The 18th February is a day of reflection for all of us here at Aspects Beauty Company, marking as it does, the anniversary of the death of our beloved, Jim Jackson, in 2021. It has been a difficult year in so many ways, but a year that demonstrated how the “magic that was the man” and his extraordinary qualities have permeated the spirit of the company as a lasting legacy.
Jim’s words were ever loud in our ears throughout the year, reminding us all that despite everything, our responsibilities were towards supporting our brand owners, retailers and employees. But that life had to be fun, that communication is two way. His affection and his purposefulness were always balanced and that is how we at Aspects have tried to continue throughout this turbulent year.
Many people know Jim’s story (he was never backward in telling it!). He was born into humble, even disadvantaged circumstances, during the Second World War. Despite this lack of advantage, he became a chorister and passed the 11+ before going on to grammar school. There, he was spotted by a clear-sighted master and was recommended to Unilever as a talent they might be able to develop. He became the youngest advertising manager in Unilever Port Sunlight and sat exams to enable him to develop a career in this field.
He embraced every opportunity and used his natural ability to learn, improve and develop himself. He was supported during this time by excellent managers and in due course, he was enrolled in a management training scheme before being sent around the world to learn about exporting, as well as developing marketing plans for Unilever’s subsidiaries. He lived in Nigeria for two years as part of that programme and on his return, moved to Unilever House, Blackfriars to work for Unilever Export. His career with Unilever led to him being a General Manager with UAC, with responsibility for developing young marketing talent in overseas subsidiaries of the organisation.
His skills acquired during his career stood him in good stead when, together with Jill, he founded what is now known as Aspects Beauty Company. He never forgot the disciplines he acquired nor his absolute faith in young, bright, creative, talented people - something that has been a hallmark of his approach at Aspects.
His support for employees, their family life, their sense of self-worth and achievement, their loyal service or their exceptional contribution was unstinting. He did things differently, but he did them with an open heart and a generosity that was unsparing. He never forgot how hard it was for him to achieve his success, remembering the support he received from his managers when he started out.
Jim’s desire to level the playing field in life and improve the chances of those who may have been disadvantaged in some way, forms the inspiration for the establishment of a charity to be launched in his name, The Jim Jackson Foundation. Fund raising has commenced and applications have been received. A website is shortly to be available and throughout 2022 and beyond, the company and our associates will be raising funds to make a difference to someone’s life by helping them into a business career as often as is possible.
Aspects will remember Jim each year with a day of reflection by giving an extra day’s holiday in September, ideally to be taken on September 19th where possible, as this was his birthday. Our staff can spend that day working with a charity of their choice or undertaking work that helps other people for the day. It will be known as Jim’s Day and it is intended to be a day of action, a day to make a difference to someone somewhere. We will be encouraging people to write in and tell us how they have made a difference and to send in photos or mementos of the day to be compiled into a history of these special moments in memory of Jim.
To his family and friends, Jim’s warmth, love, adoration, encouragement, pride, fun-loving and sheer big heartedness will remain wrapped around their hearts forever and will shine as a beacon, an example, by which they will all live.