Posted: 2 years ago
Category: Career Insider

Interview: Moxi Loves Beauty entrepreneur Pamela Laird

If you're a fan of BBC1 show The Apprentice as we are at Jobs in Beauty HQ - you'll instantly recognise the face and name of 2019 semi-finalist winner Pamela Laird. She's a multi-talented beauty expert and brand owner and the name that everyone who’s anyone in the Irish beauty industry has heard, and used, on more than one occasion. She’s the first point of call when you need your nails ahead of photoshoot and is also on the last-dialled list of models, editors and beauty experts thanks to her expertise in pretty much every aspect in the beautisphere. 

Pamela has since switched focus and is the creator of the revolutionary beauty brand Moxi Loves which she was pitching for investment for on The Apprentice. Moxi Loves is the hottest name in the industry and is bringing innovative, clever, clean beauty products to the masses. At the forefront of emerging trends, the brand is designed to make travel beauty simple, fun and affordable. 

Inspirational, sassy and hugely motivational. Starting out in the beauty business? Take some tips from Pamela. We invited her to share her story and latest plans with Jobs in Beauty...

You've been in the beauty business since you were 18 years old, first qualifying as a trainer for Leighton Denny expert nails in 2007 and setting up your own nail bar in House of Fraser. Impressive! Where did your passion for wanting to work in the beauty business start and have you always had a strong entrepreneur streak?

I think I have always had that streak in me, my mum has owned her own beauty salon since I was born so I grew up watching her and I for sure knew I would end up working in the beauty industry.  When I was 8 mum let me order my own makeup range and we called it Pam’s xxx ! We sold it in the salon to mums clients so that was my first foray into brand owner! 

In your experience, what makes a beauty business thrive and stand apart from the competition?

I think it’s innovation for sure, coming up with new ideas and challenging old reliables is something I enjoy doing with Moxi Loves.  It’s exciting to look at something and think how can I improve that.  That’s what can set you apart as a brand.  Also branding, it’s got to hop off the shelf and that’s super important if you want to stand out.

What challenges do you think the beauty industry faces when it comes to recruiting qualified staff to grow a salon business?

Staff has always been the hardest when I was running the nail bar and I think it’s a number of reasons.  Mostly the lack of standardisation from students leaving college, it’s tough but I think more could be done during training to improve this standard.  Maybe experience with real clients would be a help. 

You were nominated in 2016 for Nail Technician of the Year and Winner of Nail Technician of the year 2014, with Image magazine - do you see entering competitions as essential for both personal and career growth?

For sure it’s a great way to stand out from the others in the industry. This was voted by the public which was great too!  I think competitions give you something to shout about to your clients.

Talking of competitions... why did you enter for The Apprentice and what was your first reaction when you were told you'd made it to appear in the 2019 series?

It’s simple for me I really needed an investor and this seemed like the perfect way to find one.  And of course Lord Sugar is one of the top entrepreneurs in the world.  I was floored so excited but also nervous as I knew I could potentially be away from my business for 8 weeks, I really had to weigh it up!

We've always wanted to know - do contestants really have to get up at 4am and how can anyone look so groomed in just 20 minutes?!

Yes we do get up at 4am!  Well I’m an early bird so this didn’t bother me.  I would always hear the camera men setting up for the phone call so I would get an extra 20 mins head start on my makeup and hair! Some of the other girls just wanted the lie in so didn’t bother and they really did get ready in 20 mins.

How would you sum up your experience of going on The Apprentice?

It’s honestly been life changing, challenging and most rewarding experience.

You launched your beauty product Moxi Loves in 2017 - what tips would you share when taking a new product to market?

Having a launch plan is key so how you will get your products on shelf/online, will you do this directly or via a distributor.  This is the key question and you can build everything else around that.  This also ties in with research, research your pricing, competitors and everything you can to understand your market.

Do you have plans to expand your beauty product range?

Yes I have so many ideas!

Where did the name 'Moxi Loves' originate from? (we love it by the way!) - and where can we buy it?

Moxie is in the dictionary and the definition says “if you have determination or drive you’ve got moxie” I just loved that and what it stood for I dropped the ‘e’ and made it Moxi Loves! Products are available and will soon be in Boots UK and Primark UK.

Career highs and lows to date?

High has to be coming 3rd on The Apprentice.

Low was probably when I had to discontinue my hero product EYE CATCHER due to EU regulations.

You were previously on Dragons’ Den and turned down three offers of investment - right decision?

For sure the right decision, it wasn’t the right investment for me and at that time I could have caused myself lots of issues today trying to get out of it.

What projects are you currently working on?

Growing the Moxi Loves range and searching for the right business partner to help me scale the brand.

What are your beauty predictions for 2020?

Sustainability and circular economy will be huge.  Waterless products are a massive trend too.

Your fave fail proof beauty products (alongside Moxi Loves!)?

  • Dr Lipp lip balm
  • Glam glow thirsty mud
  • Guinot hydrazone moisturiser 
  • Charlotte tilbury flawless filter
  • Iconic Bronze spray tan 

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