×
1 856
Fashion Jobs
TK MAXX
Loss Prevention Officer - tk Maxx Bristol
Permanent · Bristol
LONDON CONTOUR EXPERTS
Marketing Executive/Junior Manager
Permanent · LONDON
ESTÉE LAUDER
Tom Ford - Business Manager - Flannels - Fosse Park, Leicester - 37.5 Hours - Full-Time - Permanent
Permanent · Leicester
VF INTERNATIONAL
International Account Coordinator - Ftc 12 Month
Permanent · NOTTINGHAM
TIMBERLAND
Credit Controller - German Speaking - Timberland
Permanent · CALVERTON
THE NORTH FACE
Credit Controller - Italian Speaking - The North Face
Permanent · CALVERTON
THE NORTH FACE
Credit Controller - French Speaking - The North Face
Permanent · CALVERTON
PINKO
Supervisor
Permanent · MANCHESTER
RALPH LAUREN
Operations Manager
Permanent · Cheshire
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Lisburn, Boots - Sprucefield - 30 Hours - Full Time, Permanent
Permanent · Lisburn
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Edinburgh, John Lewis - 37 Hours - Full-Time, Permanent
Permanent · Edinburgh
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Lisburn, Boots - Sprucefield - 30 Hours - Full Time, Permanent
Permanent · Lisburn
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Lisburn, Boots - 30 Hours - Full Time, Permanent
Permanent · Lisburn
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Lisburn, Boots - 30 Hours - Full Time, Permanent
Permanent · Lisburn
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Lisburn, Boots - 30 Hours - Full Time, Permanent
Permanent · Lisburn
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - House of Fraser, Maidstone - 15 Hours - Part Time, Permanent
Permanent · Maidstone
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Boots, Princes Street, Edinburgh - 14 Hours - Part Time - Permanent
Permanent · Edinburgh
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - Lisburn, Boots - 30 Hours - Full Time, Permanent
Permanent · Lisburn
HUGO BOSS
Wholesale - Senior Sales Executive - Hugo Womenswear
Permanent · London
ESTÉE LAUDER
Clinique - Consultant - John Lewis, Edinburgh - 16 Hours - Part Time, Permanent
Permanent · Edinburgh
SHISEIDO
Marketing Director - Shiseido, Clé de Peau Beauté, Drunk Elephant
Permanent · London
REISS
Buying Admin Assistant
Permanent · LONDON
Advertisements
By
Reuters
Published
Nov 21, 2016
Reading time
3 minutes
Share
Download
Download the article
Print
Click here to print
Text size
aA+ aA-

Q&A: Life lessons from the luxury-brand world

By
Reuters
Published
Nov 21, 2016

When one of your first jobs involves filing insurance paperwork for pocket change at your dad's office, it's easy to see how you would yearn later on for something more glamorous.

Marla Malcolm Beck went for ultra-luxe.


Marla Beck



But the early lessons on dollars and cents were valuable, and with the aid of an MBA from Harvard Business School, Beck turned luxury into big business when she founded the high-end beauty retailer Bluemercury in 1998 with her husband Barry.

They now have over 100 stores across the country, as well as a skincare line, M-61.

In 2015, Macy's purchased the Washington, D.C.-based Bluemercury for $210 million and Beck, 46, remains chief executive.

Beck talked to Reuters about her unusual business path.

Q: What early lessons about money stuck with you?

A: I remember when Izod shirts were hot, my mom wouldn't buy me one because she thought it was ridiculous to spend $20 more just so you could have the Izod symbol.

That always stuck with me in two ways: (her message that) if you want a shirt like that, you have to earn your money and buy it yourself. Also, that with brands, sometimes to make a brand where there's this one little extra twist that you have, and some people believe it and some people don't.

Q: What did starting a business in the beauty industry teach you about finances?

A: Don't run out of money. Within the first six months of launching in the late 1990s, we had $150,000 in the bank and we had an Internet site, but we were a little too early, so revenue for e-commerce wasn't building fast enough. Because we couldn't raise more, we had to learn how to build a profitable business.

Q: What did you do with your first paycheck?

A: I remember buying a really fashionable black jacket and then being sort of disappointed afterward. After that, I just let my bank account fill up and I used some of it for spending money in college. It was very gratifying to build up your own bank account. It's a powerful feeling.

Q: What has running a company taught you about finances?

A: When you set up a company, you have your core mission, your strategy and you have your metrics. It's so critical. Every two hours, I get a report on what the store sales and digital sales are.

Q: What drives you to give?

A: We have areas of interest that we give in - schools, entrepreneurship, religion - and then direct giving of those in need. This would be handout money to families that have hit a hard time. There are certain funds that do that - one of our religious groups, one of the schools our kids go to, for example - so we know who's handing out the money. It might be someone's out of work and needs to pay their utility bill, that sort of giving.

It's very satisfying to know you can help a family or individual that's fallen on a hard time. We talk about it with our kids. We always talk about how they have to save and give, how you should always be able to reduce the amount you're spending on, teaching them not to buy as much and how to make little gifts. That's important.

Q: What money lessons do you pass down to your three kids?

A: We always encourage them to be debt free. I remember the day I paid off my student loans - it was six or seven years after my we started Bluemercury. That debt had hung over me until I was able to pay it off myself.

I also try to teach the kids entrepreneurial lessons. One of our daughters just started an entrepreneur group. Our other daughter is starting a nonprofit to raise money for orphan diseases (which affect a small number of people) and she's asking questions like, 'How do I set up a 501(c)(3)?' The nonprofit will help with diseases that affect a small number of children but need more research.

 

© Thomson Reuters 2021 All rights reserved.