Amy Childs is known for her love of spray tans, all things pink and inventing the vajazzle on The Only Way is Essex.
With over 670,000 followers, Amy has certainly rose to fame having starred on Celebrity Big Brother and Towie!
But Amy, former star of TOWIE, is now well on her way to finding further fame and fortune.In fact Amy, who once earned just £20 a day working in a beauty salon, has almost made her first million.
Not bad for a girl with chronic dyslexia who left school with just one GCSE.
“Oh my god, it’s true, I am not far off becoming a millionaire,” giggles Amy, 21. “I hate talking about money, it feels a bit, y’know, flash but I am doing well.
“I’ve got my own clothing line, my own tan and false eyelash range. I’ve just opened my own beauty salon, and I’ve got my own TV show. It’s mad when you think I am severely dyslexic.”
Amy was four when she was diagnosed with the condition, which makes reading and writing difficult. “I struggled all the way through school and was always playing catch-up,” she says.
“But my mum and dad were determined it wouldn’t hold me back. They went without nights out and holidays so I could have private tuition. It gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
“I only got one GCSE, a B for my French, because I could speak it better than I could write it. But when I started working in a beauty salon at 15, everyone said I was a natural. If I put my mind to something, then I do it.
“Now I am older I have become better, but my main problem is memory. I still find it hard if I’m presenting to remember my lines exactly, but its OK because I like putting it in my own words.”
Amy adds: “I’d say to anyone with dyslexia, just keep working hard and don’t let it affect you. Look at Richard Branson. He’s dyslexic and he’s done all right.
“I’m working so hard now to pay mum and dad back in some way for everything they’ve sacrificed for me.
“Some think I’m this spoiled, ditzy girl who found fame on a reality show but I’m actually a trained beautician. Now I’ve got my own salon, I can call myself a businesswoman. I’ve hired all the staff, organised the training days and chosen the colours for the interior design.
“Ever since I was 10 I’ve dreamed of having my own business. I want to show I’m not just a pretty face who sits in a salon vajazzling all day.”
Amy Childs launches her salon at in Brentwood (Pic: Getty Images)
Amy knows she has been lucky. “I pinch myself every day,” she squeals. “I can earn up to £20k a day now but I was still as happy earning £20 a day in my first job in a beauty salon.
“I was a Saturday girl and I worked from 8.30 to 6.30 making the cups of tea, talking to the ladies and booking treatments. I loved it and would have done it for nothing.
“Now I am richer than I ever believed, but I will always be Amy Childs from Essex, not Amy Childs, the millionaire. I’ll be the same whether I’ve got one million or three million pounds in the bank.”
Amy has treated herself to a new white Range Rover with an “AMY22” number plate. “It’s all white,” she says. “But you should see the inside. There’s fake tan ALL over the seats.
“But I love a nice car and I want spinning rims on the wheels. My mum say it’ll look too tacky but nothing is too tacky in Essex. I’d love diamonds on them as well. And I want blue neon lights. Mum reckons that will look chavvy but I’m going to go for it.
“I’ve also bought myself some gorge Mulberry and Chloe bags and I treated my mum to a Gucci one. I’ve said to my dad that I’ll buy him a nice new van but he wants to drive my Range Rover!”
Her mum Julie and dad Billy both had a tough upbringing in London’s East End. Her dad never went to school and by 13 he was working on a market stall and started selling flowers. He now has two pitches and three shops. Amy’s mum went to hairdressing college and eventually became manager of a salon.
“My mum and dad worked 24/7 when I was growing up so they could give me and my brother Billy the best in life,” says Amy. “Now I want to do everything for them. I’m treating them and Billy, who’s 23, and me nan to a holiday in Barbados this Christmas. We’re going five star deluxe.
“I still live at home, even though I could afford my own place now. But mum and dad totally look after me. I can’t cook to save my life!” Amy, who is returning with her own beauty slot on ITV’s This Morning, is setting her sights on becoming a breakfast TV presenter. And with the news that Christine Bleakley has been axed from Daybreak, could she be the person to brighten up our mornings?
“Oh my god, that would be amazing,” shrieks Amy. “I think Christine has done a fantastic job and I’m well jel of the fact she is dating Frank Lampard too. He is seriously fit.
“But they talk quite a bit about politics on Daybreak and I ain’t got a clue about that, so I think I would struggle. Although I would definitely bring the fun and glamour element.” Amy admits she has cut back on the spray tans for fear of looking “too orange”. She says: “I only have them once a week now. There are times when I have looked well orange and it’s not a good look.
“Everywhere I go I leave a trail of fake tan. I’ve even got it on the wallpaper in my bedroom and I got it all over a white dress that I wore for dinner the other week.”
Amy was the first major TOWIE character to quit the show, but has no regrets. “No way. It has been the best thing for me. I’m the Robbie Williams of TOWIE – the first to leave. But I might be back. People want me to slate the show but I wouldn’t be here now if it wasn’t for TOWIE. I didn’t get a chance to watch the last series properly but sometimes I think they needed a bit of Amy Childs vajazzle back in there.”
Yet life in the public eye has not been without its pitfalls. “Most people I meet are really positive towards me but I have had vicious comments from girls in the street. The other day these girls were going, ‘Who are you? You’re a Z-lister and a wannabe.’ But those girls are just jel, although I’ve now got a security guard.”
Three months ago Amy split up with her stockbroker boyfriend Joe Hurlock after nine months of dating. “I was really upset when we split, but in the end I didn’t have time to see him as my career got in the way,” she says. “But you never know we might get back together.”
So who would Amy like to get her hands on? “The actor Tom Hardy is gorgeous,” she says. “I met him on Alan Carr’s show and he gave me a kiss on the cheek. I didn’t wash my spray tan off for days after that. If he came in my salon now, I’d definitely give him a Pejazzle and a back, sac and crack wax.”
And she is still in love with Essex. “It is an amazing place and the people are lovely but a lot of Essex girls do only care about their appearance and the majority of them are all botoxed up to the max and like their fake tan,” laughs Amy.
“All they think about is themselves and I like to think I am different from a lot of them as it’s not about how you look.
“I’ve had botox and a boob job but there’s more to me than that. I’m a good laugh, determined, successful and a great businesswoman, I’m 100 per cent honey!”
We caught up with Amy recently at Markmeets and she told us about her new salon and calendar and by the sounds of it, she could be the new but more popular Katie Price!
Oh... she also told us she spends over £1000 a month on pizza!!