A King’s Lynn manufacturer of male grooming products has doubled export orders to Australia after attending a trade show in Melbourne, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT).
Captain Fawcett, launched in 2010, makes men’s hair and beard grooming products and fragrances which it sells directly to consumers and trade clients. More than 80% of the company’s sales are overseas, with its products available across 35 markets, such as Italy, Holland and Canada.
The business has boosted its sales to Australia – which has a cosmetics market worth $4.2billion, up 2.3% year on year according to market research company, IBISWorld – after taking part in the largest hairdressing event in the Southern Hemisphere, Hair Expo. It attended the trade show in September 2018 with funding secured through the Department for International Trade (DIT).
At the event, the team from Captain Fawcett was able to network with potential distribution partners and showcase its portfolio of grooming products.
After attending the event, the company’s annual sales to Australia increased from £50,000 to £100,000 thanks to deals secured with distributors. Sales are projected to increase by 50-100% over the coming year.
International Trade Advisers (ITAs) at DIT also helped the business understand regulations governing the sale of cosmetics in Australia and helped to draw up distribution agreements with its new partners.
Following Captain Fawcett’s success in Australia, the business has now set its sights on India, as male grooming grows in popularity across the country.
Richie Finney, founder of Captain Fawcett, said: “There’s no better way to establish trading connections than by meeting potential distributors face-to-face. Much of our international trading has been forged through establishing one on one relationships with our overseas partners. This way, you’re able to quickly identify if a potential partner is the right fit for the business or not.”
“With DIT support, we’ve been able to visit markets such as Australia to raise the profile of our brand, build relationships and increase our market share. If we can do all of this and succeed, so can others.”
“One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to this approach to doing business abroad is arranging the logistics of travelling and ensuring we meet with the right kind of people when we are there. With DIT support, we’ve been able to visit markets such as Australia to raise the profile of our brand, build relationships and increase our market share. If we can do all of this and succeed, so can others.”
Thinley Topden, Head of Region for DIT East of England, said: “Accessing distribution networks in overseas markets can be a significant challenge for local businesses looking to export. Captain Fawcett’s ambition and admirable entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with DIT helping to secure funding for it to attend the Hair Expo, has meant they’ve been able to face those challenges head on.
“DIT offers a range of support to help businesses wherever they may be on their exporting journey. From advice and training, introductions to valuable international contracts or to help with travel funding.
“We have a network of International Trade Advisers based on the ground in the East of England, and we encourage local firms to get in touch.”