
Not really because we had the expertise of Joanne Kennedy and Patrick Bennett from Gotcha Covered behind us. Joanne knew exactly what Dylan and I had in mind for our big day, so she was able to guide us on which venues to look at. We saw some stunning locations, but Powerscourt was the one for us! It was exactly what we were looking for. Gotcha Covered completely transformed the area with their décor and it was like a fairytale in the end.
What were the biggest highlights of your wedding day?
The whole day really was one big highlight. It was everything we imagined and more! Moments such as stepping into my dress, travelling to the church with my dad, walking up the aisle, seeing Dylan at the altar – they are all such special moments that I will treasure forever. After the church, Dylan surprised me with a helicopter trip to Powerscourt in Wicklow which was incredible! There were so many things, big and small, throughout the day that were just amazing highlights for us both! We genuinely wish we could relive that day over again!
If you could choose three famous guests for an intimate ‘all secrets revealed’ dinner soirée, who would you choose and why?
Victoria Beckham, for all her business and style secrets. Secondly, Mark Wahlberg – I love him as an actor, but I would have him as a dinner guest so I could ask him about his life before he hit Hollywood and how he completely turned things around for himself. He would have an incredible story. For my third dream guest, I’m going to choose someone who is no longer living: Marilyn Monroe. She would definitely have a few secrets to tell!
Favourite restaurant and what would you order?
Hakkasan Restaurant. My favourite dish from there has to be the Chilean sea bass
It depends on my mood. I love The Power of the Subconscious Mind by Dr Joseph Murphy, but I also love a good novel, like Melissa Hill’s Please Forgive Me. I recently listened to the audiobook of The Great Gatsby and it was so good.
What are your top three beauty products?
Like every female, my favourites do change, but at the moment I am loving:
- Huda Beauty #FauxFilter Foundation. It is new to the market and I personally love it because I think it suits dry skin like mine, but I think if you have oily skin, it might not be suitable.
- MAC Ruby Woo Lipstick. I wore this a good bit when I was in Dubai recently and I got so many questions about it.
- My SOSU by SJ Fake Lashes. My eyelids are pretty much bald so my lashes are a definite must!
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Ambitious, determined, and kind.
How to you like to unwind?
I love going to the cinema. I switch off my phone and immerse myself in the film. Then there are times when I love nothing more than having our friends over for some nibbles and drinks before heading into town. Without fail though, the one surefire way I unwind is cuddling up with our doggies and enjoying a pizza while we watch a good movie.
What else is in the pipeline for Suzanne Jackson going forward?
We have lots of things happening; the year has already started off with a bang. I am so proud to announce that we have collaborated with a huge UK celeb, Lauren Pope, on a three piece lash collection. It has always been a dream of mine to have my brand collaborate with a leading UK celeb and now it’s a dream come true. Working with Lauren was absolutely amazing and it has been a really fun collaboration. My new tan is also out this year and that’s just one of many surprises we’ve got coming from SOSUbySJ! In terms of SoSueMe, we redesigned the site in October last year and I’m very confident that 2018 is going to be as equally amazing for SoSueMe as it will be for SOSUbySJ!
So Sue Me!
Ireland’s Leading Online Fashion, Beauty & Lifestyle Blog
- Over 1 Million Monthly Readers
- SERMO Most Influential Irish Blogger
- Publicly voted ‘Ireland’s Most Stylish Woman’ in the prestigious VIP Style Awards
Sister Company www.sosubysj.com