Hall of Fame Alumni
In 1991, Poppy King, at 18 years of age, established Poppy industries after recognising a gap in the cosmetics market for matte long lasting lipstick. She found a manufacturer to help her develop the product and a financial backer to provide the set up capital of $40,000. She spent all of 1991 getting everything in place and the first range of colours was released in March 1992. Since then, other ranges of lipstick have been released. The brand is distributed through Myer Grace Bros and David Jones nationally as well as selected department stores and around 300 boutiques and salons. At present, the products are exported to America, Singapore and London.
The company has grown very rapidly, at one stage growth was estimated at 1200% per month.
Poppy and her brother Justin are the directors, employing 45 people full time. The company plans to expand their product range and export markets with a long-term goal of becoming an international cosmetic and accessory brand. Annual turnover is estimated at $6 million.
Poppy has been a member of the Small Business Council of Australia and a staunch advocate of the Australian Republican Movement. She is a well-known public speaker who speaks regularly about her business achievements and issues of national interest. In January 1995, Poppy was awarded the Young Australian of the Year by the National Australia Day Council.
Strategies for Success
- Focus: Maintain a clear focus on your goal. Picture the desired end result and work backwards to establish the steps you need to take to get there. Set both long-term and short-term goals and constantly re-evaluate them to ensure they are relevant and achievable.
- Stamina: You need determination and stamina to run a business. It’s hard work – the responsibility never goes away. But make sure you take time to enjoy life; if you do not balance work and social life, you will end up being bad at both.
- Flexibility: Be able to adjust to good and bad situations. Business involves variables, some within your control and some beyond it, and things do not always go according to plan.
- Self-Knowledge: Do what you are good at, and seek advice when you lack expertise. Do not expect to be good at every aspect of business. Recognise your strengths and weaknesses.
- Confidence: Believe in yourself and in your abilities. If you do, then so will others. Confidence is the most important factor for success.