Hot Tropic launched in city
A BEAUTY business run by Lord Sugar and former Apprentice candidate Susan Ma has signed up 15 workers in Plymouth – but is looking for hundreds more.
Ms Ma was just 21 when she made it to the 2011 final of the popular BBC TV series.
She didn't win, beaten that year by inventor Tom Pellereau, but Lord Sugar liked her business plan and last year became a 50/50 partner in the company Tropic Pure Plant Skincare.
The business is due to launch nationally in May, and will be re-branded Tropic Pure Plant Beauty Ltd when it branches out into cosmetics too.
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But Ms Ma chose Plymouth to pre-launch the enterprise in the South West and attracted about 100 supporters to the Legacy Plymouth International Hotel, at Marsh Mills.
In addition to showcasing the Tropic Natural Beauty Range the entrepreneur signed up the city's first self-employed "ambassadors" – effectively people who will sell the products and promote the company.
Carol Massey, Tropic's regional ambassador, said the new intake, mainly women, would push the products via social media and face-to-face contacts.
But she said that once Lord Sugar starts promoting the businesses Tropic is expected to be inundated with inquiries – meaning it will need hundreds more staff.
"This is the first region we launched to," she said. "And from just that night we recruited 15 people.
"But we want at least 400 to 500 in the Plymouth area, because we'll need them when Lord Sugar starts promoting this and we get customers wanting to buy."
She said people can treat being an ambassador as a full-time job, or part-time, or just as a hobby or even to raise cash for a charity.
"Some will build a business or fit it around family, for instance if they are young mums."
The Tropic products are 100 per cent natural, being plant based, and vegan and not tested on animals, Ms Massey stressed.
The launch event also raised £191 for the Pancreatic Cancer UK charity via a raffle.