The French daughter of the milliner Simone Mirman co-founded Sock Shop with her husband in 1983 because she believed that “people should be able to buy socks and stockings as easily as they buy newspapers”. A former junior secretary at Marks & Spencer, Mirman’s empire was a socking success and as a result, in 1987, she was named the 188th richest person in Britain. All was not to continue to plan and with the economic crash came administration and a sale of the business for a paltry sum. Instead of retreating to the country, this mother of three launched Trotters – which she termed “the first store dedicated solely to children” – in 1990 and has built it into a chain of six retail outlets. Sophie Mirman swims in The Serpentine all year round and loves to prepare meals with her AGA.