This interview with Marla Malcolm Beck, chief executive of Bluemercury, a beauty products and spa services retailer, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. What were some early influences for you?
A. My dad was an entrepreneur. He started an insurance agency and a real estate company, and I worked in his office from the time I was 9. When I was in high school, I used to balance his books. I was also editor of the yearbook. That was interesting, because I learned that I’m not really a good project manager; I’m better with ideas and the creative side.
I also have a lot of sports-failure stories. I loved volleyball, but during my freshman year in high school, I didn’t even make the J.V. team. I was devastated, so I asked the coach what I had to do to make the team the next year, and she pointed me to a program where I played volleyball on the side for six months. I then made the J.V. team, and played varsity in my junior year and senior year, when I was the captain. I had a number of experiences like that, which taught me I could actually do anything. You just have to invest the time. You could completely fail, pick yourself up and do something great.
Did you want to be in leadership positions?
World-Wide Business Centres
575 Madison Avenue – 10th floor
New York, NY 10022