1.Explain your business in thirty seconds or less

L’aneva is a capsule collection of high-performance skincare, created with the today’s woman in mind. Born from a desire for clean, honest and affordable quality skincare, real results and sensorial indulgence, each formula has been handcrafted using potent bioactive ingredients to deliver strength, health and vitality to your skin, nurturing radiance from within, bringing relief and repair from the modern world.

Whether used alone or blended for a bespoke skin solution, the moreish textures and heavenly scents cocoon your skin, delivering a moment of serenity to begin and end your day.

2. Where are you based and why is it a good location for your business?

Our products are available to buy online at www.lanevapureskincare.com giving people the option to browse and purchase from our website at any time, enabling us to take advantage of international markets and trends in online traffic purchase activity, outside of “opening hours”. This online presence is representative of the modern beauty consumer who’s shopping habits are not restricted to the 9-5.30 and indeed caters to the understanding that she may be balancing many responsibilities and roles in life that may not accommodate traditional retail shopping patterns.

3. How did you come up with the idea?

I’m a professional, a wife and a Mother. The epitome of the modern woman.

A few years ago I looked in the mirror and that glow that seemed infinite was becoming increasingly elusive. That moment of self-awareness shifted something within me, I had my light-bulb moment. I wanted to reset the balance within my skin, regain control of my skin health.

Intensifying the juggle, I decided to study organic skin science while also teaching and bringing up my girls. While completing my courses, I became increasingly conscious of what I was exposing my skin to every day and the complexity of the choices for women today and in the future.

I wanted to strip away the complexity, simplify the experience and empower women to reveal their optimum skin vitality. There is so much noise, so many impossible images of beauty, regimes that our busy lives simply won’t accommodate in reality, I wanted something simple, honest and high-performance.

So, L’aneva was born…created to epitomise the uniqueness of each woman, to celebrate all things beautiful, smart, sensitive, kind. Steeped in meaning and also blending our family names, Louise, Ava and Sienna.

4. What stage was your business at when you applied for the Start Up Loan?

We were quite advanced in terms of having our formulations confirmed, website built and designs we wanted to work with.  We managed to fund this ourselves for the first two years but then got to a stage where we needed more investment in order to get the beauty experts to work with us on developing our ideas and moving the brand forward.

5. How have you used it to grow your business?

It has allowed us to take the business to the next level by securing a mentoring programme with The Red Tree who is a leading international beauty brand consultancy with a proven track record in building businesses, brands and people.  They are supporting us with fine-tuning the branding and packaging, understand pricing strategies and strategic action planning to launch the brand around September 2018.  The mentoring programme has also opened up an array of opportunities to work with other experts in the beauty industry such as Fresh Beauty Solutions and Fresh Start Creative.  This has been an amazing opportunity to meet others who share the same passion and to take the brand to the next level and we are excited for the future.

6. Who is your mentor and how have they helped you?

Virgin StartUp has found a perfect match for me who is now supporting us with our social media strategy. Her name is Helen Pinnock and she is the founder of The Welbeing Clinic.  She has given us a really useful exercise to help us focus on understanding the target market to help give us a clear direction to steer our social media marketing in.  We have had a monthly phone call and skype conversations so far and have also emailed information between us both which has fitted in well with our hectic schedules.  She is incredibly supportive and has been in our shoes before so knows the journey we have to make. 

7. Who is your regional delivery partner and how did they help you get a Virgin StartUp Loan?

Airedale Enterprise Services. They have been really supportive in helping us to focus on our cashflow forecast and understanding start-up costs, running costs and profit and loss.  They helped us to plan a three-year forecast to build up the brand and develop it further considering all other associated costs involved in growing and most of all being realistic with our projections rather than too ambitious.  

8. Biggest achievement so far?

Our biggest achievement to date is the fact that we can say we have formulated all of the products ourselves from scratch over a two year period and have had these pass the safety and challenging testing for consumer purchase and use.  We have been able to learn about formulating correctly working with correct limits of ingredients, working with consistencies and most of all learning about all the wonderful natural ingredients that are out there and the benefits they can provide to our skin.

9. What’s next for your business?

There are lots of exciting plans scheduled over the next few months and into the next year such as finalising designs, manufacturing, photography, PR and a huge focus on spreading online presence through social media, website and partnerships with online beauty e-retailers.

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