Investing in creativity

Perfumer Jo Malone’s fighting second chance

Jo Malone is an English “scent maverick” responsible for creating some of the world’s most loved fragrances. After selling one extremely successful business to Estee Lauder and beating cancer, Malone created Jo Loves, a second multimillion-dollar global brand with groundbreaking innovations in scent-making. Many accolades followed, including one from the Queen of England; Malone was also named a Dreamer on the NRF Foundation’s The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future 2019.

On this episode of Retail Gets Real, Malone discusses her Jo Loves brand and how she is changing the way the world wears fragrance — for a second time.

Growing up with artist parents who encouraged her to invest in creativity, Malone discovered her talent for mixing fragrances at an early age. She launched her first brand, Jo Malone London, in 1994 from her kitchen and quickly gained global cult popularity. “It’s a very lonely road to success when you’re building something,” she says, “but then, you start to gather an army.”

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When life struck a blow with cancer, Malone kept fighting, moving to New York to get chemotherapy treatments. In 2011, after rediscovering her talent and passion for combining natural ingredients to create scents, Malone launched Jo Loves, pioneering entertaining experiences and new products that seem counter-intuitive like the Fragrance Paintbrush and Fragrance Graffiti body spray.

Passion in the product was Malone’s key to building the businesses, and resilience kept her going in the face of adversity. “I’ve heard ‘no’ more times in my life than I’ve heard ‘yes’,” Malone says, “but I’ve always chosen to find a different way. ... Suddenly, you look around you, and you think, ‘I made a difference. My voice counted.’”

Listen to the episode for Malone’s inspiring success story, and check out more stories from retail’s leaders.

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