Former Apprentice Contestant Paloma Vivanco-Coutts Shares her Business Secrets with is4profit
London-based business woman Paloma Vivanco-Coutts is perhaps most well known for taking part in Series 6 of BBC’s The Apprentice in 2010. Since appearing on The Apprentice, Paloma has launched her own fine-fibre Alpaca knitwear company called INACIA, which has become a successful online business and is now on target to become a global online brand.
She is also an Associate Editor at Start Your Business Magazine that sells 40,000 copies monthly and helps thousands of people around the UK by offering practical advice on how to become their own boss and set up their own business. Additionally, Paloma has held a successful career in telecommunications and currently consults to telecom giants around the globe on innovative service opportunities.
Here, Paloma Vivanco-Coutts offers insights into what she’s been doing since The Apprentice, and a few secrets to her business success.
How would you reflect on your appearance on The Apprentice?
I wanted to appear on the show because, although I loved my career, I had previously felt unsettled in a corporate environment and have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so wanted to use it as an opportunity to test out my raw business skills. I think you can’t take the show too seriously in a business context as the producers are constantly standardising what you’re doing for TV, however the tasks on the show were great for encouraging quick-thinking, and it has also since opened up a number of opportunities for me. While I didn’t get the job with Lord Sugar, I did end up working for a Peter Jones company and also launched my own online business INACIA selling fine-fibre Alpaca knitwear.
What are your current ambitions for your knitwear company INACIA?
I am passionate about my brand and want to share this passion globally, while also raising awareness about the values of the quality rich fibre alpaca and its country of origin, my home country Peru. Currently I am hoping to expand INACIA into Europe.
You’re known for your passion for sustainability and ethical business, how are these values reflected in what you do?
The fine-fibre alpaca wool used by INACIA is native to Peru, and coming from a Peruvian background myself I feel in touch with the culture and complexities of the manufacturing industry there. It’s worth paying for unique fibres crafted by rural communities not just because it’s “the right thing to do”, but also because these communities have years of integrity and expertise. I always strive to ensure that INACIA embodies these values and complies fully with sustainable business practices: every step of INACIA’s value chain respects the people, processes and planet that help fuel its profit.
Do you have any secrets to your business success?
- Love what you do! It sounds cliché but if you don’t love what you’re doing then either change it or if you can’t change it, change the way that you perceive it.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Your personal life is your sanctuary and where you recharge your batteries. Make sure there is harmony and happiness in your personal life, as your business life will always have it its ups and downs.
- Keep healthy. A healthy body always equals a healthy and disciplined mind.