secretleaders | Trinny Woodall reveals her surprising, untold startup journey – from dotcom bust to beauty boom today

Trinny Woodall reveals her surprising, untold startup journey – from dotcom bust to beauty boom today

Most people recognise Trinny Woodall for being one half of Trinny and Susannah from their breakout TV show: What Not To Wear, but not many people know this side of her story. Trinny is a serial entrepreneur. She was a founder in the dotcom bubble back in the day, and is the founder of soaring makeup startup, Trinny London, which booked £42m of revenue in the last year. What happened? How did she get here?

In today’s episode of Secret Leaders, Trinny shares her really surprising entrepreneurial journey that doesn’t get told.

“Susannah and I started the idea [their first entrepreneurial venture], it was a very lucky break. And I did that for eight years. And then from that television came and then I started writing books and that whole part of my career, when I look back now, brought me to being the CEO of Trinny London.”

It doesn’t matter if you’re a budding founder or a seasoned entrepreneur, this episode with Trinny is not to be missed. From hiring interns with a twinkle in their eye, to having to sell her clothes to fund her startup, to understanding the need for personalisation in a brand, Trinny has a wealth of experience every founder needs to hear.

“Through building Trinny London, advice I always give to other entrepreneurs, younger entrepreneurs, is stay in your own lane. Because if you look too much at the competition, you dilute the uniqueness of your offering.”

We chat about:

  • Her partnership with Susannah
  • The genesis of Trinny London
  • Financing Trinny London
  • How she handled fame
  • Creating a community on social media


The Secret Leaders podcast features interviews with key figures from the UK tech and creative ecosystem. From entrepreneurs (both early and latter stage), to journalists, VCs - and even royalty - the series profiles those who have helped shape the nation's culture of innovation and growth.

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