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A moving and revealing account of the author’s passion for business and personal success.

Turning yourself into an upscale brand is extremely difficult. Fragrance guru and entrepreneur Malone chronicles how she did just that.

Gifted with a pronounced sense of smell and the desire for a better life, the author worked hard to build a fragrance empire. Malone deftly mines her early family life for the inspiration that laid the foundation for her success. Early on, she learned the “art of the sale” while working alongside her father in his small stall selling his artwork in a working-class London neighborhood. But it was her mother’s passion for skin care that led Malone to a meeting with Madame Lubatti, who operated an exclusive salon in a posh district of London. Lubatti became an important mentor for the young girl, and it was in her lab where Malone trained her sense of smell and learned the art of developing face creams and masks. However, times were tough for the author’s family. Finances were extremely tight, and her parents’ relationship was volatile. Malone struggled in school, later learning she had dyslexia. Still, as she notes, she was an entrepreneur by the age of 11. At 20, she went into business as a beauty therapist and partner in her mother’s business. The enterprise was successful, but tensions between Malone and her family created a deep rift. The author and her husband eventually broke away, building their own business manufacturing and selling creams and fragrances. The author provides a solid narrative detailing the difficulties and rewards encountered while creating a business from the ground up. By the mid-1990s, Malone was courted by major department stores, and she appeared on the Oprah show. She became partners with Bergdorf Goodman in New York and eventually sold her company to Estée Lauder in 1999. Despite the millions she received, running a business is Malone’s passion, and she recounts starting over again with a new fragrance-based venture.

A moving and revealing account of the author’s passion for business and personal success.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5011-1059-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Sept. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Well-told and admonitory.

Young-rags-to-mature-riches memoir by broker and motivational speaker Gardner.

Born and raised in the Milwaukee ghetto, the author pulled himself up from considerable disadvantage. He was fatherless, and his adored mother wasn’t always around; once, as a child, he spied her at a family funeral accompanied by a prison guard. When beautiful, evanescent Moms was there, Chris also had to deal with Freddie “I ain’t your goddamn daddy!” Triplett, one of the meanest stepfathers in recent literature. Chris did “the dozens” with the homies, boosted a bit and in the course of youthful adventure was raped. His heroes were Miles Davis, James Brown and Muhammad Ali. Meanwhile, at the behest of Moms, he developed a fondness for reading. He joined the Navy and became a medic (preparing badass Marines for proctology), and a proficient lab technician. Moving up in San Francisco, married and then divorced, he sold medical supplies. He was recruited as a trainee at Dean Witter just around the time he became a homeless single father. All his belongings in a shopping cart, Gardner sometimes slept with his young son at the office (apparently undiscovered by the night cleaning crew). The two also frequently bedded down in a public restroom. After Gardner’s talents were finally appreciated by the firm of Bear Stearns, his American Dream became real. He got the cool duds, hot car and fine ladies so coveted from afar back in the day. He even had a meeting with Nelson Mandela. Through it all, he remained a prideful parent. His own no-daddy blues are gone now.

Well-told and admonitory.

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-06-074486-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Amistad/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2006

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