From setting up the now coveted beauty brand Soap and Glory which was later snapped up by Boots to founding uber comfortable footwear brand FitFlop, Marcia Kilgore is the epitome of a female entrepreneur who’s taking the world by storm. Her latest venture, a new beauty brand going by the name of Beauty Pie, is set to launch later this year and promises to be just (if not more) as exciting.
Here’s how curiosity, sacrificing leisure time and agility got her where she is today…
What are your three biggest achievements?
Alas, I think a few are still coming up (Beauty Pie for starters), but en masse, I can say that I have created businesses that have employed a lot of excellent, talented people, and provided jobs and livelihoods across the globe, that has got to be up there.
How do you keep a balance between everything?
With great difficulty, agility, discipline, lack of sleep, interim bouts with exhaustion, and a complete lack of regard for leisure time. (You know, like any working mum.)
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Take an hour a day that you would have spent watching television (or now YOUTUBE) and practice one or two foreign languages. They’ll come in very handy for you in your career, in your travels, and apparently bilinguals (and trilinguals) have better social empathy. How can you argue with that, right?
If you hadn’t ended up doing your current job, what would be your dream career be?
Certainly I would have liked to be a backup singer for either Ray Charles, or Ike and Tina Turner.
What quality do you look for when hiring a new member of your team?
Curiosity. The ability to balance listening and talking. (Mad talkers don’t learn as quickly as they are too busy talking to listen.) Persistence. Honesty. Down-to-earthness. Openness. Enthusiasm. It’s also a massive plus if someone has excellent grammar and written English (and second language) skills.
What advice would you give someone wanting to emulate your success?
You must prepare yourself to sacrifice a lot of social and leisure time in favour of learning and growing your career, and you have to realize that it’s your choice to do that, and be happy with that choice.
What mistake do you often see people making when they’re climbing the career ladder?
Job hopping. I see it on a lot of young people’s CVS, and it doesn’t give me any confidence to hire them. Someone who has a succession of jobs, none of which has lasted more than 18 months, I speculate, is either always thinking the grass is greener, or always getting made redundant. I hesitate to invest my time in teaching someone that doesn’t want to invest theirs.
Do you have a saying /mantra in life that you swear by?
Absolutely, about a thousand of them. I pull them out of my toolbox as and when needed. Give me a trying situation, I’ll give you a mantra! How about this one for today (borrowed from Seth Godin): ‘You don’t have to wait for anyone to choose you. Choose yourself!’
Who is the woman that inspires/has inspired you the most?
Every day, it’s a different woman. Women are amazing. Today, it’s Ikechi, who has joined our product development department, who just did her first trip to Asia, had the world’s worst case of jet lag, managed to function at high speed for 6 days in a row with a smile on her face despite feeling pretty nauseous, made a brilliant stand up toast to our whole team at a dinner, and, I predict, is just getting started. I love to see a woman take advantage of an opportunity and SPRINT with it.
What makes you feel empowered?
Tackling and jumping the many hurdles that come my way every day. Every little win is empowering. The more you accomplish, the more you know you can. If you don’t know where to start, start with exercise. Be one of the 10% of people who get up in the morning and exercise. You’re already starting the day having bettered the 90% who did not!
Want to find out more about Beauty Pie? Sign up to the newsletter to be the first in the know!