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Debbie Moore: How to be successful in business

Misogyny is still rife in business. But that doesn’t stop entrepreneurs like Debbie Moore triumphing over a world of “men in suits”.Debbie Moore at the V&A (1)

Many people were skeptical when the self-described “ex-model with Northern common sense” opened Pineapple Dance Studios in 1979. Yet just three years later she was the first woman to float a company on the London Stock Market, and today the Pineapple brand is as strong as ever.

In conversation with Ruth Howard Jones, Debbie guided an attentive audience throught her impressive career from international model to receiving an OBE from The Queen.

Despite her long list of achievements, it was admirable to find Debbie has remained humble and down-to-earth; on being described as a ‘legend’ (following her recognition at the London Lifestyle Awards) she was keen to note that “you can’t be a legend without a really strong team”.

The evening was sprinkled with footage and photographs of Debbie’s illustrious career and it struck me just how many obstacles, both professionally and personally, she has overcome to be the powerful businesswoman she is today. Her entrepreneurial nature, resilience and work ethic are inspiring, and it seems that proving people wrong has given her a real edge over the years.

Something which really struck me was her commitment – it’s all so easy to procrastinate, to put things off, to half-finish projects when things get tough. But for Debbie, this wasn’t an option:  “it was very very difficult… but I was so driven and passionate that I made it happen”. She is a fantastic example that, with confidence, hard work and “an element of luck”, anything is possible.

And does she still dance? “When I can!” she says (although I suppose founding a globally successful company takes up some time!)

‘Debbie Moore: Reflections on Pineapple’ was held at The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Victoria and Albert Museum in London on Wednesday 22nd October 2014.

Debbie Moore at the V&A (2) Debbie Moore at the V&A (3) Debbie Moore at the V&A (4) Debbie Moore at the V&A (5) Debbie Moore at the V&A (6) Debbie Moore at the V&A (7)



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