Nina Hampson: Myla

Focus: Lingerie and sex toys

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Nina Hampson
Company: Myla

Described as ‘Prada with a hard-on’, upmarket lingerie and sex toys outfit Myla has a cult customer base including the likes of Victoria Beckham, ‘Sex in the City’ and Kate Moss. The venture came about in 2001 when former management consultant Hampson and ex-corporate finance analyst Charlotte Semler, 33, met on a three month Tesco brand strategy project. They hit it off and at the supermarket’s Christmas party decided to start a business. After raising £1.5m from a venture capital trust. The company now sells in the classiest of establishments in London, Milan, New York and Paris as well as on the web and via mail order with £2m in turnover.

2016 update:

After building a multi-million pound global lingerie brand in the midst of the bubble, Hampson decided to step away from Myla and sell it to private equity investors in 2006 in light of cash flow problems. Since then she has become heavily involved in the world of retail and customer insights through various positions. From 2007 to 2010 she was global director and principal consultant of global retail consultancy 5one, working closely with major names such as Selfridges on their customer strategy. When her business partners decided to sell, they launched advisory firm Zinc Retail together, which spawned ‘behavioural segmentation tool’ TRIPPS. Zinc sold the tool to Canadian marketing and loyalty analytics company Aimia in 2014, with Hampson taking up the position of analytics products innovation director and director of TRIPPS at the company.

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