Why Kate Percival, Peggy Porschen and Donna Ida Thornton are some of Belgravia’s best entrepreneurs, meet the three businesswoman and discover how they built up their empires
1 Donna Ida Thornton
When she moved to London in 1999, Donna Ida Thornton couldn’t get over the lack of good outlets where she could buy a decent pair of jeans. And so, she set up her own eponymous boutique, a place that sold jeans and jeans only. After opening her first store in Chelsea in 2006, she opened her equally successful Elizabeth Street ‘denim concept boutique’ in 2010. Donna Ida is still thriving and stocks some of the biggest labels in the business including J Brand and Mother Denim. It also happens to sit right next door to Jo Loves.
40 Elizabeth Street SW1W 9NZ; donnaida.com
2 Kate Percival
Kate is the co-founder and CEO of Grace Belgravia, London’s first women-only private members’ club. She came up with the idea for Grace Belgravia whilst studying for her Masters in 2008/9, and managed to raise 3M from private investors to make it a reality. When it launched in 2013, the venue was a completely new concept for the city, not a spa or gym, but a club thart focused exclusively on women’s health, fitness and wellbeing, all set in an enormous set in a grade-two listed building in SW1X. Today Grace Belgravia has dozens of celebrities on its books, but is ever-discreet and careful never to name names.
11c West Halkin Street, Knightsbridge SW1X 8JL; gracebelgravia.com
3 Peggy Porschen
Formerly a pastry chef at The Lanesborough hotel, Peggy Posrchen began to receive a reputation as a skilled ‘cake artist’ while working as a cake decorator for German-run bakery, Konditor and Cook. Soon she was being commissioned to create Fabergé eggs for Elton John’s White Tie & Tiara Ball and for Stella McCartney’s wedding cake. Eventually, her work was so in demand that she decided to open a store where her work could be enjoyed by the public, and not just the a-listers. Peggy’s big pink Belgravia store is now the highlight of Ebury Street, housing the most sought-after wedding cakes in London.
116 Ebury Street Belgravia SW1W 9QQ; peggyporschen.com