Life Behind The Scenes With The Ironing Diva "center">
The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies is the hook I hang my business hat on. This accidental, rural business, is a dream come true. One of the highlights of my life. This is my journey through the roller coaster world of business. And the choices I make in how to run my dream of a lifetime.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
Business Is A Tough Gig. There Is No Such Thing As A Dream Run. Forever.
When we reinvented ourselves after we lost everything in the 1992 recession we had to have. Read Our Story.
We created our rural business, The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies.
In 1994, the year we started The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover And Other Goodies, the reigning business magazine was Business Review Weekly.
They featured stories of up and coming businesses who were wildly successful.
One that always featured was Poppy King Lipsticks. Which started in 1992.
It was a Cinderella story.
Poppy King develops a lipstick range of strong, matt colours. Retailing in 1994 at $49.95 per tube. And conquers the retail world.
Here we were, trying to get a Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover established in the market for $29.95. That lasts for several years. And struggling to justify the price.
To put it mildly, my partner, Victor Pleshev, the architect who designed the Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover for his mother. Never ceased to be amazed at how much publicity a tube of lipstick could generate.
Poppy King Lipsticks was getting press coverage as if they were royalty. And we couldn’t convince a journalist that we didn’t have Ebola.
My award winning hairdresser at the time, Locks Hairdressing in Balmain, who had been cutting my hair since 1973. And who we drove from our rural patch to Sydney once a month just so I could get Diane O’Dwyer, the owner, to cut my hair. Told me she enquired about Poppy King Lipsticks. The minimum order was $10,000. More than Locks Hairdressing could afford.
But $10,000 wasn’t a deterrent to major retailers. Poppy King Lipsticks were in every department store in Australia.
One day, out of the blue, in the late ’90’s, I noticed a small article in the paper saying that Poppy King Lipsticks was looking for an investor.
Poppy King Lipsticks looking for an investor? All my tentacles were up.
That set me off on a Sherlock Holmes investigation. With my market research skills leading me to an interesting discovery. Regarding things I never knew about how Poppy King dominated the market.
The truth is. Most of us never know what goes on behind the doors of a business. Or a person’s personal life. And it’s usually an eye opening revelation when we discover the truth.
Poppy King had been in a personal relationship with Daniel Besen. Son of Marc Besen. The founder of the Sussan Retailing Group in Australia.
This was a very well kept secret in the business world. Known to only a few people. And NEVER mentioned in the press.
Daniel Besen was the locomotive. Running the business. Making sure it kept moving forward.
And Poppy King was the grand dining car. Wowing the glitterati with her glamour.
Daniel used his father’s massive influence in the retail sector to open doors for Poppy King Lipsticks. While Poppy King was the person who fronted the media.
The story is, that when Poppy King’s relationship with Daniel ended. And he left the company. Poppy knew very little about the nuts and bolts of running her business. So she had no idea what to do. She had never endured truly tough times. And wasn’t in a position to make decisions that would carry her forward.
The company interested in investing in Poppy King Lipsticks was an engineering company.
What did they know about lipsticks?
Nothing. They thought they were buying a successful company. And because they knew nothing about retail. They failed.
Poppy King Lipsticks was eventually sold to Estee Lauder. Who closed it down in 2000.
Poppy King Lipsticks is no more.
Because there’s no such thing as a dream run. Forever. When you don’t have the skills to run a business.
The Zig-Zag Railway Line is part of the heritage story of my region. I’ve taken this trip that climbs up the western flank of the Blue Mountains. Using zig-zags to climb upwards.
This is how life is lived. And how businesses are run.
Not in a straight line. But in a zig-zag route.
And if you don’t know how to guide the railway carriages along this route, it won’t be a happy ending.
Poppy King knew very little about running a business in tough times. So she couldn’t jump the hurdles when tough times hit.
My partner, Victor Pleshev, and I know everything about how to run a business in tough times. We’ve never had it any different. And 23 years later. We’re still here.
With 400,000 customers. In 30 countries. For a humble ironing board cover.
Tough times are a blessing in disguise. They teach you much about resilience. About gathering your resources and going for it. And about never giving up.
Never, ever, be afraid of tough times. They are the best teacher.
And if approached correctly. They make you. Rather than break you.
~Carol Jones, Ironing Diva❤
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Designers & makers in RURAL Australia of The Fitz Like A Glove™ Ironing Board Cover, Log Lugger, Roadworks Apron, Travel Bug Shoe Bag,
Mr Chin’s Laundry Bag, Sweet Shoo.
Every product is a joy to use.