fbpx

Reaching for the Starlings: GBEA’s 15 fashion and beauty entrepreneurs to watch in 2020

When looking at the fashion and beauty sector in 2020, we found the following entrepreneurs shone through, leading the way in the industry by spotting space for opportunity and evolution.

Along with our partners Starling Bank, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards prides itself on supporting exciting entrepreneurs making waves in the UK. Here are our 15 most exciting fashion and beauty entrepreneurs to watch in 2020.


Dr Yannis & Eva Alexandrides, 111skin

Using 20+ years of expertise and medical observations, 111skin have developed products using innovative formulas that are engineered using the most sophisticated methods. This means their products can have the highest levels of efficacy while still being nourishing for the skin. From their journey into Harrods to expanding into America and Asia, they have gone from 2 to 80 members of staff in the last 7 years.


Sharmadean Reid, Beautystack

Beautystack is a marketplace app for influential beauty professionals. Users post images of their work and their clients can book directly in-app, see what their friends are booking and save their favourite treatments. Beautystack founder Sharmadean aims to change the future of work for independent Beauty Pros by powering their careers. Innovation is at the core of the business, using the latest technology to build their systems. In the future, Beautystack will be applying ML, AI and data science to the business of beauty.


Jonathan Durden & Geoff Percy, Below the Belt

In 2014, Jonathan and Geoff realised that men were experiencing a very real issue that needed addressing. Among the plethora of men’s grooming products, no brands were  effectively providing ranges to keep the groin area fresh and dry. They decided to put a stop to this and created a range of skincare products to combat the discomfort of perspiration and chafing, for a long lasting fresh and clean feeling. Now established in the UK and Worldwide, with a range of products that deliver long lasting freshness, Below The Belt Grooming™ produces highly effective body and skin care products that do exactly what it says on the pack, at an affordable price.


Joel Desmond & Molly Dempsey, Desmond & Dempsey

Growing up on opposite sides of the world, one in Australia and one in England, Joel and Molly stumbled across each other in Canada. Molly loved wearing Joel’s shirts to relax in on lazy Sunday mornings, but the dry cleaning bill for the jam and morning coffee spills made it clear she needed her own too. So, they set out on a mission to make her a version, and sell them as pyjama sets for women, men and children.The prints are exclusive, hand painted in London and inspired by their Sunday adventures. They only work with top quality cottons and their shirt pyjamas are made to last.


Andy Jefferies & Ben Muller, Dock and Bay

A Brit (Andy) and an Aussie (Ben), started Dock & Bay by drinking too much after work one day. Sharing a passion for travel and not taking themselves too seriously, their very first prototype came when they pulled down a red curtain from the wall and stuck pieces of white paper to it, creating their first towel design with their now iconic stripes. They set out to create the ultimate quick dry beach towel, and have since launched a range of high quality, affordable and sustainable products.


Alexander Walsh & Yang Liu, Just Wears

While working in finance and wearing uncomfortable suits all day, Alex regularly complained about his underwear not fitting properly. When  he couldn’t find a solution in the market, he decided to do something ballsy about it! He traveled around the globe, tested thousands of fabrics and beta tested 40+ prototypes before he found a fit that everyone seemed to love! Within the first 30 days of their Kickstarter launch, they had thousands of people pre-ordering JustWears. The underwear quickly climbed the charts to become the most backed apparel project in the UK.


Alex Grogan, Mancave

Alex believes that the products you use everyday should do more than just wash or moisturise your skin, it’s about looking and feeling your best both inside and out. He also practices what he preaches as  the founder of Mancave, a selection of naturally derived men’s grooming products. Crafted through the precise forging of nature & science, ManCave is embarking on a mission to replace the existing generic product offering and wants to own the bathroom space worldwide.


Ashley Ali, MissPap

Founded in the UK in 2013, Misspap was created to serve women with creative and unique styles, women who love to feel confident in what they wear and women who do things their own way. On Misspap’s website you can expect to find statement pieces with an affordable price-tag that you won’t find anywhere else. They design in-house collections that ultimately embody the classic Misspap signature: sexy yet feminine pieces, perfect for a high octane lifestyle.


Para Hamilton & Shafiq Hassan, Ninety Percent

Way back in 1988, co-founders Para Hamilton and Shafiq Hassan met and a bond was formed over their mutual love of John Lennon, David Attenborough, world music, disappearing tribes and craftsmen, and the virtues of organic food. Born from these joint passions, in 2018 they launched Ninety Percent, selling elevated, everyday clothing basics made from high-quality sustainable materials , they combine  their revolutionary caring spirit with a model that is based on sharing and 360-degree empowerment. They share 90% of their distributed profits between charitable causes and those who make the collection happen.


Adam Minto & Tom Allsworth, Revolution Beauty

Revolution was conceived in 2013 around founder Adam Minto’s kitchen table. To grow the business, Adam joined forces with fellow entrepreneur and beauty manufacturer Tom Allsworth, and amazingly the first retailer had a Makeup Revolution product on sale six months later. The goal was to develop quality makeup, accessible to everyone. Revolution  strives to represent and champion a diverse set of customers. In an industry where beauty norms have only just started being challenged, Revolution Beauty has been breaking down these rules and standing for inclusivity since the day it was born.


Henrietta Rix & Orlagh McCloskey, Rixo

RIXO’s story began in the London living room of best friends Henrietta & Orlagh, born from their passion for vintage. The brand’s philosophy is to evoke a wanderlust & free spirit in all their wearers, filling a gap in the contemporary market with easy-to-wear, feminine shapes and high-quality materials. Always inclusive, always empowering, RIXO creates a fusion of original hand-painted prints and timeless silhouettes to flatter every woman, irrespective of age, season, shape, nationality or time of day. 


Marc Elrick, Tan-Luxe

TAN-LUXE Founder and CEO, Marc Elrick identified that clients in his hair salon had great hair and beautiful makeup , but less than great self-tans. So, Marc began researching ways to deliver a super natural, sun kissed self-tan, putting you in total control of your glow. After five years of research, development, focus groups and 1000’s of submissions to the in-house lab, TAN-LUXE was born!


Millie Wilson & Sarah Goodwin, Tea & Tequila

Inspired by and created using Mexican handicrafts, best friend founders Millie & Sarah, bring you spectacularly original accessories designed to bring you spice and flair. Sarah lives in Mexico City and Millie in London; it’s a U.K. and Mexico collaboration with plenty of tea and tequila. Their love for indigenous and artisan craft gave birth to the business, which holds a mission at  its heart to protect and promote the crafts & craftswoman/men they work with. No indigenous community is too out of reach for their passionate team.


Anthony Stazicker & Louis Tinsley, Thrudark

‘In union there is strength’. Thrudark, founded by Anthony and Louis, are a team of former Special Forces operators striving to produce outstanding clothing for the most challenging environments and ventures. Founded on the principles of authenticity and union and supported by powerful experience-led stories, their clothing is high-quality, resilient and designed for the active adventurer.


Georgie & Jo Townsley, V By Townsley

Founders Georgie and Jo are committed to caring for the environment, animals, and the people that help produce V BY TOWNSLEY vegan accessories. This commitment is evident in their carefully sourced materials and in every stage of the manufacturing process. The cruelty-free vegan bags are made from premium quality Japanese vegan leather. This high-performance fabric is helping Georgie and Jo  redefine the experience of cruelty-free leather. Combining strength and durability with a soft and subtle aesthetic, it looks, feels and performs like leather without causing harm to animals or the environment.


Enter the 2020 Great British Entrepreneur Awards here.

Pre-register for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards regional finals (online)