Client of the Month

Client of the Month: Essential Care

13 Jan 2014

To celebrate the New Year and our range of diverse and inspiring clients we are proud to present a new Client of the Month feature to our blog.

Here’s why the Essential Care rock our world...

With a surname like Weeds, it’s true to say that this is a family that has deep botanical roots.

But when daughter Abi was just seven and mother Margaret was concocting herbal remedies in the kitchen, little did they know what would be brewing in the future...

Some 15 years afterwards, Abi was in her mid-twenties and on placement at a Management Consultancy firm in downtown Boston.

It could have been the gruelling schedule, late nights and prolonged time in a sterile air conditioned office that caused Abi to develop eczema, a skin condition that she suffered as a child and one that not even doctors could cure. In fact the only products that had ever successfully alleviated the symptoms were her Mum’s home grown potions.

At that moment in Downton Boston and 5,000 miles from home, Abi needed a dose pronto. And in the same instant Essential Care was born.

In the beginning

What Abi found in 2003 when she began researching the cosmetics market was that the industry was just beginning to dabble in organic products. She noticed that most products claiming to be “organic” were really traditional cosmetics with a few herbal extracts mixed in.

What the market lacked was a product that was independently certified as 100% natural and organic.

A genuinely differentiated unique selling point can often be elusive for start-up businesses and even once a gap in the market has been discovered, a product then has to a be developed to cater for it.

But in the Essential Care story Abi already had a good product to take to consumers who had until this point been deprived of certified organic skin care.

Solving the certification issue was achieved by getting in touch with the Soil Foundation. They offered a route to organic accreditation and 10 years on still certify all of Essential Care products.

Blood, sweat and tears

Many of our entrepreneurial clients tell us that it is much easier to have a great idea than to make it happen.

And this was true in Abi’s case too. “It took us a long time to develop really great products, and then even longer to get the word out there. There were a lot of late nights, 100 hour weeks and product challenges before we finally saw sales picking up.”

Big break

In 2004 and 2005 growth continued gradually. The small Essential Care team attended trade shows to showcase their product with the objective of getting some good PR.

The approach worked as Abi explains, “A small mention in an ‘A-Z of the Best Natural Products’, was enough to set the telephone ringing. After that things started to change.”

This was followed by an article in the Guardian at which point the flood gates opened.

Alongside this great PR Abi ran a really effective social media campaign with high levels of engagement with her current and potential customers. Essential Care now have over 3,000 followers across Facebook and Twitter.

Competitor collaboration

Essential Care have established themselves has an ethical player in the organic cosmetics game with their honest, certified products and their unique “love don’t fight” approach to competitors.

“We talk to our competitors a lot. We work together to strengthen the industry for better legislation which helps us all.”

No place for complacency

Essential Care has built a reputation as a niche organics brand that listens to its customers.

But Abi points out that it’s not enough to rely on a loyal client base – innovation is key to the continued success of the business.

As a result Essential Care has just launched another range of products; Odylique by Essential Care.

Early indications are that Odylique will be a huge success. In the month since it has launched, Essential Care has reported the best monthly numbers since it’s foundation.

And with the organic cosmetics market set to grow at nearly 10% per annum for the next six years, continued growth at Essential Care seems like a racing certainty. And at Accounts and Legal we’re proud to be playing a small part in Abi’s success.

Keir Wright-Whyte

photo

Managing Director

0207 043 4000

About the author

Originally graduating with a degree in geography from Edinburgh University, Keir claims that he was then tricked into becoming an accountant by one of the UK's top 5 accountancy practices.The deception extended to the usual training in audit and associated activities.

Keir subsequently worked in a number of advisory roles with clients including in the energy trading, pharmaceuticals and financial services sectors.

He loves working at Accounts & Legal because of the variety of work and clients, the excellent team ethos and morale, the importance placed on genuinely helping and being useful for clients and because he believes what he does matters to clients and helps the firm.

Keir's primary role is to ensure that new clients with complex businesses or needs are on-boarded in the best way and he is a "trouble shooter" both for clients and where complex issues arise internally. He also helps the accounting teams strive to improve what we do for clients, whether processes or services.

When not debiting or crediting, Keir has a penchant for fixing old buildings, skiing, surfing and cycling.

  

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