Anita Roddick Biography
"My vision, my hope, is simply this: that many business leaders will come to see a primary role of business as incubators of the human spirit, rather than factories for the production of more material goods and services."
– Anita Roddick
The Anita Roddick biography and The Body Shop is a story of a woman entrepreneur and her business based on the principles of humanity. In the process of her business becoming global Anita Roddick had managed to maintain the original core of her business and the core of herself as a person.
She called herself a social activist.
Anita Roddick Biography - Idea of spiritual business
By spirituality in business Anita meant the attitude to life as sacred and awe-inspiring. According to Roddick, the business assumptions launched during the Industrial Revolution: controllable political structures and business environment, work security, - had become the attributes of the past. Anita Roddick’s vision was to create the new system based on the proposition that everything on Earth is interconnected and interdependent. It is in human power to choose to preserve these interconnections of life on the planet, instead of destroying them. As long as people fail to understand their connection to the world, there is no system that would bring them order or peace.
According to Anita Roddick, the role of business in the world is to empower people to stand up and make a difference. Her The Body Shop is a "business unusual", the enterprise that did not follow the traditional path, but was based on her social position and vision of the world.
Anita Roddick Biography – Childhood
Anita was born in Littlehampton, on the south coast of England, in 1942, in Italian immigrant family. Her parents owned a cafe, which opened at 5 a.m., to provide breakfast for the local fisherman, and stayed open until late at night. Four kids worked every weekend, every evening and every holiday. The cafe was like an extension of their home. The lessons she had learned from these early years of work can be summarized as follows:
Having been a natural outsider, Anita was drawn to other outsiders, having learned to challenge everything she was told – at school, at church, at every institution. James Dean (actor, who played roles of misunderstood teenage rebels) was her role model when she was a schoolgirl.
Anita Roddick Biography – education and working experience
After high school Anita went to college to become a teacher. She enjoyed teaching, making her lessons special, incorporating music and drama into her lessons. Eventually her educational work at kibbutz in Israel turned into a trip around the world.
After two years of traveling she returned to England. Her mother introduced her to one the customers of her cafe, Gordon Roddick. Their bond was instant. Anita and Gordon got married in 1970. Their daughters Justine and Samantha were born in 1969 and 1971 respectively.
Together Anita and Gordon opened a restaurant and a hotel in Littlehampton. Their first entrepreneurial experience taught the first valuable lesson of business. They learned that "when you make a mistake, you have to face up to the fact and take immediate steps to change course."
After three years of running both hotel and the restaurant, the couple decided to quit. Gordon Roddick wanted to fulfil his long-term dream to take a horseback expedition from Buenos Aires to New York. Anita decided to open some small shop to make ends and to allow more time with the children.
The question was: what type of business? She thought skincare would be easy. She realized that she did not have enough knowledge of the subject, however, thought that these gaps could be filled in by researching, reading and communicating.
At that time there were no inexpensive skin care products, and it was not a common practice to work with natural ingredients. Anita decided she would be the first. Her previous experiences with running a hotel and a restaurant gave her the conviction that even if her idea was wrong, she would be able to tweak it until it works.
Anita Roddick Biography – The Body Shop
"Every element of our success was really down to the fact that I had no money."
– Anita Roddick
The Body Shop opened in Brighton in March 1976. The approach to business was determined by the shortage of money. The design of the logo had to be cheap, the friends helped Anita with filling the bottles and handwriting the labels. The cheapest bottles Anita could find, were the plastic containers used by the hospitals to collect samples. Because there was no money to buy enough bottles, the customers were offered to refill the empty containers. Refilling, reusing and recycling became the company’s way of life even before it became fashionable elsewhere.
The Body Shop became famous for its green color and "green" policy. At the time it was founded, however, this color was the only means to cover the damp, mouldy walls of Anita’s first shop.
Anita’s business approach was: doing the research to see what the competition is doing and then see what can be done to be different. The Body Shop became a different kind of business: business drawn to innovation and creativity, instead of the commonly used principles of marketing and organization.
Anita’s ambitions as an entrepreneur were also different.
"I have no interest in The Body Shop being the biggest, the most profitable or the largest retailer. I just want The Body Shop to be the best, most breathlessly exciting company – and one that changes the way business is carried out. "
– Anita Roddick.
After 30 years, The Body Shop became a multinational business with over 2.045 stores in 51 countries of the world.
In 2006, The Body Shop was sold to L’Oreal Cosmetics for 130 million pounds. Anita Roddick donated 30 million pounds to her charity foundation.
Anita Roddick Biography: bringing business and ideals together
The Body Shop made the first campaigning in 1985, when they teamed up with Greenpeace. Since that time The Body Shop became a company with attitude. Later it joined forces with several environmental and human rights organizations, like Amnesty International and Survival International.
One of the main principles of The Body Shop was not testing the products on animals. The campaign to ban animal testing in the cosmetics industry came up against interests of the big market players. In the late 1980s the EEC was at the point of bringing in the legislation that would make animal testing compulsory. Anita Roddick said she would rather close The Body Shop than comply. The campaign against testing cosmetic products on animals took about 20 years, and in 1998 the U. K. introduced a ban on animal testing for cosmetics.
The Body Shop was involved in several other campaigns, supporting the human rights, environmental and social changes.
Anita Roddick Biography – The Body Shop Foundation
In 1990, Anita Roddick established The Body Shop Foundation, the organization for distribution of the charitable donations of The Body Shop.
The resources were directed to support organizations and individuals working in the field of animal and environment protection, human and civil rights.
Only in the first six years of its work, the Foundation donated more than 3.5 million pounds to more than 180 charitable groups around the world.
Another organization, Children On the Edge (COTE) was founded by Anita Roddick in 1990, after her visit to Romanian orphanages. The purpose of this organization is to help the disadvantaged children.
Anita Roddick Biography - Illness
On 14 February 2007, Anita Roddick revealed that she had been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis which was a result of the long-standing undiscovered hepatitis C. In spite of her illness she tried to stay fit and active. Roddick died on 10 September 2007. She kept her promise to leave her estates to charities.
Anita Roddick Biography - rewards
In the course of her life Anita received numerous international awards for her entrepreneurial and personal input in various communities and charities.
In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II appointed Anita Roddick a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
Read more about famous women entrepreneurs
Questions and Answers
Ask your question about your favorite famous woman - role model, and we will respond with an
What Other Visitors Have Asked
Click below to see the questions from other visitors...
Anita Roddick Not rated yet
Anita Roddick Not rated yet
Anita Roddick Not rated yet
Anita Roddick and Fair Trade Not rated yet
[?] Subscribe To This Site
|Copyright© 2008-2013 Famous-Women-and-Beauty.com|