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Inspiring Finalist In Stelios Award For Disabled Entrepreneurs

Inspiring Finalist In Stelios Award For Disabled Entrepreneurs

We love celebrating the achievements of local women – especially local GirlBosses like Sophia. I met Sophia at a magazine shoot a few years ago and I’ve followed her inspirational story ever since. From scalp micro-pigmentation to medical tattooing, 3D Areola tattoos to scar camouflage – Sophia is giving confidence to the masses and is being recognised for it too!

Celebrity make-up artist and meningitis survivor, Sophia Wyatt is up for the Stelios Award for Disabled Entrepreneurs. From her studio in Guildford, Sophia runs Sophia Wyatt Aesthetics – using her skills and experience from the world of make-up and beauty, she helps people affected scarring and hair loss to feel more confident.

Sophia Wyatt in her clinic - Sophia Wyatt Aesthetics

Sophia’s business realises a long-held ambition which started from a young age.  She contracted meningitis as a teenager, resulting in the loss of both of her legs and some of her fingers.

Whilst in recovery, she met an inspirational make-up artist who visited hospitalised burns patients, helping them to recover whenever she had a day off.  When Sophia left the hospital, she trained as a make-up artist and worked with celebrities such as Keira Knightley and James McAvoy, but she gradually realised she wanted to use her skills to help people who might be suffering from scarring and other conditions.

Founding Sophia Wyatt Aesthetics in 2016, Sophia now runs her business from a custom studio at her home and fits her work around caring for her two young children. She is one of five contestants to win £10,000 in business funds from Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, and is also in the running for the top prize of £30,000. Four other entrants will win £5,000 each.

Sophia hopes to use her prize money to open a clinic and work alongside other specialists to help more people.

A record number of 88 candidates applied for the awards this year, jointly run with disability charity Leonard Cheshire. This is a 10% rise from last year. The applications came from a diverse mix of sectors, including fashion, retail, sport and leisure and tourism.

The other four nominees include:

Sarah Griffiths

Sarah’s Mastery in Motion business offers coaching and empowerment lessons for disabled people to help them create a life that lights them up. Sarah offers online courses and published a book while building her business: https://wheeliemomma.co.uk/

Steve Holyer and ADI Access

Steve created Roommate as an aid to audio-describe environments for blind and visually impaired people. Roommate has already been adopted at numerous international airports and railway stations. It was inspired by Steve Holyer’s experiences. https://www.adiaccess.co.uk/

Mike Wood

Mike is a former Paralympian, whose Dinghies for Disabled business aims to help up to 60,000 disabled people get into sailing. www.disabledsailing.org 

Victoria Nelson

Victoria created the first online counselling service for deaf people and offers fully-signed mental health workshops in-person and online: https://www.deaf4deaf.com/

The awards, jointly run by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Leonard Cheshire, first opened in 2006. They recognise the achievements of disabled entrepreneurs in the UK. Last year’s winner was Josh Wintersgill, a Bristol-based inventor who created easyTravelseat, a sling to help air passengers with wheelchairs transfer while flying. The overall winner will be announced at an awards ceremony on 22 October.

We’re rooting for Sophia in honour of her fantastic work in the local area. To see more of her semi-permanent makeup and medical tattooing work, head to her website or follow her on Instagram.