A father and son who founded a business selling ethical male grooming products are taking their brand to new markets with advice and financial backing from NatWest.
Mark Grogan and his son Alex founded ManCave Inc two years ago at the height of the recession, but waited for economic conditions to improve before launching their products.
The company, based in Derby, produces men's moisturiser, shower gel, shampoo and other products from natural ingredients. It quickly gained a foothold in the UK market, winning a contract to supply its products exclusively to Sainsbury’s. Since November, ManCave has also been selling its range through its website, securing orders from the UK, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic and Greece.
Understanding the business model
Despite their initial success, Mark and Alex needed funding to take their business to the next level and expand their presence overseas. NatWest Business Development Director Mark Tunley has provided the Grogans, who have a 15-year relationship with the bank, with advice and financial backing to help their business grow.
Mark Grogan said: "We’ve worked with NatWest through another family enterprise. We chose the bank because they spent time understanding the business model and showed a genuine interest and confidence in our brand. Mark Tunley had great advice and shared his experience in retail finance solutions."
Compete with larger companies
ManCave believes its products fill a gap in the market because they are made from natural ingredients and that although the grooming products industry is a competitive market, the size of their firm is not a barrier to success. Mark Grogan said: "As a small business, we have the flexibility to adapt to emerging trends and the quickly changing men’s grooming market, meaning we can compete with larger companies."
The funding from NatWest will now allow ManCave to develop four new products, begin exporting and extend its online store to the potentially lucrative US market.