From McDonald's to Millionaire: Hartlepool glamour model Chelsea Ferguson's journey to sex industry success
A Hartlepool glamour model is now the owner of a multi-million pound business which she hopes tackles the wrongs of the sex industry.
Chelsea Ferguson, of Hartlepool, is the owner of AdmireMe.VIP – a subscription-based social media platform which has turned over £12million in just under two years.
As a sex worker who was angered by the way women in the industry were being treated like ‘a piece of meat’, the business developed from Chelsea’s determination to tackle the issue herself.
And despite her success, she’s continued to support her community – donating thousands of pounds to many different causes and raising more than £10,000 for her home town's soup kitchen.
But it hasn’t been a simple road to success.
Now, the 31-year-old businesswoman has told her story, from starting off her working life with long shifts as a McDonald’s server to running a successful online platform.
Chelsea first entered a strip club while studying performing arts at Sheffield Hallam University and instantly made the decision to start stripping.
She said: “It sounds cheesy, but I really felt I’d found my calling in life. A job I loved doing, being paid more than I could ever imagine - and I was actually good at.”
Despite being subjected to a lot of ‘grief’ online, Chelsea said she always kept a brave face when dealing with trolls.
In less than a year, her Snapchat profile – Sedgy Fergo – had four million followers too.
But when the platform decided to suddenly remove pornographic accounts, Chelsea travelled the world being paid thousands for nightclub and PA appearances.
Around this time, her mum, Anne, was diagnosed with cancer and lost her battle with the disease just 18 months later.
Chelsea says it was a ‘devastating and life-changing moment’ but it paved the way for a different future for her.
Taking a step back from social media and appearances, Chelsea began working every night at a local strip club and says keeping busy was her way of coping with the loss of her beloved mum.
The once sought after party lifestyle was replaced with thoughts and plans of a future business.
And as the popularity of pay per view porn grew, Chelsea was angered by other platforms’ lack of acknowledgement of their content creators in the adult industry who instead pushed them away like they were the ‘seedy underworld’.
After hearing the frustrations of several women, Chelsea set about planning her own business which she hoped would ‘right all the wrongs’ in the industry.
Around two years ago, Chelsea created AdmireMe.VIP which prides itself as a platform made by a sex worker for sex workers.
The 31-year-old added: “We have an amazing sense of community with the models on our platform, all supporting each other through their journeys.”