It is hard to believe where the time has gone. I started 10 years ago in an office I borrowed above my wife’s shop and a makeshift lab in a former photography studio without running water. Since then I’ve hired a team, moved into premises where I could fit out a lab how I wanted it and hired a team – there are now 5 of us working together.
When I started I had no idea what would work and so offered the full range of things I know about. I was trying to see if there was a market for either regulatory support, things like safety assessments and claims reviews, or for direct product development. I didn’t know at the time if there was enough demand for either, or how I’d find people who wanted them.
In the event, it turned out that there was lots of interest in both of them, and that word soon got around of what I was offering. It wasn’t plain sailing, and I made plenty of mistakes. One of my first discoveries was that there is rather a lot you need to learn when you start a business. A lot needs to be done as well. But the clients continued to come, and most have kept coming back. So I have been able to take on some people to work with and expand into new premises. It’s been quite a journey.
I discovered that the cosmetic business is a lot bigger than I realised. There are people and companies everywhere doing all sorts of things I had no idea about. Even today, I am still regularly amazed by how diverse are the product ideas that people come up with. It’s been really interesting, and I have really enjoyed meeting so many diverse people.
I’m looking forward to the next 10 years.