We catch up with our favourite Apprentice contestant, Pamela Laird to find out more about her beauty brand, what it was really like being on the Apprentice and why she loves Diva Catwalk dresses!
Pamela Laird stands in front of Apprentice cast

We have been following you for a while and are really blown away with you, the success you had on The Apprentice and the continued success of your beauty brand, Moxi Loves. We can’t wait to learn more about you!  

Pamela Laird stands in front of the apprentice 2019 wearing the Ubrique pencil dress

You really are an all-round beauty expert, having been immersed in your mother’s beauty salon growing up, to your successful career as a nail artist. When it came to starting your own business, what was it specifically that inspired you? 

I think my mum deserves all the credit for this.  She had always worked so hard and I think that totally inspired me to do the same and work for myself. Her salon always had the best and newest innovative products and very early on I was drawn to them. I loved when something new would come in and I think that gave me such a love for that side of the business. 

How did you find this transition from beauty consumer to a producer? How long did it take until you felt your business was a success? 

Gosh, it was such a transition, I actually owned a nail bar in House Of Fraser in Dublin first when I was 18.  This gave me a taste of the industry and I thought it was exactly what I wanted to do until I was there 3 years and got an itch! I guess you could say it was an itch for something more scalable and something I could scale.  Because I was so personally passionate about products I thought ok this side of beauty could be for me! 

It took years, from prototypes to branding and everything in between!  It still takes so long to launch new products.

 What advice would you give to young women looking to get into business?

I think get as much knowledge as you can get before you start.  This is never a wasted task, learning about your consumer, your industry and your competitors just prepares you and you might find you make changes to your plan based on this research.

At the heart of Moxi Loves’ products, there is a real focus on the modern woman. Not only have you created a range of products we all use in daily life, but that are also delightfully easy to use, with a really accessible price tag. How have you managed to keep this focus, while ensuring they are of the highest quality?  

Moxi Love facial cleanser

This focus for me is everything and it’s part of the steps I follow when creating a product. Price tag has to be at the forefront and not necessarily cheap but for sure affordable. I want people to be able to make the switch from the alternative and not be deterred because of price. 

Selfishly the quality aspect comes from me and I ask a question- would my mum let me use it on my skin?  If not I don’t proceed. Skincare will always be in my heart and I do come from using salon formulations so I am very picky when it comes to this!

With so many products out there selling us an idea of what we should look like, Moxi Loves focuses on bare-faced, natural beauty. Do you think it is important that the beauty industry starts to celebrate natural beauty more? 

I think you have to celebrate natural beauty and I'd like to see makeup move back to what it was created for- to enhance!  Don’t get me wrong I do love a glam moment too and I think MOXI LOVES is there for your full makeup days or your daily cleanse we can do it all! 

We love how focused Moxi Loves is on making products that are cruelty-free and environmentally responsible. When it comes to the creation of products, do you find this brings many added complications?

Moxi Loves bare faced makeup remover

Yes it absolutely does I think the world hasn’t quite caught up with the eco movement we are seeing across the UK and Europe.  This makes it difficult trying to get alternative environmentally friendly materials.  But for sure everyone is moving towards cruelty free and this has become much easier to ensure! 

Moxi Loves is really ahead of its time, especially with your environmentally conscious products. 

Since there is a growing awareness of the unnecessary use of plastics and animal testings in beauty products, how do you see this affecting the industry as a whole? 

Moxi Loves Dry Shampoo sheets

Find these dry shampoo sheets and other amazing products here

It’s going to affect the whole industry and you can even see it in fashion now too with clothes being made from recyclable materials.  Brands will have to comply with this awareness and offer alternatives or they’ll be left behind.  

We have been aware of Moxi Loves for a while now, from its presence in major stores to its beautiful Instagram feed, and we loved getting to learn a little more about it in the last episode of The Apprentice. What is next to come from your beauty brand? 

We have so many exciting products to come and I can’t wait to launch these!  In the meantime, we are launching into a few UK stores over the next few months and we are expanding to Denmark and Spain! 

 Congratulations on making it to the final three of The Apprentice! How does it feel to have made it so far on the show? 

It feels incredible, honestly I thought I’d be gone the first week! To get to that final 3 episode was such an incredible opportunity to showcase my brand and who I am as an entrepreneur.  It’s resulted in lots of offers of investment so fingers crossed I will have my new business partner by the Spring! 

We are huge fans of your personal style and we loved seeing what you wore on The Apprentice week after week. Apparently, the show has no stylists and doesn’t really give you any direction on what to wear, apart from suggesting you bring ‘professional attire’ and “leisurewear”. How did you decide what to pack for the show? 

Ubrique Pencil Dress and Marian Pencil Dress

Wear Pamela’s styles, for the orange dress click here and here for the Ubrique style

This is so true we had to bring all our own clothes!  Packing was so hard actually, trying to choose outfits.  I do have quite a feminine style, I love pencil skirts and midi lengths so this is my classic look.  Once I had tried on the Diva Catwalk Ubrique dress I knew this would be my boardroom outfit! So I just ordered it in pink and then another style in orange. I felt so good in them. For day to day, I kept my style with skirts and blouses and similar style dresses.

The tasks required you to go from location to location, from running around the streets of London to impressing in a meeting. How did you handle dressing for such varied settings?  

If it was a running around outdoors kind of day we would get a little heads up of suggestions of what to wear, like “pack flats” etc.  But there was one day at Thorpe park I had a massive wardrobe malfunction while getting into the car the slit on my dress ripped all the way up to my thigh!!! So I didn’t always choose wisely. 

Pamela Laird wears Glitterati Sparkle Dress

Pamela looks stunning in our Glitterati Sparkle Dress

Watching the show, it seemed you were often woken up at awfully early hours and only given a few minutes to dress and leave the house. Was it really all this rushed? How did you manage to get dressed and ready so quickly?
Yes, it was so tight for time in the mornings.  I cheated a little bit, I would hear production come in( they would set up the cameras to record the phone call) which was normally 20 mins before the phone rang! So I would have 40 mins to get ready- no way could I do it in 20!  But we would all decide outfits the night before because that can take a while! 
Walking into the boardroom, ready to be grilled by Lord Sugar, is surely one of the intimidating situations out there. You always managed to look so composed and confident, how do you maintain this? Was choosing what to wear to the boardroom difficult?  

Pamela Laird wears Diva Catwalk dress in the boardroom with Alan Sugar

I think I was always terrified but I guess you work so hard on task by the time its boardroom day you do want to be the best you can and stand out! 

I knew I wanted to be comfortable and for me, that’s arms covered!  I didn’t want anything too low cut either, I think it’s hard to feel feminine or girly in a suit so I knew I wanted a dress too! 

We have been delighted to see you have worn Diva Catwalk dresses on challenges, to the boardroom and even to your recent birthday celebrations! What is it that makes you such a fan of our dresses? 

Pamela Laird wears the Ubrique pencil dress

Click here for this dress, the colour Pamela wore for her birthday was Crystal Pink

Honestly, they are so flattering and I was so self-conscious being on TV and not being in control of the angles I could be filmed at but honestly wearing a Diva catwalk dress just made me feel so confident. They are really a perfect fit for a curvy girl, I don’t know how you do it but the material literally skims over everything and I had no need for Spanx! 

Which is your most loved style of Diva Catwalk dress

Pamela Laird wears Ubrique dress in blue

See the stunning Ubrique dress here 

It has to be the Ubrique dress in blue!  People went wild for the colour and it’s such a flattering length.  

When picking an outfit what is it you focus on, how it makes you look, how it makes you feel, or a combination? 

For me it’s a combination, I turned 30 last year so I don’t get away with some of the styles I used to wear! But I’m absolutely loving a midi length it’s so sophisticated and equally makes you feel quite glamorous!