Tuesday, 7 February 2017

My Story by Jo Malone

Jo Malone is the inspirational British businesswoman responsible for creating her globally renowned beauty business and, more recently, her new brand 'Jo Loves'. This, her first autobiography, tells in full her incredible journey from modest beginnings as a teenager, struggling with dyslexia and leaving school with no qualifications, to becoming an international brand name and one of the world's most successful entrepreneurs.
  Jo's lively story explores how her fascination with smell teamed with her natural ability to create world-famous blends such as 'Lime, Basil & Mandarin', revolutionised the way we think about fragrance.
  Her unique talent for pioneering innovation and originality within her field is unrivalled. Yet, despite her success, she has faced huge challenges with courage and determination, including being diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 37 and told she only had nine months to live, and her decision to go it alone after selling the original Jo Malone brand to the Estee Lauder Corporation and walking away in 2006.
  Jo's commitment and down-to-earth approach to life, work and family makes her one of the most likeable and well respected personalities in British retail and her honesty, hard work and entrepreneurial grit are an inspiration to all.

It's been a few years since I've read an autobiography but I hope to remedy that this year as I've quite a few in my tbr pile.
I knew nothing about Jo Malone apart from the fact that she had an expensive range of candles and perfume on sale. I didn't know that she had already sold her company Jo Malone London and then started a new one from scratch, Jo Loves. 

Once I started reading this I was hooked. Jo started making her own face creams and candles from her kitchen sink. She has been gifted with the ability to smell that we can only dream of. Jo wanted to work with the French perfumers (noses) to make her own perfume  and even although she knew people in high places she found it difficult to get a foot in the door to even speak with them. 

Jo's childhood was difficult, her mum was unpredictable and Jo often had to take responsibility and also cook for her younger sister. There was an upset between Jo and her mother and both her father and sister chose the mother's side which led to Jo was estranged from her family. I felt that was the part of Jo's story that I never really understood. Why would her family not be happy at her success? Why would they not put past arguments behind them and celebrate the birth of her son or be at her beside during her treatment for cancer? So many unanswered questions but Jo has opted to keep most of the family story private and I admire her for saying that she has fond memories of her childhood and family but my heart bled for her.

We follow Jo and her husband's trial and tribulations of opening businesses, selling then and starting anew. Her battle with cancer has been a difficicult one with one step forward and two steps backwards. I've only touched on a few of the chapters in the book but it's well worth a read.

If you enjoy autobiographies, of even perfumes you will enjoy this book and it is one of the few books I will keep on my shelf and know I will read again.
I would give yourself a treat and buy the book as it's the same price on Amazon as the kindle download, but I expect you will find it cheaper in the shops.


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