The Female Beauty Entrepreneur Investing In Women & Accelerating Progress, This International Women’s Day


Sherrille Riley

Sherrille Riley is a pioneering figure in the beauty industry, renowned for her role as a multi-
business owner, serial entrepreneur, and advocate for diversity and inclusivity.

She stands at the forefront, driving meaningful conversations and initiatives to promote representation
within the beauty sector

‘There are so many talented women of colour in the beauty industry, but very few are business owners,’ states serial entrepreneur, Sherrille Riley.

As the brains behind London’s luxury boutique salon, Nails & Brows Mayfair, meticulously curated eyebrow collection, Beauty Edit, and Beauty Edit Mayfair, a clean beauty concept store which is her latest business venture, Sherrille Riley has achieved an exceptional career, solidifying her position as a leading authority in the professional beauty industry, but that hasn’t come without some challenges.

Riley achieved iconic status as the definitive beauty expert for Royalty and A list celebrities, the Jamaican-born entrepreneur spent over two decades climbing the industry ladder as a Beautician, working in some of London’s most prestigious beauty salons with brands including La Prairie & Crème De La Mer.

‘When I look back, I guess being a young black woman working with these brands back then was quite unusual, but I am grateful for all the opportunities and mentoring that I received from clients and colleagues throughout my career.

With the goal and ambition to launch her own beauty salon, Riley started by renting the beauty basement at Hersheson’s Mayfair salon for ten years, however, when the time came to take the plunge and start her own salon, the difficulties started to arise.

‘When it came to opening my first boutique salon, I would email my presentation to top commercial real estate agents who would invite me to view various properties on their books, but upon arrival – the agents would decline to show me the properties saying the owners of the premises would not be interested in a beauty salon as a tenant. It took me over a year and a half to secure my premises even though I had raised the money for this, I went around and around in circles. When I looked around Mayfair, there weren’t many people of my gender, age or my race, who had a business in the area, so I think that was part of the issue. After bringing my Italian husband to site visits – I felt and saw a huge difference in the way the agents behaved. As a black woman, we are under-represented in entrepreneurship, and I would love to see more support for black female entrepreneurship.’

With three successful businesses and a loyal clientele to her name, Sherrille wants to amplify the conversation around representation, diversity, and inclusivity, within the beauty industry.

‘As an industry, we need better conscious awareness and a proactive approach to increasing diversity in the beauty sector, not just race, but also gender, age, experience, talent and skills. This should always be at the forefront of the recruitment and selection process for the whole industry, to ensure all those working within the sector, be it entry or top level, are fairly and equally compensated. Equally, support and resources need to be given to the founders of female owned brands, to guarantee success,
making it accessible for businesses to reach the mainstream market. The female entrepreneurs, the real movers and shakers in the beauty industry and beyond, need to have their work showcased, celebrated and championed, to ensure the next generation that are coming through are inspired and believe that one day, they too can make their own name within the industry. I will continue to do all that I can within my businesses, and the industry, to drive meaningful conversations and initiatives to promote representation within the beauty sector.’