Multi-award winning, Maldon based cosmetics company SKN-RG first came into contact with the Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) after being runners-up in the One Competition in 2014. At that time the competition chair pointed them in the direction of Graham Broughton, one of the experienced private sector mentors for the Essex Innovation Programme. Deborah and Robert initially needed help with marketing and engaging at executive level to promote sales of new products, so applied to join the programme.
Benefitting from private sector business mentor support
Following a meeting with the EIP team to further assess their needs it was clear that Graham was the most suitable mentor, having completed a management traineeship in marketing with Unilever and subsequently going on to become the International Marketing manager for Panasonic. He immediately understood the landscape and support required, and soon set to work to provide focus and establish goals for the company.
Initially hesitant whether the Essex Innovation Programme was right for SKN-RG at that particular stage of the business due the time and effort required, both Deborah and Robert agree that what they have gained in experience has saved them money in the long run. Whilst they were challenged and sometimes pushed out of their comfort zone during their time on the EIP programme, they felt supported during an important, even essential journey to achieve the growth they wanted.
"Graham gave us the benefit of his experience during the programme, which put us ahead of where we would have otherwise been, he understood and substantiated our innovation credentials and gave us the confidence to get our message across”.
Deborah Scott, Co-Founder, SKN-RG
Originally starting out making natural cosmetics from beeswax and honey, Robert and Deborah are now instrumental in raising the bar in organic skin care, reporting March 2017 as their best month to date.
Sourcing certified natural ingredients is not without its challenges but they draw on their strong ethics of “location being key” and their proximity to the beautiful Essex countryside and the Blackwater Estuary to give endless inspiration to ‘skin’s energy’.
"Being product led has enabled sustainable growth."
Robert Scott, Co-Founder, SKN-RG
Many of SKN-RG’s sales are directly to high end specialist spas and unique department stores where the lower volume has enabled all elements of the business to be developed together. Now selling in independent stores Rutherfords of Morpeth, Sandersons Boutique Store, Sheffield and the Hale Clinic in London’s Marylebone, SKN-RG are putting themselves firmly on the map, and not just in the UK.
Approaching the export market
With a big swing towards the popularity of British skin care, particularly in the organic field, consumers are getting the confidence to purchase quality products from overseas and exporting is becoming a growing area for SKN-RG.
Following Graham’s introduction of the company to Martin Kaczmareck, Department of International Trade, the couple are now exporting to Finland, Sweden and Singapore, working with distributors in Europe and Taiwan, and have significant interest from Lithuania.
The fast paced growth the company has achieved has resulted in them being given the accolade of being one of the Essex Innovation50 companies. In addition to their Essex based success they have also received over 18 major international awards.
The sustained growth and popularity of SKN-RG’s ethically produced natural cosmetics are rapidly leading Deborah and Robert towards their biggest challenge yet, the decision on how to up-scale their operation yet carefully maintain the unique quality and integrity of producing performance skin care. Whatever they decide to do and however they choose to do it the Essex Innovation Programme will not be far away, ready to guide and support them through to the next phase.
For more info visit www.skn-rg.com