“Male investors only agreed to see me because they wanted to meet me. I was the hot ticket at the time. I had to totally surprise them to get them to invest millions of pounds,” the US model and actress tells Unbiased Chief ExecCEO and founder Karen Barrett.
Model and actress Caprice Bourret who catapulted to fame in the late 1990s as a model and starred in TV shows such as Baywatch and Hollyoaks, tells the newly launched Unbiased Podcast, how she had to smash stereotypes to get the investment she needed to launch her own business.
Caprice, 49 50 who says she was inspired to become an entrepreneur by her single mum, calls herself a grafter and says: “I went into those meetings totally prepared. It was really difficult because of that ‘model’ stereotype. I had to keep knocking down doors and keep picking myself back up.”
She explains to Karen Barrett, Chief ExecutiveCEO of Unbiased, a platform that puts connects people in touch with trusted, regulated financial experts for free, that she had to stalk the then Chief Executive of Debenhams, in order to get her own lingerie range stocked in store.
“I’d been making a lot of money for other people and wanted to do it for myself,” she says. “I’m from a humble background and I know what it’s like to live on bagels, so I had to think of a plan B in my 30s because I knew the gravy train wouldn’t last forever. The hottest store at the time was Debenhams, so I approached Terry Green and suggested he give me a licence, which would enable them to sell my range in exchange for a royalty.”
Green turned down the offer, but Caprice ‘kept stalking him.’ She admits it was ‘a little bit creepy’ but eventually, when she explained that her range would get Debenhams press interest and demonstrated how it had boosted takings at a department store in South Africa, the deal went through.
Karen Barrett says: “You’ve got to be resilient and you need a good solid plan. I love what she said about only getting a meeting because she’s Caprice. Take any opportunity, take advantage, but go in with the stats, be prepared, because at the end of the day, it’s about the numbers.”
Caprice’s latest venture is ByCaprice Home, a range of bedding and accessories, which boomed during the early lockdowns. “Everybody wanted to redecorate their home. I was lucky, but I was very charitable at that time knowing that something so horrible was allowing me to scale up.”
She also added that you have to be ‘fearless’ to be a good entrepreneur and says: “I take calculated risks. I hedge my bets and don’t put all my eggs in one basket. I also do my research. I have an amazing team around me, but I do a lot of the homework myself.”
As her parting shot, Caprice said: “Successful businesses are about longevity. You have to sell your story and have integrity to achieve that. Don’t do it just because you want to make a fast buck.”
Karen replied: “Yes, I would say, have fun. Life is short and you should do something you are passionate about, because that will make you really happy in your work.”
The Unbiased Podcast airs every Wednesday and offers straight-talking, practical advice about money, from Karen Barrett and her weekly guests. You can listen to the Caprice interview on The Unbiased Podcast here – or search for it on whichever platform you prefer.