Lesley then went on to be the export director for Patrizia Wigan and helped them to secure funding from VCs to expand the brand internationally. In the 90s, Lesley co-founded with Marva Williams the website ' Babies we love', one of the very first websites to sell exclusive designer children and baby wear/accessories online. For the last 13 years, Lesley has been working with Bernshaw Ltd - an evening and cocktail wear brand who supplied many international stars as well as independent and department stores worldwide.
In her position as Brand Sales Manager, she continually moved the brand forward, organizing and attending the premier exhibitions such as Milan, Pret a Porter, Who's Next and Scoop. Her languages, French, Italian and Spanish as an invaluable asset. Throughout this time she has also worked as a consultant to many companies, helping them to grow and has worked closely with the Department of Trade and Industry and the UK Fashion Exports Council. Her contacts network from within the industry proving to be indispensable.
A born and bred Londoner, our founder Sam spent the next two years with her team of artisans perfecting traditional handcrafted soap-making methods and blending them up with all sorts of miraculous natural oils and evocative scents… the result was our signature soaps being bought fast off some of London’s most prestigious shelves (a pamperingly proud moment for Team Soapsmith). Then came our full signature collection inspired by London’s most characterful places with nine evocative scents – soon followed by nourishing body butter melts, fragrant lotions, blissful bath soaks and body washes - all brimming with exceptional ingredients and not a paraben in sight. We started to get what might be called a ‘cult following’, the beauty-press came a-calling and we started jumping on (and off) the shelves of Fenwicks, Whole Foods, QVC and other renowned and independent beauty retailers.
Today Soapsmith’s East London workshop pulsates with a busy team buzz of fearless fragrance lovers, natural ingredient explorers and skilled old-school artisans - a place where life is loved and pampering is paramount, where the highest grade essential oils fill the air and the richest shea & cocoa butters and plant oils take skin to new levels of softness. So feed your skin and senses and indulge in cult creations - a world of unadulterated beauty awaits.
Marva now develops products for Puriskin, Acuregen to name but a few brands she is working with, always keeping the consumer needs in the front of mind, over the last few years she has been doing lectures and training courses around the UK, in regards to pre-operative and post-operative skincare solutions for their patients and specializing in people who have traumatized skin (eczema, burns and patients who have been going through Chemo and Radio Therapy) and has trained a number of Doctors, Cosmetic Surgeons and Medical Practioners, alongside Amanda Shayle of Acuregen Ltd.
Marva focuses on developing products that are natural and which deliver what they promise to do and with formulations that penetrate rapidly and truly provide long-lasting moisture and care without feeling heavy on the skin or leaving behind any greasy film.
Achieving many trips and incentives, including holidays to Tuscany, Casablanca and even a Champagne and Canapés Evening on The London Eye with a stay at The Crown Park Plaza in Westminster, a highlight for Donna was meeting Jamie (a man whom Donna admires very much) on several occasions and even visiting his home.
After Jamie at Home closed its doors in 2015, Donna was approached by MyShowcase to work for them. Within two months, she achieved Area Stylist Director and in just over a year, Regional Stylist Director giving Donna the opportunity to meet some wonderful, passionate people within the industry and changing her career direction into Beauty.
For Donna, joining Beauty Stable felt like coming home as it fulfils Donna's passion of empowering women to long-term sustainable businesses, building their own empires and instiling the confidence that comes along with it.