Professor David Fish
Business Management 302
February 24, 2012
Anita was born in Littlehampton in 1942. As the child of an Italian immigrant couple in an English seaside town, Anita was a natural outsider, and was drawn to other outsiders and rebels. James Dean was Anita’s schoolgirl idol. Anita also had a strong sense of moral outrage, which was awakened when she found a book about the Holocaust at the age of ten. Anita trained as a teacher but an educational opportunity on a kibbutz in Israel eventually turned into an extended working trip around the world. Soon after Anita got back to England, her mother introduced me to a young Scotsman named Gordon Roddick. Their bond was instant. Together, Anita and Gordon opened first a restaurant, and then a hotel in Littlehampton. They married in 1970; they already had a baby and another on the way. The Beginning
Anita opened the first The Body Shop on March 26, 1976 in Brighton, on the south coast of England. Anita simply wanted to create a livelihood for herself and her two daughters, while her husband, Gordon, was trekking across the Americas. Anita had no training or experience and my only business acumen was Gordon’s advice to take sales of $300 a week. Nobody talks of entrepreneurship as survival, but that's exactly what it is and what nurtures creative thinking. Running that first shop taught Anita business is not financial science, it’s about trading: buying and selling. It’s about creating a product or service so good that people will pay for it. Now 30 years on The Body Shop is a multi local business with over 2,045 stores serving over 77 million customers in 51 different markets in 25 different languages and across 12 time zones. Anita had no a clue of how they got here!
Approach to Leadership in Business
It wasn’t only economic necessity that inspired the birth of The Body Shop. Anita’s...