Creative Women at Work: Margo Marrone founder of The Organic Pharmacy
A global business that started in the back of a shop on the King’s Road, The Organic Pharmacy is celebrating its 15th birthday, this year. Now that my book has gone to print and I’ve gone to seed, I might just treat myself to one of their fantastic facials. Margo Marrone studied pharmacy at King’s College University and co-founded The Organic Pharmacy with her graphic designer husband Marco (he designs all the lovely packaging). I managed to grab five-minutes with Margo to chat about work; though she spent most of that time giving me careers advice (I was just about to hand my notice in at university and obviously feeling a bit needy):
TNMA: Happy 15th birthday! How does it feel?
MM: It’s weird, I still have to pinch myself – it’s like a dream. When people tell me they love The Organic Pharmacy, it still surprises me. I think “Oh my god, is that really me?!” We’ve been incredibly lucky over the years with our following, including numerous celebrities and Goop loves us, it’s amazing!’
TNMA: How did it all begin?
MM: The truth is it sort of happened – though obviously now we’re a bit more structured. I was always a pharmacist. I was a Saturday girl in my local pharmacy and then I specialised in herbal medicine at university. When I found a job at Nelson’s Homeopathic Pharmacy, that really determined my path. I was always a beauty junkie. When I became pregnant, I started looking for organic food and looking what was in everything. I was outraged about all the chemicals in skincare and pesticides and artificial additives in our food.
TNMA: What’s a typical day like at The Organic Pharmacy?
MM: I could be travelling, meeting clients or developing new products – we have our own laboratory so I’ll come over to our head office in Acton, London. Everyone’s here: design, marketing, sales. I look at all the different aspects of the formula and ingredients and figure out what would deliver results. The lab will then develop it, go into compatibility and all the serious stuff.
TNMA: What’s important to you?
MM: To remain true to my ethics and the ethics of the company. It’s important to marry success and ethics together.
TNMA: And what Organic Pharmacy products do you use most?
MM: The Jasmine Night Conditioner and the Carrot Butter Cleanser, but my passion is to mix natural cosmeceuticals with technology. I want women to look their best without hard chemicals and injectables, to offer an alternative to Botox. I’ve not got anything against that, it’s just not for me. I’m over-50 now and I need extra help – so my favourite treatment is a non-surgical facelift that’s basically an enzyme peel followed by microdermabrasion and an oxygen treatment to boost collagen. Oh and I detox four times a year.
TNMA: What about coffee? I couldn’t go without…
MM: Oh I make an exception for coffee, for myself! I don’t want to give it up, a good cappuccino is my guilty pleasure. I tend to stick to two-cups-a-day during detox.
Sounds like my kind of clean eating…