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Queens Enterprise Award 2017

The Management Team


Chairman John Sharman

In 1990 John Sharman and his wife Heather set up the Rainbow business, after observing a strong demand for branded fragrances and cosmetics at discounted prices. They set up a fragrance kiosk, which turned over in excess £1m in the first year.

John and Heather have since built Rainbow into a multi-million pound business, working with some of the world’s largest retail groups, in over 32 countries. In 2010, John became Chairman, when son Stephen Sharman joined Rainbow as Managing Director. He continues to play an active role in the company.

Non-Executive Director Heather Sharman

Heather and John worked together to build the Rainbow business into the success it is today. Whilst Heather is no longer involved in the daily running of the company, she sits on the Board of Directors; where her shrewd judgment and balanced approach continue to help steer strategic growth.

Managing Director Stephen Sharman

In 2010 Stephen Sharman joined Rainbow as Managing Director. Previously, he was at Lidl in a number of operational and sales roles (2003-‘10); leaving as National Sales Operations Manager.

Stephen is clearly focused on the future of Rainbow, with recent investments in IT management systems; increased warehouse facilities and the development of the brand portfolio and export business. Since Stephen joined Rainbow, the company has gained 34th place in the Sunday Times Track 100 for international growth 2011; and was a finalist in the HSBC Business Thinking Awards 2010.


Finance Director Martin Burrill

Martin Burrill has been the Finance Director at Rainbow Cosmetics for 6 years, working closely with the board of Directors and the Accounts Team.

Martin also serves as Group Finance Director of Zeus Capital Limited. He joined Zeus in 2004 as group finance director following the successful sale of his previous employer Millie's Cookies Ltd to Compass plc. He has also served as Finance Director of the AIM listed Vindon Healthcare Plc from 1987 to March 2010 and as its Company Secretary until March 2010.

Head of Operations Pete Lofthouse

Pete Lofthouse joined Rainbow in October 2015, in the role of Head of Operations and Systems. Pete works closely with the Directors and heads of department to direct and implement process and policy. He also oversees the delivery of information management systems, operational procurement, health & safety and HR functions. Pete has over 20 years’ experience of operations management and systems working for international organisations. His aspiration is to see Rainbow continue to grow whilst holding onto its family ethos.