From the opening of a small company in Brighton, England, in 1976 Anita Roddick had extended travel where she unearthed a multitude of stories that would influence the recipes for her cosmetics. During her time away from England, the Body Shop was but a thought in Roddick’s head on how to pull in an income for herself and her two daughters while her husband, Gordon Roddick, was away in the United States. became one of England’s wealthiest women with assets totaling over 300 million.
Before opening her company: the Body Shop in 1976, Roddick had a tremulous upbringing. Having been born from a hard-working Italian mother she was put to work at a young age in her mother and American father’s café where she developed a strong work ethic. Roddick today said there was little leisure for her in the café when she was young. Sadly, her parents were to divorce when she was eight.
She found an epiphany when reading in a Penguin book about the holocaust at age 10 that developed a strong sense of concern for the world around her. In 1962 she left England and studied in Kibbutz, Israel but a school prank got her expelled. Roddick then returned to England where she covered several jobs and was able to later travel.
In 1972 she met her husband, Gordon, running a hotel-restaurant and raising two children. Gordon was soon to leave, with her approval, to ride from Buenos Aires, Argentina- to New York on horseback; a venture that would leave her to fend on her own again.
It was here Roddick revisited her ideas she developed while traveling and out of her garage crafted 15 different skin products and opened a small store. After it’s lucrative success, a second store was opened 6 months later followed by more when Gordon returned from the United States.
By the early 1990’s, the Body Shop had over 700 store branches whose success gave her the 91′ World Vision Award for Development Initiative. Today, after continued growth, the Body Shop has about 2000 stores worldwide and recently, in 1993, Roddick was knighted by the Queen of England giving her the name and title: Dame Anita Roddick.
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