We’re in awe of Michelle Mone. Delivering papers and selling fruit from the tender age of 10, Michelle went on to become one of the UK’s most successful female entrepreneurs and founder of international lingerie brand Ultimo.
Michelle’s lightbulb moment came after she was unexpectedly made redundant. While getting ready for a dinner dance with her husband, she was struck by how difficult it was to find a bra to go with her dress. Fast forward through three years of research, development and debt and she was soon designing underwear that would dominate the industry.
FashionBite jumped at the chance to interview the woman behind the push-up bra – we just had to thank her for preventing some serious fashion disasters over the years! Michelle told us about dividing her time between London and her hometown, Glasgow, and a typical day in the office…
“No day is ever the same. My job involves everything from business meetings to live TV to giving speeches! I split my time between London and Glasgow – I love Glasgow. One minute you can be in the city centre and just a few miles down the road you’re by the lochs.“
We know that juggling a hectic work schedule with running a home and keeping in touch with friends and family is tough. How does Michelle do it?
“It’s all in the planning. Ensure you plan time for yourself and family. This way when you’re working, you focus on work and your free time is free!”
Michelle’s got a fantastic job, travelling the world to meet clients and knowing she’s helped thousands of women look and feel great. But what’s her favourite thing about her work?
“I love hearing about how I’ve changed someone’s confidence. I set out to make women feel good about themselves, so whether that’s wearing a great set of lingerie or simply by me giving them advice on diet and fitness, it’s a great feeling to be able to make someone feel good.”
With such success can come great challenges – we were curious to hear abut the biggest hurdle Michelle has overcome…
“I’ve had several challenges personally and professionally. You have to learn from mistakes, move on and come back stronger.”
Aspiring businesswomen, listen up! Michelle has seen it all, and shared her top tips with us on how to be the best at what you do…
“Plan! My motto is ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’. Ensure you’ve done your research and don’t give up at the first hurdle. If you have fire in your belly and a ‘can do’ attitude you can achieve anything.
While my friends had posters of popstars on their walls, I had posters of Richard Branson. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur.”
But what if it hadn’t worked out? Was there a ‘Plan B’?
“I think I would have always been a businesswoman. If it hadn’t of been Ultimo it would have been something else. I’ve just launched a beauty line, so perhaps that would have come first!”
She’s often hailed ‘The Bra Queen’, but Michelle recently met true royalty upon receiving an OBE. What an incredible moment that must have been!
“Receiving an OBE was the biggest honour and something I had never expected. There are no words to describe that honour!”
We salute you, Michelle!