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Captain Fawcett of King's Lynn doubles exports to Australia following Hair Expo

By Julie Graham, Business Editor

An award-winning Lynn manufacturer of male grooming products has doubled exports to Australia after attending a trade show in Melbourne, with support from the Department for International Trade.

Captain Fawcett, launched in 2010, makes men’s hair and beard grooming products and fragrances which it sells directly to consumers and trade clients. More than 80 per cent of the company’s sales are overseas, with its products available across 35 markets, such as Italy, Holland and Canada.

Earlier this year it was named Small Business of the Year in the Mayor's Business Awards, when owner Richie Finney won a second award as Business Person of the Year.

Mayor Business Awards at the Corn Exchange..Small Business of the Year Captain Fawcett. (14283771)
Mayor Business Awards at the Corn Exchange..Small Business of the Year Captain Fawcett. (14283771)

Now the business has boosted its sales to Australia after taking part in the largest hairdressing event in the Southern Hemisphere, Hair Expo. It attended the trade show in September 2018 with funding secured through the DIT.

At the event, the team from Captain Fawcett was able to network with potential distribution partners and showcase its portfolio of grooming products.

After attending the event, the company’s annual sales to Australia increased from £50,000 to £100,000 thanks to deals secured with distributors. Sales are projected to increase by 50-100 per cent over the coming year.

One of Captain Fawcett's products, moustache wax (14283853)
One of Captain Fawcett's products, moustache wax (14283853)

International trade advisers at DIT also helped the business understand regulations governing the sale of cosmetics in Australia and helped to draw up distribution agreements with its new partners.

Following Captain Fawcett’s success in Australia, the business has now set its sights on India, as male grooming grows in popularity across the country.

Richie Finney, founder of Captain Fawcett, said: “There’s no better way to establish trading connections than by meeting potential distributors face-to-face.

“Much of our international trading has been forged through establishing one on one relationships with our overseas partners. This way, you’re able to quickly identify if a potential partner is the right fit for the business or not.

“One of the biggest challenges we face when it comes to this approach to doing business abroad is arranging the logistics of travelling and ensuring we meet with the right kind of people when we are there.

"With DIT support, we’ve been able to visit markets such as Australia to raise the profile of our brand, build relationships and increase our market share. If we can do all of this and succeed, so can others.”

Thinley Topden, of DIT for the East of England, said: “Accessing distribution networks in overseas markets can be a significant challenge for local businesses looking to export.

"Captain Fawcett’s ambition and admirable entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with DIT helping to secure funding for it to attend the Hair Expo, has meant they’ve been able to face those challenges head on."

Companies looking for support should call 01707 398 398 or email eastinfo@mobile.trade.gov.uk. They can also visit great.gov.uk, which has information on live export opportunities and includes general information on exporting and events.

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