Mark Constantine: The Willy Wonka of the Beauty Industry

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Case Details:

Case Code : LDEN046
Case Length : 24 Pages
Period : 2002-2006
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Industry : Beauty care / Cosmetics
Countries : UK, Europe, USA

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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The Early Years

Mark Constantine was born in Sutton, Surrey, UK, in July 1952 (Refer to Exhibit I for a photograph of Mark Constantine). He was raised by his mother and his grandmother as his father had left home when he was two years old. Not having a father had an indelible imprint on young Constantine. Constantine said that during his early years, he did not have any "guiding light" to tell him whether what he was doing was right or wrong...

The Body Shop Connection

In 1976, Constantine and his friend Elizabeth Weir (Weir) established a beauty business called Constantine and Weir Plc. (C&W). Weir was a trained beauty therapist. Constantine started developing a range of bath and body products that were manufactured in a workshop in Poole.

C&W also started supplying these natural-based cosmetic products to a number of retailers.
In the early 1977, Constantine sent Anita Roddick (Roddick), the co-founder of Body Shop, a few samples of his products, after seeing a picture of Body Shop in a magazine. Roddick agreed for a meeting with him and Constantine impressed her so much with his products that he walked away with a 1,200 order...

Leadership and Entrepreneurship Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Leadership and Entrepreneurship, Case Studies

The 'Cosmetics to go' Disaster

Constantine started a mail order catalogue business, Cosmetics to Go (CTG), as he was getting increasingly insecure at the prospect of Body Shop shifting its production in-house. In 1994, Constantine sold the manufacturing rights of his products to Body Shop and used the money to invest in the mail order catalogue business. CTG sold natural, handmade beauty products and perfumes that were not tested on animals. Preservatives and chemicals used in the products were very minimal...

Lush - Developing Evangelical Customers

Constantine's old friend Weir asked Constantine to join her in producing natural cosmetics. Another colleague Rowena Bird (Bird) told him that if he made cosmetics they would find a way to sell them. Constantine's suppliers too wanted him to get back into business.

The team which included Mo, Weir, Bird and Helen Ambrosen among others, rallied behind Constantine and pulled together 14,000, which they invested in their new venture, Cosmetic House...

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