We met Tam in 2016. She came in with a very exciting idea for a new business. She had been making beautiful, natural hand scrubs at home out of sugar and could see there was a place for them in the market. Tam imparted her vision to us and an idea of how she wanted her brand vision and voice to come across. Jewel like colours were in the forefront of her imagination.
We were very excited about working on such a creative and vibrant new brand. Although the market is predominantly women, the brand needed to be flexible enough to appeal to men too in the future. We chose to use an illustrative method to represent the various scents and oils used in the scrubs. Combined with a strong, curvaceous font we felt this added the glamour the brand needed to bring it to life.
Once the brand was developed we moved on to create a Woo-commerce website where Tam could sell her products and market the business successfully. Beautiful photos were key here and Tam worked with a local photographer to capture her scrubs perfectly.
Tam tells us about her business vision and how it all came about…
“On writing this, I now realise that it was quite a brave thing to follow my instincts and launch a business with a new product – it required nerves of steel…
After completing an extensive house renovation I knew that 2016 was the year for a new challenge. I have always had an interest in the power of natural ingredients and having previously developed a small range of beeswax based hand creams, I started to question skincare ingredients and began to investigate some of the more traditional approaches and recipes.
Instead of a hand cream I started to look into the benefits of a sugar Hand Scrub. I realised that there was a real gap in the market for a mid priced range of quality Hand Scrubs using the very best ingredients and essential oils that were as natural as possible.
Whilst a Sugar Scrub may not seem the obvious product to use to nourish and soften your hands, after lots of experimenting and trials with tester groups, I realised that it could provide the answer but also be so much more as a finished product.
With a background in Textile Design and Marketing I knew that if I was going to launch a product it would need to stand out in an incredibly competitive market and on the crowded skincare shelves.
I wanted to create a product that not only delivered on its promise, but looked stunning as part of a coherent range and a product that provided added value through its packaging. I hoped that this would make the Scrub stand out from its competitors and opted for an aluminium tub, blue card box made from recycled materials and a mini Birchwood spoon.
A key element was that no plastic was to be used in the Scrub or packaging.
I had a very clear idea of how I wanted the brand and packaging to work but needed to translate my thoughts. I was so lucky find Teapot Creative and following an initial meeting asked them to develop a logo, create blend illustrations and a website that could work across all platforms coherently. This was the start of a very exciting stage as I began to see the range become a reality. The packaging and design is often commented on as adding real value to the product and continues to look fresh and current.
In September 2016 after six months of developing formulas, trialling ingredients and seeking Cosmetic Testing approvals, I launched the first five in the range of Sugar Hand Scrubs selling across a number of platforms to maximise my sales and test each market.
Following this soft test launch the reaction to the range was really positive and so I began 2017 by launching three more blends to complete the current range.
The repeat orders started to flow in and lots of positive customer feedback buoyed my confidence throughout 2017 and I started to believe that I had made the right decision (however risky it felt to launch such a small bespoke range).
Throughout 2018 I have continued to approach wholesale avenues whilst developing the database and website for direct online sales. I have doubled my sales this year (and still have my Christmas sales ahead).
As the quantities of orders started to increase I began to grow out of the ‘kitchen table top’ production. I decided to build a purpose built studio to blend and package the Scrubs. It has been one of the best decisions so far and one of the scariest! Productivity has hugely increased and it has enabled me to be calmer, more organised and much braver in which retailers I approach to stock the range as I am able to blend and store more stock.
There have been so many steep learning curves and nail biting moments. I have learnt that I can turn my hand to anything and everything and I am incredibly excited about what 2019 may bring as I start to look at building and driving sales to the website through PR and social media. In addition, there are a couple of very exciting developments being planned through 3rd party channels which will offer me new routes to market.
I now know the true meaning of ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.
Photos by Matt Sweeting Photography and Porcupine PR/The Emporium Somerset