Hannah and Sophie Pycroft have been dazzling the beauty industry and social media with the mermaid and unicorn-inspired make-up brushes for nearly four years.
The two sisters launched Spectrum Collections from Sophie’s garage in Barry in April 2014, and have since gone on to social media stardom with ‘the world’s most Instagrammable make-up brushes’.
A deal with Boots and collaboration with Paramount Pictures later, Hannah & Sophie scooped up the ‘Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year’ prize and ‘Great British Entrepreneur of the Year’ award at the 2017 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards for Wales and the South West.
Hannah and Sophie then went on to replicate their success at the National Winners' Evening, winning both the 'Family Business' and overall 'Great British Entrepreneur of the Year' awards for the whole of the UK.
Before that, though, we caught up the 'Spectrum Sisters' for a chat about Barry, business and brushes.
You started off with the ‘Family Business’ award before claiming the overall ‘Great British Entrepreneur of the Year’ award. How does it feel?
Sophie: We were very surprised, weren’t we?!
Hannah: Yeah, REALLY surprised!
S: We love the idea and concept behind the Awards, celebrating entrepreneurship and the achievements of everyone who were also nominated. But to be the overall winners was such a huge achievement for us.
H: It was amazing! Like Sophie said, it was such a fantastic celebration of entrepreneurial spirit. Everyone had done so well, so we were just so surprised that we won ‘Family’, let alone the overall award.
What would it mean to go on and win the ‘Great British Entrepreneur of the Year’ award for the whole of the UK?
S: We don’t go into anything with expectations beyond what we feel can achieve, but I think we’ve got a chance, haven’t we?
H: I’d like to think so. Considering all the past winners, it would be incredible. I’d feel so honoured.
S: Definitely! Considering we’re not ‘business’ people as such, we just started the company ourselves off the back of the lack of opportunities and jobs available for us in Wales, to then potentially be the overall winners of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, we’d be blown away.
What is the single biggest factor in your success so far?
H: Partnership is a good one, and hard work! It’s not easy being an entrepreneur by any means – every day is different and every day is a challenge. Like Sophie said, we’ve never had business experience, we haven’t got a business degree. We’ve literally gone with our gut instinct and…
S: …really worked our butts off! That’s the crux of any business’ success – how hard the people behind that business are willing to work to make it successful. Although now our Instagram makes things look all glamorous, last year was bit of a nightmare, so to come through that and pushing the business forward and to be in with a chance of winning awards that recognise that is amazing.
To see the full interview, head to the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards website.