“I knew all about writing business plans, raising finance, all of that,” says Miller. “But I’m no chemist. All I knew is that I wanted to create a range of skincare for teens that was completely natural.”
Undaunted, Miller contacted several chemists in the UK, the Far East and the US, drawing up a shortlist of the companies that could manufacture this niche range. She settled on a UK-based firm: “I wanted to keep the business as local as possible.”
Following a seed investment round of £100,000 from three private investors and Miller herself, production started on the Young & Pure skincare line.
The products are 99 per cent chemical-free, made entirely from plant extracts. “The next batch will be 100 per cent natural,” says Miller. “We’re updating the formulations all the time.” But despite the holistic bent of these products, Miller is keeping prices down.
“We’re aiming for the mass market,” she says. “That’s why I’ve gone for middle of the road pricing – from £3.50 to £4.99.”
Already stocked in Harrods, Fenwicks and health food shops up and down the country, Miller has recently taken on a £0.5m private investment for a minority stake in the business to help achieve greater market penetration.
“Teenagers have £7 a week to spend on beauty products,” says Miller. “The market is worth some £850m. We’re developing a boy’s range and a line of premium spa products to attract a healthy wedge of this spend.”
First year turnover at the company was £150,000. This year will see a seven-fold growth spurt, with revenues hitting the £1m mark. “We’ve been first to market in this niche,” says Miller. “It’s been difficult at times convincing retailers that there’s a gap on their shelves for natural teen products. But it is a sizeable gap and we’re going to fill it.”
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