Jun 25, 2019
This episode should come with a WARNING, you’ll probably learn more here about how to run successful businesses than ever before... and this was a delight to record too. That’s because today we are talking Marcia Kilgore, the super successful serial entrepreneur of brands like Bliss Spa, Bliss Labs, Soap & Glory, Fit Flop and the revolutionary new Beauty Pie. We can clearly see she is doing everything right. We find out what?
Originally from the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, she grew up with very humble beginnings. She and her sisters suffered a sad loss of her father around the age of 11, causing the family to further struggle. But her mum instilled the rule of never complaining - about anything! She’d boldly explain “There are people out in the world that have no legs and have it way harder than you”.
With this her mum instilled the practice of gratitude and a friend of the family also brought her attention to the importance of discipline, when he introduced her to his gym. So from an early age, these life lessons kept her feet planted safely on the ground.
“By the time you turn 18 you are your own thoughts, grab a book and take responsibility for them” - Marcia [57:28]
She applied to Study in New York
when she was 16, and on arriving in the US her plans fell through,
so she found herself on the streets of NYC needing to earn money
fast. Already being a regular at the gym, she used her previous
bodybuilding competition experience to land herself a personal
training role at a fairly prolific gym, which put her in front of
many minor celebrities. Including her clients Douglas Keeve and his
then partner Isaac Mizrahi
of fashion fame. This opened the door to access super models who
she’d eventually practice her new hobby on, having recently trained
in facial therapy.
Word spread fast and at the heart of it was Marcia’s politeness, kindness, warm and friendly service. She sums it up by saying it’s all about delivering the goods and being positive. Oh and the details, people come because of the smallest details. She write personal thank you notes for every client she had.
“It’s up to you to deliver the goods, don’t be half assed about anything, be full assed. Did you ever had a hair colourist call you the next day and ask how your hair is doing? Well if you did, do you think you’d every go elsewhere ever again?” - Marcia [32:55]
She quickly went from a small
one room studio with film stars like Uma Thurman sitting and
waiting in the halls, to a 3 room studio, then a 10 room and
finally a 24 room studio with a booked up schedule 18 months in
advance. They’d always be cultural icons like Oprah Winfry,
Madonna, Calvin klein and Courtney Love, amongst many more, as
regular clients. Then after a decade of building this business from
the ground up she sold a stake in the company to french company
LVMH, which allowed her to expand into skincare products, creating
Bliss labs. Countless skincare products later, under a few
different umbrellas like Soap & Glory, Soaper Dooper, Marcia
shares her secrets to getting your products stocked on premium
shelves, from Harvey Nichols to Douglas and around the
Her’s what else we chat about:
Taking responsibility for your own mindset and actions
The power of reframing - “you say she’s not interested, I say she was on vacation and missed it”
How business is not just about the details, business is THE details
Hobbies can grow into big businesses very fast
The markup of most beauty brands and not putting the customer first
The value revolution in her new company Beauty Pie
Avoid defensiveness at all costs
The early bad experiences that
shaped Marcia’s entire business strategy.
You can find out more about Marcia here:
Full show notes: https://www.ikonns.com/podcast/episode39
Produced by Jason Sanderson - Podcast Tech