EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Ireland: My Vita Liberata Story

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Ireland: My Vita Liberata Story

Tomorrow night will see the grand final of the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Ireland. As a finalist in the International category, I was featured in the show a few weeks ago and got to tell the story of how Vita Liberata has grown from a lightbulb moment into a global business that sells a bottle of tan every minute! If you missed the show, you can take a look at the highlights below. Alyson Hogg, Founder & CEO Vita Liberata on EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Ireland http://www.alysonhogg.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/SHORT-EDIT-v5-1.mp4 Watch the full clip from the show here To celebrate our appearance, I also decided to host a live Twitter Q&A during the show, giving my advice to entrepreneurs and answering all of your questions about how I’ve survived in business. We had such a positive response and I loved chatting with all of you, so thank you for getting involved and tweeting me your questions! Twitter Q&A: EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards Ireland You asked: What was the best piece of business advice you’ve ever been given? Keep it simple, keep the choices limited, make the product/service the very best of it’s kind. #EOY2015 https://t.co/wKgDjSGREC — Alyson Hogg (@alysonhogg) September 21, 2015 You asked: As someone who hates ‘networking’ – what’s the best, and most natural, way to build meaningful biz relationships? I hate networking too! I’m really shy, so I work hard to build fewer and stronger relationships of trust! #EOY2015 https://t.co/CzwnXZx6q5 — Alyson Hogg (@alysonhogg) September 21, 2015   You asked: What do you enjoy most about the job you do? Watching my team develop and having happy customers! #EOY2015 https://t.co/IoL6cZQMjQ — Alyson Hogg (@alysonhogg) September 21,... read more
5 Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs

5 Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs

I’m delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland Awards! The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and is held in more than 140 cities and in more than 50 countries worldwide. As part of the award nomination the EOY Ireland film crew followed me over a couple of days back in the summer as I went about my daily schedule, including an appearance on QVC UK and my trip to Buckingham Palace to receive the Queen’s Award for Enterprise. If you missed the programme you can catch up here. Ahead of the final I’ve put together my 5 must-read pieces of advice for entrepreneurs, read on to see more. To find out who wins, make sure you tune into UTV Ireland or UTV tomorrow night (Thursday 22nd October) at 10:30pm. Want to know how I’ve survived in business? Ask me anything @AlysonHogg with #AskAlyson! 5 Pieces of Advice For Entrepreneurs 1. Blue sky thinking is fun but detail is my everyday! Having big ideas is important but you have to be able to back those up with details. At Vita Liberata, we have a saying: “Never assume Never presume Lots is not a number Big is not a size Soon is not a time Nice is not a description” For me, detail is everything! 2. Whatever you do, do something! When you’re considering starting something new, or you’re uncertain, it’s easy to be dissuaded by fear. Whether you’re thinking of starting your own business, making a career change or taking a leap of faith to pursue your... read more
Interesting Articles This Week: Rent Controls, Tackling Global Hunger and Money vs. Happiness

Interesting Articles This Week: Rent Controls, Tackling Global Hunger and Money vs. Happiness

In my round up of the most interesting articles this week, I look at how we might tackle the issue of gentrification in big cities through rent control; closing the gap between the food rich and the food poor; and I consider the backwards traditional thinking that may be preventing some women, and thus the companies that they work for, from reaching their full potential. Remember to let me know what you think of these, or any other relevant stories, and tweet me @alysonhogg. Do rent controls work? Article via The Economist How do we stop some of the most popular cities of the world becoming a playground for the rich? It’s a reality that cities such as Paris, New York and London have had to come to terms with lately, with most people agreeing that pricing out young professional middle class people would threaten the character that gives such cities their popularity in the first place. One strategy to curb the effect of ‘gentrification,’ as some call it, or ‘hipsterization,’ if you like, is the implementation of rent controls in neighborhoods that have seen soaring house prices recently. As this article discusses, although rent controls certainly do good in allowing less affluent people to stay close where they grew up, or chase opportunity in the big city, they can also be detrimental to the very neighborhoods they are trying to protect. An interesting look at what could be an important strategy in many of our cities most immediate futures. There is nothing inevitable about global hunger Article via Thompson Reuters Most people are aware that there is enough food in... read more
Interesting articles this week: Ugaaso A. Boocow, Gender Equality in Australia and Preventing Diabetes

Interesting articles this week: Ugaaso A. Boocow, Gender Equality in Australia and Preventing Diabetes

In my round up of the most interesting articles this week, I look at how one woman’s Instagram is helping to change the perception of life for women in Somalia, the issue of gender equality in Australia, and I consider a piece from the Guardian which argues that we need reeducation on the concept of an average diet. Feel free to share your thoughts on these, or any other relevant stories, and tweet me @alysonhogg. How my Instagram pictures from inside Somalia are helping to filter out damaging stereotypes https://instagram.com/ugaasadda/ The Independent, When I tell you to think of Somalia, what pops in to your head? War? Pirates? Poverty? If so, I doubt you are alone. For years the country has essentially been a rogue state. With little appeal for outsiders to explore the Somalia, let alone pay any attention to it, the only source of information we seem to get are news reports on war, pirates and poverty. Until now… Social media is giving the world unprecedented access to places, people, and societies that otherwise would only be available through the translucent filter of traditional media. This article describes how one woman is fighting back against harmful stereotypes, and humanizing Somalians for the eyes of the rest of the world. Ugaaso Boocow lived most of her young life in Canada before a conversation with her uncle in 2013 gave her the idea. He had just returned from Ugaaso’s parental homeland, recounting the country’s “promising and praiseworthy turnabout,” and mentioning that if there was ever going to be a time to return, now was it. Ugaaso admits that there were some adjustments to make for... read more
The World’s First Non-Toxic Tan – Why I Created Vita Liberata Tanning

The World’s First Non-Toxic Tan – Why I Created Vita Liberata Tanning

I founded Vita Liberata in 2003 with a collection of natural but effective anti age skincare products. When I first investigated developing self-tanning (at the persistent requests of my very pale friends!), it was with great reluctance. Fake tan was sticky, streaky, smelly, orange…everything you’d want to avoid! Plus the formulations on the market were filled with parabens, preservatives, fragrances, alcohol; and other chemical nasties that dry out your skin, and generally just aren’t that great for you. I had always been so careful about the ingredients I chose to use on my own skin, why would I care any less about what others use? So I decided there was only one way to develop a self-tanning range – remove all the traditional barriers to tanning, and create clean, truly natural solutions. With this in mind, they had to contain natural ingredients, look natural on application, and fade naturally back to nothing. I spent A LOT of time in the lab, developing proprietary cutting edge technologies so that we could make really effective products using the purest possible extracts. ‘Healthy, natural ingredients that condition and nourish the skin too’, is the mantra to every product we create. As a result of this work, Vita Liberata became the world’s first completely non-toxic tanning brand in 2011, developed with only natural, organic and Ecocert ingredients; making it the healthiest way to achieve an even bronzed glow. When ‘Think Dirty’ analysed our tans to rate the ingredients, I knew they would be deemed clean, because that’s the only reason I brought them to market! But it was rewarding to get independent validation... read more
Vita Liberata is Nominated for QVC Awards in the USA and UK!

Vita Liberata is Nominated for QVC Awards in the USA and UK!

I have had the best time this year with QVC. It’s been an incredible privilege to work back and forth across the Atlantic, sharing all that we do with all of you. I would especially like to thank you for the amazing reviews you have given us. You have no idea how gratifying it is to have people love pHenomenal as much as we do! Especially QVC customers, who have got to be the savviest and smartest women around. You are a difficult bunch to please, which makes the nominations for QVC awards all the more delightful as well as humbling! So I am proud beyond words that Vita Liberata is nominated for QVC awards in both the USA AND UK ! In QVC UK we have been shortlisted for not one but two QVC Beauty Excellence Awards. Our pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan has been nominated for Beauty Innovation of the Year, and Vita Liberata has been acknowledged in the Best New Brand shortlist! And in QVC USA Customer Choice Beauty Awards, pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan has been shortlisted in the Best Self Tanner category! I know you are really busy, but if you agree that we deserve to win in any of the categories it would be wonderful if you could find the time to click through and register your vote ! QVC USA Customer Choice Awards – Best Self Tanner for pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan  Vote for us here QVC UK Beauty Excellence Awards – Best New Brand  Vote for Vita Liberata here   QVC UK Beauty Excellence Awards – Best Beauty Innovation for pHenomenal 2-3 Week Tan Vote for us here ... read more
In the News This Week: European Migrant Crisis, Polio Cases Victory and The Fight Against FGM

In the News This Week: European Migrant Crisis, Polio Cases Victory and The Fight Against FGM

In my round up of this week’s most interesting news stories, I look at the so-called European migrant crisis and the debate surrounding this much talked-about issue, the promising news that there have been no Polio cases detected in Africa for the past year, and I am humbled by Young Campaigner of the Year, Fahma Mohamed, who shares her experience of the ongoing fight against FGM. Feel free to share your thoughts on these, or any other relevant stories, and tweet me @alysonhogg! 10 truths about Europe’s migrant crisis via The Guardian Immigration. Chances are this won’t be the first time you’ve read something on the subject in the last few months. In fact, chances are you haven’t been able to open a paper or turn on the television without a barrage of stories, opinions, and arguments on the subject. And, chances are, as a result you’re either really irritated, or really bored of the whole thing all together. And here lies the danger of the immigration debate. With an ocean of polarizing arguments surrounding the issue, people are in danger of becoming either indifferent or infuriated. Whatever it may be, allow yourself to fall in to either category and you run the risk of being swayed by emotive language, simplified narratives, and most importantly, lies. To have a sober conversation about immigration and refugees you need cold, hard facts. This article gives you just that. Fact checking the likes of Home Secretary Theresa May, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, and the Daily Mail, Patrick Kingsley walks you through ten facts about migrants, refugees, and the all important numbers behind them. By the end you... read more
In the News This Week: Hiroshima Anniversary, $1 a Week Schools and Obama on Gender Equality

In the News This Week: Hiroshima Anniversary, $1 a Week Schools and Obama on Gender Equality

With a schedule like mine it can be a challenge to stay up to date with what day of the week it is, let alone what’s going on in the wider world! But for me, keeping an eye on the bigger picture is essential, so no matter how busy I am – or how many transatlantic flights I’m taking (!) –  I make the time to read the news and stay up to date on the latest global stories. Each week I’ll be sharing my thoughts on some of the articles I find most interesting here on my blog. Some may be of interest to you too, and if so I would encourage you to leave me a comment or tweet me @alysonhogg. I’d love to hear from you!   Hiroshima’s fate, 70 years ago this week, must not be forgotten via The Guardian This week marks the 70th anniversary of the first and only use of atomic warfare. In this piece, Andrew Anthony discusses two conflicting interpretations of the influence of nuclear weapons on international relations in in the 1940s; evil as they were, did the bombs play an integral part in ending the war and protecting Western Europe or not? In the second half of the piece he goes on to describe how nuclear weaponry is still a threat today, citing both international sources of conflict between nuclear capable countries, and extranational threats in the form of terrorist groups and their ability to construct crude nuclear devices. He finishes with a look at the UK nuke program, and the implication of spending £100bn on something many don’t want... read more
The Queen’s Award, BeautyCon LA and QVC – An Eventful Week at Vita Liberata.

The Queen’s Award, BeautyCon LA and QVC – An Eventful Week at Vita Liberata.

From bronzing bloggers at BeautyCon LA to tea with the Queen at Buckingham Palace, it’s been another busy week in the world of Vita Liberata! My week began in sunny California at dinner in Soho House LA with my good friends Marilyn Heston and Velvet White (she assures me she is not any relation to Walter white from Breaking Bad!). The following day was dedicated to meetings and a blogger dinner with some exceptionally cool ladies, Dawn McCoy of Beauty Frosting, Jennifer Chan, Fashion and Beauty Editor of  the Kardashians, Chelsea Briggs, Producer at Hollywire TV, and beauty expert Jamie Stone. Friday I went for a walk to Venice Beach and Santa Monica and then Saturday, BeautyConLA with the lovely team from QVC. The event brings together America’s most influential content creators and the world’s biggest brands to celebrate all things beauty. Add in over 6 thousand excitable fans queued twice around the block and armed with iPhones and you have quite the party! I have to say it was the most orderly line I have ever witnessed! All day we tanned and talked, and talked and tanned. Whilst there I caught up with YouTuber Kandee Johnson – check out the selfie of us together! Kandee showed me how to do selfies when we first met earlier this year at BeautyCon Dallas, so it was great to try out my skills again with her. There was more selfie action with Michelle of Ready Set Glamour, who took over the Vita Liberata Instagram account for the day. Michelle is the queen of the perfect selfie so I picked up some... read more
The Importance of Female Education – Why We Must Let Girls Learn

The Importance of Female Education – Why We Must Let Girls Learn

For the longest time classes were my refuge. To cut a long story very short, I was bullied at school for about three years. From when I was 9 until I was 12. But this is not a story about bullying. This is a story about refuge. For, because I was at a boarding school (to which I had been sent for my own protection after my best friend had been killed in a bombing), I lived full-time with my bullies. For me, classes were the only safe place I had. In class I had a chance to be me, to express myself, to explore, to learn, to be smart, and sometimes silly, without every action of mine being used as an excuse to pull me down. In short, I was being given the building blocks that would ultimately lead to who I am now.  I was lucky. I mean, being bullied for three formative years wasn’t lucky, but having somewhere else to go for some of the time, and to get an education while I was there, was very lucky indeed.  It is very sad to hear about girls around the world being denied an education either just because they are girls (that is cultural bullying by the way) or because they have reached menses and do not have the sanitary protection to allow them to attend school for several days each month (again cultural bullying).  The cost to the communities who deny education to girls and young women is staggering. So too the disconnect between the opportunities experienced by women in mature economies compared to those in... read more