She’s best known as one half of the acerbic posh pair who counselled ‘fashion disasters’ on BBC makeover show What Not To Wear.
Now Trinny Woodall has undergone a transformation of her own – becoming one of Britain’s most successful beauty entrepreneurs.
Newly filed documents reveal her brand Trinny London more than tripled its turnover in a year to a huge £44.2million. One of her most popular products, a £35 glow-boosting suncream, is said to be sold every ten seconds.
The business, which she set up in 2017, made a gross profit of £27.4million in the year to March 2021, a massive increase on the previous year’s £8.5million.
Sales outside Europe soared from £1.9million to £13.4million, according to the accounts filed at Companies House this week.
Trinny Woodall has undergone a transformation of her own – becoming one of Britain’s most successful beauty entrepreneurs with her fashion brand Trinny London
The brand is said to employ 194 staff, sell 187 different products and have customers in 167 countries.
The achievement is made all the more impressive by the fact that it happened during the pandemic, when many people ditched make-up because they were staying at home, and other companies saw sales plunge.
Social media has been key to the success of Trinny London, which has called itself a ‘digital brand’.
Miss Woodall posts hours of content on her Instagram account, sometimes multiple times a day, promoting her skincare and make-up products to her million followers. She receives tens of thousands of YouTube views a week.
Often appearing bare-faced and not afraid to pull bizarre expressions with hilarious effect has helped her to win legions of fans.
Miss Woodall posts hours of content on her Instagram account, sometimes multiple times a day, promoting her skincare and make-up products to her million followers. She receives tens of thousands of YouTube views a week
Describing social media as ‘essential’, Miss Woodall said: ‘If anyone leaves a comment on my channels, I “like” it and respond. The more you can create a two-way interaction, the better.’
But it wasn’t all plain sailing, with the business losing £800,000 in its first year.
Miss Woodall, 57, has spoken of her tears at the first ‘appalling’ prototype of the Trinny London make-up products, which fitted together in a stack.
‘It looked cheap and clunky,’ she told The Mail On Sunday’s You magazine. ‘It was a horrible moment and I actually cried. But I kept going. Eleven prototypes later, we got it right.’
Described by friends as ‘the most self-sufficient person they’ve ever met’, Miss Woodall launched herself into the venture by selling her 20-year collection of designer clothes, raising £60,000 to tide the company over while she fundraised with investors.
The daughter of a banker, and educated at boarding schools from the age of six, she first ventured into business by selling velvet hair bows decorated with brooches with a friend at the age of 16.
‘We were stocked in Harvey Nichols, but it fizzled out,’ she said.
She later wrote a weekly style column in a newspaper with Susannah Constantine, which was turned into What Not To Wear. The show went on to win a Royal Television Society Award.
Miss Woodall, who has been going out with super-rich art dealer Charles Saatchi, 78, since 2013, said last year that the assumption he bankrolled her business behind the scenes got to her ‘more than anything else because it’s the furthest from the truth’.
Saatchi was previously married to television cook Nigella Lawson, who claimed that she was subjected to ‘intimate terrorism’ during their ten-year marriage.
Miss Woodall’s ex-husband, Johnny Elichaoff, father of her daughter Lyla, 18, fell to his death from a London car park in 2014 aged 55 after he ‘lost everything’ in a series of failed oil investments.