‘Passion, creativity, and resilience are the most crucial skills in business. If you’ve got those, you’re ready to embark on the journey’
Jo Malone, one of Britain’s most successful female entrepreneurs, has exemplified passion, creativity and resilience throughout her life.
Malone, who grew up in a council house in Bexleyheath, South East London, had severe dyslexia and left school aged just 13 to care for her mother, who had suffered a stroke. However, she was also messing around with scents and smells, using the family cheese grater to flake soap to make childhood versions of her famous candles (“The cauliflower cheese the next day always tasted funny” she told the Daily Telegraph).
Malone began her career as a beauty therapist and would send homemade nutmeg and ginger bath oils as thank yous to clients. They loved them so much that her husband Gary quit his job as a surveyor to help her open her first Jo Malone shop in Chelsea in 1994. Her creativity showed itself in how she simplified he scents, which only had one or two notes in contrast to most complex fragrances. Her brand was picked up by Bergdorf Goodman in New York and Estée Lauder bought the company for millions of pounds in 1999.
Having parted ways with Estée Lauder in 2006, Jo Malone set up shop again in 2011, launching her new brand Jo Loves. In 2013 she opened the first Jo Loves store in Belgravia, where she is often on-hand, sharing her passion for fragrance.