Counter Culture - Meet The Founders & Board

Our Founders

Counter Culture Store is a sustainable online beauty store featuring ethical brands. It champions female founders and boutique brands. Founded by Wendy Martin and Mark Wisniewski in June 2021, Counter Culture anticipates over 100 boutique brands will be enabled by Q4, 2021, with the majority being female-founded businesses. Counter Culture will focus on building it's online store before launching an "Investment Ready" Programme to support female founder who wish to scale their sustainable beauty and wellbeing businesses.The founding team is supported by four non-executive directors who bring a wealth of business, e-commerce and entrepreneurial expertise to bear.

Wendy Martin, Co-Founder

Wendy held a variety of executive positions in strategy, sales, marketing and digital throughout her 28-year career at Visa International & Visa Europe. Wendy established Visa Europe’s Business School providing training for banks across Europe, established a specialist sales team to support Visa’s shift into digital payments and led work on Visa’s digital wallet proposition to streamline the online checkout experience. Since leaving Visa in 2017 Wendy has worked in and with a variety of start-ups as a CMO and NED. Wendy has two daughters and is passionate about supporting women in business.

Mark Wisniewski, Co-Founder

Mark is a serial entrepreneur and investor with particular interest in renewable energy, software development and start-ups.  Having spent a decade in the renewable energy sector, Mark is passionate about sustainability and the positive impact it can have on the environment.  After leaving Iberdrola, the World’s largest renewable energy company in 2012 Mark has been involved in a number of startups across consumer technology, energy and now beauty.

Dina Henry, Non-Executive Director 

Dina has forty years experience in the financial sector which has brought an appreciation of the importance of innovation, technology and investment in people.  Dina is the Chief Operating Officer at CAF Bank, a bank that is owned by a charity and a group that is dedicated to serving the Third Sector.  Previously Dina worked in private banking at Duncan Lawrie and served as a Director on the Visa UK Board.  Dina has a natural client-centric approach and thrives by nurturing new businesses and helping them to establish relationships which can achieve their business goals. 

Gaynor Matthews, Non-Executive Director 

Gaynor is a serial entrepreneur, investor and NED who has been advising and working in start-ups for over 25 years. Gaynor’s forte is in technology and in her ability to recognise a great idea and support that idea, and the entrepreneurs and investors she advises, from inception through scaling and successful exit. Gaynor has first-hand experience of founding start-ups. She is the founder of WOW HOW, a make-up app, and co-founder of myNexus, a start-up focused on innovating the entrepreneurial investment process. 

James McMillan, Non-Executive Director 

A Chartered Accountant with a passion for SMEs, James has worked for Louis Vuitton, RSM UK LLP, and BT Group Plc before founding Audeo Fortis to advise startups and scale-ups on overcoming barriers to growth. He was awarded Best SME Business Advisory Firm in 2019. James co-founded Join myNexus in 2019, a new digital platform created specifically to remove bias in the investment process for early stage business so that underfunded groups can get better access to funding. James was recently awarded Institute of Director’s North West Director of the Year Award 2020 (non-executive). 

Dr Debra Williams, Non-Executive Director 

A board level professional Debra has extensive expertise in transforming business through leadership, distribution, data and E commerce. Debra has held senior management roles in some of the UK’s most well-known businesses including Confused.com, Admiral, Tesco Bank, Lombard, News Corporation, NCR, Covea and Britannia Building Society. As CEO of Confused.com, the first UK comparison site and arguably the first in the world, Debra built the business into one of the UK’s leading aggregator sites. Currently Chair of Careers Wales, Non Exec Director at Milford Haven Port Authority, Coop Insurance and The Alacrity Foundation, Debra is also a business ambassador for Ty Hafan Children's Hospice alongside her role as coach and mentor at Swansea University
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