Everyone loves a young success story, and Essex boasts a lot of high-fliers yet to hit their thirties.
From athletes to reality TV stars, the county is full of youthful go-getters, and it may surprise you how young some of these big names actually are.
We have compiled a list of dynamos who have captured the nation and beyond before their 30th birthday.
They offer an example to young people of how far you can go in a county like Essex if you put your mind to it.
Here is the full list of Essex’s top 30 most successful people aged 30 and under.
The list is put together judged by their successes both personally and professionally.
1. Chelsey Jay (28)
Councillor Chelsey Jay, from Witham, thoroughly deserves her place on this list.
Winning the top prize in the Essex Big Business Boost competition in 2016 for her plans to create an app for disabled people navigating the minefield of public transport, this ingenious and ambitious 28-year-old has proved that her disability won’t get in the way of the amazing life ahead of her.
A former model and nurse, Chelsey suffered from Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, meaning that she passed out every time she stood up, limiting her mobility to a wheelchair and ending her former careers immediately.
Her journey to campaign for awareness and improve the lives of disabled people landed her the position of Director of Disabilities for the Models of Diversity and a chance to speak in Parliament at the launch of Disability Equality Roadshow.
Chelse studied for a Politics, Philosophy and Economics degree and has gained mobility back in her legs.
She has also won the 2019 election to become Witham’s town councillor, where she claims to be fighting for the people and not a party.
She said: “I am cut from a different cloth to anyone else in politics and not being politically aligned to a party – I will be doing things very differently!”
2. Harry Eden (29)
Harlow-born Harry won the title of Most Promising Newcomer at the 2003 British Independent Film Awards for his role in Pure alongside Kiera Knightly.
He attended the Sylvia Young Theatre School and followed up his success with roles in titles such as Peter Pan , Roman Polanski’s Oliver Twist, Casualty, Bleak House and Foyle’s War .
In a BBC Radio 5 interview he expressed an interest in playing golf professionally. He partnered Oliver Fisher at the 2008 Dunhill Links Championship, the European Tour’s annual celebrity pro-am.
3. Sophie Hinchliffe – AKA Mrs Hinch (29)
An undisputed authority in the cleaning world, the Essex new mum has amassed a net worth of one million pounds after releasing her book ‘Hinch Yourself Happy: All The Best Cleaning Tips To Shine Your Sink And Soothe Your Soul’.
Her self-branded online empire sees Sophie, or Mrs Hinch as she calls herself, means her cleaning recommendations often cause the products to sell out completely store-wide.
Her Hinch Army love her for her spotless home and openness about anxiety and mental health issues.
4. Max Whitlock (26)
Max is a worldwide celebrity for his talent as a British gymnast.
Although from Hemel Hempstead, he joined South Essex Gymnastics Club in Basildon and made his name.
At the age of 26 he is already a five-time Olympic medallist, winning two golds for Britain, and a six-time world medallist, winning two golds and four silvers for Britain.
It is no exaggeration to say that he is one of our most successful gymnasts ever.
Max has competed across the globe, such as in the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, and in the 2013 European Championships in Moscow.
For his impressive achievements in gymnastics, Max was admirably awarded an MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours.
5. Sam Faiers & Billie Faiers (28, 29)
This glamorous sister duo from TOWIE have made motherhood into a lucrative career, launching TV sensation ‘ Sam Faiers: The Mummy Diaries’ back in 2016, before later becoming ‘ Sam & Billie Faiers ’.
The series has since gone on to record five seasons and filming for the sixth season began earlier this spring.
The show has been such a huge hit since it started, breaking previous records for ITVBe, that it’s even been contracted to air until at least 2021!
Billie explains that the reason behind its success is that “So many people relate to the show. We show everything and that’s the main thing.”
Billie’s eye for fashion, no doubt what influenced her to launch stylish Essex boutique Minnies , enabled her to recently launch a collection with fashion powerhouse In The Style.
Sam, on the hand, has carved a career in fitness, creating her own online website ‘ Celebrity Training with Sam Faiers’ , which offers workout videos and healthy eating recipes for her subscribers.
6. Rupert Grint (30)
Known for his portrayal of Ron Weasley in the film adaptations of the $25 billion Harry Potter franchise, Rupert has since starred in more modest films like Wild Target, Driving Lessons and Cherrybomb.
In 2013, he made his West End acting debut in black comedy Mojo , which earned him great reviews and a WhatsOnStage award for best newcomer.
He made his Broadway debut the following year in Terrence McNally’s farce It’s Only a Play , from which Rupert states he “fell in love with acting again.”
7. Ferne McCann (29)
Following in the Faiers sisters’ footsteps, ex- TOWIE member Ferne also turned her motherhood experience into a career venture, launching ‘Ferne McCann: First Time Mum’ in 2017 on ITVBe.
The documentary has run for three series and was aided by Ferne’s increased profile from starring in the fifteenth series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! in 2015.
In early 2016, she became a regular on This Morning, and these days posts insights on motherhood and fame for her 2.3 million Instagram followers to see.
8. Lydia Bright (29)
Co-owner of Bella Sorella fashion boutique and fitness enthusiastic, the reality-TV-star-turned-writer released debut book ‘ Live, Laugh, Love, Always, Lydia’ in 2017, detailing her fitness, relationship and celebrity journey.
Most importantly, Lydia has participated in numerous charity fundraisers, winning £20,000 on Tipping Point for ELHAP, cycling across the world in the Essex2India challenge with Denise Van Outen and climbing Mount Kinabalu to raise money for children’s charity Barnardo’s.
9. Myles Leask (30)
Fitness guru, bodybuilder and model Myles has modelled for companies such as Specsavers, Men’s Health, Vanity Magazine and Infinite Gym Apparel.
His website www.mylesleaskfitness.com advertises an extensive range of fitness programmes such as ‘ Bikini Guide’, ‘Home Workout Guide’ and ‘ Superhero Shoulders’ .
Gathering almost half a million Instagram followers, Myles’s fitness journey has brought him into the spotlight and even earned him the title of Essex Live’s ‘Sexiest Essex Man’ in 2018.
10. Almas Adam (27)
Almas is a self-motivated success story that Essex can be proud of.
Starting off his career with his brother, Almas opened ADAM CEX, a franchisee of electronics retailer CeX. His hard work and determination ensured that he and his brother to three stores in the company’s first year and six in the third.
Moving on from this, Almas opened his own franchisee of homecare provider Right at Home in Loughton, Redbridge and Waltham Forest.
This ambitious spirit earned him the Young Franchisee of the Year award in 2018, and we are excited to see how Almas shakes up the care industry.
11. Jaden Ashman (15)
Fifteen-year-old Jaden was the runner-up of a three-day Fortnite event held in New York, in July.
Competing under the name ‘Wolfiez’, Jaden was one of around 40 million people all around the globe who applied for the tournament and one of only 100 finalists who got the chance to compete for the £2.4 million top prize.
Jaden will split a £1.8 million runner-up prize after he and his Dutch teammate David finished second in the first ever Fortnite World Cup.
Jordan’s skills at the popular battle game deserve to be recognised and applauded, and we’re sure a bright future of professional gaming lies ahead for him.
12. Amar Adatia (30)
Amar’s first acting role was in the Bollywood hit Kabhie Khushi, Khabie Gham , launching a passion for film that has continued to this day.
However, as a man of Asian ancestry Amar became disillusioned with how little there was on offer in the industry, and he decided to begin a career as a film producer to rectify this.
To date, Amar has produced six movies, four of which were released worldwide such as Four Hours, Gangsters Gamblers Geezers , Requiem , and Dangerous Game .
His recent film Dead Ringer came out in 2018 and his latest film The Seven is due out in 2019.
In 2017 Amar won the ‘Essex TV Talent of the Year Award’ and was listed as no.64 in the Essex’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ article.
13. Jordan Cardy (23)
Jordan, aka Rat Boy, is a Chelmsford-born musician and rapper known for hits such as ‘Sign On’, ‘Fake ID’, ‘Wasteman’ and ‘Get Over It’ .
Initially found only on SoundCloud, Jordan was signed by a record label and released his debut album Scum in 2017.
The 13-track album reached number 15 in the UK Album Chart.
Excitingly, Jordan supported music legend Liam Gallagher on his UK solo tour in December 2017 and recently released his studio album Internationally Unknown in January.
14. Tommy Mallet (27)
Tommy joined ITV’s The Only Way Is Essex in 2014 for its 13 season, launching a career for himself on reality TV.
However, it is his business ventures outside of TOWIE that have earned him a spot on this list.
Tommy is the founder of Mallet Footwear, and since its creation in 2015 is available both online and in certain stores around the country.
He also has collaborated with brand Belvoir&Co to create a line of glasses and sunglasses, as well as co-owning popular Essex nightclub Circuit.
15. Rylan Clark (30)
Born in Stanford-le-Hope, this talented singer first appeared on our television screens as a contestant in the ninth series of The X Factor , eventually finishing in commendable fifth place.
His infectious smile landed him further television opportunities such as an appearance on popular show Celebrity Big Brother , which he would impressively win.
Returning to TV after his victory as a presenter for the spin-off show, Big Brother’s Bit on the Side, it was clear that Rylan was born for presenting.
He has since presented shows This Morning and The Xtra Factor. These days he can be seen in season 4 of Celebrity Gogglebox .
16. Kem Cetinay (23)
Romford’s winner of Love Island 2017, Kem has managed to shape a career for himself on television that extends beyond just reality TV.
From producing a hit UK Singles Chart record with his best friend and fellow Islander Chris Hughes – called ‘ Little Bit Leave It’ – to co-hosting the Love Island: The Morning After podcast, to coming fourth place on the tenth season of Dancing On Ice with partner Alex Murphy, to appearing on daytime television programmes Loose Women and Lorraine , Kem has earned his spot in Essex’s Most Successful list.
These days he can be found on This Morning or backstage presenting on Dancing On Ice, as well as posting interesting content for his 2.3 million Instagram followers.
17. Joey Essex (29)
Originating from the earlier seasons of ITV 2’s The Only Way Is Essex , the 29-year-old has featured in Keith Lemon’s Celebrity Juice, Jimmy Carr’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, The Xtra Factor, This Morning and Through The Keyhole.
His TV career continued when he placed fourth in the extremely popular ITV show I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! in 2013.
This new dimension of fame enabled Joey to launch his own popular reality show, Educating Joey Essex , in 2014.
Following this, Joey has appeared in two seasons of Celebs Go Dating , The Chase and The Crystal Maze .
Outside of television Joey has launched his own brand of hair products called D’reem Hair .
18. Nathan French (29)
Chelmsford-born Nathan has competed for Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics for his beloved sport, volleyball, being the youngest member of the men’s team at that time.
What started out as a hobby at the age of 13 has since developed into a career that has taken him to Spain, France, Germany and Israel.
These days Nathan runs a digital marketing agency, Your Marketing Guy, based in his hometown of Chelmsford.
19. Ben Foakes (26)
Cricketer Ben made his debut for the England Under-19s in 2011, playing two Youth Test matches against the Sri Lanka Under-19s.
In 2018 he made his Test debut for England against Sri Lanka, scoring 107 in the first innings and bringing England’s score to a competitive total.
In 2019, Ben was part of England’s squad for the one-off One Day International against Ireland and the one-off Twenty20 International against Pakistan.
His cricket career continues to look promising.
20. Travis Almond (27)
After he left Love Island season one, Travis went on to feature in Bollywood film Bhaijaan as a fighter, but these days has turned away from the spotlight and has refocused on business.
Travis now is a self-employed personal trainer and the owner of Toyboyz, a highly successful topless butlering business he founded not long after the villa.
In his spare time, Travis competes in modelling competitions and makes appearances in adverts for companies such as Badoo.
21. Dani Dyer (23)
Dani already had success destined for her as the daughter of famous TV personality and East Ender Danny Dyer, but she established herself in her own right on ITV’s Love Island , gaining 80% of the final votes to win a landslide victory with her then-boyfriend Jack Fincham.
Yet, before carving a career as a social media influencer for brands such as In The Style and amounting an impressive 3.5 million followers on Instagram, Dani starred in eight movies, including action movie Age of Kill alongside Martin Kemp and even trained as an actress at the National Youth Theatre.
Recently she has starred in Nativity! The Musical as character Polly Parker.
Dani has also proven herself to be business-orientated, by launching her own line of false eyelashes with brand SOSO by Suzanna Jackson and creating her own line for popular fashion label In The Style.
22. Pixie Lott (28)
Multi-talented performer and business woman Pixie Lott, from Brentwood, set Essex and the UK on fire with her debut single ‘Mama Do (Uh Oh Uh Oh) ‘, reaching number one in the UK Singles Chart in June 2009.
Since then Pixie has gone on to produce five more UK Top 10 singles such as ‘ All About Tonight’, ‘What Do You Take Me For?’ and ‘ Nasty’.
Pixie was nominated for British Breakthrough Act, British Female Solo Artist and British Single at the 2010 Brit Awards.
In 2014, Pixie starred in the twelfth series of Strictly Come Dancing with partner Trent Whiddon. The talented dancer had the highest average of the series yet only placed in the quarter-finals.
Turning to business, Pixie runs her own Italia Conti Associate School in Chelmsford and coaches the next generation of performers.
23. Anne-Marie Nicholson (28)
Pop sensation Anne-Marie burst into the mainstream music scene after releasing her wildly successful single ‘ Alarm’ in 2016.
Her talent for music developed when she featured in the West End production of Les Misérables at the young age of six.
She has been nominated for four Brit Awards in 2019, including Best British Female Solo Artist, and has collaborated with some of the most successful contemporary artists, including Clean Bandit and Sean de Paul for their song ‘ Rockabye’ , DJ Marshmellow for their song ‘ FRIENDS’ and Ed Sheeran for the single ‘ 2002’ .
Most recently, in November 2018, Anne-Marie worked with X Factor breakout James Arthur to record the single ‘ Rewrite the Stars’ from popular musical The Greatest Showman.
Her debut album, Speak Your Mind , was released in April 2018 and reached number three in the official UK Album Chart.
24. Dru Yearwood (19)
Dru was born in Harlow, and joined the Arsenal Academy at the young age of seven.
He moved onto the Southend United football youth system at the young age of 11, and after completing his training there he secured a spot on the first team squad in 2017.
He subsequently earned Southend Young Player of the Year award, attracting the attention of other clubs.
Recently, he signed a four-year contract with Championship club Brentford, which signals a promising start to his budding career in football.
25. Alex Dowsett (30)
Maldon’s own Alex is a British professional road racing cyclist, who currently rides for UCI WorldTeam’s Team Katusha–Alpecin. In 2011, he won the British National Time Trial Championships.
In 2015, he broke track cycling’s world hour record by 446 metres (1,463 feet), with a distance of 52.937 kilometres (32.894 miles).
26. Nathalie Emmanuel (30)
Thirty-year-old Southend native Nathalie Emmanuel has a plethora of acting experience, having starred as Young Nala in The Lion King at the age of just ten and appearing regularly in well-watched soap opera Hollyoaks .
Her big break was playing the role of Missandei in the blockbuster fantasy series Game of Thrones , as well as landing a role in the film adaptation of the cult action trilogy The Maze Runner .
Fans will also know her for her appearance in the Fast and Furious franchise , the Furious 7 movie, in 2015.
She is also set to be appearing on our screens again in the TV remake of the classic movie Four Weddings and a Funeral .
27. George Boast (16)
Founder of teeth-whitening product Miami White, last year entrepreneur George made over £25,000 selling his ‘luxury’ products to local buyers.
A school pupil from Brentwood, George owns three businesses and has seen his business ventures sky rocket ever since he began selling lemonade at the age of nine.
28. Jesy Nelson (28)
Jesy has broken out of Romford and gone global as a member of girl-band Little Mix, born from the eight series of The X Factor .
Before this she attended the Sylvia Young and Yvonne Rhodes Theatre Schools. The band has achieved worldwide fame with hits such as ‘ Wings’, ‘ Black Magic’ and ‘ Shout Out To My Ex’ .
The group won the title Best British Video for their single ‘ Woman Like Me ’ at the 2019 Brit Awards.
They have also received several other awards during their career, including three MTV Europe Music Awards, two Teen Choice Awards and two Glamour Awards.
As of 2018, the group have released 4 platinum certified albums and 16 certified singles in the UK.
29. Sam Cottrell (23)
Sam, son of the Bishop of Chelmsford Stephen Cottrell, founded his own clothing line Zen Apparel with his friend Stefan at the age of 18.
After spending the best part of two years looking to convince government assessors, the entrepreneurs were given a start-up loan to help kick-start the business into action at the age of 20.
Now, despite the pair juggling two jobs, the clothing line is continuing to grow from strength to strength.
The event they organised – dubbed Zen Fest – took place in High Ongar, and was used to promote their product to the attending audience.
30. Louisa Johnson (21)
Winner of the twelfth season of The X Factor in 2015, Louisa’s single with Clean Bandit, ‘ Tears’ , kick-started her pop career, immediately charting at the top of the UK leader boards. She has promoted her singles on shows Good Morning Britain, Lorraine and This Morning .
Louisa released her second solo single, ‘ So Good’ , in 2016, which landed in the UK Top 20, and supported Little Mix in their 2017 ‘The Glory Days’ tour.