By  on July 1, 2014

One of the U.K.’s biggest names in beauty stepped down as of Tuesday.

Nicky Kinnaird, the founder and the NK of Space NK Apothecary, will set up her own brand consultancy.

Since opening Space NK in 1993, Kinnaird has expanded it from a single boutique in London’s Covent Garden to a major player in the U.K. and the U.S. Kinnaird’s first store in the U.S., in Manhattan’s SoHo district, opened in 2007.

In 2002, Space NK became part of Manzanita Capital, which was founded by Gap’s former president and founder of international, William S. Fisher, and it is that infusion of capital that is understood to have funded Space NK’s entry into the U.S.

There are 62 Space NK stores in the U.K., 57 of which are freestanding, and five of which are shops-in-shop at Harvey Nichols stores. There are 23 Space NK apothecaries in the U.S., seven freestanding and 16 shops-in-shop at Bloomingdale’s. (Space NK began partnering with the American specialty store in 2008.) Space NK also has robust e-commerce sites in the U.S. and the U.K.

Kinnaird’s forward-thinking and self-described “curious mind” led her to innovate. In 2011, she inked a deal with QVC, which showcased select items — including products from Eve Lom, By Terry and Serge Normant — from Space NK’s high-end boutiques, the first time QVC had signed a beauty deal of that type.

Kinnaird could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

“The board would like to express its appreciation of Nicky’s hard work and commitment in building a unique and iconic business in the beauty industry,” said chairman Alan Smith. “Nicky’s drive to bring the best beauty discoveries from around the world to Space NK will continue in a consultancy capacity. I have had the pleasure and privilege of working with Nicky for nearly 20 years. Her entrepreneurial vision in creating this remarkable business has transformed the retailing of beauty products. I am sure Nicky will continue to apply her skills and energy to great effect and I look forward to her continued contribution to our business.”

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