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30 May 11

Meet Michelle Mone Creator of Ultimo Lingerie

We were lucky enough to get an exclusive interview with this amazing woman who I have watched for many years with admiration. She is an inspiration to women every where and a true credit to the lingerie industry.

We don’t hear a lot about Michelle Mone and Ultimo in Australia but if you are a woman in business or a lover of lingerie then you will know who she is and what she has accomplished. Here is a little about Michelle Mone;

Michelle is one of the UK’s top female entrepreneurs and creator of international lingerie brand, Ultimo. Michelle has built her success on determination, self belief and hard work and those qualities have helped her businesses develop and prosper in the consumer goods industry.

Voted as Britain’s number 1 most powerful woman in business by Glamour magazine and the winner of numerous awards, Michelle has built her career on an incredibly simple concept: giving today’s women what they want. She was recently awarded an OBE in the Queens New Years Honours List and has achieved a remarkable level of success to date, juggling the demands of her business, together with motherhood, but - in her own words – ‘this is only the beginning’.


Aged 19, Michelle married Michael — now the company’s managing director — and at 20 had her first child. She returned to work, running a sales and marketing team at 22, but was made redundant when her employers were taken over.

It was shortly after this that she had her brainwave, when she went to a dance wearing the sort of uplift bra that owes more to engineering than comfort. She decided to invent a superior version and Ultimo was born – launching in Selfridges, London, a month after her third child was born. The store sold six weeks’ worth of stock within 24 hours.

Other bestsellers followed, notably a backless, frontless bra called, with good reason, the Miracle Body. Publicity flowed in, too, especially when MJM signed Rachel Hunter, Rod Stewart’s ex, to take over from the singer’s current partner Penny Lancaster as the face of Ultimo. “Rod called me a cow and the story generated £45 million worth of PR and even made headlines in Hong Kong,” says Michelle. “It was the PR coup of the century.”

Michelle works long and hard: “I’m very full-on. I go home, put the kids to bed, and then at midnight, the Hong Kong office opens. I do get tired, but I wake up every day with a smile, and if I didn’t, I’d hang up my bra.


1. What would you have done differently if you were to have your time over again?

Nothing. Yes, I've made mistakes and experienced events and times that have been tough, but those things have made me the person I am today.

2. What has been your biggest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

There was a time when I almost lost everything - the business, my home  - and it was because of a bad decision; we trusted suppliers with millions of pounds worth of stock and we never saw it again. That was an incredibly hard time. But you have to learn from your mistakes and only make them once.

3. As a business owner what do you think are the most important fundamentals in a business?

a. Commitment from your staff,

b. Team work

c. Clear goals.

4. When business was slow what did you do to turn it around?

It’s so important that you stay ahead of your competitors when times are tough - to work harder, faster and better than everyone else. Quality control is a big part of that too; you can't afford to compromise anything, so you need to go that extra mile.

5. If you had any advice to give other business owners what would it be?

Always keep your eye on the goal and put the customer first. So many businesses fail because they lose sight of why they started up in the first place and what the customer wants.


I LOVE the Ultimo range my favourite pieces are their Gel Bra, Low Back Strapless and their Frontless Bra.


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  • Wow! What an inspirational woman! Thanks for sharing Renee!

  • My pleasure Michelle, she is such an inspiration. I love her clarity and drive 🙂


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