PURE Spa owner, Becky Woodhouse
PURE Spa is making their ambitious expansion plan a reality, thanks to a £100,000 loan from UMi Debt Finance Scotland under the Scottish Growth Scheme. The Edinburgh spa opened its fragrant doors in Lothian Road in 2002, and now has 12 more locations open across the UK, with more to come.
Alongside the new locations, based mainly in urban centres, owner Becky Woodhouse has also introduced a new range of skincare: “I’m passionate about 100% natural products and sustainability. There wasn’t really anything around at the time, so it made sense to produce our own range.”
PURE currently employees 170 people, with a £5m projected turnover this year, but the road to expansion has required a lot of thinking about the future of the business.
“You need to have a really solid plan behind you,” Becky advised. “It’s key to be really clear about what you’re doing and what your business model is. Whether it’s loan or equity funding, backers need to see what their return is going to be.”
UMi Debt Finance Scotland manages a £12 million loan fund under the Scottish Growth Scheme, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The loans range from £25,000 to £100,000 and can be used for a wide range of purposes including capital investment, exports, innovation and product development.
Becky said a 2018 fundraiser didn’t work as planned: “We weren’t a start-up company so we didn’t attract equity investors; but then UMi got in touch and we secured the growth loan, which directly funded the five new spa locations, product development and the hiring of new staff.”
A huge bonus of the process for Becky was the speed of the decision, and the fact that she felt the UMi Debt Finance Scotland team really understood what she wanted to achieve. PURE Spa plans to open 17 more locations over the next two to three years, while also expanding its range of beauty products and treatments. They are also looking into promoting corporate membership options to allow businesses to invest in the wellbeing of their staff.
Thomas Brock, UMi Debt Finance Scotland Fund Director, said: “PURE Spa is a strong brand that has already had some great successes across the UK. We are very happy to be able to support them with their ambitious growth plans to open further premises and develop sustainable, natural products. We are committed to offer an inclusive loan product and adding another female-led business to our portfolio makes us very proud.”
Becky added: “I think our success has got a lot to do with our culture and focus on excellence. Our clients want to leave us feeling good and amazing, so what we sell is essentially happiness – how great is that for a job.”
To read the full interview with Becky and learn more about the loan fund, click here.
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