Mark was working at a salon in Poole, England as an in-house trichologist (basically a scalp doctor, except you don’t have to go to med school to be one). He turned his bedroom into a lab, putting his hustle on display and hand-making natural hair products for clients on the side (let's go). Slowly but surely, he became the largest supplier of products for a popular retail chain called "The Body Shop". His manufacturing company grew. After 7 years, he was doing nearly $1 mil in annual revenue...
But it didn't last. Eventually, Mark decided he wanted to open his own cosmetics store. He did it secretly. Big mistake. The Body Shop founder and CEO caught wind of his venture and took it as betrayal. Mark's secret store didn't work out, but the damage was done. With their business relationship on the rocks, The Body Shop offered to buy out Mark's manufacturing company for millions.
He took the deal. But instead of retiring, he chose to start another company. He used the money from his buy-out to start Cosmetics To Go. The company was a flop, leaving him with no job, 3 kids, 2 mortgages, and $45,000 dollars in his pocket. At one point, Mark's seven-year-old son even pulled him aside and asked him, “Dad, shouldn't you get a proper job?”. He told his son he had a unique skill set, and if he could market it, then he could make it work.
And he did. He regrouped and restarted with the $45k. He named the new cosmetics brand Lush. He started by selling bath bombs (which Lush actually invented), shampoo bars, and massage bars. Lush opened its first store in Poole, England in 1995.
They built the company up, turning it into the behemoth that it is today. They're sustainable. All products are still handmade. They take good care of their employees. And they have a big focus on philanthropy (see their product Charity Pot, of which all of the revenues are donated to charity). They hit over a billion in revenue in 2017.
Relentless. Fire us up, Mark.
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