“For a long time it was literally myself sending out packs of hair from my bedroom” – Lauren Pope on starting her business

We all know Lauren Pope from reality TV show The Only Way is Essex. She always looks amazing and she seems to have a totally glamorous life. But there’s another side to Lauren – she’s an ambitious, super-determined businesswoman. This is the story of how she started a business in her bedroom that is now a global powerhouse brand.

From creating a business plan, “I went online and literally searched for ‘Businesses plan templates'”, to shipping out orders, “for a long time it was literally myself sending out packs of hair from my bedroom” – we wanted to know what exactly went in to Hair Rehab London. It’s not half as glamorous as you’d imagine, and Lauren has had to work really, really hard to get all the success that she’s had! Prepare to be totally and utterly inspired!

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Lauren attending The Business Show back in December

1. How did you start your business Hair Rehab London?

It started off as a fix for something I wanted to use myself which was Clip In Hair extensions, they were so expensive to buy back then that I had to hand make my own. I built on the design and realised i had created something that people wanted and began selling them in very small quantities to friends. I then sourced some investment and set up what is now Hair Rehab London. I went to China to source ethical, quality hair and from there sourced the factories etc. For a long time it was literally myself sending out packs of hair from my bedroom so to be able to see how far it has come is a very proud moment for me.

2. People know you as a reality star more than they know you as a businesswoman, are you keen to change that?

I think when you have something of quality it speaks for itself so it doesn’t bother me how people see me along as they see my business and products as a quality brand. I have to be realistic that being on a reality TV show has benefited the brand in terms of exposure so its not something I would ever be ashamed of.

3. Does having fame help you and your business or can it hold you back?

It can help in terms of outreach to people in a very quick amount of time with the help of Social Media. Its such an amazing marketing tool for myself and my brands, to be able to show almost 2 million people what I am about and how to use the products is priceless. I also film a lot of hair tutorials which really helps sell a product through, its just showcasing how to utilise what the product can do, a lot of what we provide has multiple uses.

4. How did you create a business plan? Is it an easy thing to do?

For me the business plan was one of the hardest initial tasks but it is one of the most useful tools. I went online and literally searched for ‘Businesses plan templates’ and tried a few out. It really does make you analyse every aspect of what you’re trying to do, it will bring forward a lot of obstacles before they even happen so you can go into the investment pitches fully prepared for both the good and the bad. Also try and be as realistic as possible when filling in or you’re just setting yourself up for a fall.

5. What are your plans for the company over the next few years?

We have just started working with other celebrities and launched a ‘Face of’ type collaboration with Chloe Ferry from Geordie Shore for our more affordable Synthetic Hairpieces Collection, its nice that I can be controlling what’s going on from behind the camera on this occasion and I loved every minute of planning that campaign. We continue to develop new products and growing our presence even further in the Salon Professional area which is something we launched last summer.

Lauren with Chloe Ferry

Lauren with Chloe Ferry

6. What would your advice be to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Always follow your gut instinct, people will always mock what you are doing, these people are usually the ones that don’t tend to do much with their life! If you feel you have something good to offer then fight for it. Always be prepared, be as knowledgable as you possibly can when pitching for investment, sales etc. I always find if you do ever mess up on figures or information then just simply hold your hands up to the error. People will always appreciate honesty over a cover up.

Follow Lauren on Twitter – @LaurenPope and check out Hair Rehab London’s website here.