WHEN pink-haired Lisa Marie Brown leaves home, she has to make a difficult decision – which of her three bright pink cars to drive: Porsche, Ferrari or McLaren.
It’s a decision that many of us would like to make and one that she believes anyone can achieve with hard work, luck and self-confidence.
Because while 42-year-old Lisa is now lacking for nothing, she has lost track of her designer handbags.
But Lisa came from humble beginnings.
After her parents divorced when she was 10, her mother struggled to make ends meet, and Lisa got her first job at 14 to make sure the family could eat.
Appearing on Channel 5’s Rich House Poor House – the show that follows a millionaire and a family in poverty as they swap houses to see how the other half lives – Lisa led the way back to their roots.
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Lisa, who loves everything pink and is known as Supercar Barbie, speaks exclusively to Fabulous and says: “My mother had very little when my father left and suffered from depression.
“We lived in a run-down house and when I was 14 I got a Saturday job at the hairdresser sweeping hair and making coffee to make ends meet and I’ve been working ever since.
“It was a tough childhood in many ways, I was also bullied at school.
“But it taught me to be resilient and it was also happy, our family was everything and we were constantly in and out of each other’s houses.”
For the show, Lisa, who is currently single, took her best friend and Barbie fanatic Alisa Thorne, who she calls her Barbie twin, to a three-bedroom house in Bridgwater, Somerset, where Holly and Innocent usually live with their three Children.
Meeting the “poor” family
Lisa said: “Holly is a carer and Innocent works in psychiatry. They have had some terrible times and have been homeless in the past. They are left with £70 a week to buy food and other essentials.
“When I’m at home I can easily earn £1,200 a week, although a lot of that is spent on my cars. New tires alone cost a fortune.
“I coped with the small budget and mass cooking, the biggest shock to my system was not having a car to drive and I was afraid they would break my Porsche.
“These are the people who need more help from the government, hard-working families.
“To help, I agreed to give them a cash injection if Holly opened her dream business – a cafe.
“I believe in helping people as much as possible. I’ve been lucky with mentors, even Richard Branson has guided me. I went to his house for afternoon tea after meeting him at a networking event.”
Meanwhile, the family have moved into Lisa’s stunning three-bedroom penthouse apartment in Cardiff Bay, which she shares with her chihuahua Chloe, who she calls her “baby”.
There, her wardrobe is filled with designer clothes from Moschino and Gucci, designer handbags and Alexander McQueen sneakers.
When Lisa isn’t in Cardiff, she’s either heading to London in one of her supercars – while the Barbie song is playing – staying in Mayfair and hanging out in celebrity spots like the Dorchester, or escaping the harsh winter weather in Dubai.
Her wealth is due to hard work… and pink
She made her fortune through her own businesses, initially with Pinkspiration, a construction company that trains and upskills young people and transforms vacant spaces in the Cardiff area.
She recently founded P1nk – a company that organizes supercar events. She also renovates and sells properties, having remodeled five so far.
She says: “I had just turned 30 and felt like it was now or never. So I took the plunge, resigned from a charity I worked with and founded Pinkspiration, based on my favorite color.
“It was scary, but clearly the right thing to do. I chose two very male-dominated worlds for my work.
“But they have always been my passions, my dad worked in construction and he also loved cars, so I grew up loving them. And I want other women and girls to realize that there’s no job you can’t do – at Pinkspiration I’ve helped over 12,000 young people get into the industry.
“Within five years of starting my business I bought my first Maserati – pink of course, which cost £60,000 and I haven’t looked back.”
I still have one goal: to be in “Fast and Furious,” and I won’t give that up!
Lisa Marie Brown
But Lisa’s high profile in the car world comes at a price. She is trolled mercilessly.
She says: “I ruffled feathers just because I’m a woman.
“Men gang up on me and I regularly receive death threats and people who want to destroy my cars.
Inspirations: Barbie and Arnold Schwarznegger
“While I was sitting in my car, a gang of guys all fucked up and blinded came up to me. They can’t cope with a strong woman dressed in pink – but they have to learn.
“I will never let that deter me. Women and girls should know that they can do anything. I want to inspire them and help them – Barbie is one of my inspirations, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is my other one.
“I tell women that anyone can do it if they are willing to put in the work.
“I’m often still working at 1am, my brain is constantly thinking about what I can do next. My top tips for a successful life are to keep pushing, be resilient and don’t be afraid of failure – never give up.
“I still have one goal – to appear in Fast and Furious, and I won’t give that up!”