Decided also to start a new lipstick brand called Lipstick Queen.
2007 launched Lipstick Queen in Barneys and then Space NK.
Left Estee Lauder to write my book "Lessons of a Lipstick Queen: Finding and Developing the Great Idea that can Change your Life".
Poppy Industries ceased operations and I moved from Melbourne to New York City to take up the position of Vice President of Creative Marketing for Prescriptives (an Estee Lauder division).
Launched Poppy in Space NK. From 1992 to 2002 was CEO of Poppy Industries (parent company of the brand Poppy).
Ownership of Poppy Industries changed hands three times over this period.
Launched Poppy in Barneys New York.
Launched the brand Poppy with 7 lipsticks in Melbourne.
Secured funding and found factory to produce lipsticks for me.
Began process of starting my first lipstick brand.
Graduated from high school in Melbourne Australia where I was born.
- Poppy King
- Lipstick Queen
- CEO and Founder
Q: What made you leave your employer and start up your own company again?
I was very passionate about writing a book and also going back to my roots as a lipstick entrepreneur.
Q: What is the basic function/purpose of your current role?
To conceptualise, design, execute, promote and sell unique lip products. I come up with the product ideas and promote them to press, retailers and customers. And as CEO to work with operations/finance on the business plan and forecasting.
Q: How relevant were your qualifications to your position?
I have no formal qualifications but the most important ones;...passion and the ability to articulate my vision.
Q: Describe some of the key tasks involved in performing your current role and the frequency with which you have to perform them.
- Brainstorming and conceptualising new product concepts, shades and themes on a season by season basis (twice a quarter).
- Promoting new products to press on a season by season basis.
- Selling new product into existing and new retailers on a season by season basis.
- In store customer events on a season by season basis.
- General admin and planning daily.
Q: What’s the first thing you do when you arrive at work each day?
Check emails and respond to urgent ones.
Q: How big is the team in which you work?
There are six of us.
Q: Describe how your job interacts with the rest of your team.
Everything starts with my ideas for a product and once I have made a commitment to an idea the rest of the team each has a role to play in seeing that product come to market.
Q: How would you describe the working culture of your company?
Intimate and hands on.
Q: What career avenues do you hope to be able to pursue in the next: two years, five years & ten years? (You can limit this to the types of roles you’ll be looking for).
I am already doing some teaching of entrepreneurship and I would like to do more.
Q: What do you like most about your current role and why?
The creativity and the people I work with.
Q: What did you/do you find hardest about your current role?
Judging success by numbers. I tend to see something as a success if it has impacted just one person but as a CEO I have to quantify everything into numbers.
Q: How close do you think that the general public’s view of your company to the reality?
Very close. What you see (a small indie brand) is what is really the case.
Q: Would you recommend your career path to a friend and if so, why?
ABSOLUTELY! My entire book recommends this entrepreneurship path and explains how to do it and what not to do.
Q: Who has been your mentor?
A woman I met years ago who headed the Barneys cosmetics buying team.
Q: What do you listen to on your iPod/in the car?
Disco and Hip Hop mainly.
Q: What are you currently reading?
Chekov short stories.
Q: What is the most valuable lesson you have learnt along the way?
That there is never just one opportunity and that opportunities come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Q: Which businessman or woman do you admire?
Q: Do you read books on management and if so, which ones?
No...but I am sure I should. I love reading as a form of escape so I find it hard to read non-fiction in my downtime.
Q: What is the most important business event, good or bad, that has occurred in your business life?
Deciding to listen to my instinct and start a lipstick brand when I had no training except passion.
Q: Which is more important – what you know or who you know – and why?
What you know is definitely more important. People and connections can only get you so far but knowledge is true strength.
Q: What does leadership mean to you?
Being effective by operating with integrity.
Q: If you could change one thing about the business financial and commercial environment – what would it be?
The need to make a profit! I wish I could just give my product to people.
Q: Does money motivate you?
Clearly not as you see by previous answer but I'm learning to get more motivated by it.
Q: What gadget/piece of technology could you not do without?
It is a toss up between my BlackBerry and my iPod. One keeps me on top of things and one allows me to escape. I need both to do a good job!
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