A former jet-setting model who launched an ethical skin care range will be sharing the secrets of her success after clinching a deal to export to Sweden.
George Jones, who was once a star of the fashion catwalks of London, Paris and Milan, will be at Denbighshire County Council’s Open for Business event at Oriel House Hotel, St Asaph, on June 30.
She will tell the fascinating story of how she has grown her Bathing Beauty business from scratch. She will also be a member of a panel of local business owners who will be available for questions and answers.
The Q and A will be chaired by Ashley Rogers, the chair of the North Wales Business Council and Georgina and the others will pass on useful business tips to other potential exporters.
The keynote speaker will be Scottish entrepreneur Fraser Doherty, who set up his successful SuperJam company using his grandmother’s recipes.
The event is part of Denbighshire County Council’s bid to deliver a wider economic strategy for the county that focuses on helping to get more people into work, increasing household incomes and supporting a healthy private sector business community.
Hugh Evans, Lead Member for Economic Development at Denbighshire County Council, believes that Georgina’s success can inspire others to follow her footsteps into the export market.
He said: “Denbighshire is a great place to do business, especially with connectivity to the internet which gives instant access to worldwide markets.”
“As a result, we have exciting and innovative businesses based here and they are growing.”
“Denbighshire County Council is here to support them every step of the way and activities like the Open for Business event are a great way of sharing ideas and finding out about the support that is available.”
From early beginnings selling at artisan markets and country fairs, her skin care range is now flying high, with the National Trust and Royal Horticultural Society numbering among her customers.
One of her products, a unique recipe, Jones the Bones Muscle and Joint Oil, made from cold pressed raw plant materials is the number one seller in its category at RHS Wisley Gardens shop, Surrey.
As part of her mission to “go global”, she has also just dispatched her first pallet of Bathing Beauty’s super natural skincare products to Sweden where high profile operators Alltieko will distribute the line.
The latest prestigious contract has taken George an important step further up the ladder in the competitive world of cosmetics and she is already looking to push further into the Scandinavian market, investigating opportunities in Denmark and Norway.
She said: “I know we have the potential to get into the big league alongside companies like Neal’s Yard and Herbfarmacy. Our products are of equally high standard and we go to great lengths to ensure quality levels are maintained.”
Developing an international reputation, George is happy to be headquartered in Denbighshire which she says is a great place to do business and where local authorities show a real interest in supporting new initiatives.
She runs Bathing Beauty from The Source, a workshop she rents from Denbighshire County Council in Llangyhafal set in the foothills of the Clwydian Range, an Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
She said: “The Source is a converted Victorian cart shed, part of Tŷ Coch Farm. We have taken on the management of the area of grass behind it, digging in herb beds and growing some of our ingredients using some biodynamic principles. It is heaven on earth and the perfect location for my business.”
We’ve also just taken over a small adjoining building which we will convert into a dedicated manufacturing area to cope with the increase in demand.
“Until recently we even labelled every single bottle by hand but we have just been awarded a 50/50 grant from Denbighshire County Council to help us buy a £4,600 labelling machine. That is a huge boost to us. With orders increasing all the time it was becoming far too labour intensive to carry on hand labelling.”
George recommended that all people starting a business in Denbighshire to approach the county council for help in growing their businesses.
She said: “Denbighshire really supports and celebrates its business community. We are blessed with a growing range of innovative and dynamic young businesses in this area and a lot of that is due to the opportunities the council offer. They have been a great support to me. I would not be at the stage I am at now without help.
“It is not just the grants which are available but the expertise and the opportunity to take part in business skills courses.
George was at Denbighshire County Council’s Finance and Funding lunch as part of its March for Business campaign earlier in the year.
She said: “This was much more interesting and relevant to my Bathing Beauty than I expected, I would definitely attend further workshops”.
In addition she has been given support from the Welsh Assembly Government business support team, who helped George plan her export strategy and secure funding for her first international exhibition in Malmo last November.
Leading a three strong team at The Source, Llangyhafal, George has developed a core range of 12 solution based skincare products, all made to her own unique recipes.
George originally started making cosmetics when she was a model based in Milan and Paris shooting campaigns for Emporio Armani and De Beers Diamonds, Her contemporaries were Lisa Snowden and Tess Daley.
George recalled: “This was in the early 90s when the photographers used real film – there was no airbrushing or photoshopping, you were booked to be flawless.
“It was hard to keep stocked up with products, so I started making my own They proved to be the foundations for Bathing Beauty.”
On retiring as a model in 1996, George completed an honours degree in osteopathy and now runs the Well St Clinic in Ruthin with her husband Simeon. Their three children Scarlett 15, Fuchsia 13, Titus 12, were the final catalyst for the range.
She added: “It was finding a natural alternative to traditional eczema based skin treatments for my son that saw the creation of Soothe Body Oil. This oil has gone on to win two industry awards, so I must be doing something right!”.
For more information about the Open for Business event or other local business opportunities contact Denbighshire County Council Economic and Business Development team on 01824 706896, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and click on the hyperlink to see a video of Denbighshire County Council’s Finance and Funding lunch For details of Bathing Beauty products visit http://bathing-beauty.co.uk