Dr Dawn Gibbins-Cox MBE, Co-Founder of Earth Friendly Living
Bringing the joy of living to the whole world!
Dad was a great British inventor and I was an excitable entrepreneur. It was mum’s idea for the two of us to work together and achieve something magic!
We founded Flowcrete, our industrial flooring company, in 1982 and turned over our first million eight years later. Tired of working from 6am to midnight, I decided to go and learn how to run a business! I studied at Manchester Business School; wrote my first business plan; and recruited the amazing Mark Greaves. He was the left brain to my right, and we achieved the yin and yang every business needs!
In 2003, I was named Veuve Clicquot’s ‘Business Woman of the Year’, but within 12 months, Flowcrete started to struggle. We had too many products and had acquired too many businesses. We needed to clear the clutter!
Following the philosophy of Feng Shui, which I learned in Bali, we simplified the business – bringing everything together under one brand and the strapline: ‘For the world at your feet’.
A £500,000 loss became a £5m profit in five years. I was voted the ‘Most Influential Person in British Manufacturing’ ahead of Sir Richard Branson and Sir James Dyson. By 2008, turnover had reached £50m. We had 12 manufacturing plants and 30 offices around the world.
At the pinnacle of our success, I experienced a terrible low. We had become such an efficient money-making machine we’d knocked the heart and soul out of the business!
We took the decision to sell, and so began my search for love. I volunteered in a Nepalese orphanage; went on Channel 4’s ‘Secret Millionaire’; and trained to become a life celebrant.
I met my soulmate Lionel and our passion now is to bring the joy of living to the whole world! The key to happiness is finding your inner nature, connecting with nature and being your natural self.
Together, Lionel and I want to create a beautiful legacy. We are founding Earth Friendly Living – a charitable enterprise that teaches a better way of living. We’ll be delivering ‘Life Wishes’, ‘Love Wishes’ and ‘Last Wishes’ workshops. As the ‘Wild Grandma’, I’m a storyteller and teacher who brings the mystery and magic of nature alive!