At first blush, Marcia Kilgore exudes the whimsy of a doe-eyed waif. Beneath the surface is a buckled-down businesswoman with a demanding yet optimistic nature. It would lead her to a trifecta as a serial entrepreneur, notably selling a majority stake of Bliss Spa to conglomerate LVMH for $30 million just three years after starting up.Kilgore grew up in a working-class, suburban town of Outlook in Saskatchewan, Canada, and was “just like every other kid on the block” until her father died. She was 11. “It was so early, I think it brought on a greater sense of responsibility for myself,” says Kilgore, now 43. By her teens, she was already exhibiting the tendencies of a serial entrepreneur, juggling three part-time jobs in high school. She ultimately moved to New York and worked as a personal trainer, but was embarrassed by her acne-prone skin. In her quest to fix her own problem, she launched Bliss Spa in New York in 1996, which grew into a chain of spas and a wildly popular product line.
After selling Bliss to LVMH in 1999, entrepreneurial restlessness would kick in. She moved to the U.K. and started a cosmetics company, Soap & Glory, in 2006. The following year, she launched FitFlop footwear. As if running multiple companies weren’t enough, Kilgore also writes the marketing copy and dreams up product names for both brands, often with a precocious twist like Soap & Glory’s ‘Sexy Mother Pucker’ lip gloss.
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