However, as businesses learn to adapt and to reinforce their online channels, many recognise that crisis also create new opportunities.
Amazon has remained a strong supporter of UK business founders with more than 65,000 small and medium businesses selling professionally on Amazon’s stores, up almost 20% year-on-year. Around 40% of these are women-owned.
Today, we hear from three entrepreneurial female business owners who are making waves on Amazon and paving the way in their respective industries. Let’s celebrate their wins of 2021 and support their outlook for the rest of 2022.
Erin Graybill started Niré Beauty in 2015 when she noticed a gap in the beauty market for catering to people like her with sensitive skin. The company first launched its high-quality beauty brushes which proved to be an instant success turning over £102,000 in just the first year. Since then, the brushes have been exported all over the world and met with raving reviews. In recent years when the pandemic hit and with so many people and businesses struggling, Erin launched a new brand, Luxe England, dedicated to creating a range of handmade home-spa pamper hampers to shine some light during these dark times.
Reflecting on the past year, Erin says, “2021 has been a pivotal year for Luxe England with a lot of highlights. It was great expanding our product range so successfully and also really mind-blowing to see our revenues doubling from the previous year, but if I had to pick a biggest win, it would be my team and I being awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Export. As an international trade and economics researcher, I’ve always been passionate about export; it’s always been a dream of mine to operate a company on a global scale and the Queen’s Award not only highlighted this but also placed us amongst the best of British business. Achieving this award was genuinely just a dream come true and wouldn’t have been possible without Amazon!”
In the new year, Erin and her team have big plans to keep expanding Luxe England’s product ranges through Amazon’s impressive network. Looking ahead, Erin says “We’re hoping to hit the ground running with the launch of our new shower-only unisex gift hamper and look forward to bringing even more new and exciting gift hampers for our UK and international customers.”
For Ellie Web, the founder of non-alcoholic spirits brand Caleño, bringing joy to those looking for alternative drink options by sharing the flavours of her home country – sun-drenched Columbia – had always served as an inspiration for the business. Four years on, Ellie continues to challenge the stereotype that people who don’t drink are boring with her bold and vibrant selection of drinks, and demand is growing.
2021 proved to be a great year for the brand – “My biggest win of 2021 has to be our team: in the last 12 months we’ve tripled in size while maintaining our fun, vibrant work culture. Another win has been growing the business by triple digits across key channels like Amazon, grocery and on-trade (bars & restaurants),” says Ellie.
This year, Caleño is already off to a flying start with the launch of the brand’s biggest ever campaign ‘Shake it Up’ – “We launched this bold and inspiring call to arms, encouraging people to reappraise their drinking choices at this key time of the year. Just halfway into the campaign, our first and biggest ever Out of Home advertising campaign reached over 21 million impressions in January, and Caleño has also been featured on national TV, with rave reviews on the likes of ‘Sunday Brunch’ and ‘Steph’s Packed Lunch’.”
Ellie feels confident that 2022 will shape up to be another big year for Caleño as the “no and low movement” continues to gain momentum in the UK.
Zaffrin O’Sullivan is a woman who wears many hats – TV-lawyer, mother-of-three, beekeeper and founder of Five Dot Botanics, an eco-friendly, gender-neutral vegan skincare brand that is leading a minimalist skincare revolution. The brand prides itself in being 100% formulated and made in Britain, using botanical actives, oils and extracts that have proven scientific benefits. Every product is designed for optimal skin health, using only five natural ingredients, offering effective gentle skincare without a complicated ingredients list.
Having launched just over two years ago, Zaffrin is proud to be one of UK’s fastest-growing independent vegan skincare brands. In 2021, Five Dot Botanics became one of the most loved vegan skincare brands for The Hut Group as well as continuing its growth on Amazon. In the same year, Zaffrin took on 3 trainees through the government’s Kickstart Scheme to both help with the brand’s growth and to mentor the next generation by enabling them with long-term skills.
Forward looking for 2022, Zaffrin comments: “We want to be the most loved plant-based skincare brand for all genders. Our mission is to keep growing in the UK and to grow more internationally. Brexit has made it quite hard however we have joined Amazon Launchpad to access more support and leverage Amazon’s German presence to restart our European market plans. Our customers can look forward to new products this year and we will soon be launching our first scalp care product. We are also about to do another fundraise to help fund our growth so there is a lot to be excited about!”