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From the Ethical Superstore to luxury ethical brand

It’s never easy giving people bad news. I have been very lucky over my working life that most people have responded professionally and in some cases optimism and hope in the face of tough choices. I do remember one person who was made redundant following a merger saying “when life offers me lemons I’ll just have to learn how to make lemonade”. Judging by his social media presence since them, he definitely found the lemonade recipe.

It is therefore great when you read some years later – in the Mail on Sunday no less – that one of those who lived through one of our business restructurings, used the opportunity so well. Not only did Analisa agree to reduced hours, she changed which department she worked in to get a more rounded view of the business. That proved to be invaluable in setting up her own Maddi Alexander luxury candle, home and beauty brand. From humble beginnings she now has the product listed in Fortnum and Mason.

In her own words she says:

However, it wasn’t until I went to work for Ethical Superstore that I got the idea to create a brand of my own. I was fascinated by ethical brands, but finding a luxury beauty element for the mix proved difficult. My chance came when Ethical Superstore had to refinance, so rather than be made redundant I asked if I could reduce my hours to two days a week and –with the owners’ consent, as I had told them about my brand idea – I moved into customer services to learn about all aspects of running a business.

I hope that if I am ever on the receiving end of such bad news that I will respond with the same humility and wisdom. Get lemons, make lemonade.