In this post, there is a list of the advanced words and phrases from the BBC Radio 4 Desert Island Discs interview with Jo Fairley. She is a very successful British entrepreneur and co-founded ‘Green & Black’s organic chocolate. Aggie and I are currently creating a podcast (in which we will explain some of the words) and it will be launched on 11th October!
You can listen to the interview here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007kdc
INTRO BY LL
0:47 Helped make having a conscience cool (as cofounder or G+B)
0:51 First organic chocolate and the first fairtrade product
0:54 When it launched in 1991
Already established a journalist + magazine editor
1:01 She exchanged sifting through press releases looking for next big thing
Making sure her chocolate was on everyones’ lips - literally and 1:09 metaphorically
1:11 Described as A serial entrepreneur
After success with G+B, 1:14 string of best selling beauty books, bakery, health centre, perfume subscription service
Businesses made by putting one foot in front of the other
Started with an order of 2 tonnes of chocolate and went from there
1:37 You just roll up your sleeves and do it
BEGINNING OF G+B
2 squares of chocolate on boyfriends’ desk
2:00 A taste explosion went off
→ Asked him what it was and he said - the first organic chocolate in the world
2:16 He had built a whole empire on no added sugar (Whole Earth Foods)
She did PR and marketing, and financed it
2:32 The really big catch was that I had to finance it
Had sold flat before moving in with him
2:39 I had banked £20,000 in equity
2:54 I literally gambled everything
Had to ask bank manager to transfer the money, weirdly they want to know what you’re spending your own money on (!) and I had the delight of saying chocolate!
Quite a radical idea at the time
3:15 These days we’re quite used to the idea of posh, ethical purchases [LL]
3:20 But back in those days, it was very much in its own separate yurt wasn’t it?
Considered to be earth, shoes and lentils
First brand to make that leap from 3:20 eco niche to the 3:30 mainstream
3:31 I embarked on this because I thought it’d be a great adventure
A heat wave!
3:54 Temperature went off the scale!
I had £20,000 worth of something that melted at 75 degrees
4:01 I could see my investment trickling down the M25 if I wasn’t careful!
→ Had to go into controlled temp
4:14 I am famously middle of the road
4:25 It’s definitely funkier than my normal music taste
4:33 How our music tastes have melded over the years
BUSINESS + MARRIAGE
5:15 I had to be really strict
Wouldn’t have marriage as well as a business so had separate offices
5:27 We would catch up by having a walk around Notting Hill
5:37 We were banned from talking about it until the next day
TOO SCARED TO START IF HAD KNOWN SUCCESS
5:57 Everything we did was very instinctive
6:03 I wasn’t intellectualising about it “Is this right for the brand?”
Doing it as she felt it
But, if she’d known she was eventually going to sell for millions then she’d be worrying more about figures and strategy
6:24 I was no stranger to 18 hours
(No money to pay herself)
6:29 All of our money was tied up in stock from the very beginning
Retained career as journalist !!!
6:41 Juggled these two roles
SELLING TO CADBURYS
Credited as having made fairtrade fashionable
Launched a bar that was not certified organic or fairtrade → Are we moving away from ...
7:02 That kind of social responsibility
Cadburys have their own Project in West Africa, open about the fact that this was influenced by how we did business
Little company - small difference; big company - huge difference !
7:48 He’d be playing in the back of these restaurants
The sound of Belize
8:49 Built himself up to be a very successful entrepreneur
Had a womens’ clothing factory in the East end, Lost everything during the war
9:11 Most extraordinarily resilient man
3 younger brothers, father worked away
Father was science editor for ITV, worked very hard
9:39 Cut his teeth on the evening standard
9:47 Science was exploding, space race was happening
10:03 We were quite a handful
→ Where I got my leadership skills !
10:19 The busy bee club where you got fined if you weren’t doing something
The Happy Club - Bob Geldof stole it for an album title (!)
10:34 We were a gang, we were pretty chaotic
10:42 Devoted her life to bringing us up
10:49 She was a potter, an amateur potter
VJPF “Very Junky Pottery Factory”
From the Jungle Book, go and see films as a treat and get the album afterwards
Would spend the next few months acting it out, she’d be the director and also the star (!)
Kids don’t get that kind of creative play anymore
11:45 Putting on the Jungle Book for the family in the front room
An only child so having 4 kids would be a bit of a shock
12:47 Bit of distancing himself from the chaos
12:57 Very convivial
12:59 Bon viveur (French for ‘one who lives well’)
13:00 Great host
13:06 Our house became the family hub
13:12 We’d all congregate
13:16 He adjusted to that very well
Was having a very exciting time, felt a little bit a part of it
Would bring presents, charms for bracelets, perfumes
13:51 Very precociously, I had this sophisticated wardrobe full of fragrances
Fly me to the moon
Father loved Sinatra, played at his funeral
15.05 Were there signs of your entrepreneurial talents at school?
15.16 I dragged my heels to go there
Was bored...knew that the world outside was more interesting
15.36 my anarchism wasn’t that bad
15.39 ...hoisting grey school knickers up the flag pole
15.46 . . . Tying dustpin lids to the boot of the headmistresses car with fishing line.
15.53 it’s enough to get you pigeonholed as troublesome, naughty….
16: 06 I never got the chance to reinvent myself at the age of 11 - I was just labelled
16:20 There’s a defining moment in my life (future jobs - she said that she wanted to be a secretary. If you make so much as a girl Friday, I’ll eat my hat)
Became so determined then
Obsessed with magazines.
17:32 I papered the inside of my wardrobe with pictures of places.
Creative visualisation. Lived the life that saw through Vogue
19:00 This is the quintessential ‘sad lady song’
FIRST JOB IN A MAGAZINE
20:08 “Don’t be so bloody wet” What the editor said to her when she told him that she couldn’t write.
Was sent to interview movie stars, Charlton Heston, Joan Collins, Betty Davis
20:40 Were you very driven? (Youngest editor of a magazine in the UK)
21.11 I was catapulted into this role as a magazine editor
21:21 I suffered from the most enormous impostor syndrome
21:30 I bluffed it for the first month (with book of publishing terms)
23:48 I listen to my gut
24:18 You’re also cautious (still worked as a journalist in the early days of Green & Blacks)
24:22 It was just needs must
24.31 I got the chocolate out to lots of people
24.36 and trusted the fact that they would pick up on the fact that it was the most delicious chocolate
24.42 that was a real factor in our success
We loved each other to pieces (her and Paula Yates)
27:00 I just dealt with it
28:12 There’s a great joy in just allowing kids to let rip (stage in their garden)
28.33 generative or stagnant
Likes to do things
29:50 Orgasmic crescendo
30:04 They broke the mold when they made Craig
Very interested in eating unusual things
Chocolate not great in the heat!
32: 20 Wherever I go, I am able to go out like a light