Interview: Beauty Bay’s founder David Gabbie on building a digital community to democratise beauty

David Gabbie, Beauty Bay founder

When Beauty Bay founder David Gabbie left school, he was on a mission to create a business – and the world of retail looked like the perfect match for him. “I grew up in retail,” Gabbie tells Retail Week in a video call from his native Manchester.

Gabbie’s father was an entrepreneur and retailer himself, owning a pharmacy chain in the 1980s, followed by a group of stationery stores in the 1990s. 

“I was going to stores every week with my dad, looking around at the fixtures and fittings and stock levels, so retail is in the blood,” he explains.

Yet, for all his grounding in bricks and mortar, Gabbie saw greater opportunity in the then-booming dot-com revolution. He recalls that starting an ecommerce business in the late 1990s was difficult.

There was only one relevant university course on offer – which he passed on. “I looked at it and thought I can just start something myself and see what happens,” he says. 

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