Case Study: Shared Beauty Secrets

“Good PR has paid dividends”

Shared Beauty Secrets, Clare Anderson, director

We Saw A business opportunity

I first came across the use of lava shells as a massage tool while on holiday in Turks and Caicos and saw their potential as a product we could sell straightaway.Sachets containing a mixture of minerals and algae are inserted into the shells, and when water is added, a chemical reaction occurs that produces heat. The heated shells are then used to gently massage the body.

We’re growing rapidly

The first step was to get in contact with the American company that produces the shells and secure exclusive distribution rights. We sell the shells and the bags that are used to heat them, but a large part of the business is training the staff at spas and treatment centres to use the product properly. The first place that we had on board was the spa at Richard Branson’s Necker Island, which was a great start, and our expansion has been pretty hectic. Inside the first year we managed to secure 150 accounts and six months into our second year we had 400 more.

Publicity Has been vital to our success

The key to making it work has been the partnership between my business partner Alison Gibbs and me, and one great decision we made was to get professional PR. That’s paid dividends and we’ve had some great press from Vogue and lots of other glossy magazines. Once you get a bit of exposure, it just snowballs. The Bank has helped us, too. We had some help with cash flow when we first started, but things are moving at such a pace now that we’re in discussions to arrange another cash injection. Our relationship managers at the Bank have been great, and analysing our situation with them has even brought home just how far we’ve come. That’s been really encouraging.

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