Single mother who left school at 15 now advising the EU on business after amassing a 6million fortune through AVON sales
16:46 GMT, 1 August 2012
18:03 GMT, 1 August 2012
Single mother Gail Reynolds left school at the age of 15 with no qualifications, but the 39-year-old has become an unlikely success story after building a 6million empire as an Avon lady.
The mother-of-three is being hailed as a model for female entrepreneurship and was recently invited to speak on the subject to 75 members of the European Parliament.
‘It sounded funny to hear someone introduce me as an Entrepreneur, I am a simple house wife and mum that needed something different,’ she says.
Inspirational: Avon lady Gail Reynolds's business is now worth 6million and has one of the highest total sales
Celebrity endorsements: Alesha Dixon (left) is the face of Avon UK and Gail once had afternoon tea with US representative Reese Witherspoon
‘I was so excited. Not because it was going to be an amazing experience but because I had been invited to speak for all the entrepreneurial women within the Direct Selling Industry throughout Europe. I was very honoured to be representing such an inspirational group of women.’
GAIL'S TOP BUSINESS TIPS
1. Have a plan or strategy in place. It’s important to know where you’re heading and realise that things often won’t just happen by themselves, you get out of it what you put into it.
2. Be prepared to make sacrifices. In the beginning of a new career you may find that you often stay late or do the jobs you might not want to do in order to make an impact and get to where you want to be.
3. The key to success is your mindset. In order to excel, you have to be prepared to stay focused on your own goals and not let competition stand in the way.
4. The journey isn’t always smooth and it’s important to realise that there are lots of ups and downs.
Gail admits she only began working for Avon nine years ago in order to improve her social life.
needed to change the way my life was going at the time and I was
desperate to meet new people and make new friends,’ she says.
In 2004 she decided to give up her full time office job to set up her own Avon business and has never looked back.
She is now an Avon Sales Leader and has one of the highest total sales and biggest Avon teams in the UK, spending her time travelling around the
country recruiting women to her team and occasionally meeting with Avon
ambassadors like Reese Witherspoon, who she had afternoon tea with last
Gail says she can't believe how much her life has changed over the past decade.
back when I was just 15 years old I left school with no qualifications
and began working a twilight shift in a local factory with my nan, mum
and three auntie’s,’ she says.
By the time Gail turned 25 she was a single mother of two children, living on a council estate and surviving on benefits.
‘I had little education
and no job,' she says. 'At the time I had little career prospects – no confidence
and no self-esteem…’
who is now married, says her children Ashleigh, 22, Libby, 15, and
Rosie, 7, are her top priority and she sees herself as a housewife foremost.
She has written a book about her experiences of combining motherhood and a successful career entitled Mum's the Word.