5 Inspirational Entrepreneurs

Great minds don’t think alike…

Ruth Osborn, founder Ibiza Swim

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You would never guess it, but in a past life Ruth Osborn was a paper-pushing civil servant, hiding her light beneath a stack of paperwork in an office somewhere in the grey bowels of a Manchester, England. Despite a lifelong love of swimming Ruth wandered onto the safe, well-trodden path of college >> uni >> career and might have stayed there if it weren’t for a yoga holiday in Ibiza.

Plenty of people go on holiday and think, “I wish I could live like this.” Ruth is one of the rare souls who put that thought into action. After six months of planning she moved to Spain, set up Ibiza Swim, and never looked back.

Chris Smith, founder St John & Dolly Smith’s
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Chris Smith, founder and sole proprietor of St. John & Dolly Smith’s, looks out of place amidst the leggy, Rayban-and-cuffed-trouser clientele. Small, black-clad from his battered leather jacket (zipped to the chin) to his work boots, he has the twinkle and palpable self-assurance of a born trader.

Greet him and he steps out to say hello, explaining that council regulations only allow licenced stall holders behind the broad table bearing neat rows of homemade sauces and pickles. “Try some” Chris says, proffering a bowl of roughly broken crackers. Read more…


Sally, creator of Shea Alchemy

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Founder and creator-in-chief Sally, bundled against the chill air, smiles and invites you to try some samples. What will it be rich body cream? Luxurious lip balm? Salt scrub? She sells over two dozen organic beauty products made with ingredients including Shea butter; organic oils such as coconut, almond, hemp and jojoba; and organic herbs. Each formula was invented, perfected, hand-made, and packaged by Sally, along with her business partner Emma.

A former marketing manager for Random House, turned freelance designer, turned cosmetics creator, Sally has the verve and confidence of a woman who has carved her own niche. Read more…


Georgia Campbell, founder Miss Crofton

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Twenty-five-year-old designer and entrepreneur Georgia Campbell, who grew up in Mallorca, founded the label following a single term at the London College of Fashion and a stint working at soap retailer Lush.

“College was a shambles,” she recalls. “I thought: ‘Oh my god, I’ve left home for this?’” It was her roommate (“we were sharing a room in this big house to save rent”) who suggested starting a fashion stall at Broadway Market. At first they sold everything from vintage scarves to patchwork pillows but Georgia soon went solo to focus on her passion: making fabulous pants (and more). Miss Crofton was born just four years ago and already the sexy, quirky, handcrafted knickers, bras, shorts and leotards are available at stockists in Britain, Japan, Greece, the USA and Spain, as well as online. Read more…

Mellissa Morgan (aka) founder, Ms Cupcake
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Saturday morning and the Ms Cupcake shop, which shares its Coldharbour Lane vantage point with the Blacker Dread music store, a Ghanaian restaurant and a “traditional gent’s barber”, is a sugar-scented hive of activity. Customers stare at the pink-blue-ivory-pistachio-peach-rainbow of candied pecan, raspberry coconut, mango blueberry, coffee crumble, and red velvet cupcakes, eyes glazed with anticipation and indecision.

In just two years Ms Cupcake has grown from an idea into a thriving shop, via a year-long stint as a popular market stall. Founder Mellissa Morgan, aka Ms Cupcake, is the smiling eye of a hurricane of activity. Read more…