LDC Top 50 2019
Rachel Parsonage, Managing Director of KMI Brands, has positioned her Teddington-based beauty brand at the “masstige” end of the market – premium yet mainstream products with the “wow factor”.
The company makes beauty products on behalf of Ted Baker and Orla Kiely, as well as creating own brands like Noughty Haircare. “It’s really exciting that we’ve created this niche for ourselves in a sector that’s highly commoditised,” she says, adding that it is “recession-proof”. This strategy has generated growth of 11pc, on average, each year since 2014. Rachel is currently driving forward international sales, and aims to reach £30m in turnover within three years.
What’s your personal ambition?
Ultimately, what does it for me is seeing people change and grow and realise their potential. I give my team the room to make mistakes and fail as long as they try. Success for me is empowering our people. And my second ambition is commercial: nothing is stopping us reaching £50m in turnover by 2024.
What’s your USP?
We are an owner-managed, privately-owned business, which gives us a lot of flexibility. We are agile and we move fast, which is attracting talent away from the likes of Estee Lauder, P&G and Unilever. Over last 6-12 months we have seen around 50 brands approach us to licence or distribute their brand. They see that we pride ourselves on British manufacturing, and that our products are on the shelves at John Lewis and Boots and they want to work with us.
Where is future growth coming from?
Five years ago, the international business represented less than 2pc of revenue and now it’s 10pc. I want to grow that to 30pc over the next four years. The biggest market for us will be the US so we now have a small office in New York. But ultimately, growth comes from being transparent with the team. We share our goals, financial information, and the monthly P&L so everyone feels involved and the buy-in is there.