The 10 winning businesses taking over Oxford Street

The 10 winning businesses taking over Oxford Street

Posted: Fri 12th May 2023

Ten small businesses that won Enterprise Nation's latest competition will sell their products from an exclusive pop-up space at 58 Oxford Street later this month.

The companies will share the coveted retail space on London's prestigious shopping street between 18 and 26 May, having already benefited from dedicated business support and mentoring to make sure they're fully ready to take on the high street.

Small Business Goes Big is an exciting initiative to unleash small businesses' creativity and help business owners update their brand identity and reach more buyers and customers.

Over the past 12 months, it's helped small traders get their adverts on national billboards and pitch their products to high-street buyers.

Learn more about the businesses taking over Oxford Street in May

Here are the 10 business owners whose entries wowed the judging panel.

Isobel Perl, founder of PERL Cosmetics | Three small dropper bottles of cosmetics from Isobel's line

Isobel Perl, PERL Cosmetics

Selling on Thursday 18 May and Friday 19 May

In 2020, I lost my job at the start of the pandemic. However, I decided to turn this into an opportunity to pursue my passion for science and skincare and create a skincare business that I'm incredibly proud of. PERL Cosmetics is the result of that journey.

Our brand is about creating minimal formulas that provide maximum results, with each product designed to give you the confidence to glow in your skin.

We know that skincare shouldn't be one-size-fits-all, which is why we've set about disrupting the skincare industry. We create innovative and effective customisable skincare using natural, waterless formulations.

We're an indie skincare brand on a mission to encourage you to embrace your natural beauty and inspire confidence.

Serina, Laith and Hana El Mufti, the three siblings who co-founded The Dead Sea Company

Serina El Mufti, The Dead Sea Co.

Selling on Thursday 18 May and Friday 19 May

We're a skincare and wellness brand that draws inspiration from the ancient spa rituals of the Dead Sea.

I co-founded the business with my two siblings Laith and Hana – all three of us have a deep connection to our Jordanian heritage and a profound appreciation for the skin-boosting and therapeutic properties of the natural minerals found in the Dead Sea, which are up to 80 times higher than those found in other seas.

The philosophy of The Dead Sea Co. brand is rooted in the belief that skincare is not just about improving the physical appearance of the skin, but also about promoting holistic wellbeing.

We see everyday activities like showering, bathing and using face masks as opportunities for mindfulness and self-care. Our mission is to help our customers not only look their best but also feel their best, inside and out.

Nele Wessels, founder of Naeo Nutrition | Two tubs of vitamin gummies from Naeo's line

Nele Wessels, Naeo Nutrition

Selling on Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May

Naeo Nutrition is a personalised supplement brand whose mission is to help people improve their health and hydration and inspire them to live a holistic lifestyle while doing good with every purchase they make.

The idea came from my personal struggles with acne and Long COVID that led me to spend hundreds of pounds on generic pills and tablet supplements that never really worked and just crowded my cupboard.

Doing some more research, I realised I wasn't alone, and that seven out of 10 people want to become healthier but just struggle with the abundance of generic options available. I wanted something that would finally show results and was enjoyable and affordable to take, so I founded Naeo Nutrition.

We use AI to determine what type of vitamins people need, then personalise those vitamins for them in the form of 'Haribo-style' gummies. We also donate for every vitamin and complementary item sold – we have a holistic approach to health and wellbeing rather than just giving people another pill to swallow.

Anne Brooks, founder of alcohol-free spirit Ami Ami, photographed with distillery equipment | Two bottles of Ami Ami

Anne Brooks, AMI AMI

Selling on Saturday 20 May and Sunday 21 May

Having spotted a gap in the market for a full-on-flavour, alcohol-free spirit with measurable functionality, we wanted AMI AMI to be radically different from the off. AMI AMI is the alcohol-free spirit that likes a night out as much as the other drinks at the bar.

We have good reason – and a not-so-secret-ingredient – to be the zero-alcohol drink that keeps the night going: caffeine. But we don't want to be confused with an energy drink, or people to avoid us because they're worried they'll turn into an insomniac.

An AMI AMI with tonic has around the same amount of caffeine as half an espresso. So it will keep you going, but it won't keep you up all night. Whether it's for an after-work pick-me-up, after-dinner drink or at that 10pm "should I stay or should I go?" turning point, AMI AMI means staying out, not missing out.

Three pairs of lower legs and feet wearing Bare Kind socks, resting against a hay bale

Jessica Hay, Bare Kind

Selling on Monday 22 May and Tuesday 23 May

Bare Kind was founded in 2018 by Lucy Jeffrey, with the aim of giving back to the planet. We endeavoured to create a product capable of protecting endangered species from various threats. We started with turtle socks, and we've now grown to offer more than 40 unique designs, proudly supporting over 25 global charities.

Our colourful and vibrant bamboo socks donate 10% of profits to charities that save the animals on our socks. People want to make a positive difference to the environment. With Bare Kind socks, they have the opportunity to be a part of something impactful with every purchase.

With our customers' support, and the significant work of our charity partners, we've been able to fund initiatives such as protecting land for orphaned elephants, funding transport for children to take part in the KEEP program in Namibia, and planting mangrove trees. With every purchase of our socks, customers can join us in contributing to these worthy causes.

Protecting and investing in our future is an important part of Bare Kind's mission, while our vision is to accelerate the restoration of a biodiverse planet while bringing joy to the everyday. We truly believe that we can change the world with something as humble as a pair of socks.

Sarah Jordan, founder of Y.O.U Underwear, pictured in her underwear store

Sarah Jordan, Y.O.U Underwear

Selling on Monday 22 May and Tuesday 23 May

I founded Y.O.U Underwear in 2016 when I switched careers after witnessing first-hand the problems associated with not having underwear during a trip to Uganda. We sell organic cotton underwear for men, women and girls on a Buy-1-Give-2 basis. Through this model, we've been able to donate over 23,000 pairs of underwear to support women and girls across Africa and the UK.

Our mission is to operate in an ethical, kind and sustainable way that has a positive social and environmental impact. We use profits from the business to donate underwear to women and girls across the world.

Our underwear is Fairtrade, PETA-approved vegan and made from 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton. We work with one of India's leading ethical and sustainable manufacturers and we recently became the UK's top-scoring B Corp and top fashion brand worldwide.

Oli Powell, founder of Queer Gin | A advert showing a purple hand clutching a Queer Gin bottle against a background of blue sky

Oli Powell, Queer Spirits

Selling on Wednesday 24 May and Thursday 25 May

Growing up, we felt unable to express ourselves freely, our identities overshadowed by the pressure to fit in. After moving to London, and being surrounded by the diverse culture of the city, our queerness blossomed. Fast forward 11 years, and we're now married and have just started our very own queer business together.

We set up Queer Spirits as a love letter to our LGBTQ+ community with a commitment to giving back through gorgeous G&Ts and fabulous cocktails.

For every bottle of Queer Gin sold, we donate £1 to The Kaleidoscope Trust to support their incredible work in ensuring a free, safe and equal world for us all. In addition to our per-bottle donation, we also use proceeds from the sale of our gin to give back to the community by sponsoring queer organisations and events across the UK.

We truly believe that the more authentic queer brands are out there, the more colourful and happy our world will be. So when you choose Queer Gin as your next tipple, you'll be supporting those amazing efforts and helping to keep our beautiful community flourishing.

Elizabeth Ola, founder of TRU SKN | A range of make-up items from TRU SKN's line

Elizabeth Ola, TRU SKN

Selling on Wednesday 24 May and Thursday 25 May

I founded TRU SKN in November 2022, and that journey began with a deep-rooted passion for inclusivity and a personal experience that shaped my vision. Growing up, I struggled to find make-up products that matched my skin shade in mainstream retail stores.

This experience affected my self-esteem and confidence, making me realise that I wasn't considered when these products were being created. Determined to make a difference, I embarked on a mission to create a brand that would cater to the needs of every individual, regardless of their skin tone, ethnicity or background.

TRU SKN was born out of my desire to empower people and make them feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. I wanted to build a brand that would celebrate diversity and ensure that no-one ever felt overlooked or excluded.

As the founder of TRU SKN, my dedication lies in more than just creating exceptional products. It's about fostering a sense of confidence, empowerment, and acceptance among our customers. I want everyone who uses TRU SKN to feel valued, represented and celebrated for who they are.

Phoebe Middleton, founder of House of Zana | Models wearing House of Zana clothing

Amber Kotrri, House of Zana

Selling on Friday 26 May

House of Zana is an independent and sustainable fashion brand that specialises in hand-crafted kimonos and dresses.

We're a small, all-female team based in the UK with a boutique in the North East of England and a sustainable, ethical manufacturing studio in Albania – the country where our brand was born and where we have strong family roots.

The word Zana means "fairy" in Albanian, as we consider our wonderful garment-makers to be fairies who bring our designs to life, as if by magic. Our priorities are not only creating beautiful, unique pieces, but the wellbeing of our seamstresses and a no-waste policy.

We establish this by sourcing fabric responsibly, making limited stock and turning any extra fabric into accessories such as scrunchies or eye masks.

We've spent many years building our dream and wonderful relationships. We're a family that shares the same vision and values of creating an ethical, sustainable and enchanting brand.

The ArcX pack of orange accessories lined up in a row by size

Paul Blair, ArcX Technology

Selling on Friday 26 May

ArcX Technology is a small team of engineers, designers, athletes and military veterans. When voice control, gesture and touch don't work due to environment, clothing, activity or disability, our wearables make controlling the numerous devices we interact with daily, easy and intuitive.

With the ArcX Smart Ring, you can control your phone, wireless speaker, sports camera or any other Bluetooth-enabled device on the move, hands-free, even when wearing gloves.

The tech is interchangeable among different-sized stretch-fit rings, so you never have to worry about getting the correct size, or you can attach it to handlebars, kayak paddles or gym equipment.

Read more member stories on Enterprise Nation

Enterprise Nation has helped thousands of people start and grow their businesses. Led by founder, Emma Jones CBE, Enterprise Nation connects you to the resources and expertise to help you succeed.

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