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This International Women’s Day, FLOWERBX founder Whitney Bromberg Hawkings sat down with serial entrepreneur Marcia Kilgore, the brains and beauty behind Beauty Pie. From favourite flowers to skincare tips, discover their journeys, learnings, and advice for their younger selves – and other women – in life and business.
Marcia, you have so many great ideas! How much success do you think is idea versus execution?
I think it's probably 50/50, right? You have to hone your ideas. You can come up with an idea a day, but only one out of 365 is good enough to survive. So you have to know which ideas answer that “so what” question in a meaningful way that's different enough that you will then have the ability to keep telling that story.
“For me, flowers are self-worth. So, I always have a bunch of flowers on my desk! It changes your mood and how you feel about yourself. “
What qualities do you think are most vital for an entrepreneur?
You have to be flexible and resilient, and psychotically focused on excellence! Then there is something I like to call a kind of ‘productive paranoia’ – if you've lost your way from what’s made you successful in the first place, you have to always come back to that. Then fastidiousness in terms of execution, a willingness to test new things, and ridiculous levels of optimism!
Do you feel discrimination externally when building businesses in a predominantly female industry, or that you've proven yourself enough now that everyone takes you seriously?
In the beginning, it was actually easier to work in a female-oriented industry with a bunch of other women who wanted the product that you were selling - whether that was a facial or a face cream - so you didn't encounter discrimination because people knew you were an expert.
What role do flowers play in your life?
For me, flowers are self-worth. So, I always have a bunch of flowers on my desk! It changes your mood and how you feel about yourself. It says I’m worth this investment and having this bit of beauty beside me, no matter what other chaos is going on.
I’d love to know more about your first memory with flowers.
Oh, wow. I guess I would probably be lilacs. I would visit the farm of my mom's brother and they had lilac trees everywhere. It's just one of the most amazing scents, right? My grandma was big into horticulture, so there were always flowers in my childhood. It was mostly wildflowers because growing up in Canada, there weren't a lot of florists at the time, but now I tend to go for just bunches of monochromatic roses because they're just so beautiful, simple and classic.
For you, what things are officially over and why?
I think overpaying is officially over! If I can get something that's the same quality, I don't need a fancy brand stamp on it. If it doesn't look any more beautiful in my house. I’m over aligning myself with other people's brands rather than being my own.
“Keep moving. Keep meeting people and always have empathy.”
What would you tell your younger self? Your older self?
Trust your gut instinct, because, in fact, it’s actual numbers that you can't perhaps elucidate. So you can't necessarily put words to them, but your gut instinct is actually your mind telling you things, but not in a verbal way. For my older self: Keep moving. Keep meeting people and always have empathy. And do lots of yoga!
“I think flowers are one of the single material things in the world that can actually improve your mood. They are filled with emotion and love.”
Tell me why it's so good to surround yourself with flowers.
I think flowers are one of the single material things in the world that can actually improve your mood. They are filled with emotion and love. When someone sends you flowers, the flowers aren't just flowers, they're symbols of someone thinking about you, someone taking time for you – whatever the message they’re conveying. So to me, flowers are connection and self-care.
How do you decide which flowers you're going to send to someone?
Seasonality is key. It's like food – If you eat food that's not in season, it tastes terrible, so it’s the same with flowers. I would never send you peonies outside of spring because they wouldn’t be in season. Right now, it's all about ranunculus.
“Whether it's food, flowers, or beauty, I would so much rather have just a few things that are really good.”
What are your favourite flowers to have at home in April?
I would say it's Easter varieties, so daffodils, paperwhites, and hyacinths. Anything really fragrant in spring is just so amazing because it’s just as it is intended to be and actually exists in nature.
Describe your relationship with the world of beauty. Are you an enthusiast, a novice, or a fanatic?
I'm not any of those, really. I'm sort of a beauty purist and I feel like having a beauty uniform just sort of simplifies everything else. It's one thing I don't have to worry about, so I'm not a huge experimenter, but I love the quality. Whether it's food, flowers, or beauty, I would so much rather have just a few things that are really good. I don't like anything too complex and I feel like one of the reasons I love Beauty Pie – for both your aesthetic and products – is the simplicity.
And your beauty icons?
You! And I love all those sixties looks; Twiggy, I’ve always thought she was so beautiful. Jean Shrimpton and her dramatic eyes. Obviously, Audrey Hepburn. But current beauty icons-wise – it has to be Beyoncé. She is just my icon in everything. Beauty, womanhood, motherhood, and amazing talent.
What’s your signature fragrance?
Again, I'm a purist! It’s Tuberose all the way. One of my good friends has a company called Sana Jardin, which is a really beautiful super sustainable fragrance brand. I love her Tuberose scent.
Advice for your 16-year-old self?
You're better than you think you are because I had so much self-doubt. And also, just don't compare yourself to other people. It's futile. It's just a waste of time.
What things are you officially over?
I think anything environmentally damaging is really officially over. I’m totally over food waste, plus high street waste and fashion. The kind that people buy for £10 and wear once. I don't even know why that even happened!
This International Women’s Day, we’ve teamed up with Beauty Pie to celebrate women everywhere.
Shop with FLOWERBX from the 1st-19th of March and enjoy an exclusive beauty treat alongside every bunch.