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.
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.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.