A budding business tycoon has been selected from thousands of entries to compete for a place in the prestigious O2 X Female Entrepreneur of the Year award.
Despite the recession DollyLeo Apothecary, Edinburgh’s leading independent retailer of niche beauty and skincare brands, outstripped expectations in its first year of business.
The up-market boutique recorded a healthy turnover since opening in July and had increase staff levels from three to seven after clients rushed to get their hands on its exclusive beauty products and luxury in-store treatments.
DollyLeo Apothecary founder Sadie Jean Sloss will now go head-to-head with two other businesses in the Scottish leg of the competition for a place in London final in October.
Now in their 6th year the O2 X Awards aim to recognise companies that have a strong vision and are bringing a new business perspective to their profession.
Businesses must be innovative, have between 1 and 50 employees, be achieving success on a local, regional and national level and have the potential to grow
The winners in both male and female categories will scoop a £5000 cash prize, a one-hour mentoring session with O2 X Awards celebrity ambassador, VIP O2 tariff and handset and Hospitality passes to a gig at The O2 or O2 Academy.
This year, however, to reach the next stage members of the public have been asked to vote for their favourite local business online at www.o2.co.uk/xawards to help ensure their chance of success.
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Sadie, who worked as a top make-up artist in London before launching DollyLeo Apothecary in the city’s Stockbridge area, said: “For DollyLeo Apothecary to be nominated for an award of this magnitude is gratifying.
“Since launching 14 months ago we have been providing niche and exclusive beauty products and treatments to men and women across Scotland.
“I worked in London for six years on TV programmes like GMTV and Britain’s Next Top Model and with celebratory make-up artists Jemma Kidd and Ginni Bogado at events like London Fashion Week, but when I came back to Edinburgh I discovered that many of the products I liked weren’t available to buy in Scotland.
“I decided to open my own store where I could personally cherry pick my favourite products and also offer specialist treatments such as Xtreme Semi Permanent Lashes, Botox, threading and facial treatments.
“Everyone seems to love the unique aspect of Dollyleo Apothecary and it would be a dream come true if our services were recognized reaching the final of such a high profile award.”
Past winners of the Grazia female O2 X Entrepreneur of the Year award include jeans company Sharkah Chakra founder, Sara Simmonds, whose clothes have been featured heavily in fashion press outlets such as Vogue and Grazia.
Sadie, 27, added: “As a team we work hard to ensure we provide the highest treatment standards and product advice. I am extremely proud of my team, and being recognised for our ability as a company has confirmed DollyLeo Apothecary’s capability to go from strength to strength.
“Since opening I have had to expand our team from three to seven and we now offer the services of two specialist Doctors, an eyebrow threading expert, a facial therapist and a manicurist.
“We also have ambitious plans for expansion and are soon to open an interactive online store, where clients can browse their favourite brands, blogs and product ratings whilst watching specialist video clips.”
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Simon Devonshire, Head of Small Business Marketing at O2, said: “I never cease to be amazed by the level of entrepreneurial talent, innovation and commitment evident in the entries we have received. Despite the challenging economic climate the standard of the entries increases each year, revealing a thriving small business community in the UK.
“This year we have introduced a significant change to the way we celebrate entrepreneurialism through the O2 X Awards by asking small businesses to vote for who they think should win.
“We appreciate that recognition from their peers is an important factor for small businesses so this years winners will not only walk away with the O2 X Award prize of £5,000 and the acknowledgement that they have the been recognised by our expert judges but more importantly by other entrepreneurs across the UK.”