During her career as a 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.
In 1990, Millie met Ruby Hammer and after a friendship and strong working relationship in the industry, the two went on to launch Ruby & Millie in 1998. It 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 back then it was a completely unique concept. In 2007, both women were awarded an MBE for their services to the cosmetic industry.
Frustrated that the method of retailing beauty products hadn’t changed in decades, despite consumers shopping very differently with increasing globalisation and the advent of online, Millie paired up with beauty journalist and ex Vogue beauty editor Anna-Marie Solowj to launch their own concept – BeautyMART. A disruptive and ground-breaking approach to beauty retail, BeautyMART was the first beauty boutique in store and online, curated by an editor, featuring a mix of globally- sourced products from across multi price points to offer 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, Kendall launched the PR company BRANDstand Communications. The PR business that offers a pick ‘n’ mix menu of services – from business planning and strategy right through to retail launch, PR and marketing. Working across in-store, press and online to maximise each brand’s consumer experience at every touch point.
In 2018 Millie Kendall alongside, Anna-Marie Solowij and Kate Shapland founded the British Beauty Council, a non-profit organisation that aims to support a successful, innovative, and inclusive British beauty industry. Based in London, the British Beauty Council is chaired by Jane Boardman and its Chief Executive is Millie Kendall. Other executive board members include Kate Shapland, Catherine Handcock, Gemma Bellman, Ryan Woor and Annie Murphy. Recently the British Beauty Council launched an economic impact report, ‘The Value of Beauty’ and hosted the first London Beauty Week in September 2019.