MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT

Skin­care guru Maria Hatzis­te­fa­nis

Daily Mail - - Inspire - In­ter­view by ANNA PURSGLOVE

Maria Hatzis­te­fa­nis, 47, is founder and Ceo of lux­ury beauty brand rodial, which she launched from home in 1999. the com­pany is now worth $100 mil­lion. Maria lives in Lon­don with her hus­band Stratis, and two sons aris, 14 and aki 12.

MY LIGHT BULB moment ac­tu­ally has its roots in fail­ure — it only hap­pened be­cause I was sacked from my bank­ing job in the City.

Luck­ily, it shook me up and I thought: ‘So now what?’

Be­fore I went in to bank­ing I worked as a beauty writer, I was fas­ci­nated by the in­dus­try and I dreamed of own­ing my own brand.

Now I didn’t have a job, I be­gan to fo­cus on my dream and, one day, I re­alised there was a gap in the mar­ket. Ev­ery­thing was about skin type as op­posed to skin is­sues. So it was cleanse, tone, mois­turise for dry, oily or com­bi­na­tion skin. That was it. I wanted to tar­get spe­cific prob­lems that women were try­ing to fix with cos­metic surgery — such as sag­ging neck skin or a droop­ing bust.

I also re­alised that hav­ing a great prod­uct was not enough. I launched an anti-age­ing serum in white pack­ag­ing and no­body cared. But when I re­named it Snake Serum, peo­ple started notic­ing it.

I made tons of mis­takes in the early years. Once I couldn’t af­ford a de­sign team to do a brochure so I made one at Vistaprint. It was only when I got them onto the shop floor that a cus­tomer pointed out a spell­ing er­ror. I was mor­ti­fied!

I didn’t re­ally feel I’d ‘ar­rived’ un­til two years ago when I walked into Har­vey Ni­chols and saw Rodial next to Tom Ford and Chanel. At that point, you know you must have done some­thing right.

Peo­ple ask how I main­tain a work/ life bal­ance. The hon­est an­swer is I’m ei­ther work­ing or with my fam­ily. I have sac­ri­ficed friend­ships and so­cial­is­ing to fol­low my dream. Do I think it’s been worth it? I do!

How to Be an overnight Suc­cess by Maria Hatzis­te­fa­nis(Vir­gin Books, £12.99).

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