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Billionaire Heiress, Tamara Ecclestone On Bringing Luxury To Haircare

People

There's something to be said about the reality TV entrepreneur. We have featured quite a few ladies who have utilized their TV presence to build businesses and leave the limelight behind. Tamara Ecclestone stands apart in her unnerving capabilities to create a brand so glamorous and chic that women are only too enthralled to be buying it en masse.


Ecclestone, formerly of her TV show Billion $$ Girl is the daughter of billionaire Bernie Ecclestone, Formula One Mogul. And yet, instead of relying on her fame for her fortune, Ecclestone has gone out of her way to become a powerhouse female entrepreneur and role model to her three-year-old daughter Sophia. She weighs in on subjects such as breastfeeding and raising children as a working mother on her "Fifi&Friends" blog that she has also managed to turned into a business.

But the real star in her business repertoire is her haircare brand Show Beauty, which has gained respect worldwide for its quality and branding prowess. Sold in a range of stores including Sephora, Harrods and everything in between, Show has managed to stand out in a very saturated haircare market as a burgeoning industry leader.

Below Ecclestone talks with SWAAY about business, motherhood and how her father inspired her to get into the business world.

1. What inspired SHOW?

After years of having my hair styled on photoshoots, I never liked how the products made my hair feel or how the products looked. I realized there was a gap in the market for a luxury haircare line that looked beautiful and worked. I always felt there was something missing when it came to a haircare brand that felt luxurious, so that was the inspiration for SHOW Beauty.

2. How does it differentiate from its competitors?

SHOW Beauty is luxurious, and the products not only work but smell special and look beautiful in your bathroom or handbag. Most luxury haircare brands still look pharmaceutical, but SHOW is something to be displayed, and not hidden away.

3. Describe your business strategy in short - what do you do to stand out in a saturated beauty market?

SHOW Dry allows women to have fabulous hair without having to sit in a salon for hours, and we ensure the experience is as luxurious as possible. We have both signature and express services which allow for very busy schedules alongside early and late opening times to accommodate busy women. We also offer personal iPads at each station and complimentary refreshments and nibbles throughout the appointment.

4. What advice would you give to female entrepreneurs starting up?

Women should believe in themselves and follow their interests. If you are passionate and driven about your career and industry, you are more likely to work harder and go further. I am so passionate about beauty and hair which is why I created the SHOW Beauty brand.

5. Do you plan on remaining in haircare or will you branch further into the beauty business?

We've just launched our Care Collection consisting of shampoos, conditioners and treatment masks which target key concerns in the market including moisture, repair and volume, so we're concentrating on those currently. I'm also very excited to share that we have also launched a new SHOW Dry salon in Manchester UK, and next, I'll be focusing on my new parenting venture, Fifi & Friends.

Tamara Ecclestone

6. Does your father's being in the public eye affect your business?

I've always been inspired by the resounding professional successes of both my parents; my motivation stems directly from my father's fortitude to maximize every opportunity, and my admiration and affection for fashion come from my mother. These family values remain the cornerstone of all my endeavors and I relish the challenges of being a wife and mother, while building on my passion for business and beauty.

7. Briefly describe your morning routine.

I'm an early riser so I wake up around sunrise at my home in Kensington Palace Gardens in London, where I live with my two-year-old daughter, Sophia, and my husband, Jay. First on my agenda is making a cup of green tea. I then check my emails and wait for my daughter to wake up.

As a family we have breakfast together before Jay leaves for work. Then it's mother-daughter time: we laze in the lounge watching cartoons on television, playing games and having cuddles. This is my favorite part of the day – I cherish playing together before the day gets into full swing.

8. Name a business mogul you admire.

My dad gave me a lot of advice when I started SHOW Beauty; it was important for me that he believed in what I was doing.

3 Min Read
Business

Five Essential Lessons to Keep in Mind When You're Starting Your Own Business

"How did you ever get into a business like that?" people ask me. They're confounded to hear that my product is industrial baler wire—a very unfeminine pursuit, especially in 1975 when I founded my company in the midst of a machismo man's world. It's a long story, but I'll try to shorten it.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up—even if it involved a non-glamorous product. I'd been fired from my previous job working to become a ladies' clothing buyer and was told at my dismissal, "You just aren't management or corporate material." My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Over the years, I've learned quite a few tough lessons about how to successfully run a business. Below are five essential elements to keep in mind, as well as my story on how I learned them.

Find A Need And Fill It

I gradually became successful at selling various products, which unfortunately weren't profitable enough to get me off the ground, so I asked people what they needed that they couldn't seem to get. One man said, "Honey, I need baler wire. Even the farmers can't get it." I saw happy dollar signs as he talked on and dedicated myself to figuring out the baler wire industry.

I'd never been interested to enter the "man's" world of business, but when I discovered a lucrative opportunity to become my own boss, I couldn't pass it up.

Now forty-five years later, I'm proud to be the founder of Vulcan Wire, Inc., an industrial baler wire company with $10 million of annual sales.

Have Working Capital And Credit

There were many pitfalls along the way to my eventual success. My daughters and I were subsisting from my unemployment checks, erratic alimony and child-support payments, and food stamps. I had no money stashed up to start up a business.

I paid for the first wire with a check for which I had no funds, an illegal act, but I thought it wouldn't matter as long as I made a deposit to cover the deficit before the bank received the check. My expectation was that I'd receive payment immediately upon delivery, for which I used a rented truck.

Little did I know that this Fortune 500 company's modus operandi was to pay all bills thirty or more days after receipts. My customer initially refused to pay on the spot. I told him I would consequently have to return the wire, so he reluctantly decided to call corporate headquarters for this unusual request.

My stomach was in knots the whole time he was gone, because he said it was iffy that corporate would come through. Fifty minutes later, however, he emerged with a check in hand, resentful of the time away from his busy schedule. Stressed, he told me to never again expect another C.O.D. and that any future sale must be on credit. Luckily, I made it to the bank with a few minutes to spare.

Know Your Product Thoroughly

I received a disheartening phone call shortly thereafter: my wire was breaking. This horrible news fueled the fire of my fears. Would I have to reimburse my customer? Would my vendor refuse to reimburse me?

My customer told me to come over and take samples of his good wire to see if I might duplicate it. I did that and educated myself on the necessary qualities.

My primary goal then was to find a career in which nobody had the power to fire me and that provided a comfortable living for my two little girls and myself.

Voila! I found another wire supplier that had the right specifications. By then, I was savvy enough to act as though they would naturally give me thirty-day terms. They did!

More good news: My customer merely threw away all the bad wire I'd sold him, and the new wire worked perfectly; he then gave me leads and a good endorsement. I rapidly gained more wire customers.

Anticipate The Dangers Of Exponential Growth

I had made a depressing discovery. My working capital was inadequate. After I purchased the wire, I had to wait ten to thirty days for a fabricator to get it reconfigured, which became a looming problem. It meant that to maintain a good credit standing, I had to pay for the wire ten to thirty days before my customers paid me.

I was successful on paper but was incredibly cash deprived. In other words, my exponentially growing business was about to implode due to too many sales. Eventually, my increasing sales grew at a slower rate, solving my cash flow problem.

Delegate From The Bottom Up

I learned how to delegate and eventually delegated myself out of the top jobs of CEO, President, CFO, and Vice President of Finance. Now, at seventy-eight years old, I've sold all but a third of Vulcan's stock and am semi-retired with my only job currently serving as Vice President of Stock and Consultant.

In the interim, I survived many obstacles and learned many other lessons, but hopefully these five will get you started and help prevent some of you from having the same struggles that I did. And in the end, I figured it all out, just like you will.