The founder of a luxury wellness company says she loves working with the Virgin brand after taking part in a new pop-up shop featuring Virgin StartUp-funded businesses.

Photo of Alexa Mullane at the Curiosity Shop

Alexa Mullane launched Potion London three years ago, selling health and beauty supplements on its website and through retailers Harvey Nichols and Feelunique.

Two years ago, she secured a Start Up Loan from Virgin StartUp to help kickstart the business – and is eternally grateful for the support she received.

Alexa said: “I was already up and running but the loan helped me to properly launch the business and expand my range. I wouldn’t have been able to what I’ve done without the loan.”

Flash forward two years and Alexa is still working with the Virgin brand. At the turn of 2020, she landed two opportunities to help expand the reach of Potion London.

She was one of the first founders to take advantage of the new pop-up Curiosity Shop at Virgin Media’s new headquarters in Reading. Each week, the Curiosity Shop gives a different Virgin StartUp-funded business the chance to occupy the promotional space to sell its wares.

Other businesses to take part in the showcase include Denzel’s, Sipling, Ksoni, Roqberry, Kings and Holy Grail Beauty Company.

“The experience was amazing,” says Alexa. “Everything from organising it with everyone at Virgin StartUp to people telling me where to park at Virgin Media.

“It’s quite a new concept so I was excited to see what it was like. It’s a really good space and for me it was really great to talk to so many people. Most of my business is done online, so I rarely get the chance to speak to people who are buying my product.

“You really can’t beat selling face to face and talking to people about your product. And usually when I get to speak to customers it’s at big exhibition events which costs a lot – this didn’t cost anything.

“I was very happy with the amount of people who bought products, too. Supplements aren’t something you can try and see the benefits straight away, but people were still buying the products and were saying they’d let me know how they got on. I can imagine the space being great for food and drink start-ups.”

In the same month, Alexa also landed the opportunity to be featured on the Virgin Red app, offering customers exclusive discounts to her products and subscriptions.

Alexa added: “It was a separate opportunity but was equally great. It just happened to fall at the same time. It went fabulously well, and again lots of people bought products but also bought into our monthly subscription service, which is excellent.

“All in all, it exceeded my expectations. It was great to get my product in front of so many people. Linking in with the Virgin brand has been a huge success.”

The opportunity to showcase brands in the Curiosity Shop is only open to businesses funded by Virgin StartUp.