With over thirty years’ experience working in the beauty sector – no one quite understands the industry like Millie Kendall MBE. From sales assistant to brand owner, junior to CEO, Millie has seen it all. When she founded the British Beauty Council in 2018, which aimed to represent the voices, opinions and needs of the industry, she has no idea just how important it would become during the pandemic. Today she reveals how her tenacity and passion has taken her to number 10 and how she already has the next fight on her hands…
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ABOUT THE GUEST
CEO of the British Beauty Council, retail maven and brand creator, Millie Kendall has been instrumental in the success of cult brands including Shu Uemura, Aveda, Tweezerman, L’Occitane and Ruby & Millie. Having worked with the UK’s leading retailers, Millie has been creating and marketing beauty brands for the past 30 year's. Millie was awarded an MBE in 2007 for her services to the cosmetic industry, and an OBE in 2022 for services to the hair and beauty industry.
In 1990, Millie met Ruby Hammer and launched Ruby & Millie in 1998. This was the first mid priced make-up brand to cut across existing price and brand perception barriers, launching first in Harvey Nichols then Selfridges and simultaneously going on to retail successfully in Boots. Today, this remains a modern retail growth strategy but for the 90’s it was a completely unique concept.
Millie has also collaborated with beauty journalists and Vogue beauty editor Anna-Marie Solowj to launch concepts like BeautyMART. A ground breaking approach to beauty retail that was born from the realisation that retail methods hadn’t changed in decades, despite consumers shopping very differently with increasing globalisation and the advent of online, BeautyMART became a disruptive and ground-breaking approach to beauty retail - the first beauty boutique in store and online, curated by an editor, featuring a mix of multi priced, globally- sourced products that offered a more democratic choice for the customer. BeautyMART paved the way for this new retail approach now emulated across the globe.
In 2015 alongside Solowij, Millie Kendall launched the PR company Brandstand Communications bringing in partner Andrew Perera, former VP of communications for M.A.C. and PZ Cussons, a couple of years later to run the business. The PR business offers a selective array of services – from business planning and strategy to retail launch, PR and marketing.
Then in 2018 Millie Kendall, Anna-Marie Solowij and Kate Shapland (former Telegraph beauty director) founded the British Beauty Council, a non-profit organisation that aims to support a successful, innovative, and inclusive British beauty industry.
“THE BRITISH BEAUTY COUNCIL REPRESENTS THE VOICES, OPINIONS AND NEEDS OF THE BRITISH BEAUTY INDUSTRY”
The British Beauty Council was founded to represent the voices, opinions and needs of the British beauty industry – from hairdressing to cosmetics, cosmetic surgery, therapy and spa; in education and training; and from formulation to manufacture, supply, logistics packaging, design, retail and media.
"We are a not-for-profit, inclusive organisation that works to engage politicians and business leaders about the value of British beauty to the national economy, and its key role in the UK’s creative and cultural character. Our ambition is to ensure that the beauty industry is recognised and valued at all levels of government, throughout the wider economy and by consumers."
ABOUT THE HOST
Born in Ireland from a Vietnamese origin Lan has become an established name in the fashion and beauty industry. Lan comes from an art background having studied fashion at Central Saint Martins. Self taught in make-up she pursued her career to heading and designing key shows and is a regular name at London Fashion Week. Lan has contributed to various editorials including Vogue Russia, Vanity Fair, Elle (UK), Glamour, Grazia, Stylist and Stella. Lan is a published author, a regular speaker and teacher.
Known for her creative flair and natural use of colours and textures combined with flawless skin, Lan is always collaborating on creative projects.
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