Own Your Success – An Interview with Pro Blo Group’s Rebecca McCann.
Imagine your product stocked in department stores across the world – Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Bloomingdales. Imagine your product being used by celebrities from Instagram “It Girls” to TV stars. Imagine your product featured in glossy magazines such as Vogue, Elle and Hello!
Well, Rebecca McCann doesn’t have to imagine any of this – it’s her reality.
Words: Rachel Forcella;
Winner of the Forward Ladies 2015 Young Entrepreneur of the Year (and recipient of a special award for ‘One to Watch’), Rebecca launched the Pro Blo Group in November 2014 with plans to only sell on eBay. However, her vision and tenacity have resulted in the birth of a global empire with an even more exciting future ahead.
Rebecca was the keynote speaker for this year’s Forward Ladies National Awards Northwest, Ireland & Wales Regional Final at the Lowry Hotel in Manchester. She inspired the audience of 150 women with her amazing story of entrepreneurialism which began with a tale involving the school tuck shop.
She reminded everyone that success is whatever you choose it to be, and that if you want that success, you have to “take a seat at the table” (Sheryl Sandberg). Rebecca urged us to “own our own success” and to take advantage of our women’s intuition.
Her personal motto of “Say yes and make it happen” certainly struck a chord with the audience, judging by the after-dinner conversation!
During the event, we caught up with Rebecca to find out more about her phenomenal success.
How has winning the Forward Ladies 2015 Young Entrepreneur of the Year award helped you to develop your business over the last two years?
What I won was the community. It’s so good to meet other people in the same boat as you. I also found that Forward Ladies is an environment where people genuinely want to help you and are happy to pass on their contacts without expecting anything in return.
It has helped me to build my brand awareness organically and gave me a chance to step away from the day-to-day running and a look at my business as a whole, with a broader perspective.
Also, it gave me confirmation that I was doing the right thing and going in the right direction.
How has your business changed during this time?
Pro Blo Group is much more structured now – previously it was just me going at 100mph!!
I slowed down and put structures in place – we now have targets and budgets. I have a dedicated and focused team who keep me in line. In fact, that’s my proudest achievement – having brought together a team of amazing women.
Brand awareness has grown too – we’ve expanded in the UK, and also into the US & UAE.
We now understand our customers more – both who are customers are and, just as importantly, how to get to them.
What are the challenges of a growing business?
The beauty industry changes so fast, and we need to be able to change with it. The boundaries between beauty and fashion are blurring – we’re soon to be launching on the ASOS & Missguided websites, and we need to ensure that we’re ready to make the most of these kinds of opportunities.
Also as the brand grows and becomes more of a household name, your customers have more expectations of you. They expect to see you at certain events and in certain stores. We have to anticipate that and not disappoint.
At what point did you realise the potential of Pro Blo?
The big turning point for me was at a trade show in London. When you’re purely an e-commerce company, you can hide behind a screen, but in “real life” you can’t hide! I was nervous because it was the first time I had taken the brand “out there”.
We had planned that the stand would be run by just me and three friends. However, we kept selling out of stock and needing to replenish – in the end, two other friends who had just come to say “hello” had to help us man the stall. At one point we were 12 people deep!!
Any other words of wisdom for us?
Get out of the office and take a step back – that’s when you’ll see the bigger picture for your business.
Appreciate what you’ve achieved. My favourite quote is
“What if I fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly?”
Rebecca McCann is the founder and managing director of Pro Blo, an innovative hair curling tool.
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To join Forward Ladies at our 2017 National Awards Grand Final in Leeds on Friday 1st December, book your tickets here: https://www.forwardladies.com/networking-events/
If you’d like to be considered for an award, or would like to nominate someone else, nominations for our 2018 Awards are now open – for more details see here: https://www.forwardladies.com/awards2018/