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Reaching for the Starlings: 15 retail & e-commerce entrepreneurs to watch in 2021

The UK’s retail sector consistently contributes around £100 billion to the country’s economy. Covering a breadth of industries and products, retail is part of our everyday lives – whether it’s for essentials or a leisurely activity. And while e-commerce sales have grown continuously in recent years, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated its growth dramatically.

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 retail & e-commerce entrepreneurs to watch in 2021.

Abi Dakin, Claude & Co

Abi Daking - Claude & Co

Abi Daking is the founder of Claude & Co., a gender neutral babywear brand and retailer of interiors and gifts from small independent businesses. Driven by the idea that not knowing the gender of your baby shouldn’t force expectant parents to dress their babies in neutral items, Claude & Co’s products focus on “great earthy colours”, beautiful fabrics and shapes that don’t conform to gender stereotypes.

James Mansfield & James Flower, field & flower

James Mansfield & James Flower - field & flower

James Mansfield and James Flower are the founders of field & flower, an online food retailer that delivers award-winning free-range British meat and sustainable fish. Over 10 years, field & flower has focused its efforts on championing small-scale, traditional, free-range farmers and fishing businesses that place animal welfare and sustainability at the heart of everything they do.

Fisayo Longe, Kai Collective

Fisayo Longe - Kai Collective

Fisayo Longe is the founder of Kai Collective, a London-based womenswear brand that creates attainable clothing with a luxury aesthetic. Designed and crafted to “make women feel like their most confident selves”, the brand is driven by the meaning behind ‘Kai’, which translates across various languages to terms such as ‘open and beginning’, ‘universe’, ‘strong’, ‘unbreakable’ and ‘the one who brings light in the dawn’.

Kazvare Knox - Kazvare Made It

Kazvare Knox is the founder of Kazvare Made It, a retailer selling its own range of contemporary stationery, prints, homewares and accessories. Kazvare created the business to give better representation to people of colour in these markets, with bright and bold designs celebrating and championing BAME, London and rap culture.

Cherelle Brown - Kitsch Noir

Cherelle Brown is the founder of Kitsch Noir, a greetings card retailer that creates award-winning designs intended to showcase and celebrate the “beauty of a more inclusive and diverse society". Kitsch Noir’s mission is simple; to “represent the love, joy and humour within the black British experience”.

Piers Buck, Little Freddie

Piers Buck - little freddie

Piers Buck is the founder of little freddie, a baby food brand and D2C e-commerce platform. little freddie’s mission is to give children the best start in life, from the highest quality ingredients to sustainability. Its products offer double the protein of competing brands, and it is the first brand in the UK to offer a pouch recycling scheme, ensuring nothing goes to landfill.

Tom Mercer - MOMA Foods

Tom Mercer is the founder of MOMA Foods, an award-winning oat-based brand of breakfast products. MOMA creates oat milk, porridge oats, bircher muesli and low sugar granola items for breakfast at home and on-the-go. Having started from a London railway arch, MOMA Foods became the fastest growing porridge brand in 2017.

Rachel Parsonage & Lorna Mitchell, Noughty Haircare

Rachel Parsonage & Lorna Mitchell - Noughty

Rachel Parsonage and Lorna Mitchell are the founders of Noughty, a brand and retailer of climate conscious and cruelty-free bodycare and haircare products. Noughty’s products contain 97% natural ingredients that “exceed the performance” of conventional, chemical-based hair and body care products, with the remaining 3% sourced as sustainably as possible.

Kassi Emadi, Nuddy

Kassi Emadi - Nuddy

Kassi Emadi is the founder of Nuddy, a brand of natural, plastic-free soap and shampoo bars. A play on ‘nude’, Nuddy is on a mission to “make soap bars cool again”. All of its products are natural, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free using rich, raw African shea butter which cleans and moisturises the skin at the same time.

Will Pearson & Nick Doman, Ocean Bottle

Will Pearson & Nick Doman - Ocean Bottle

Will Pearson and Nick Doman are the founders of Ocean Bottle, a reusable drinks bottle brand that funds plastic collection and recycling around the world. Each sale of an Ocean Bottle allows the company to fund the collection of roughly 1,000 plastic bottles in places where plastic ocean pollution is at its worst.

Ebi Sinteh, Our Lovely Goods

Ebi Sinteh - Our Lovely Goods

Ebi Sinteh is the founder of Our Lovely Goods, a brand and retailer of natural skincare, candles, lifestyle and homeware products. Its skincare and candle items are created in-house, while the homeware products are handcrafted and curated with talented artisans in Nigeria.

Gynelle Leon, Prick

Gynelle Leon - PRICK

Gynelle Leon is the founder of PRICK, London’s first boutique retailer dedicated to cacti and succulent plants. PRICK offers a selection of some of the most unusual and exotic succulent plants from across the UK and Europe. It also works with local artists to create an expanding range of handmade ceramic pots that are made to size, fitting each succulent perfectly.

Jess Hunt & Jenna Meek, Refy Beauty

Jess Hunt & Jenna Meek - Refy Beauty

Jess Hunt and Jenna Meek are the founders of Refy Beauty, a brand of beauty products that have been meticulously designed to compliment all skin types and tones. The business was launched with the mission to redefine beauty, and encourage customers to embrace themselves, and be confident in doing so.

Hannah Ludlow, Rho

Hannah Ludlow & Elena Ferrara - rho

Hannah Ludlow and Elena Ferrara are the founders of rho, a brand of luxury, organic and fair trade loungewear. Each item is made with certified organic cotton in an environmentally conscious supply chain, and is free from plastic packaging. £5 from every sale goes to Oasis, a charity supporting victims of domestic abuse.

Lawrence Bull, WIDEYE

Lawrence Bull - WiDEYE

Lawrence Bull is the founder of WiDEYE, a range of natural skin and body care products formulated for use by men and women. A lover of outdoor and water activities, Lawrence shaped WiDEYE to provide skincare to those who lead outdoor lifestyles among the water, waves, wind and snow.

To find out more about our partners Starling Bank.

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