Queen of luxury fragrance Jo Malone will be speaking from personal experience when she takes to the stage, having developed her first business, selling handmade scents and products, into an iconic brand that was eventually bought by one of the world’s largest cosmetics brands, Estée Lauder.
Like many successful entrepreneurs Jo had a natural aptitude for business that was apparent from an early age. As a child she made her own perfumes from flowers picked from her garden and mixed this with grated soap.
Drawn to the world of beauty and fragrances she went on to work as a florist by day and gave facials and beauty treatments at her home in the evenings. Her real skill lay in her remarkable ability to blend unusual ingredients and fragrances to create unique scents; the foundations of her first business that became synonymous with luxury, glamour and indulgence.
She opened retail outlets – including a flagship store in London's Sloane Street – and in 1999 the business was bought by Estée Lauder. For the next seven years Jo continued to oversee the company’s growth and development as chairwoman and creative director.
Sensing that it was time for a change, she sold the company in its entirety to Estée Lauder, and began planning her next venture, but not before her services to the beauty industry were recognised when she was awarded an MBE in 2008.
What she really wanted to do was focus on helping other entrepreneurs and small business owners realise their ambitions. Having built a successful business from scratch Jo had the requisite business skills and experience to front the BBC TV series ‘High Street Dreams’ aimed at helping small businesses realise their dreams of trading on the great British high street. The show went on to help establish six new British Brands.
But the five years she had spent away from the fragrance design and development business had done nothing to curb her own entrepreneurial spirit, and in 2011 she was ready to start creating again, and came up with her new global brand, Jo LOVES, with its range of fragrances that she says have been inspired and created from the heart.
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