Meet the team
At Lush we like to do things our own way. We are privately owned and as such have Shareholders and a Management Board, we also have an Manufacturing Board, country level Boards and a fantastic Leadership team who guide the company across lots of disciplines.
Meet some of the people on the Lush Leadership team, and discover who’s a Shareholder, a co-founder, a self confessed Lushie and much more you never knew (in alphabetical order, no favouritism here!)…
Co founder, inventor and Shareholder
Helen Ambrosen is the lady behind many of Lush customers’ favourite products, she’s an inventor and also one of the Lush co-founders. “Being a Co-founder is a busy role,” she starts. “It involves working in the business in different capacities. For me it means mainly taking care of and supporting the creativity and innovation which keeps Lush captivating its customers. This helps enable the company to serve the customers with not only what they want but also what they need.”
Helen was working with the other Lush co-founders before Lush was even conceived, building the business from the ground up and looking for new ways to do things within the beauty industry. “The early days of Lush were really happy for me. I was inventing and making products, then inventing and making fragrances. I love doing this and it led to some lovely inventions. One of which was Cosmetic Warrior Fresh Face Mask, which came together one Saturday afternoon.
“As the concepts of the products began to evolve and because we had no money for packaging to begin with, a list of products that could be made ‘solid’ began to come into view. The first, was a ‘solid’ bath oil. Then came the henna ‘brick’ I worked through my ‘list’ realising that products in this form did not require preservatives. All our careers have been spent considering this and working to make products without preservatives. Solid bubble bath – the Bubble Bars, solid conditioners and dental products were achieved. This work and all that by the other Founders and Inventors, has led to the development of what is now a very extensive patent portfolio, of which we are very proud.”
This work led Helen to develop self preserving versions of Mask of Magnaminty, Dream Cream and Ocean Salt, and she’s not finished, she has her eye on categories like moisturisers next.
Having been part of the team leading Lush for over 25 years, Helen’s got plenty of advice to give to Lush staff members, starting: “From Liz came a concept ‘Opportunity hangs in the air’. We have tried to create that within Lush. So when you see an opportunity – take it and make the most of it.”
She continues: “Mark said in the early days that being part of a team is key. And we have always worked in teams. As Founders we are a bit like a flight of geese! They always fly in a formation where the lead goose takes a rest at times and another one takes over. But they all fly together in a direction that all have agreed on. And they get there. So take care, connect and communicate within your teams. It is rewarding and long lasting as can be seen with our nearly 40 years of working together.”
Lush Director (Greater China Region and USA)
Annabelle Baker has worked at Lush since she was a 16 year old part-time sales assistant at the Kings Road shop in London. She’s passionate about Lush having a diverse board and global leadership teams that are representative of the global business Lush is.
Her 21 years of Lush experience means that she truly knows the company inside and out, having worked in many different facets of the business. “After Kings Road, I worked in High St Kensington and then Regents Street. Being in London and at stores that had office space above, gave me the opportunity to speak directly with Mark and other founders,” Annabelle explains. “I talk (a lot) so I would often catch them when they came in. I had set my plan to go and work for the UN after University but Mark told me I would have more of a direct impact working for Lush and his passion made me re-think a career within Lush. And I’m so glad I did! Mark then offered the opportunity to join the start-up process of B Never Too Busy to Be Beautiful, in 2003, with Ro and later Charlotte (Howe). Getting to experience roles in PR, Brand and Company management and launching a business overseas.”
When B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful was dissolved, Annabelle returned to Lush to experience life in the International Support team. Working with over 11 countries and being involved in strategy, re-structuring, change management, company buy-backs, new market entry, whilst advising the board on wider global issues like Ethical Banking. Whilst doing this role in 2010, she embarked on her MBA at Imperial College. Her long held desire to seek opportunities outside of the UK and was rewarded with a leadership role in Hong Kong, where she has spent 8 years working on the Greater China business and region strategy.
This has been one of Annabelle’s best Lush experiences: “Living abroad, experiencing a completely different culture, new languages and running a business without being able to rely on support that is in the UK, because of the reality of time zones. It gave me first-hand experience of what it was like in market and how Lush works outside of the UK. It highlighted the importance of getting diverse voices heard across the business, building local teams into areas of leadership and how this inclusivity would benefit the whole company. It has been the best career decision I’ve made to date.”
Returning to the UK earlier in 2020, Annabelle has just begun her next challenge with Lush, taking on a directorship of the Lush business in the USA. She has spent time understanding the US companies, looking at opportunities and getting to know the senior team. Whilst, recruiting a new leadership team in Hong Kong and supporting them during Covid-19.
“The only constant in Lush is change, so be flexible, open and persevere,” she says. You never know where a Lush career will take you!
Co Founder and Director
Photo by Zelda de Hollander
Meet Rowena Bird, one of Lush’s Co founders and a lady of many passions. “I work in the buying team, a new Customer Service team and mystery shopping, sit on the board, help create windows, poke my nose into ethical/environmental meetings, Black Lives Matters meetings, invent product, sit on the edge of the make up team, have a passion for the success of our partners and have an opinion on pretty much everything Lush related because I love our company with a passion.”
And it’s no wonder that Rowena feels like that, as she’s been with Lush since day one, and in fact even before that! “I joined Mark, Mo & Liz on September 7th 1981, closely followed by Helen then Karl and Paul, so I have been working with them all for 39 years!”
Starting her professional career as a Beauty Therapist, Rowena moved down to Poole from Northamptonshire having always wanted to live by the sea. In these early days, pre Lush as we know it, Rowena supported the business in any way she could – mixing henna, typing invoices, washing hair in Mark’s trichology clinic were all on the to do list. “Being adaptable was one of my key skills and throughout the 39 years I have flowed through the company looking for opportunities, creating catalogues, inventing packaging, writing copy, doing whatever has needed to be done.”
This attitude to work has meant Rowena has embraced many opportunities including (but too many to list here!) the launch of a makeup brand B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful, opening key shops for Lush, visiting nearly all of our Partner markets, and creating business direction with her fellow board members.
“Don’t limit yourself with a job title, be a part of everything you can be, be adaptable, say YES a lot and see what happens,” she advises. “Work hard, play hard and be kind”.
Lush Finance Director
Like so many of our teams, Mike started his journey with Lush in a temporary role. Sixteen years later and he’s not only still with Lush, but heading up all Group Financial Reporting.
“I had taken a sabbatical while my 3rd son was born, having spent 7 years at Fitness First,” Mike explains. “A temporary role came up in Lush Retail to get them through the upcoming audit and manage the Accounting dept while a new Finance Director was found. After tidying things up and getting through the audit, I was encouraged to apply for the vacant FD role. I got to the final 2 and then lost out to Kim Coles (who?).”
Mike assumed his future lay elsewhere, but he was given other work and that soon grew into looking after financial reporting of all things ‘Group’ – that’s everything that isn’t a Partner business (non 100% owned) to you and me.
At Lush, some of our staff events are legendary, they create amazing memories for the teams. They’re also very hard work. Mike remembers one such event in Venice: “A couple of strenuous days of Board debate was rounded off with a party in the evening with Italy’s management team and shop managers. Needless to say, the Italians know how to party and each Board member was cajoled into dancing on a chair (even Mark got up there!); however the 2 Japanese Board members slept through it all, their faces literally head down in their spaghetti.”
It’s only fitting that a finance director’s final words will be number based:
‘Sales is vanity
Profit is sanity
Cash is King’
Meet Karl Bygrave
Karl Bygrave started his career with Constantine & Weir, a previous business venture from the founders of Lush, in 1983 as a trainee product compounder and has now been working for Lush for 24 years.
Karl has had a very colourful journey in the business starting with the set up of the Japanese business back in the early 2000’s. Karl also relocated to Australia for a number of years to re-organise the Australian business and introduced Lush into the New Zealand market. Along with his fellow colleagues, Karl managed Lush’s entry into several other international markets including The Middle East and Brazil, as well as often managing the fall out of many partner relationships and re-structures and even set up the very first Lush website!
Through his love for animals, Karl has championed Lush’s non-animal testing work through The Lush Prize and Lush’s Human Cell Culture testing programme for almost ten years. Having worked in and managed many areas of the business including UK Mail order operations, International Regulatory Affairs, Legal, Emerging Markets and Intellectual Property protection, in Karl’s words it is his “job to remove any block or barriers to enable the company to do what it wants to do while managing the business risk.”
“I’m very touched to have been asked to be a Lush Employee Benefit Trust trustee as I believe it is an important aspect of the business and important recognition of every member of staff’s contribution,” he says.
Chase’s journey with Lush started more than 20 years ago when he was taken on as a Christmas Temp making bath bombs and earned the reputation of “Lush Pud Guy” (the bath bomb nobody else wanted to press!). It wasn’t just pud-related nicknames that helped Chase to stand out though, as there was once a time where he was also best known for donning a plastic bowler hat!
Hot style tips aside, what was only ever intended as a stop gap during university enrolment ended up becoming a lifelong career which has included compounding, managing production departments and dipping in and out of supporting a vast number of global projects outside of manufacturing too.
“A big part of the job and satisfaction I get today is trying to support colleagues to be the best they can be, throwing myself into whatever I do to help support and grow the business.” says Chase.
One of the best things about working for Lush is the great memories and fun antics that come with the job. “The closest relationships I have today are as a result of my journey in the company” Chase explains.
“Other highlights would be having a product named after me, doing the most random of calendar shoots (which to this day still haunts me!), and generally finding yourself doing some of the most bizarre things you can imagine as part of a “normal working day” – synonymous with the Lush culture!”
The products that are always close by for Chase would have to be Dream Cream and Dirty styling cream. Oh, and of course some shampoo bars to keep his hair squeaky clean before bed!
If there was one piece of advice Chase could give to our employees, it would be to “Be open to opportunities and challenges in front of you. Be honest, be yourself and self development never stops.”
When asked if he had any more words of wisdom, there was only one thing left to say: “There ain’t no party like a Lush party!”.
Lush Finance Director
Kim is one of Lush’s Global Finance Directors and also Finance Business Partner to Mark. Beginning her journey with Lush back in 2004, Kim’s 17th Christmas will be in 2020 (yep, at Lush we count years as Christmases!)
“I joined as Financial Controller for Lush Retail Limited,” Kim explains. “ I was interviewed by Liz Bennett and Andrew Gerrie when Retail Finance was based on the industrial estate in Willis Way. I loved working with Liz and looking back now I feel so lucky to have done so (when she gave me my job description she said she was looking for “someone to skip with”, and skip we did!). I loved UK Retail too; working with some really lovely people in the finance team (in my early days the stores were faxing their weekly sale results on a Monday morning; it would take all day to get the numbers typed into Excel and then I’d drop the results off at Mark’s house on my way to Pilates in the evening!) and working with the stores was amazing too. Really happy days.”
Kim’s well known within Lush, as a regular speaker at Lush events and often the bringer of amazing news for our staff. “One of my favourite memories at Lush has to be telling the London Managers that we were going to be able to pay the Real Living Wage to all their staff (the first step on our Real Living Wage journey).”
Over her 17 years with Lush, Kim’s worked on all things finance in retail, tax structures, transfer pricing policies, competitor reports, utopian plans and much more – including the introduction of the Lush Employee Benefit Trust : “I love the EBT and it was really lovely being part of its introduction”, she says. “Don’t forget to have fun! There is always so much to be done and lots of hard work but try to make sure it’s fun too.”
Group Retail Director
Claire Constantine is Lush’s Group Retail Director and occasional perfume creator for Lush, too. She’s spent the past 11 years working in, and on, the Retail side of the business, working her way from Sales Assistant to where she is now. “I first started working in UK&I Retail Support, but I found myself woefully under qualified so quickly chose to move into a Sales Assistant role in Covent Garden to learn the ropes from scratch,” she explains. “The first time I worked on the shop floor at Covent Garden. I was so amazed by the knowledge of the staff, their confidence approaching strangers, their multilingual, tactile demos and the huge amount of energy and atmosphere the entire shop exuded. I was intimidated but desperate to be able to do what they did.”
Claire’s time at Covent Garden saw her progress to Manager of Lush’s top shop for sales at that time, where she spent “three fabulous Christmases”.
“Unfortunately our lease ended and I had to find a new role within the business,” she continues. “We were also losing our Regent Street shop and needed to find a new unit in central London to improve our brand positioning, and after lots of debate and maths the property team secured the Oxford Street shop unit.”
Claire spent the next few years as Oxford Street’s Senior Manager, opening the doors to our Anchor shop in 2015 to rave headlines and customer reviews. The shop was a whole new scale for Lush, with three floors and hundreds of exclusive product lines, meaning a new way of management that impacted the way Lush thought about retail going forward.
“I left Oxford Street to restructure the way the UK&I Retail was supported, frustrated that some of the great ideas from the shop hadn’t gone further afield, for example slate consultations. I spent two years working with the fantastically innovative retail team there until I moved into my current role supporting the wider Group Retail business. I’ve been doing this job for around a year now, and am learning something new every day.”
Claire has a few words of wisdom to leave us with: “Don’t forget to have fun! Sometimes the job can seem tough, but it’s only a soap shop and we are here to help other people have a good time, so don’t forget to have fun yourself too.”
Group Digital Director
Within Lush, Jack is perhaps best known as the man behind all things digital – including websites, apps and an in-shop till system. But he’s also the inventor of many of our best selling and iconic products, including Intergalactic, Black Rose and Dragon’s Egg bath bombs.
Jack made headlines world over when he led the team creating The Experimenter video, and for taking a stance on Social Media for Lush. Driving new ways to connect with Lush communities online, he’s never afraid to challenge convention. “Be brave,” he says. “We’re here to experiment and explore and push boundaries. Make mistakes, make them again, and then learn and develop from them. I think that’s why our customers love us.”
Beginning his career working alongside his mum (and Inventor of the first bath bomb in 1989), Mo Constantine, Jack grew up in the midst of a company that likes to shake up the industry. From helping his mum in their garden shed to create bath bombs, Jack worked his way up through the company; designing labels and windows to working on the first Lush campaign.
As Chief Digital Officer, Jack believes his part of the business should be responsible for finding tech solutions that make Lush (and the wider world) a better, fairer and more sustainable place. “I’m all about finding tech solutions for real-world problems, staying true to the internet’s open-source roots and fighting for digital rights. If we can put a marker in the sand and strive to be better hopefully the rest of the market – and then the world – will follow suit.”
Co Founder and Director
Mark’s mantra could well be, “I did it my way”. He co founded Lush with five friends and creative confidants in 1995 after the collapse of previous mail order business Cosmetics To Go. Mark has been a key driving force behind the business for 25 years and also works as part of the product development team creating hair, skincare and body creams as well as decadent Lush spa treatments.
Challenging the business to create fresh, innovative and anarchic cosmetic products, it is some of Mark’s beliefs that Lush is based on and that have become the backbone of the company. Lush’s stringent and pioneering ‘against animal testing policy’ is just one example of how his strong beliefs have transformed the cosmetics industry – he introduced a Supplier Specific Boycott Policy, which means that Lush will not buy any ingredient from any supplier that tests any of its materials on animals for any purpose. This policy is unique in its field and is different and distinct from the Fixed Cut-Off Date policy employed by the Humane Cosmetics Standard.
Mark’s plight against over packaging in the cosmetic industry is another. In the Channel 4 documentary ‘The Insider: Packaging is Rubbish,’ Mark highlighted just how much waste the average British citizen goes through in a lifetime and exactly where it ends up – in landfill. This is why the majority of Lush products are designed to be solid and can be sold without packaging.
In the 2010 Queen’s New Years Honours list Mark and his wife Mo Constantine both received OBEs for their services to the beauty industry. Mark has been named five times since 2010 as one of London’s 1000 Most Influential People in the Environment and Business Brains categories by The Evening Standard newspaper. In 2015 Mark was named in BBC Wildlife magazine as one of the 50 most influential people in British wildlife.
Mark’s enduring love and enthusiasm for his work, as well as the beauty and retail industries, remain at the heart of his determination to make Lush the company we all want it to be.
Co Founder and Director
Mo Constantine: Co Founder, product inventor, manufacturing director and the mastermind behind the Bath Bomb and Shampoo Bar!
Having started her professional life as a legal secretary, Mo’s career (and our bathroom shelves) took a turn for the brighter when she embraced her interest in new natural cosmetics. By the late eighties Mo was inventing exciting new concepts for the mail order company, Cosmetics to Go. Here, with training from the renowned cosmetic scientist Stan Kryztal, Mo started to specialise in inventing solid, unpreserved and unpackaged products. In 1999 her first patent was granted for the invention of the resoundingly popular solid Shampoo Bar. Since then, Mo has created some of the most memorable and creative products, the most famous being the world’s first Bath Bomb. Mo also invented the first pourable soap base together with chemist Stan, and then took it one step further and reformulated a palm oil free soap base.
Now Mo can often be found in the lab at 29 High Street or (during lockdown) the shed at the side of the family home, rustling up vats of steaming soap ideas or dusty bowls of brightly coloured bath mixes, alongside Claire and Jack. If Mo isn’t there, then most likely she is visiting one of the seven international production units that she insists produce handmade products whilst ensuring excellent freshness and quality.
Co Founder and Director
Paul Greeves is our International Man of Mystery. Little is known about Paul, one of Lush’s original Co Founders but we take it on excellent authority from people in the know that he has worked in many departments in Lush, showcasing his talent, over the years.
Legend has it Paul joined Lush as a bio-chemist, to run the Lush labs and since then has headed up mail order, data security and even the Lush Times.
Manufacturing Director/Manufacturing Finance Business Partner
Initially joining Lush Manufacturing as a Purchase Ledger Clerk during her studies, Sophie has now been with the business for 13 years. “Having always had a more practical mind, I absolutely loved how tangible the job was compared to some of the more typical roles on offer out there in the wider Finance world!” Sophie explains.
An aspect of the role that appealed to Sophie when she first joined was being able to get hands on with understanding the production processes behind the scenes and supporting our Manufacturing production teams wherever possible. As time progressed, Sophie continued to move through the team gaining new skills and insights while completing her qualification. From 2018 onwards, her career path evolved into supporting all of the Lush Group Manufacturing Finance teams, allowing her the opportunity to travel and work with Manufacturing on a much more global scale.
Work and play often go hand in hand at Lush. “Lush really knows how to throw the best events and I feel lucky to have attended a few of these over the years and meet so many of the Lush family.” Sophie says, while reflecting on memorable moments of days gone by such as Lushfest 2012.
One piece of advice Sophie would give to anybody reading is to “Be open to change and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s ok to get things wrong sometimes while we’re constantly striving to adapt.”
Dan is now in his 22nd year with Lush, having first started out as production floor staff in manufacturing, then moving onto compounding and management before eventually becoming a Director for the UK business.
He explains; “I have a strong focus on operations, forecasting and planning with a goal of delivering the freshest quality products to our customers.”
Within his role, Dan has been lucky enough to travel the world, working with our global teams to help and support their expansion and share best practice. When reflecting on some of his highlights, Dan says “It’s always a pleasure to visit our Japanese Teams. I’ve been lucky enough to visit 4 or 5 times now. Words can’t describe what amazing hosts the Japanese Team are. Along with being able to experience different cultures and meet some amazing people, I’ve been lucky to travel a lot with Lush and I’ve experienced things that I may never have if it wasn’t for the opportunities I’ve been given.”
The one Lush product Dan couldn’t live without is our Comforter bubble bar.
Before joining Lush more than 20 years ago, Hilary was a campaigner and an activist and had spent some years driving an animal ambulance for a charity and dealing with injured wildlife too. She began working in the factory making soap, then as the company grew she worked in many different areas, even learning to drive a forklift truck to load deliveries during her time in Despatch. She is now Lush’s Ethics Director, spearheading campaigns that speak out on many issues around human rights, animal protection and preserving the environment. The Founders and staff come up with ideas, while campaign groups and charities ask Lush if they can get involved to support. Hilary is part of the Lush Prize management committee, an initiative launched in 2012 and the largest international annual prize in the non-animal testing sector, awarding those who have made significant advancements in removing animals from testing.
Commercial Chief Officer, Lush Japan
With Lush in nearly 50 countries, Japan stands out as a place where Lush has retail, manufacturing and Support teams, much like Australia, Germany and Canada. As such Yayoi has a big responsibility and one she’s embraced with Lush for the past 8 years.
“I joined Lush Japan in 2012 as Brand Marketing Manager,” explains Yayoi. “In the first year I visited the UK almost every month to participate in ‘Mafia’ meetings, where I had an opportunity to immerse myself into the Lush Brand as well as meeting all of lovely Lush friends quickly. In 2016 I was appointed as Director mainly to look after the Brand/Digital and Retail area.”
Japan has been host to some of Lush’s exciting concept stores, boasting the first ever bath bomb shop and helping to elevate our Lush Lens, digital packaging technology, to a whole new level!
“We also have one of the world’s largest Lush shops in Shinjuku, which opened as tech x retail concept. Lush Lens was aired on National TV news as “Digital Packaging” – and the shop still draws media attention.”
Always armed with her favourite Lush products (Ultrabland and Dream Cream), Yayoi’s advice to fellow Lush staff is simple: “Always save your breathing space to look after yourself. Take a Bath.”
That’s definitely advice we’re willing to embrace!
Meet Jason Muller
Global Manufacturing Director
It can come as a surprise to some people that Lush manufactures its own products. In fact, Lush has manufacturing facilities in six countries worldwide now! Producing millions of bath bombs, shampoo bars and anything else we sell 7 days a week, throughout the year, these are the heart of the Lush business.
Jason Muller looks after Global Manufacturing, or ‘Manu’ as it’s affectionately known within Lush, and has been with the company for nearly 25 years.
“I started working with Lush in 1996 when I wrote to Mo and asked about a potential position,” Jason explains. “Back then it was all hands on deck. I would order the ingredients, negotiate prices, make the product, pack the product and even sometimes deliver it in the beginning!”
With over 154 million items produced across our Manufacturing facilities in the year ended June 30th 2018, Jason can’t hand deliver all our products now, but he does get involved in the strategy to define how the manufacturing business grows. Planning the design, cost, capital expenditure and team requirements to help us deliver the freshest handmade products to our customers around the Lush world.
“Pursue your dreams and embrace all challenges, the rewards will follow,” says Jason. And having helped to grow the manufacturing capabilities of Lush from one garden shed to Lush factories in six countries, he’s a man that knows what he’s talking about!
International Business Support and Development
“Put all of your passion into work and your life,” advises Simon Nicholls, the man who looks after Lush’s International Business Support & Development. “They are all wrapped up to be the same thing… find what you love, check that you are good at it and then go for it!”
It’s a piece of advice that’s served Simon well over the 22 years he’s spent with Lush. His passion for retail and shop openings landed him his first role for Lush as Sales Manager for UK retail and from there Simon’s explored pretty much all areas of the business: “I have worked on the management of the digital and mail order business with Founder Paul Greeves, worked in International Partner support and various Group countries support. I have also been involved in retail pricing strategy for countries, sales forecasting, training of managers and staff, helped design gifts, Partner recruitment and selection, Lush colleague recruitment, License negotiations for existing and new Partners, country openings and I have presented at some of the big meetings.”
In fact one of these presentations has become somewhat of a Lush Legend. “After criticising the sales of Henna, Mark asked that I prepare an overnight presentation on Henna, the history, the uses, plus three facts about herbal hair colouring that he did not know, to be presented to the UK Managers meeting. I worked through the night, finishing the presentation at 5am. Everyone seemed to enjoy my performance and Mark was impressed by the snippets of information that he did not know… even though I had lifted these facts from a book that he had written about Herbal Hair colouring in 1978!”
Simon’s day to day role includes working with Lush Licensees to develop their businesses and align them with the global objectives of our Lush brand, as well as spotting opportunities to support the business and build the company in any way he can.
Non Executive Director Lush
Janis Paskin has worked alongside Lush’s founders since the 1970s. These days, she is Brand Guardian and non Executive Director, helping to keep the Lush brand strong and healthy, and maximise and maintain brand consistency.
Janis’ relationship with Lush started in PR, when her company, Bubble Publicity promoted Cosmetics To Go, the company that came before Lush, as well as the launch of Lush in 1995. “I continued to promote Lush until 1998 when, as a single parent I ‘retired’ to spend time bringing up my young daughter,” she says. “Mark and I maintained contact over the years, including him inviting me, in 2007, to contribute towards the obituary he wrote for Anita Roddick in the Daily Telegraph. Last year the time seemed to be right for us to consider working together again.”
Part of Janis’ role is to help make sure Lush’s ethics are communicated effectively, and she believes that Lush employees should be particularly proud of these. She enthuses: “Be proud to work for a company like Lush that has such a robust background in sustainability and regeneration, proven expertise in innovation and a transparent approach to ethics and looking after people and the planet.”
Len is one of our Manufacturing Directors and as of May 2022 she will have been with Lush for 20 years! “Although, this is my second time working for Lush.”, Len explains. “The first time around was from 1996 to 1998 where I worked at the High Street covering anything that came my way, but was also a great learning curve for me. I think when I first started we had about 10 shops!”
Fast forward to 2002 and after a spot of travelling, Len hung up her rucksack and found herself back at Lush in pursuit of a “proper job”. What she was about to embark upon would be a whole new adventure in itself. Starting off in our Mail Order department (now known as Digital Fulfilment), a typical day would consist of picking and packing parcels to be sent out to our customers. At the time, this job was done in the back of the shop which was quite a challenge, but after moving to bigger premises Len then began to work her way through the team and progressed to a management position. In 2007 it was time for a change and Len moved into Lush Manufacturing as part of the Customer Service team working alongside our shops and partners. The role added even more skills to Len’s toolkit and enabled her to get stuck in everywhere. She explains: “We could turn our hands to pretty much anything and would even be found out in the warehouse in December making hat box gifts to help get stock to the stores.”
Len also took her skills in Customer Service over to B Never Too Busy To Be Beautiful where she worked until it closed its doors in 2009. After this, she returned to Lush to immerse herself in several different departments which saw her making products, leading the Gifts team, relocating and running the Filling Room (which came about after a conversation in a car park, might we add… opportunity knocks almost anywhere here at Lush!) and covering various support roles across the entire business.
“I have so many amazing memories from my time at Lush and have met so many brilliant people along the way that picking favourites is so difficult.” says Len. “However, when I think about the Manu Awards evenings and being able to celebrate our amazing teams, those memories make me smile the most.”
She continues: “If you are going to make working at Lush your career I would say there are a couple of top tips…take every opportunity that comes your way, embrace the chaos and use the products, we wouldn’t have a business without them. There are more exciting times ahead and so many more opportunities will be coming your way so grab them when they come along!”
After hearing Len’s journey, we don’t doubt that for a second!
Global Property Director
“Whatever you do, just make sure what you’re doing makes you happy – and if it doesn’t, do whatever you can to change it. Life’s too short to be unhappy.” Sage advice from Paul Wheatley, Global Property Director for Lush Cosmetics.
Having started his working life in record shops and then spending over two decades in property management, Paul spent a short time working as a landlord: “I knew that being a landlord wasn’t really for me and a friend of mine told me that Lush were looking for a property person to oversee the UK portfolio for Retail, Manu and Limited. I was intrigued by the opportunity.”
Paul joined the Lush team in April 2008 and has spent the last 12 years looking after various parts of the retail estate. From working with a dedicated and passionate team, many of whom have spent much of the past 18 months negotiating rent reductions across the group – this time due to the impact of Covid – to helping to reshape the UK retail business, Paul has a broad experience within the company, spending time on every aspect of retail. Something Paul describes as “fabulous fun and extremely rewarding.”
In 2013 Paul was asked to be involved in property outside the UK too, overseeing the development of different retail businesses expansion and property strategies, and working with local teams in each country. Be that Shinjuku in Japan, or the largest Lush shop in the world – Liverpool in the UK.
And speaking of our famous big shops, Paul and his team are integral to building these; helping find the best positions in each city and negotiating the best rents: “The opening of Oxford Street, London was inspirational and made possible by an extraordinary team effort from across the business. There wasn’t a dry eye in the shop that day.”
Paul’s role sees him ensuring global property standards are upheld and that the company vision is followed throughout the retail estate, with larger shops in prime locations at the heart of this.