Fiona McIntosh

Fiona wears our Hamilton dress in Green, £198 (above)

Tell me about your childhood?

I grew up in Melbourne, Australia so my childhood was all about beaches, riding my bike and hanging out with my friends – it was very relaxed! I trained to be a journalist in Australia before coming to the UK in my twenties when I completely fell in love with London.

In a nutshell, what is blow LTD? 

blow LTD is the UK’s biggest on demand beauty app – we deliver expert, trained and tested stylists, makeup artists, nail technicians and beauty therapists to your door  wherever and whenever you need them, from 7 am to 8 pm, seven days a week.

What inspired you to start blow LTD?

I was desperate for a service like this myself! I am a working mother with very little time and have small windows in my week to squeeze in beauty services. The vast majority of our customers are the same – busy, working women. Interestingly, a third of all our appointments are booked outside working hours – before 9 am, after 5 pm or at weekends, which shows just how crazy busy we all are.

Run us through your typical work day?

There is no typical day – I could be in the office in trading or marketing meetings, on a shoot for one of our campaigns or with one of our brand partners, in a board meeting or working on a new project.

Tell me about your career highs and lows?

Being the launch editor of Grazia back in 2005 was hugely exciting and frightening in equal measure. At first, we got as much wrong as we got right – but it was exhilarating once it took off. Also launching blow LTD five years ago was thrilling.

Fiona wears our Beaulieu silk shirt in Ivory, £148, and Brunswick trousers in Black, £130 (right)

What are your own weaknesses?

Where do I start? I get bored too easily and tend to be a bulldozer in meetings. But as I’ve grown older I’ve learnt to calm down. I listen more now and try to pay more attention to detail.

What is your vision for the future of blow LTD?

I would love to see blow LTD become a global player.

Can you tell me about any exciting projects in the pipeline?

We are always looking at new services to add so we become a one-stop shop for beauty. We are really excited about launching facials and massages with Decleor in January  it means you can have a treatment at home and then roll back into bed (rather than put your clothes back on and head out into the cold). This one really appeals to my inner sloth.

What piece of career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?

Sometimes you get lucky, but most of the time you have to find your luck. This applies just as much to my career now as it did when I was in my twenties.

What is your go-to workwear style?

I work in a predominantly female office and it's usually jeans, a jacket and ankle boots. But when I am out of the office, meeting investors or at industry events, I’ll whip out a smart dress and heels.

Fiona wears our Thames dress in Navy, £225 (left)  

Who is your style icon?
I am the same age as those supermodels from the nineties like Cindy Crawford and Elle Macpherson. They’ve shown us that you don’t have to look mumsy just because you’ve crossed the threshold of fifty.
 
Tell me about your worst office fashion faux pas?

Arriving at the Elle office on my first day as editor with a scrunchie in my hair. Elle’s fashion director at the time, the legendary Ian R Webb, has never let me forget that. Nor should he. Unforgivable!

What keeps you busy when you’re not in the office?

I have two teenage daughters, one is in her fresher year at university and the other is sitting her GCSEs, but even though I am at the other end of the parenting lifecycle, they are still hugely demanding. Does it ever end?!?! Otherwise, I try to squeeze in a bit of tennis, skiing and downloading over wine with my squad of very close, very funny girlfriends.

Have you mastered a good work-life balance?

I’m not sure I ever get the ratio right. I guess you just have to muddle through and have a supportive other half, which luckily I do. In the future, I hope the growing movement for flexible working really gains traction. Our beauty pros can use the blow LTD app to upload the hours they want to work, so they can fit their jobs around kids, partners, holidays etc. This flexibility is one of the key reasons they love working on our platform. I think we will be seeing a lot more of this.

What is your favourite Libby outfit at the moment?

I love a “Do Everything Dress” which you can slip on in the morning and then keep on for an evening event. I also love a strong colour – black tends to wash me out – so this Hamilton dress in a lovely emerald green ticks all the boxes.

Fiona wears our Beaulieu silk shirt in Ivory, £148, and Brunswick trousers in Black, £130 (right)

Lastly, whilst raising your two daughters, what is the most important lesson you have/ want to teach them?

There are so many… but hopefully, they will grow up to be kind, resilient and independent adults who retain their innate sense of humour. You throw so much stuff at them, you just hope something sticks!

Fiona wears our Hamilton dress in Green, £198 (right)

 

You can download the blow LTD app at the app store or go to www.blowltd.com

 

Interview: Lilli Brant

Photographer: Mafalda Silva

Accessories: Fiona’s own

Location: Fiona's home in South West London 


 

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