She sold her eponymous fragrance business to beauty giant Estee Lauder in 1999. Now Jo Malone is back with a new brand.
British beauty entrepreneur Jo Malone, 46, this week announced the name of her new company: Jo Loves.
Like her first business, it will be a collection of fragrances – but she insists that "this is no longer anything to do with the Jo Malone brand. This new company is me again, the person."
Malone started her own beauty business back in 1983 (typically, with the banks refusing to lend her the £100 needed to buy sheets for therapy beds). The breakthrough came when she gave bath oil to favoured clients. One of them asked for 100 bottles to give her dinner guests, 86 of whom ordered more, and her Jo Malone fragrance brand was born. She opened her first shop in Knightsbridge in the mid-nineties and made undisclosed millions five years later when she sold the business to Estee Lauder. "It sounds so easy but it was a struggle all the way," she recalls.
Malone stayed on as creative director until 2006. "It was my time to leave," she says in the promotional film for her new company. "I knew that the business was in great safe hands and that it was going to go on and do great things. And I felt that I had given all that I could at that moment."
Malone has spent the past three years "being mum at home" but admits to a constant, niggling thought at the back of her head. "I kept thinking – could I do it again?"
"That is the heartbeat of an entrepreneur," she continues. "It's always at the back of your mind – is there another business out there? I'm not happy unless I'm working. I'm a working-class girl."
Malone says this is the first time in five years that she's started designing fragrances again – and this time round she's inspired by the taste and colour of food.
The collection of 40 products will launch in time for Christmas. She adds: "There will be stores in the near future but other than that you will just have to wait and see."
Watch Jo Malone's promo video here.