In 1976, Roddick needed to support her two children while her husband rode a horse from Buenos Aires to New York. So in Brighton, England, she opened a small shop that sold cosmetics made only from natural ingredients. Despite protests from the neighboring funeral parlor, she called it The Body Shop. Today, Roddick heads a public company with a chain of more than 600 shops and a successful international franchising system. As she writes in her introduction, this book is not a conventional autobiography or business book; rather, it's the story of her personal vision of what business should be. Roddick intersperses autobiographical details with criticisms of the cosmetics industry. Espousing principles of social and environmental responsibility, she describes The Body Shop's Trade Not Aid program in the Third World and its campaign to save the Amazon rainforest. At times, Roddick's lecturing becomes tedious, and some of her ideas, while well-intended (giving the Amazon Indians video cameras to record their culture), are questionable. Still, her passion amd her infectious enthusiasm make her book a cut above the usual gray ``How I Succeeded'' tomes. Recommended for popular business collections.-- Wilda Williams, ``Library Journal''
YA-- The fascinating story of an entrepreneur who, with little more than an idea and lots of determination, built a financial empire of over 600 cosmetic stores in 38 countries. Roddick, owner and chairman of the board for The Body Shop, has a strong business sense combined with a solid commitment to social justice. Besides selling natural cosmetics made from plants collected from all over the world, the stores and their staffs are dedicated to environmental and social activism. Roddick's company has worked to protect the rain forests of South America, helped orphans in Romania, and employed poverty-stricken youth in India. This story will appeal to YAs because of its unconventional view of business; they will appreciate the energy and philosophy this good-humored and perceptive woman. The illustrations are almost surrealistic and the photos and drawings are artistically placed throughout. --Deanna Kuhn, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA