THEY say success is the sweetest form of revenge and the old adage certainly rings true for glamorous entrepreneur, Deborah Mitchell.
The 51-year-old beauty guru, who was “bullied to hell” at school, is having the last laugh after launching a skincare business, Heaven.
Who is Deborah Mitchell?
Deborah owes her success to an unlikely secret weapon: bees, or, to be precise, bee venom – a key ingredient in many of her products and treatments.
Born and raised in working-class Telford, Deborah lived with her mum Sheila, a hairdresser, and her late dad, who ran a chauffeur business.
Her parents separated when she was six.
When she’s not tending to the wrinkles of the rich and famous, she can be found at her Wolverhampton home with her husband Chris Cox, who is a bacon curer, her son Chris, 18, and 19-year-old daughter Ella Jane, who has released a face wipe range.
School was quite a traumatic time for Deborah. She said: “I absolutely got bullied to hell.
That was my saviour to be honest; I hid in the library. There’s nothing else to do in the library except try and pass my exams. The bullying actually helped me learn extra things.”
Deborah, who made money during her teens by taking part in beauty pageants, had aspirations to become an actress until she started suffering from breakouts.
In a desperate bid to cure her skin ailments she enrolled on a beauty course at a local college and set up as a mobile therapist at 17.
“I had very bad ache. I was using toothpaste on my spots to dry them out. I was very inventive, even then, I’d try anything,” she said.
After developing an ointment for her spots, she set about finding a remedy to fight the signs of ageing.
Why did she think of using bee venom?
Deborah said she looked in the mirror one day and wanted to find an alternative to Botox after noticing wrinkles.
She said: “My sister, who lives down the road from me, is a beekeeper, so I had a lot of information about bees and honey in my head. I retain a lot of useless information and I knew what I had to do.”
After some experimentation, the resulting potion has now been patented as Abeetoxin – a complicated formulation of bee venom, honey and botulism (or botulinum), a natural form of the toxin used in Botox that can be harvested from a beehive.
The Bee Venom Mask is sold in three tiers, starting with silver (£80 for 60ml), which contains the lowest amount of Abeetoxin, then black, (£154), and up to gold (£352).
Deborah was scouted by Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor’s wife, Tracey, and then word spread – Victoria Beckham’s make-up artist came calling.
But Posh isn’t her only famous fan.
What other famous faces frequent Deborah’s clinic?
She counts Michelle Obama, Kylie and Dannii Minogue and Simon Cowell as customers.
Simon now jets into Deborah’s Heaven spa in Shifnal, which uses the playing field of a local school as a helicopter landing pad.
After a member of the royal household spotted her products, Deborah began treating the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duchess of Cambridge.
It’s been reported that Kate enjoyed a bee venom facial days before the royal wedding.
Despite her starry clientele, Deborah rarely gets star-struck saying matter-of-factly: “I do. But then I quickly get over it because you’re here today but could be gone tomorrow.”
She believes her all-natural, organic products have become popular because people just want to “look natural and beautiful”.
Deborah’s business, which she founded in 1995, has reportedly been valued at over £30million with Estee Lauder and Unilever both keen to snap it up. She has declined both offers.
However, Deborah has just signed a lucrative deal with the company that own Louis Vuitton, which will see her products stocked in department stores across the US.
They can also be found in seven star hotels including the Waldorf Astoria and the Langham Group. She only sells to spas in the UK.
According to thesun.co.uk