The Independent Awards 2020

Newcomer Award

On average, each of us has just 29,000 days on this planet – it’s imperative that we do what we love! These new businesses bravely took the leap in 2020 to follow their passion, only to face one of the most challenging moments in our lifetime. In such a tough year for small businesses, they have responded with creativity, enthusiasm and courage to not only launch but bloom.

If there’s a silver lining to take from the pandemic, it’s the increased awareness of small businesses and the amount of people who have woken up to what’s important to them and taken the leap to follow their passion – just as the nominees in the Newcomer Award category have.

The Winner

Cocoa Publishing

Beginning as a way to help build her young daughter’s confidence after she experienced difficulties at school because of the colour of her skin, Serlina designed and published the Cocoa Girl Magazine. Filled with inspiring and empowering content for young Black Girls, she aims to educate black and white children about one another’s culture.

The Runner Up

The Treats Club

Born from a dream of having a bakery, after testing her ideas at markets around London Lungi opened two premises in the summer of 2020! She is passionate about championing female chefs and hopes to expand her business to allow for more opportunities for other women dreaming of getting into the industry.

The Judges

Ade Hassan MBE

Founder of Nubian Skin

Named ‘Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year’ in 2014, Ade has successfully pioneered the way in making underwear for women of colour.

Marcia Kilgore

Founder of Beauty Pie

Founder of numerous successful start ups, Marcia has an exceptional eye for building household brands from the kitchen table.

Finalists & Nominees

Below you will find all of the businesses nominated for the Newcomer Award including the finalists. Huge congratulations to all the nominees for this fantastic achievement.

By Faye

A celebration all of life’s milestones, Founder Faye is on a mission to brighten up homes with personalised prints and giftware.

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What started as an affordable option to furnish Founder Kayleigh’s first home has turned into a full-time business, creating luxury, sustainable, statement pieces.


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Zara Ceramics

Zara Ceramics was established in the heart of the pandemic, producing bespoke ceramic pieces shipped all over the world.

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Amy Swann

A magical, newly formed business embracing all of the things Amy loves, to give to those you love. Hand designed, created and painted heirloom decorations and keepsakes.

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Handmade, small batch, artisan crumpets with experimental flavours and no preservatives. Comfort food with a difference, delivered to people’s doorsteps.

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M+H Cake

M+H Cake Company is a London based online bakery posting mail-order cake tubs and personalised treats nationwide.

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Not Just Nibbles

Pairing the creative talents of an award-winning designer with the nutritional know-how of accredited chefs to create fun and healthy cooking kits for curious kids.

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Pattern Loves Print

Handmade OOAK sustainable vintage children’s fashion with a modern twist unlike anything you will see on the high street.

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Pixie Divine

A black owned home-decor business specialising in handmade soy wax candles. Initially a fundraising hobby started during lockdown to help owner Frankie deal with her mum’s passing.

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Pots and Paper by Steph

A one-woman paper-making business. From her home garage, waste paper is crafted into new, handmade sheets and waterproof paper pots.

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ROAM (The Drifting Bear Co)

Thoughtful & unique gifts & homewares with a newly opened bricks & mortar store ROAM. ROAM plant a tree for every order with over 35,000 planted so far.

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Sass and Me

Affordable traditional baby and toddler shoes from 0-3 years designed by mum of five Rebecca in the heart of East Sussex.

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Sea Whistle

Thoughtful curation of sustainable ethical clothes, accessories and toys for young children. Stocking small UK brands and Founder Nicola’s own hand-made clothing brand.

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Tatie Lou

An eco conscious homeware brand with luxury wallpapers, stylish fabrics and sumptuous home accessories. All designed & made in England.

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The Crayon Bug

Founder Rebs has fused her love of nature, colour and child-centred learning to create high quality shaped crayons such as her best-selling Solar System.

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The Little Worne Store

The Little Worne Store lovingly hand embroiders your little babes’ names onto hand knits, creating a forever keepsake – all made in U.K.

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The Thoughtful Potter

Colourful pottery with thoughtful messages to uplift and inspire.

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Formed as Founder Tom’s fightback against the pandemic, Wonderwalls creates funny and inspiring kid’s prints that grown-ups are proud to put on their walls.

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With thanks to our small business supporters