After studying English Literature and Latin at the University of Western Australia, I travelled to the USA to complete a Master of Science in Mass Communication in Boston.
From there I went to London, landing a marketing job with cosmetics giant L'Oreal.
Two years later, I was transferred to Melbourne, and after 18 months in the job I was out on my own. I launched Mecca Cosmetica in 1997 after taking on the cosmetics giants, when the beauty industry was in the midst of a dull, 'brown' funk. I went against the tide, sold my house to open my first store, and put my money on colour, selling cult make-up and cosmetics that once required a passport and plane ticket to purchase.
My idea was to sell a range of imported, cutting-edge make-up brands in a purpose-built store in Australia, where the products are the stars and the clients would receive customised service. No offers of gifts with a purchase. No salespeople on commission to sell particular brands. The idea for Mecca Cosmetica was born.
I have grown my company from a single boutique into a chain of eight. In 2002, I was invited to speak about niche retailing at a summit of beauty industry CEOs in France. Among the guests was my former boss from L'Oreal. It was an amazing experience. I felt like an unknown winning an Oscar!
As of September 2010, Mecca Cosmetica has grown to over 20 retail stores around Australia and New Zealand.
A website has also been developed for Mecca Cosmetica which features all products and online shopping with delivery to your door.