My Week: Maria Hatzistefanis of Rodial

The beauty entrepreneur on having to look groomed at all times, hanging out with celebs and how it's not all glamour.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013
I founded my initial high-end skincare business Rodial 12 years ago, but about six months ago we launched a diffusion range called Nip + Fab. Running both businesses means I need to be really hands-on. I usually start my day at 7am, when I get up and get ready. Working in the beauty business means I have to look fully groomed at all times – I have to be fully made-up and dressed up every day. I’ll then have breakfast with my two boys, who are six and eight, and my husband before walking the children to school – which is three minutes from our house in Chelsea. From there it’s only a 10 minute walk to the office. It’s convenient being so close, but it also makes it tempting to spend my entire life there.
When I get in at 8.15, I’ll read the papers and check our sales figures for the last 24 hours. I’ll also speak with our distributors and suppliers in the Far East, because our morning is the best time to catch them. Rodial is now distributed in 1,000 stores in 35 countries around the world, so it can be quite tricky with all the different time zones. Then at around 10am, I start having meetings with various teams and getting up to speed with every different department to see where we are with things.

There are about 30 of us in the office now and a team of another 20 or so out in the field. We are doubling in size year-on-year, revenue-wise, so we are constantly recruiting to ensure we have a big enough team to support that growth. This is one of the areas I’m very much involved with because I want to make sure that everybody who joins the company is the right fit. I’m always on the look out for people who are very driven, very ambitious, and willing to go the extra mile. We’re still a small team, relatively speaking, so sometimes you just need to roll up your sleeves and get the work done.

Last week we had a big event with Nip + Fab over the weekend at Westfield shopping centre. It was the launch of our ‘Frown fix’ product, which is an instant line filler to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. So the whole week before was spent making sure that all the logistical details were taken care of. We do a lot of events throughout the year for product launches, or to celebrate an anniversary. Sometimes we get some of our celebrity fans to come along: Joey Essex from TOWIE (The only way is Essex) came to the Frown Fix launch last week, but our main celeb event is our awards in February. This year attendees included the likes of Sadie Frost, Amber Le Bon and Jade Jagger.

I do love the events. That’s the fun bit of the business. I’m sure people think this is what we do all year round, but in reality, it’s probably only about 5% of my work. A lot of it is sorting out deliveries and shipments – not really that glamorous.

Maria Hatzistefanis is the founder and president of beauty retailers Rodial and Nip + Fab

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