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Be inspired by these Hair & Beauty entrepreneurs

Have you taken a Hair & Beauty course at Leicester College? Or do you need a little bit more persuading to take the leap and embark on a career in this exciting, varied and lucrative industry?

The beauty service industry in the UK is worth £10 billion and the cosmetics industry is worth another £15 billion.

These Hair & Beauty entrepreneurs took their talent for the aesthetic and turned them into hugely successful businesses.

Beauty-enthusiasts, prepare to be inspired.

Lopo Champalimaud – founder of Treatwell (formerly Wahanda)

Lopo ChampalimaudLopo Champalimaud has brought the salon and spa industry into the 21st century. The Portuguese entrepreneur founded the online health, beauty and wellness community and marketplace, Wahanda, in 2008. Now named Treatwell after a re-brand, the company is now Europe’s leading online booking platform for hair and beauty.

Prior to founding Wahanda, Lopo was MD of Lifestyle at He combined a passion for technology with an eye for trends in the wellness and lifestyle industry and spotted a need to improve the customer booking experience and give access to a huge choice of salons and beauty professionals.

Lopo told Get the Gloss: “The biggest bit of advice I have for entrepreneurs is to hire the best people and you can never put enough time into doing that. People are what make a business successful.”

Today Treatwell employ over 500 people across Europe and have over 20,000 local partners.

Pixiwoo – Hair & Beauty Bloggers

PixiwooSisters Sam and Nic Chapman have taken the beauty blogging and vlogging world by storm.

They’ve made a name for themselves producing and posting make-up and hair tutorials to their YouTube channel, Pixiwoo. They teach their loyal fan base how to create looks such as a healthy glow, smoky eye, and perfect contouring, as well as how to recreate hundreds of celebrity beauty looks from Adele at the Grammy’s to looks from stars such as Blake Lively, Katy Perry and Rihanna.

Sam took a BTEC in Make-up and Hairdressing at the College of West Anglia, and was a makeup artist for more than a decade to celebrity clients like Myleene Class and Lily Cole.

“I was eight months pregnant with my second daughter and a friend sent me an email asking how to do a smoky eye and, because I really hate emailing, I thought it’s got to be easier to film it and she’ll be able to follow it better,” said Sam.

The popularity of the videos amongst their friends spurred the sisters to start their YouTube Channel in 2008. Today, the girls are some of beauty’s most influential figures with over 363,000 Twitter followers, 400,000 Facebook followers, 700,000 Instagram followers and a huge 1.70 million YouTube subscribers.

Vanita Parti – Founder of Blink Brow Bar

Vanita PartiAfter leaving her high-flying marketing career to raise her two children, Vanita decided she would only return to her career if it was on her own terms.

She wanted to bring traditional Indian eyebrow threading techniques to the UK high street and cater to busy women with a chain of walk-in brow bars.

“Getting people to buy into a concept was very hard,” Vanita told The Huffington Post. “I was setting up something that didn’t exist and no one was convinced that women would sit out in public and get a beauty treatment.”

Vanita launched Blink Brow Bar in the UK in 2004 and now owns 25 walk-in bars across the UK. She also received an MBE Honours in 2015 for services to the Beauty Industry and her charity work in India.

Marcia Kilgore – Founder of Bliss Spas, Soap and Glory and Fit Flop

Marcia KilgoreCanadian Marcia Kilgore describes herself as a ‘serial entrepreneur.’ After moving to New York in the nineties to work as a personal trainer she had a bad experience getting a facial, which drove her to start Bliss Spas.

“I had no money and really bad skin because I was stressed from working,” she told “When my exams finished I decided to treat myself to a facial which had taken me three months to save up $50 for.”

The therapist was extremely rude about her skin, and Marcia was inspired to start her own range of spas which made people feel happier about the way they looked. She started out giving facials to clients in a small rented room in New York. Three years after founding Bliss Spas in 1996, Marcia sold her share for 30 million dollars.

After moving to the UK, Marcia started cosmetics company, Soap & Glory, in 2006 and came up with the infamous name for the ‘Sexy Mother Pucker’ lip gloss. The following year she launched FitFlop, collaborating with expert biomechanists, Dr David Cook and Darren James.

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2 thoughts on “Be inspired by these Hair & Beauty entrepreneurs”

  1. maryellen holland says:

    I’m desperate to gain experience in this field..don’t no which way to turn

    1. Alumni Team says:

      Hi Maryellen, One of our colleagues will be able to help you in gaining work experience within the hair and beauty industry. Please call our main number on 0116 224 2240 for more information.

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