An innovative Newcastle company that secured investment through BBC 2’s Dragon Den is aiming to become the world leader in its field after securing a vast array of deals, both in the UK and overseas.
Shampooheads, which manufactures children’s hair care and body wash products, built up its reputation through an exclusive agreement with Boots, but is now forging ahead with new product lines and work with a number of major distributors.
At home, the firm is distributing to 350 independent pharmacies through Alliance Skills in Healthcare, and it products can now be found in around 178 Waitrose stores.
In the last six months, exports have also become a serious focus, with a distributor in Ireland bringing Shampooheads to 175 SuperValu stores and 27 Dunnes outlets.
Further afield, the products are being stocked in Spinneys in Dubai, and will soon appear in 750 Coles supermarkets in Australia.
Gerry Ireland, uncle of Shampooheads’ founder Geoff Bell, also has meetings lined up with other businesses in the country, including the Big W department store.
Markets have likewise opened up in Cyprus and major interest has been expressed in China,
The company, which has also seen interest from retail giant Amazon, will similarly be looking at the American, Canadian and Mexican markets, as well as the likes of Singapore.
“We think we’re going to grow rapidly in the next 12 to 24 months,” Bell said.
“We’re about creating the world’s most successful children’s washing and bathing products, and if we aim high, hopefully we’ll get somewhere near that goal,”
Bell launched Shampooheads following extensive research to identify what both children and parents wanted.
Part of the products’ appeal lies in the characters he based on his own children - Busy Bob, Raging Rosie and Awesome Annie - who form a crucial part of the packaging.
Global recognition for the company was put in motion following an appearance on Dragons’ Den, when it attracted interest from all five Dragons, eventually deciding to work with Theo Paphitis and Hilary Devey, who offered a combined £75,000 investment in exchange for a 10% share in the company each.
Since then, Shampooheads has upgraded its formulas, designed to be gentle on children’s skin, launched a range of bubblebaths and attracted the interest of childcare expert Dr Miriam Stoppard, who has since become its brand ambassador.