CONSTANTINE AND WEIR 1977 - 1984
Liz Weir and Mark Constantine met when they were both working in a hair and beauty salon. Mark was a trichologist (someone who studies the science of healthy hair and scalp) and Liz
was a beauty therapist.
They started working at the same time and soon became friends; Mark used to do Liz's hair. When their 5-year contract was due for renewal Mark wanted to move on. He had found some
rooms full of beauty equipment on the High Street in Poole and persuaded Liz to join him in a new venture, which Liz was reluctant to do because she is more cautious than Mark.
Nevertheless, she took the plunge and they started a business called 'Herbal Hair and Beauty Clinic'. Liz jokes that they nearly starved at first because their products were very different
to anyone else's at the time and they found that although the products were innovative and authentic, their commercial value wasn't as great.
Then in the early -80s Mark read about Anita Roddick who had just started The Body Shop in Little Hampton and Brighton. He thought she sounded like a like-minded individual so called
her and offered some of his products. She put in an order for £1,200, which was huge to Mark and Liz and they celebrated. As Anita Roddick was a fledgling entrepreneur, she was
worried that she may not be able to pay for the products. Their relationship with The Body Shop lasted for many successful years. Constantine and Weir designed phenomenal products
for The Body Shop and became the company's biggest suppliers (always in the top ten) Peppermint Foot Lotion, Honey Beeswax cleanser (Ultrabland) Herbal Hair Colours (henna)
and Body Butters, (cocoa butter body lotion). They were so busy they had to employ more staff as their business, Constantine and Weird Plc grew.
Rowena joined to help with Liz's beauty clients. Helen Ambrosen joined after hearing from Liz, when Liz was waxing Helen's legs that they needed someone to work on research and development. Paul Greaves and Karl Bygrave also joined the team. Mo had been helping all along, but at this time left her job as a legal secretary but found her niche in inventing new products. At this time, Constantine and Weir also had a herb farm in Cambridge and sold cosmetics through gyms and fitness centres, sold their Bodkins range in Seattle and had a clinic in Wimbledon (Trichology Clinic).
This all went well until The Body Shop became uncomfortable with the formulation of many of its products being owned by another company. They were advised that Constantine and Weir were too influential. The Body Shop was advised to buy out Constantine and Weir. Mark and Liz received a total of £11 million from The Body Shop.