Reaching for the Starlings: 15 Family businesses to watch in 2022

For a lot of family businesses, the past few years have proven difficult, but this list looks to celebrate and recognise those family businesses that have used this experience to make transformations, changes and improvements under pressure. The strength and resilience of these businesses are definitely something to celebrate and the strong unity of ‘family’ definitely helps make these companies influential in their sector.

Alongside our partners Starling Bank, the Great British Entrepreneur Awards is proud to support family businesses that are making a difference in the UK. Read on to see our list of the 15 most exciting family businesses of 2022.

Lucy & Claire Lettice – &Sisters

&Sisters, founded by mother and daughter duo Lucy & Claire Lettice, is on a path to building the world’s first menstrual health ecosystem, by creating conscious period products that are healthy for women’s bodies. Being both gentle on the planet and gentle on women, they are on track to creating the menstrual health ecosystem of the future. After a successful two years of creating period products, they are now venturing into the femtech space, creating apps and wearables that complement their brand ethos.

Rene & Andy Perkins – CityMaaS

CityMaaS, founded by Rene and Andy Perkins set out with the sole mission to make the world accessible to everyone both online and offline. The primary function of CityMaaS is to provide mobility maps in order to help people with disabilities effectively navigate and get around cities. The map will highlight places that have wheelchair accessibility and businesses that also provide that access. CityMaaS’s vision is to essentially personalise the way that the disabled community consumes accessibility data and services. 

Simon & Andrew Salter – DIRTEA

Brothers, Simon and Andrew Salter co-founded DIRTEA after discovering the benefits and powers of functional mushrooms. After going through a period of constantly working, travelling and dealing with stress, they decided to integrate mushroom tea into their lives, which made them realise how many other people would benefit from this. The mushroom powders used in DIRTEA are sourced from highly regarded mushroom farms across China and Finland. There are a range of different mushrooms used, that each have different purposes such as helping with fatigue, focus, digestion, anxiety, sleep and so much more. 

Kashyap Karia, Jahnvi Karia and Vyoma Karia – Heyoo 

Heyoo is a family startup inspired by their healthcare background, providing useful supplements at an accessible and affordable price. There are multiple different packages on offer and the products can also be found on Amazon as well as in stores in the UK. Heyoo is shaking up the vitamins market by making use of its eye-catching brand, company ethos and competitive pricing. 

Elvira & Oleg Dmitrieva – Independent Wine

Husband and wife duo Elvira and Oleg Dmitrieva founded Independent Wine, an incredible disruptor in the wine industry. Initially launching in stores, Independent Wine was faced with hardship due to the pandemic, causing them to launch primarily online, offering a bespoke approach to online wine sales. The website acts as a sommelier, offering its customers tasting notes and food pairings on every bottle. 

Natalie Bent & Denhue Harris – Little Scholars Playground

Little Scholars Playground, founded by Natalie Bent and Denhue Harris, has a singular mission, to create and engage with children’s literature, tackling the imbalance of representation of black people specifically. The business was formed after a casual conversation surrounding the difficulties of finding children’s books that include main character representation of black people, thus Little Scholars Playground was born. 

Chris & Will Donnelly – Lottie

Lottie is a new digital platform founded by brothers Chris and Will Donnelly, with the aim to connect loved ones with high quality, supportive care homes and communities, providing a new means of social care. Lottie helps families to find the best care homes and retirement living for their loved ones. The platform helps care seekers make sure that their loved ones will receive the best quality care at the most affordable prices.

Oliver & Alexander Kent-Braham – Marshmallow

Twins Oliver & Alexander Kent-Braham are the founders of Marshmallow – a car insurance startup. Marshmallow is a licensed insurance carrier that allows users to make digital claims via an app. It specialises in offering cover for those struggling to get the right cover from the more traditional insurance providers, including young male drivers, and those who are on temporary visas. Marshmallow aims to breathe new life into insurance and transform the way things are done.

Chloe & Olivia Brookman – Olli Ella

Olli Ella was founded by sisters Chloe and Olivia Brookman, specialising in modern, folk-inspired children’s products and home decor. Olli Ella was founded in 2010 and began as a side hustle selling nursery chairs, however, its popularity spread to Australia, Europe and the US, leading the branch off into apparel, homeware, travel and toys. Their trademark vintage aesthetic and ethically made products has helped add to the popularity and growth of their business. 

Jenny & Alex McFadden – Pretty Mama

Pretty Mama was formed in 2010 by sisters Jenny and Alex McFadden. The two sisters wanted to design and produce a collection of maternity clothing, especially for breastfeeding mothers. The concept was derived after Alex struggled to find both comfortable and feminine clothing options whilst she was pregnant with her daughter. Pretty Mama aims to empower mothers on their nursing journey by helping them feel beautiful, confident and comfortable. 

Sarah & Geoff Yates – Sea Arch Drinks

Sea Arch Drinks was founded by Sarah and Geoff Yates, offering alcohol-free gin that has a flavour created from complex botanicals. The flavour of the gin takes shape from the couple’s local area, making use of the native coastal samphire and sea kelp found just off the south Devon coast. Sea Arch contains a combination of complexity and robustness as it’s crafted using a copper pot and steam distillation techniques which helps to capture the perfect blend of flavour. 

Jessica & Louella Alderson – So Syncd

So Syncd is a dating app and website founded by sisters Jess and Lou Alderson. So Syncd brings a new life to dating by matching people based on their compatible personality types. Couples are paired by having the right number of differences and similarities to create a healthy balance, the purpose is to make dating more fun, meaningful and successful. 

Sol & Sam Schlagman – Stint

Stint is founded by brothers Sol and Sam Schlagman who came up with the idea for Stint while both studying at UCL in 2016. Stint connects students with high street and hospitality businesses needing to fill shifts at peak times. Through the platform, hard-working and motivated students will be placed in pubs, restaurants and retailers for two to three hours at a time in order to help businesses when they are understaffed. This helps high street businesses to serve more customers and in turn, the students can gain work experience in a range of different industries, with no contracted hours needed. 

Emma-Kate & Dylan James- Tiafi Jewellery

Tiafi Jewellery was founded by Emma-Kate and Dylan, as inspiration struck when finding an old photograph that made Emma-Kate think deeper about the meaning of connection. The brand’s mission is to connect the people you love through thoughtful designer jewellery, with all of the pieces connecting when put together face-to-face. From the design process to the delivery, only the very best craftsmanship and materials are used, by sourcing the highest quality sustainable materials, and the thought of connection is prominent throughout. All of the jewellery pieces by Tiafi Jewellery are designed and crafted in the UK from recycled materials. 

Jason & Emma Ash – YoungPlanet

Jason & Emma Ash founded YoungPlanet, an app that helps find new homes for toys and other children’s goods that would otherwise be sitting unloved and unused or thrown out in a landfill. The business’s main focus is on helping families reduce waste and become more environmentally conscious. In turn, it can help families receive high-quality goods for their children at no cost. Parents can request a list of items that they would like, for example, books, toys, and baby equipment and the app then uses a gamification system to prioritise those who need it most, or who have donated the most items in the past.