Samantha Hunter set up cosmetics distribution business Forever Natural last year, and has since enlisted her father, mother and sister to help her build a business boasting sales now of just under £1 million.
Start-up costs were not a big issue for Hunter. Her father owns several serviced offices and allowed her to backdate payments on space for a couple of desks, while her sister helped out on the orders side and her mother did the accounts – all in return for free products.
Lack of control over distribution has been Hunter’s biggest headache to date. To deal with issues such as damaged stock or the wrong goods being shipped out, Hunter has brought distribution in-house, operating from a warehouse in Marlow. This was a considerable expense but she believes it has been more than compensated for by the increase in sales.
Hunter distributes products such as Urban Spa and Burt’s Bees, where each and every one of the products are edible.
‘We’re changing the way people think about their skin and what they put on it. If you can’t eat it, don’t use it on your skin. Would you eat anything that’s in your bathroom cabinet?’