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This Woman Made Millions in the Fragrance Business -- With a Little Help from the Duchess of York

Jo Malone grew up in South-East London where she learned how to give facials, and with her mother, made face creams in their kitchen. Things went well for them; they even launched their own skin care clinic. Then everything changed.
Going it alone

Malone's mother suffered a stroke that changed her personality, and Malone's life. She found herself in a situation where she had to go it alone. She had only 12 customers, but one was the Dutchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. She was not just a customer but a friend. She invited Malone to her wedding to Prince Andrew, and later invited her to Buckingham Palace for a cup of tea.

The Dutchess wanted to help Malone. At this point, Malone was taking her products door-to-door, but this all changed quickly. After the Dutchess made some contacts, Malone started getting calls -- lots of them, and the business started to grow. She and her husband rented a small place in Sloane Square where she could create her skincare products and greet customers; they also lived there.

Customers started coming, from house wives to actors, supermodels, pop starts, and royalty. But wait, what about the fragrance business? Fragrances was not something she had planned on. It was while buying oils and fragrances to put in her skin care products that she met a man who worked for the Paris-based Lautier Florasynth group. He gave her bottles of fragrance concentrate to try. When Malone started giving away small portions as thank you gifts to her clients, 86 percent of her customers wanted more.

From London to Paris

That was the beginning of the turn in her business that took her to Paris to learn all she could about perfumes. As the business grew, so did their store location. They opened their first shop, got Bergdorf Goodman to sell their products in New York, and Malone was even interviewed by Oprah Winfrey. The business grew so quickly, she didn't know how they were going to keep up. She was approached by Estee Lauder who wanted to buy her company. After more than three years, in 1999, she sold the business. She had reached her goal and made millions in the fragrance business.

Sweet success couldn't keep her away. After staying away for a contractual 5 years, Malone in 2011 announced her homecoming to fragrance with her latest venture, Jo Loves, a fragrance company. She's back!