Pure Lakes manufactures eco-friendly skin care products from natural ingredients that are kind to your skin and the planet.
Owners Gareth and Claire McKeever are keen to see the business grow and turned to Cumbria Business Growth Hub to help them do it.
They were able to obtain a £35,000 Leader Programme grant to help buy machinery while Growth Hub adviser Adrian Luckham brought in Cumbria Manufacturing Service, which helps small and medium-sized manufacturers overcome barriers to growth.
That led to the company, based at Staveley near Kendal, to adopt new business development and marketing strategies.
“In a nutshell, we rebranded,” Gareth said.
“The marketing strategy led to a redesign of our packaging and website. Both projects have helped us enormously.”
As part of the process, Pure Lakes reassessed its routes to market.
Gareth explained: “We have four routes to market. Through retailers, direct to consumers online, private-label products and direct sales to hotels.
“We get the biggest margin online but the strategy made us realise that the four routes are complementary – we need all four. A consumer might encounter our products in a hotel, then buy them online or through a retailer.”
Direct sales to hotels have grown strongly.
Gareth said: “We are growing quite significantly with new hotels on board such the Brimstone in Langdale and My Chelsea and My Bloomsbury in London. That has been a game changer.”
Pure Lakes’ product range includes soaps, bath products, lotions, face creams, shampoos, conditioners and products for cyclists and walkers.
Their appeal is that they are natural products free from synthetic ingredients.
The marketing strategy led Pure Lakes to do even more to reinforce its green credentials and its image as an environmentally-aware brand.
Gareth said: “We’ve always had that ethos. What’s changed is the way we communicate it. Everything we do has to have clear environmental benefits.
“For example, we’ve started using plastic made from sugar for our bottles, which has a smaller carbon footprint than normal plastic made from oil.
“Consumers ordering online can save £1 by opting for minimal packaging. Our products to hotels come in refillable bottles that can be used time and again.”
He added: “Just because our products are environmentally-friendly doesn’t mean they can’t look luxurious. We package them in environmentally-friendly materials in keeping with high-end products using high-end ingredients.”
Cumbria Manufacturing Service and Cumbria Business Growth Hub are business support initiatives part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The funding that supports the Growth Hub comes from a range of sources including Cumbria Chamber of Commerce, the European Regional Development Fund, Sellafield Ltd, City Council, Eden District Council and South Lakeland District Council. The Growth Hub is receiving up to £2,528,767 of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is the Managing Authority for European Regional Development Fund. Established by the European Union, the European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations. For more information click here. Cumbria Manufacturing Service is receiving is £301,088 of ERDF funding.