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Case Study: Wildacre Cosmetics

Published: October 2014

Large Picture

Steve Richardson and Steve Meredith, Directors of Wildacre

A venture which began as a boutique business is set to scale new heights, having secured a £300,000 Equity Linked investment from Finance Yorkshire.

The Company

Bingley based Wildacre Cosmetics specialises in the contract manufacture of cosmetic and toiletry products, using essential oils and natural ingredients. Every element of the process is completed in-house, meaning total control over design, development and manufacture.

Managing Director Steve Richardson set up the business in a small industrial unit with Steve Meredith, where they developed and produced cosmetic products for three customers. However, what they originally envisaged as a boutique business quickly evolved into something much larger.

The Challenge

The first-year business plan targeted a £250,000 turnover from three clients; first-year actual performance was £375,000 from a client base of eight. In 2011, the operation moved to a commercial base in Yeadon, before moving to its current 11,500 square foot premises the following year.

The business consequently found itself at a crossroads – continue trading as a lifestyle business or seek investment in order to scale up.

Finance Yorkshire Involvement

A £300,000 Equity Linked Investment is allowing Wildacre Cosmetics to recruit key technical, finance and warehouse staff, invest in new machinery and provide working capital.

The Investment Rationale

Finance Yorkshire Investment Director Andrew Burton said: “Wildacre Cosmetics is a great example of a Yorkshire business focused on quality, value and innovation. It spotted a niche in the market and filled it with a full-service offering, providing a one-stop-shop for formulation, manufacture, branding and packaging. We have every confidence that this investment will set the business on the road to real expansion.”

Future expectations

The business has plans to develop its offering beyond cosmetics and is committed to recruiting staff, securing jobs, and continuing to work in close partnership with a growing portfolio of customers.

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Editors Notes…

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