University of Bath – Successful Alumni who Founded Startups

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Dame Anita Roddick – The Body Shop

anita roddick

Dame Anita Roddick founded The Body Shop, specialising in health and beauty after graduating from the University of Bath. The company was founded in her hometown of Brighton in 1976.

Anita wanted sell products which were ethically-sourced, cruelty-free and only contained natural ingredients, sourced naturally from producers with no animal testing involved in the manufacturing process.

As a form of advertisement, Anita relied on the local press and was originally selling her products in urine sample bottles with the aim of making them reusable. All of the labels on the products were hand written as she did not have a label manufacturer at the beginning of The Body Shop’s journey.

By 1984, there were 138 The Body Shop stores, 87 of which were located abroad, and by 1994, 89% of the business’ locations were franchises. The business was floated on London’s Unlisted Securities Market in 1984 and opened at a price of 95p, with the Roddicks keeping 27.6% of the company’s shares.

Anita continued as managing director of her business in order to retain control of the company’s direction. Share prices in the company increased dramatically, with prices rising 10,944 percent in the first eight years of The Body

In 1987, Roddick offered $3.5 million to Peggy Short and Jane Saunders who were the original owners of the company ‘Body Shop’ as she desired exclusive rights to the name of the business. They then changed the name of their company to ‘Body Time’, and it ran until 2018. The Body Shop then began trading in the United States.

 

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