The UK’s fashion and beauty industries are among the most attractive and lucrative for budding entrepreneurs. They give entrepreneurs the freedom to express their creativity while offering the potential for big profits. Combined, fashion and beauty are worth an estimated £49 billion to the UK economy.
With the rise of social media giving small brands greater exposure and potential for rapid growth, there has arguably never been a more exciting time for fashion and beauty in the UK.
Here are Team GBEA’s 20 most exciting fashion and beauty entrepreneurs to watch in 2019.
Alex Doyle – Altr
Alex Doyle is the founder of Altr, a fusion of skincare and cosmetics for men. Alex launched the company after failing to find a suitable option to help his own personal skincare problems. Not only did he struggle to find a product that worked for his skin, but he also found that none of the brands spoke to him as a 21-year old guy.
Julia Yule & Christina Moss – Bloom & Blossom
Julia Yule and Christina Moss are the sister-in-law team behind Bloom & Blossom, a beauty and skincare range designed for pregnant women. They both left high-flying careers when they found that their non-maternity products didn’t deliver the same results during pregnancy. Now, Bloom & Blossom is stocked by Space.NK, John Lewis, Liberty, Mamas and Papas and JoJo Maman Bebe.
Simon Duffy – Bulldog Skincare
Simon Duffy is the founders of Bulldog, a men’s skincare range designed to be simple and straightforward. The idea came to Simon in 2005 when he realised there were products he used, but none that he loved. With its four straightforward ranges (normal, sensitive, oil and mature), Bulldog is now one the UK’s leading men’s skincare brands.
Simon Beckerman – Depop
Already an entrepreneur, Simon Beckerman originally created Depop as a social network where users could purchase items featured in his magazine, PIG. But he soon reimagined the app as a global marketplace where users can see what clothes people are liking, and buy and sell themselves.
John Parker & Christiaan Ashworth – END.
END. is a menswear retailer created by John Parker and Christiaan Ashworth, which is quickly building a huge reputation for its combination of emerging designers, luxury fashion, streetwear and exclusive sportswear. Stocking over 400 brands and designers, END. is at the forefront of the new wave of fashion-conscious consumers.
Rob & Paul Forkan – Gandys
Rob and Paul Forkan are the brothers behind Gandys, an outdoor lifestyle fashion brand which was inspired by the death of their parents in the Sri Lanka tsunami in 2004. Determined to keep living the same lifestyle, Rob and Paul continued their travels and began to design products they needed by couldn’t find. Gandys also works to provide facilities for orphans in deprived countries.
Marian Hewish & Oliver White – Goose & Gander
Marian Hewish and Oliver White are the founders of Goose & Gander, a unisex clothing brand created in 2013. Goose & Gander is quickly growing in popularity for its unique streetwear that removes gender stereotypes from fashion and empowers customers to dress how they want to dress.
Beth Chilton & Sarah Sleightholm – Hope & Ivy
Hope & Ivy is a contemporary British fashion brand created by Beth Chilton and Sarah Sleightholm, which is building a name for itself in a crowded market for its hand-drawn prints. All embroideries and prints have been handcrafted and overseen by Sarah using artisan techniques.
Conna Walker – House of CB
Having launched House of CB with no real fashion design training or experience, Conna Walker has established herself as a big name on the red carpet. She may have started selling items on eBay, but House of CB now counts the likes of Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez and the Kardashian’s as fans of its figure-hugging, curve-friendly designs.
David & Clare Hieatt – Howies
Husband and wife David and Clare Hieatt are the founders of Howies, an active clothing brand owned by its employees. Started in 1995, Howies was far ahead of the environment-conscious trend we see in fashion now, with its organic, recycled and natural fabrics. David is also the founder of Hiut Denim Co, which benefited from a surge in popularity after the Duchess of Sussex wore a pair of jeans on her first official visit to Wales.
Jade Elliott – ICONIC London
Jade Elliott is the founder of ICONIC London, a luxury trend-led makeup brand. Launched just four years ago from her bedroom, Jade has established ICONIC as one of the most exciting and sought after makeup brands, with support from beauty influencers around the world, big and small.
Jules Von Hep – Isle of Paradise
Isle of Paradise is a range of self-tanning products created by Jules Von Hep, one of the world’s leading tanning experts. With its organic and vegan-friendly ingredients, Isle of Paradise has become the self-tanning product favoured by some of the biggest celebrities in the world.
Laura Tenison – JoJo Maman Bebe
Laura Tenison is the founder of JoJo Maman Bebe, the maternity, baby and nursery retailer launched in 1993. Over a quarter of a century since it started, JoJo Maman Bebe is encouraging parents to donate their children’s old clothes to its From A Mother to Another (FAMTA) charity to reduce the amount of clothing waste going to landfill.
Daniel Crown – lookfantastic
Daniel Crown is the founder of lookfantastic, one of Europe’s biggest premium beauty retailers. With over 22,000 products across nearly 700 premium brands, lookfantastic has positioned itself as the ultimate destination for all your beauty needs.
Tammy Koslowski – NAF! Stuff
Tammy Koslowski is the founder of NAF! Stuff, a range of nail care products and lifestyle brand. Having started as NAF! Salon, Tammy created her own range of products with the help of her team. Gaining a cult following on Instagram, NAF! Stuff’s products bridge the gap between and personal use.
Maria Hatzistefanis – Nip + Fab
Maria Hatzistefanis is the founder of Nip + Fab, an innovative skincare and makeup brand designed to create flawless complexion for ‘selfie-ready looking skin’. The company achieved an international following after reality star Kylie Jenner posted about the products and teaming up with Nip + Fab as a beauty ambassador soon after.
Leigh, David & Neil Chadwick- Seasalt Cornwall
Three brothers Leigh, David and Neil launched Seasalt after their father passed away in 2001. With years of experience in the family business behind them, the trio created a clothing and lifestyle brand that perfectly represented Cornwall. Seasalt now focuses much of its time to social good, with projects like ‘Modern Creatives’ and art installations for mental health charity hospital room.
Dom De Vetta – Shay & Blue
Dom De Vetta is the founders of Shay & Blue, an award-winning boutique perfumery and skincare brand. The perfumes are crafted by hand through a process that takes over three months to create richness and depth. Dom created the business in 2012 after he left his position as global general manager for Jo Malone London.
Peter Pedlow – The Beardy Beard Co
Peter Pedlow created The Beardy Beard Co in 2014 after years of frustration trying to find the right beard care products. He had tried all sorts of products but none captured his imagination. Using 100% natural ingredients, The Beardy Beard Co’s products are entirely blended, bottled and packaged by hand.
Alec Farmer – Trakke
Alec Farmer is the founder of Trakke, a range of waxed canvas bags designed to be stylish yet versatile and durable for the outdoors. Handmade by a team of artisans, Trakke bags are built to last a lifetime, helping customers transition from workday to weekend with ease.
Entries for the 2019 NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards are now open. You can register and enter for free here.