Set up in 2008 by the owner, Laura Rudoe, Good Ventures is an ethical product development company, based in St Albans, that specialises in organic beauty products. They design, formulate, manufacture, and distribute two brands, Evolve Beauty and Adaptology. These products are marketed as greener and more natural than other conventional beauty brands. Evolve Beauty was launched in 2009 with a focus on health and green beauty. Adaptology was created in 2021, concentrating on effective products for problem skin.
“Our mission is to create products that make a difference.”
Having initially worked with a small family run laboratory and manufacturing partner, in 2015 all production was brought into the company’s eco studio. Despite a large increase in demand, their products continue to be handmade using the highest grade, cruelty-free, organic, and vegan-friendly ingredients.
There has been rapid growth with the firm going from a staff of three and a turnover of £100,000, to 44 employees and a turnover of £5 million in the last seven years. Good Ventures are entering new markets across the globe, with over half of their sales coming from exports.
With such expansion, it became clear to Laura that continued development could only be sustained through increasing capacity and creating a high-quality user-friendly website that would help customers find exactly what they need.
To achieve this, Good Ventures were able to draw on their strong links with the Hertfordshire Growth Hub. A Growth Account Manager put Laura in contact with a variety of different grant providers and supported them with their applications. Good Ventures initially received a Business Expansion Grant to upscale their production capacity through the purchase of a new ‘vessel’. They then pursued a second grant from the Get Growing 2 (GG2) fund to make improvements to their customer website.
The Get Growing 2 Programme is funded through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)
The purchase of the vessel allowed Good Ventures to increase their batch sizes from 20kg to over 250kg and keep the production of their body lotions and body washes in-house. It also allowed them to reduce their production costs, partially mitigating the impact of recent rises in ingredient costs.
“It has really helped us to stay competitive.”
The £3,000 GG2 funding allowed Good Ventures to enhance their customer user experience. With this funding, the company conducted a website audit of the technical design and user experience. This focused on increasing their ‘visit to sales’ conversion rate, ensuring that the website becomes the ‘best in class’. In a very competitive and crowded beauty care market, Laura knew the importance of having a clear, beautifully designed, user-friendly website.
For Laura, Hertfordshire Growth Hub’s support was vital. She knew that as a small business they did not have the budget available to work with a high-quality website design agency.
“We have been really lucky that over the years we have had a lot of support from the Local Government Agencies and our contact at the Growth Hub has been instrumental in supporting us with accessing grants.”
Laura credits the grant with allowing them to work with a Shopify Plus Partner Agency that had the requisite skills, experience, and knowledge needed to fulfil Good Venture’s website requirements.
For Laura, the website improvement programme, and the grant to improve production capacity through the purchase of the new vessel, have helped underpin the business’ future growth plans. She believes that without the support, Good Ventures would not be in a position to embark on their plans to double their revenue stream over the next few years.
Laura feels that the support from the Get Growing 2 grant, coupled with ongoing advice and guidance from the Growth Hub, Good Ventures now has the foundations for increasing their customer base and expanding further into new markets.
“The website will be a huge growth engine for us over the next few years underpinning our future growth plans.”