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Ideas in a Jam Jar

From a market stall to a multi-million pound business
here’s our humble journey that’s brought us to where we are today

“Don’t follow your dreams, chase them!”
Susan Ma - founder

 
Growing up in beautiful Cairns in Tropical North Queensland, Australia with ‘green’ parents meant a garden of mango trees and overgrown Aloe Vera plants.
 

2002

New Pastures

My best-friend/Mum and I move
to London for a new lifestyle and fresh opportunities.
 

2003

Dare to Dream

Tired of living in a tiny flat and seeing my Mum work 7 days a week, I decide I want to buy her a house and help with the bills.
 

2004

Jam Jars & Nerves

With some money saved up, I buy 50 jam jars and fill them with my favourite thing in the whole world – a scrumptious body polish made with natural, Australian ingredients. On my first day selling at Greenwich Market, they sell out and I take £980! I’m the happiest 15 year old on earth!
 

2005

On Top of the World

Since the natural fragrance of the body polish reminded me of my home in tropical Cairns, I brand it ‘Tropic’. Within 6 months of selling Tropic, my Mum and I save enough to put a deposit on a house!
 

On a Roll

Passionate and determined about developing a range of natural beauty products, I devote nights and weekends alongside school to study cosmetic formulating and sell my products at markets.
 

2010

Don’t Stop Me Now

With a university degree under my belt and my studies complete, I take a long shot as one of 73,000 applicants for the Apprentice to secure an investment for Tropic. With luck, I’m accepted, and although being fired in the final in front of 13 million viewers wasn’t quite my plan… that’s no reason to stop trying!
 
2011

A Dream come True

I rework my business plan and go straight to the man himself. I‘m given the opportunity to meet with Lord Sugar and show him my products and vision. To my shock and delight, he invests! This time, the nation isn’t watching but what an amazing feeling to walk out those doors again with none other than Lord Alan Sugar as my business partner and a bright Tropic future ahead!
 

2012

Prepare to Launch

We work tirelessly to innovate, improve and expand our existing range of natural beauty products whilst fine tuning our new Social Selling business concept.
 

2013

A New Beginning

On May the 4th, we launch with 400 founding Ambassadors and the hope of empowering women and men everywhere to fulfil their potential as Tropic entrepreneurs and achieve their success - exactly as they define it.
 
May
400
ambassadors
 
September
700
ambassadors
 
December
1000
ambassadors

2014

The Only Way is Up

Just a year later, we celebrate over 2500 awe-inspiring Ambassadors and over £3 million turnover, making Tropic the fastest growing Social Selling company in the UK.
We've expanded into much bigger premises with a new manufacturing beauty kitchen to keep up with demand.
 
£3million
2500
ambassadors
"What started with a hopeful idea in a jam jar to buy my mum a house has turned into something I couldn’t have imagined was possible. I believe that with the right mind set, anyone can achieve their goals. It’s time to write your success story!"

Susan Ma - founder
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