Lush Cosmetics: Andrew Gerrie

Andrew Gerrie talks about Lush's rise to the top

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Andrew Gerrie is a co-founder of handmade cosmetics company Lush. He talks about the company’s fragrant rise to the top. Name: Andrew Gerrie Age: 49 Business: The creation, manufacture and retail of handmade cosmetics Business name: Lush Amount of employees: over 1200 worldwide Turnover: in excess of £35 million

What made you take the plunge and startup your own business? The business was started (and is currently run) by a group of people who had various reasons for starting the business. However, mostly these factors were centred around wanting to earn a living around wanting to earn a living.

Where did you get the funding to start your business? The business was funded by the team who started the business together with funds from a wealthy investor

How much did it cost to startup your business? The start up funds were under £50,000

At what age did you decide to go it alone? About two

Where did the idea for your business come from? The concept came from the team

What academic qualifications did you get? The team holds a number of qualifications covering trichology, chemistry, accounting and commercial law – these proved sufficient to get things moving without any external input

What jobs did you do before you started your own business? Various roles in the finance and property sectors

Did they help you? Yes, you obviously draw on whatever experience you have had

What’s the single most important thing that helped your business succeed? Perseverance

What skills and personal characteristics do you need to start your own business? Optimism and perseverance with a pinch of stupidity

How many hours a week do you work now? Some weeks a lot, others under 30

How many hours a week did you work when you started? Most waking moments

What has been your main business problem? Getting the right people in the right place, getting the right property in the right place and cash – depending on which day you ask me the question.

Was there ever a time when you thought you were close to failing – and what did you do to overcome that? Several cash crisises. You do whatever it takes

What is your top tip to anyone wanting to startup his or her own business? Get on with it

Is there anything you would do differently today? Go faster earlier

Where do you see your business in a year’s time? More shops

Are your main ambitions financial (to make a lot of money) or lifestyle based (to enjoy what you do)? We are constantly trying to find a balance that suits all members of our team – tough question

Would you start another business? Absolutely

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