International Women's Day

As part of  International Women’s Day, we celebrate the powerful and successful women that we have here in Soho.

We love that so many of our fabulous businesses are led by such inspirational women who are changing the world, one restaurant or shop at a time. Read on to hear their stories... 





Alex Brownsell

With her passion for hair, Alex Brownsell got tired of experimenting on friends in her kitchen. Starting off working as a hairstylist on fashion shoots Alex decided that this was a dream she wanted to push. It was time to open her own hairdressers with her best friend Sam Teasdale, the birth of Bleach London. Bleach London is the world’s first salon focused on colouring hair, rather than cutting. Starting out as a single chair in Dalston, in 2010 they opened their first salon.

2 Berwick Street, London, W1F 0DR


Lazy Oaf - Gemma Shiel

The British street wear label, Lazy Oaf was founded by the illustrator and designer Gemma Shiel. Gemma founded the brand straight out of university in 2001, starting as a small stall in Spitalfields market and hand printing t-shirts in her Dad's garage. She has now built up her brand and opened her flagship boutique on Ganton Street in Carnaby, branched out by achieving over 250 stockists worldwide and has a hugely successful online store. Gemma has grown her business without any outside investment.

2 Ganton Street, W1F 7QL




Tapas Brindisa -
Monika Linton

Monika's curiosity of Spain was sparked by her father’s stories of travelling around it's great cities in the 50s on his Bateman Motorbike. This spurred Monika on to learn the language and set-off on her own adventure to discover the true food of Spain. With years of studying Spanish under her belt, she settled in Catalonia after University for a few years. The she found there were simply extraordinary and she wanted to bring them back to the UK, leading to the opening of Tapas Brindisa on Broadwick Street.
To find out more click here.

46 Broadwick Street, W1F 7AF





Barbers Point -
Sue Brady

When Sue came to Kingly Street in 1976, female barbers were rare and still a novelty. When she mentioned she was a barber in conversation, the response was always,
'Do you mean a hairdresser?'
'No, I mean a barber. I do wet shaves.'
When the opportunity arose to buy Barbers Point, where Sue had worked for ten years, she took the chance. “I like to consider myself a business person rather than a business woman. An equal to all."

7 Kingly Street, W1B 5PG


Darjeeling Express -  
Asma Khan 

Previously known for her pop-up supper clubs, chef and restauranteur Asma Khan's first permenant restaurant,  Darjeeling Express can be found on the Second floor of Carnaby's Kingly Court, with an incredible menu of North Indian and Bengali cuisine.  Growing her passion for food into her own business, she now brings the taste of home-cooked Indian food directly to us. She was voted 'Female Entrepreneur of the Year' at the Asian Restaurant Awards and the 'Entrepreneur of the Year' in the Asian Women on the Year awards. Asma prides herself for a all-female team in her restaurant and is now the first British chef to feature in Netflix's Emmy nominated Chefs Table. The episode is now available for you to watch.

Top Floor, Kingly Court, W1B 5PW



Jinjuu - Judy Joo  

Korean-American executive chef, Judy Joo, is a restaurateur and TV chef travelling between her Jinjuu restaurants in London and Hong Kong. You can also see Judy on the Cooking Channel with her show, 'Korean Food Made Simple' as she explores Korean Authentic dishes inspired by her travels. After working for the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton, Claridge's and Boxwood Cafe, in 2014 Judy opened the doors to her very own modern Korean restaurant Jinjuu. You can find Jinjuu tucked away on bustling Kingly Street.

15 Kingly Street, W1B 5PS


Crumbs and Doilies - 
Jemma Wilson 

Jemma Wilson, known as 'Cupcake Jemma' began her journey on YouTube by sharing her love for baking. Her channel has gained 33million views and led to her opening her own cupcake shop, Crumbs & Doilies. “When I started Crumbs & Doilies in 2006 I could never have imagined that I'd have such a talented team working with me, or that we'd be making such awesome cakes for so many people. It's been an amazing journey so far and one of the best bits has been getting to share not just our cakes but some of our recipes with people all over the world”. Jemma is the perfect example of a digital wonder woman using the power of social media to elevate her business. 


Ground Floor, Kingly Court, W1B






Sweaty Betty -
Tamara Hill-Norton


Tomara Hill-Norton, the queen of activewear, is the Founder and Creative-Director of Sweaty Betty. She is on a mission to redefine the way women dress. Sweaty Betty was born out of the idea that women's activewear was aways very dark and boring. She found that the sports industry didn't speak to women as it was masculine and shapeless. She felt it was time to create clothes that 'made active women feel beautiful and powerful'. Growing up, Tamara was very strong-minded and always knew that she wanted to own her own business. 20 years since the opening of the store in Notting Hill, Sweaty Betty is now on a mission to empower women through fitness and beyond and have 60 stores from London to San Francisco. 

1 Carnaby Street, W1F

Rosa's Thai Cafe -
Saiphin Moore

Chef and restauranteur, Saiphin Moore was born in Thailand, before moving to Hong Kong at 18, to work as a nanny. When Saiphin moved to the UK she opened a takeaway food business which then led to her co-founding Rosa's Thai restaurant with her husband Alex. Since 2006, this has now expanded into a group of 15 across London. Saiphin began cooking Thai food from a young age with her mother and aunt, they would prepare food for the monks in the temples. She would source the ingredients from nearby, the coconuts came from the tress and the lemon grass was dug from the ground. This is why Thai food will always be very special to her. Rosa's Thai has gone from strength to strength and has now seen the publishing of two cook books.

23 Ganton Street, W1F 9BW








Chai By Mira - Mira Manek

Mira Manek’s path into food was through a “desire to be healthy”, she loves to combine healthy eating with indian flavours to create her own style of vibrant indian-inspired food. Taking inspiration from the women in her family and their love for food, Mira published her book Saffron Soul and soon after joined the vibrant Kingly Court last year with her cafe Chai by Mira. The cafe is a relaxing and soulful space which is all about “bringing together elements of India, chai infused drinks, energy snacks with hints of spice and a bookshelf to browse for wellness”. 

Second Floor, Kingly Court, W1B 5PW


WAH London - Sharmadean Reid

A former fashion stylist and brand consultant, Sharmadean started WAH as a hip hop magazine for girls in 2006 while still at university. She then founded WAH London as a side project in 2009. WAH completely changed the beauty landscape with it's millennial voice, feminist attitude and innovative salon space. She then went on to write two books and was awarded an MBE from HRH Queen in 2015 for services to beauty. 
Read more about her here.

4 Peter Street, London, W1F 0AD


 International Women's Day