Laila Ali, who is the daughter of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and a world boxing champion in her own right, wants to make a name for herself in the personal-care arena.
Before she entered boxing, Ali earned an associate’s degree in business management and says she’s always been interested in beauty, hair care and skin care. Her ability to apply the discipline that she learned as a boxer and her education were the one-two punch that led her to create her Laila Ali personal-care product line for ethnic women. Ali worked with International Beauty, which manufactures fragrances and personal-care products, to launch her line in the fall of 2009.
She approached her business with the same focus as she did her boxing career: She researched her competitors and focused on what she saw as their weaknesses. For instance, she says her background as an athlete led her to focus on creating products that have healthful ingredients.
Some products on the market have healthful ingredients, but they don’t contain enough of them to be effective, and many ethnic skin-care products don’t produce the results that they claim, she says.
Ali is conservative about her savings. Half of her money is invested—75 percent in mutual funds and 25 percent in bonds for slow growth. The other half is in money-market savings accounts. She confides that she’d rather have her money tucked into her mattress but says she takes the advice of her financial adviser.