At 15, Anne McKevitt had had enough of living in a small rural town in Scotland where she grew up in basic government housing. She dropped out of school without sitting any exams, eager to get to London to make a big impression in the world. With total belief in herself and no fear of failure, she knew that she would make her mark and she has done exactly that.
Fast-forward over two decades and her impact has been enormous, personally, in business and philanthropically. She now heads up 22 separate businesses all part of AMI Group Enterprises, a billion dollar enterprise she founded. One business was sold that in three years delivered the design of 1600 products with a retail value of $975 million. Serial entrepreneurial in spirit and global in impact, Anne McKevitt has consistently been an industry leader. Anne is currently authoring a series of business books and as well as her new ground breaking book Power of Proximity in which she looks at the power we all have to make great and significant global changes in our lifetime. She continues to grow her portfolio of businesses.
By the time Anne was 23 she had already become renowned in the fashion world before moving on to a second successful career, creating a multi-million pound interior design, construction and property development business. That achievement is impressive in and of itself, but Anne’s accomplishment is even more impressive in light of a very serious car accident she survived in 1986. Told that she may never walk again, she was totally bedridden for almost a year and didn’t speak for the first four months. Thanks to former clients Paul and Linda McCartney, who found and funded alternative treatments, Anne was literally back on her feet after a year and a half of recuperation and rehabilitation.
Anne McKevitt is viewed as one of the most powerful women in Britain where she previously resided. She was awarded Leading Women Entrepreneur of the World 2002, recognised by The International Herald Tribune as a World Class Entrepreneur, named by Time Magazine as one of Four International Business Leaders to Watch, placed at #30 in The Sunday Times 500 Most Powerful Britons and Forbes Magazine stated; “at the head of the pack …Anne McKevitt”.
Anne is a member of President Bill Clinton’s Clinton Global Initiative, she sits on the Women’s Leadership Board at Harvard, John F Kennedy School of Government, and on the Advisory Committee for Brisbane Graduate School of Business at Queensland University of Technology. In 2005 Anne took up the honorary position of Executive – in – Residence at Brisbane Graduate School of Business, QUT. She chaired the judges for the 2006 Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. All of this an astounding achievement when you consider the teenager who left home at 15 without sitting any exams.
Anne McKevitt is hailed as a leading authority on consumer lifestyle changes, competitiveness and diversity, both nationally and globally. She has advised and guided many multinationals world-wide. These include: Mercedes, IKEA, Royal Doulton, Peugeot, Ernst & Young, Wal*Mart, Deloitte, Waterford Crystal, Jeep, Bloomingdales, Saks, Pottery Barn, Moet e Chandon, Freeman’s, Sainsbury’s, Debenhams, Wedgwood, Marks & Spencer, Commonwealth Bank, Optus and Hewlett Packard. She is also a much sought after speaker having performed live at events to audiences of 25,000 people.
In early 1994, with a personal client list that reads like a who’s who, Anne, as Britain’s most sought after interior designer, caught the attention of TV producers looking for a host for a new lifestyle show. Clients listed here are the most significant names: Sultan of Brunei, Michael Caine, Naomi Campbell, Dyan Cannon, Catherine Deneuve, Faye Dunaway, Linda Evangelista, Sir Bob Geldof, Queen Of Greece, Duchess of Gloucester, Jerry Hall, Sir Elton John, Queen Noor of Jordan, Annie Lennox, Sophia Loren, Paul McCartney, Kate Moss, Joan Rivers, Anita Roddick, Queen of Spain, Ringo Starr, Emma Thompson, Julie Walters, Raquel Welch and Bill Wyman, as well as the late Paula Yates, George Harrison and Linda McCartney.
For the next decade, Anne became a prime time TV star and celebrity in the UK where she was viewed by millions, on her lifestyle television shows and through her books. She instigated a colour and contemporary style revolution that transformed the British nation’s homes and gardens through her books and eighteen series of lifestyle TV programmes which she presented and designed for on the BBC and ITV, and in syndicated series in another twenty countries worldwide. In the U.S. she appeared on HGTV, HSN, CBS, DISCOVERY and FOX networks. Anne has written five bestselling and critically acclaimed design books, which are sold in sixteen countries. Her first book sold a staggering one million copies that broke new ground in this category of illustrated books, making it the 20th bestselling book of the 90’s in the UK.
Anne’s design work and projects have received numerous awards including:
Best Home in Scotland – UK National Home Builder design awards sponsored by The Guardian newspaper. Best Home for the Future in the UK – UK National Home Builder design awards sponsored by The Guardian newspaper. Best Interior Layout – What House Awards sponsored by The Sunday Times newspaper. Civic Trust Award 2001 – Saltier Society. Housing Design Award 2000 – Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Regeneration Achievement Award 2000 – Supreme Award – Charted Institute of Building Scotland, Good Building Award 2000 – Royal Town planning Institute Awards for Planning Achievement 2000. Commendation for Planning Urban Renaissance. WH Smith Literary Awards nominated Designer Know How for book of the year.
Her work has appeared in hundreds of magazine publications in the UK and internationally, and she has featured in thousands of newspaper articles around the world including; Vogue, Harpers & Queen, Elle, Hello, OK!, Good Housekeeping, House Beautiful, Home & Garden, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Living Etc, Forbes, Time, She, Ideal Home, Radio Times, TV Times, Your Garden, Company, Chief Executive, New York Times, The Sunday Times, The Times, Sun Herald, Vive, Cape Town Argus, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Post, New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe and USA Today to name a few.
At the height of her fame and success, Anne decided it was time to map out and move on to the next chapter of her life even though she was due to start into a lucrative new global TV deal. Having accomplished everything she set out to do within the medium of design, she felt that it was time to move away and concentrate fully on her other less public interests. These include multiple businesses, humanitarian work and education. Some have said it was a brave move, leaving behind her TV celebrity status. Instead Anne found it totally liberating to focus on her life as a serial and social entrepreneur. With 3 billion people on the planet existing on less than $2 a day, making poverty history through the medium of micro loans to the third world communities is Anne’s main humanitarian focus, and as she says; “this is way more important than what colour someone should paint their bathroom! Granted a ‘Distinguished Talent’ visa by the Australian Government, Anne moved permanently to Sydney, Australia, which she now calls home.
As well as her own charity projects, Anne has worked with micro finance charity Opportunity International Australia during 2005 and 2006. Anne is a moral vegetarian of some 33 years and a lifelong environmentalist. She passionately believes that we must respect our planet and all that live on it. She feels the link between environmental disregard and world poverty needs to come to the forefront and be top of mind with every individual in the affluent western world.
Fall 2007 saw Anne McKevitt’s business reputation take her into global political circles. At the Clinton Global Initiative she worked together with 52 past and present Presidential & Prime Ministerial heads of state to address the issues and make personal commitments to implement changes on poverty alleviation, global health, climate change and education. Following this in December 2007 she was invited to The White House and Capitol Hill to take part in discussions and attend briefings on Foreign Policy, Labor, Legislative Affairs and Climate Change and subsequently fulfilled a long held ambition to visit the Oval Office.
Her personal pastimes include, photography, abstract painting, kayaking, year round sea swimming, surfing (not very well!) body boarding and chilling out at the beach when she should be in the office.