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Action and Ambition

Trinny Woodall Is The Founder Of The Disruptive Beauty Brand - She Helps People Find Their Most Flattering Styles

Dec 23, 2020

Career As An Elite Fashion Advisor and New York Bestseller Author

Welcome to another episode of Action & Ambition with your host, Phillip Lanos.

Trinny Woodall, founder and CEO of the disruptive beauty brand Trinny London has had a successful twenty-year career in the media. She established herself as a fashion advisor, initially as a columnist for The Daily Telegraph, and later as a co-host for What Not to Wear and The Trinny and Susannah makeover shows, filmed across 20 countries. Trinny has spent her career helping people find their most flattering styles, the best skincare, and perfectly matched, foolproof makeup. In 2017, equipped with her unique idea of portable stackable premium makeup, she founded the highly successful beauty brand Trinny London.

You’re going to love this episode. Let’s get to it!

What can someone do to draft a potential workshop or webpage of what they could be? How do they set themselves apart from the rest? (3:12)

  • For Trinny, it is easy to think back retrospectively and think what the consistent thing that always brought her joy was. Looking back now, she knows that when she was much younger, she went to boarding school. 
  • She stayed at boarding school a lot of the weekends with a few of the other girls, so she had a kind of connection to them, and she loved giving her friends makeovers. She loved the feeling of it. 
  • She lived in Germany at the time, and her boarding school was in France. She would bring back slightly unusual clothing that wasn’t in England then, and she liked doing that. As a child, she found it hard to form friendships, and this was the language she had learned that allowed her to make somebody else think. 
  • Trinny is happy to see training because she had thought a lot about the imposter syndrome where you feel there is an element you don’t believe you are good enough in. She has been through that personally where she did not think she was good enough in terms of addiction and recovery. 
  • She has been through that whole journey. When she was much younger, before starting that war and certainty manifested in partying too much, she did have a sort of joy she felt while giving her friends makeovers. 
  • Trinny is the youngest of six kids. Her father was a banker, and there was a part of her that thought she should be in finance, but she was not smart enough to go to college. She had had a dream of going to Harvard, but her imposter syndrome had kicked in and made her believe she was not good enough to even go to university. And so Trinny became entrepreneurial. She started her first business in high school. 

How does Trinny manage her time? (9:15)

  • It did not happen overnight for Trinny. At the very beginning, she went from doing a whole bunch of mixed jobs to burning out. In 2016 she realized what she wanted to do was help women, so by a lucky break, she got a column in a paper similar to the New York Times, and she did that for seven years. 
  • That position gave her access to about 2 million people who choose to read her column, so it was a platform. She found a platform similar to today’s social media following platforms. She built up her audience. 
  • She achieved a fantastic career. She sold 3 million books from the 11 that she wrote, and she even had an interview about one of her books on the Oprah Show, where it went on to become a New York Bestseller. 
  • She had an incredible ten years of significant growth and success. She then scaled out, and she got overheads, and there was no apathy in the market she was in, and lots of people started to pop up who was doing the same thing she was, so she was forced to reinvent herself and expand what she was doing. 
  • Thinking back on the last 15 years and what she had been doing, Trinn y felt a pull towards business. She tried to do online business in 1999, and she raised $7 million in three months from Whitney and Atlanta’s ventures that gave her an early B fund. 
  • She went to the market with the concept, which was partial to women to get personalization, but it was not for a path of profit. There was no way that Trinny could commercialize that. It always went back to the high street or shopping mall, so it felt like it would never work. 
  • Trinny had amassed by that time information on 200,000 women, which was an unbelievable data capture for that time, and she always had a sense of personalization. When Trinny did makeup shows, all the women would notice the makeup first, and Trinny loved makeup, but she had never been a professional makeup artist. She decided to give it a try. 

What is next for Trinny? (30:14)

  • Trinny is moving into the American market. At least 10% of their customers are in the US, while 59% are in the UK and about 17% in Australia, and the rest are scattered across the world. 
  • She would like to get her US market up to 25%, so that is her goal that is coming up. They have about seven to eight months to complete it, and they have bought a PR company onboard that thinks differently to help them achieve this goal. 
  • Trinny wants to gently transition into using Facebook ads and other means of advertisement, and she believes there is an art to advertising like this. It needs to capture your audience’s attention while being subtle enough to think it is someone they are already following that caused them to receive the ad. 
  • They have used a lot of subtlety while building the brand, and she states that 52% of it is organic, and 48% of it is paid. It is an essential ratio to distinguish for Trinny. A few years ago, many brands were doing the blitzkrieg method of growth, and they have seen a few of these companies succeed. 
  • Trinny always felt something strange about that way of growth because of its quick, sound development. You suddenly have a massive amount of customers, and you don’t know where else to go. You end up being a one-trick pony, and these companies do not survive because they do not have adaptability in the long run. 

Trinny London

Trinny London is the ultimately comfortable, modern, do-it-everywhere, premium beauty brand. Cream-based, versatile products are personalized to you.


Connect with Trinny: LinkedIn

Trinny London: Website

Connect with Phil: LinkedIn