Rossendale female entrepreneur primed for beauty business growth

An entrepreneur from Rossendale, is on track to launch her fourth beauty business in just three years, after joining the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme.

Anastasia Kenyon launched her first business, Palette in 2016, to connect make-up artists with customers across different locations via a web platform. After securing thousands of users in the first month and growing the brand beyond expectations, the company was acquired in late 2017.

She joined the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme for the first time in 2016 and decided to launch Kandi Cosmetics, utilising the invaluable network of make-up artists she secured under Palette.

Whilst building Palette Anastasia launched Kandi Cosmetics an international brand selling to a network of make-up artists across the UK. She was soon approached by online retailer Boohoo to produce own-brand products for its website. Within six months the entrepreneur provided 99% of Boohoo branded cosmetics for the company, supplying a complete range of over 200 skus.

Since then, Kandi Cosmetics has grown and developed into three business brands, which include; Kandi Cosmetics, import, distribution and white label provider Make It Up and skin care brand Kandi Skin.

The 27-year old entrepreneur joined NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme for a second time in 2019 and has worked with the programmes mentors and advisers to develop plans for a fourth business, a luxury make-up brand, which will launch early 2020.

Anastasia said: “The three brands each offer a different proposition. We supply own-brand cosmetics to big online retailers like Boohoo.com and Miss Pap, but we also have our Kandi branded products that are growing in their own right, with Kandi Cosmetics having recently collaborated with monthly beauty box, GlossyBox.  

“The NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme has been invaluable in giving me a better understanding of my business model through advice, mentoring and coaching. With the support I’ve received on growth and scale, I’m fully-prepared for the next stage of business growth and look forward to launching a luxury make up brand offering something different in the new year.”

NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator programme is a UK-wide network of 12 hubs, making up the country’s largest fully-funded business accelerator network. The programme is designed to give businesses the best chance to succeed and entrepreneurs benefit from free office space, business advice and mentoring, bespoke coaching, and access to the bank’s networks and supply chains.

Heather Waters, Enterprise Manager at NatWest, said: “NatWest is committed to reducing the gender gap when it comes to entrepreneurship. As part of this commitment, our NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme is supporting female entrepreneurs across the country to successfully go for growth.

“Anastasia joined our Manchester hub and her dedication to her three brands is evidenced through their expansion and her partnerships with huge online retailers. We will continue to support her through her forth brand launch, offering her tailored advice and mentoring as she targets a different customer base.”

NatWest has joined forces with Boost – Lancashire’s Business Growth Hub – to launch the region’s first Female Entrepreneurship Month in November. The month-long initiative has delivered events and workshops aimed at inspiring and growing female-led businesses in the region.

Andrew Leeming, Boost Programme Manager, Lancashire County Council, said: “Anastasia’s commitment, dedication and skill as an entrepreneur make her a role model for all young women across Lancashire who have an idea for a great business and decide to follow their ambition.

Female-led businesses still struggle to access the same funding opportunities and networks as their male counterparts, so throughout November, we have been working with Natwest and a host of other organisations in Lancashire to shine a light on inspirational stories from across the county and celebrate the support available for female-led companies.

If you’re a female entrepreneur or team in Lancashire and need support to develop a great idea or grow your business, speak to Boost and start your #GrowthConversation!