Lady Michelle Mone OBE
Recognised as one of the UK’s most renowned entrepreneurs, Lady Michelle Mone has turned her impressive business acumen to a wide range of sectors, from lingerie to interiors, jewellery to property, tech to speaking.
Growing up in the East End of Glasgow, Michelle encountered both personal and economic struggle from a young age. At 15, her father fell ill and became bound to a wheelchair. With the family struggling to cope financially, Michelle was forced to leave school without any qualifications in search of full-time employment. However, her innate instinct for entrepreneurship saw her quickly begin to make her mark. At the age of 22, Michelle became the youngest ever Head of Sales and Marketing for Labatts Brewers. However, this high swiftly turned into a low when the company re-organised and Michelle was made redundant two years later.
It was a mere six weeks later that Michelle had a ‘lightbulb moment’ that would change her life forever. She was at a dinner dance event and had opted to wear an uncomfortable cleavage-enhancing bra. Through the discomfort, it dawned on her that there was a gap in the market for a better product. She didn’t need to invent the wheel, she just needed to make something that women would feel amazing in. It was here that the idea for the world famous Ultimo bra was born.
As the Founder of Ultimo Lingerie, Michelle took the brand from zero to hero, transforming it from an initial idea and concept into one of the UK’s leading lingerie lines for over two decades. Having captivated press and consumers alike, Michelle went on to sell the company to lingerie giants, MAS Holdings – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of intimates.
Awards swiftly followed this success, with Michelle winning the World Young Business Achiever Award in Florida, alongside Business Woman of the Year at the Corporate Elite Awards in London. In addition, she was invited to join the Board of Directors for The Prince’s Trust.
In 2015, she was given Peerage making her a Baroness in the House of Lords for life. In addition to this, she was appointed Start-Up Business Tsar by former Prime Minister David Cameron and former Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith to conduct The Mone Review; an insight into helping start-up businesses in deprived areas.
In recent years, Michelle has gone on to launch a best-selling jewellery line with QVC, an interior styling business, property ventures in Dubai and even cryptocurrency, alongside sitting on the board of numerous companies poised for success. With new ventures consistently on the horizon, Michelle shows no sign of slowing down in the business world!