Cheltenham skincare brand goes international with HSBC UK support

Export | Funding | Retail | South West

A Cheltenham-based men’s skincare brand has used a £1.3m finance package from HSBC UK and a private investor to reach new international markets.

Hawkins & Brimble, which supplies a range of male grooming products online and in major retailers across the UK, will use the funding to enter new markets across the USA, China, Australia and the Middle East. The business also plans to use the funding to support the future development of new products which will be produced in the UK.

Entrepreneur Stephen Shortt, who has more than 25 years’ experience in the health and beauty industry, founded Hawkins & Brimble in 2016 in pursuit of natural skincare solutions for men with sensitive skin. By venturing into new international markets, the business is expected to increase its turnover from £3m to £5m in the next 12 months.

Stephen Shortt, CEO of Hawkins & Brimble, said: “I founded Hawkins & Brimble because I wanted to empower men who are passionate about grooming – and there was a definite lack of affordable yet sophisticated products for this audience being stocked by national mainstream retailers. Following the success of the launch of the business in the UK, I saw fantastic potential in the global market and have been delighted to receive the backing of HSBC UK, including my relationship manager Joel Dunning, to help me achieve these goals. As a result, the company is set to show very impressive growth this year.”

David Butler, HSBC UK Business Banking Director for Bristol, Gloucestershire & Wiltshire, said: “Hawkins & Brimble is an inspiring British brand which has tapped into growing demand for men’s grooming products. As an innovative and hardworking entrepreneur, we’re incredibly supportive of Stephen’s ambitions to take his products worldwide and have created a tailored finance package which have enabled him to operate on this scale. This included setting up a separate banking facility in the USA to enable the business to grow internationally. We’re looking forward to watching the brand continue to go from strength-to-strength as it expands globally.”

Stocked in over 3,000 UK stores and inspired by vintage barbering rituals, Hawkins & Brimble has worked with barbers across the country to develop a sophisticated range of male grooming products made with natural ingredients, from beard oil to energising eye cream.

The funding package from HSBC UK was allocated from the bank’s £550m SME Fund which supports SMEs across Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

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