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Name: Lisa Parsons
Business: Hair Philosopher Ltd
Location: London, United Kingdom
Industry: Consumer Goods
Reason for starting: Like many women, I have been through a spectrum of experiences in my life. I lost my father to cancer when I was 13 years old, and I am a breast cancer survivor too. At the time of my own cancer battle my mother died of it also. A few years ago my husband was diagnosed with tonsillar cancer. Through all of this I have always wanted to be financially free and to own and run my own business. The main reason is to be free, but being free is expensive! Financial freedom would allow me to enjoy life on my own terms and spend time with my family, which is the most important thing to me. These experiences have made me more determined as I believe we are here to learn. Nothing in life comes easy, and I believe that, when I’m nearing my end on this planet, I want to go knowing I tried my hardest to achieve my dreams. I love to motivate and enlighten people and some times that is not possible in a 9-5 job nor is financial freedom. Freedom of time = more time to help others.
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How do you define success? Success to me would be that perfect work life balance. Achieving goals and being productive whilst have the time to enjoy family, friends and help out in other areas. I am an animal lover and would love to spend time with animal projects and children in need. The cost of living and the amount of time it takes to earn that living can leave you feeling overwhelmed and worn out. So for me, success would be having the financial freedom from my own business and investments to go and invest my time and money in other projects that can help others.
I have been a hairdresser all my working life, but I quickly realized there aren’t enough hours in the day to truly reach my goals and dreams. I would like my invention the 3styler to be a global success as in the case of the tangle teezer, but I know I have a lot of learning and work ahead of me. Time really is the most valuable asset in life. I want to spend it with loved ones feeling happy.
Biggest success: My biggest success to date is appearing on QVC. It’s crazy but ever since my daughter was a baby (she is 22 now) I would always say to my husband “I would love to be on QVC” that was many years ago. I never thought it would happen with my own invention. Once 3styler was made I always envisioned my product on QVC, and actually it’s not that easy to get on to and even harder to stay on! But I absolutely had a ball and met one of my hairdressing heroes Beverly C, which was amazing, I loved every minute of it. At the time of writing this, I’m currently waiting on my next air date to appear so that’s great. I have been in another TV program in the UK called the MoneyPit, which ended up giving us a small very needed cash injection and have just launched on Amazon UK. I have literally bet the farm on this, so we really have put ourselves in quite a stressful situation! But hey, you’re either all in or out right? It really has taken me a year to get into social media as I was not a fan before.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? The top challenge was getting funding. These days unless you’re a super duper tech company or the next Uber, people aren’t interested. Well, the internet can’t style your hair, and I don’t think it ever will. Millions of women have hair and it’s still one of the most important things to a lot of women. I know it certainly is to me. So as long as millions of women have hair that they want to style, there’s a market for my product.
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We actually used our house to fund it, which is either stupid or brave but probably both! Having both been faced with cancer it made us realize life is short so we will go for it. The second challenge I have faced is that I created a very large hair brush that has two other brushes that sit underneath it for storage, many people thought it was too large for them and then some loved it. I have to educate them how to use it and the benefits to their hair and that the premium price tag is because they are getting 3 brushes.
Yes as I mentioned above my personal experiences of bereavement and illness probably led me to take the massive decision to use my house for funding the business. I think had I not experienced cancer and the thought of losing my husband, I may have not taken such a huge risk. Sometimes I wonder what on Earth was I thinking and then other days I think it’s all meant to be. Certainly when I’m tired it’s not a good time to make decisions. Most of my life I have realized there are things you cannot control, and so my ethos is to go for it even though it stresses me out sometimes.
Who is your most important role model? My most important role model is any woman that has become financially independent through their own business. I watch many YouTube videos, from people like Barbara Cochran, Michelle Mone (Baroness Mone). They have built businesses from the ground up and it clearly didn’t come easily to them. They didn’t just have a hit reality TV show and then get to develop lots of products off the back of it. They worked really hard until they made it, and through some tough times. I listen to motivational speakers like Anthony Robbins, Jim Rhon and lots more. I find a mix of business knowledge and spiritual learning helps me to stay balanced and manage stress. My biggest fear is not knowing what I’m doing, but that’s the point I suppose; I’ve leapt and now must learn to fly.
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Edited by The Story Exchange