Maria Hatzistefanis, Founder, Rodial, Walpole Member

London-based beauty entrepreneur, Maria Hatzistefanis, founded her ground-breaking skincare group, Rodial, in 1999 by identifying a niche for treatments targeted to specific skin concerns. There are 2 brands – Rodial and Nip + Fab, sold at over 20,000 doors across 35 countries worldwide including Saks Fifth Avenue, Space NK and Harrods, while high profile celebrities such as Kylie Jenner front the brands’ campaigns.

Maria has a book launching in July 2017 named ‘How To Be An Overnight Success’, chronicling her experiences launching her still privately owned business, and working with celebrities.

In order to be a successful luxury entrepreneur what are three pieces of advice you would give?

Surround yourself with people who share your vision of creating a luxury brand and compliment your skills, the team around you is really crucial to your success.

Always challenge yourself and experiment with new ideas and concepts, even in the luxury business you need to keep your brand fresh and relevant to be ahead of the game.

Be prepared to say no to opportunities that are not on-brand, you may be tempted but you always need to keep the big pictures and maintain the luxury ethos of your brand in the long run.

What are the most important lessons you have learned along your journey?

Grow slowly and build your infrastructure for sustainable growth and longevity. There is nothing like an overnight success.

What are the watch outs along the way?

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Be careful and make the right choices from distribution to publicity to people. Everything matters when you are building a luxury brand.

When you were started out who was your biggest inspiration? And what did they tell you that helped make you a success?

I am constantly inspired by successful women who built powerful brands from Victoria Beckham to Anna Wintour to Beyoncé. They work hard, build their brands carefully and are consistent with their efforts.