Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Loves

Magazine article Management Today

You Live and You Learn: Jo Malone, Founder of Jo Loves

Article excerpt

My dad was many things: an architect, an artist, a magician and a heavy gambler. I'd get up at 5.30am to help on his market stall, selling his paintings. By night, I was the magician's assistant. I had 12 white rabbits and a pet dove.

I have dyslexia and really struggled at school. I couldn't tell the time until I was 13 and I still can't tell my left from my right. I don't have a single qualification.

When I was in my teens, my mum had a terrible breakdown after my dad left her. She wouldn't speak; she just rocked backwards and forwards. I borrowed my mum's copy of Harry's Cosmeticology and taught myself to make face creams. I didn't understand 99% of it. The 1% I did understand became my career.

I met Gary at Bible school and we got married when I was 21. He's my best friend and an amazing business partner. We ran the company from a tiny flat for 10 years. We opened our first store at 154 Walton Street in 1994.

I've never had a mentor. If you expect other people to make decisions for you, you might as well be in a job. This country needs resilient entrepreneurs, not dependent ones.

After I was diagnosed with breast cancer, my friend said to me: 'Remember you make lemonade from lemons. …

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