Two entrepreneurs who impressed TV’s Dragons’ Den judges have seen exports from their Peterborough-based vegan haircare business soar.
Denis Kovalyov and Rob Forgione, who run My.Haircare, secured £80,000 investment from Dragons’ Den’s Taj Lalvani, the chief executive of vitamin company Vitabiotics, earlier this year.
Since their TV success and with advice from the Department for International Trade (DIT), they say exports of their vegan haircare brand My. now make up 50 per cent of total sales and can be found in 12 countries across Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Australia.
The pair set up the business two years ago after spotting a gap in the market for vegan, ‘free from’ hair colour enhancement that the consumer can use while washing their hair.
Mr Forgione said: “This year has been huge for us as a business. We’ve gone from being a small start-up to a global brand.
“We knew that the US was a key target market for us as there is growing demand for high quality, cruelty-free beauty products in the country, and teaming up with DIT helped us to tap into this.
“If we can have success and see our products on shelves in Australia, Singapore and the US, so can other East of England beauty brands.”
Kevan Reade, international trade adviser at the Department for International Trade, said: “Rob and Denis quickly saw that there was growing demand for vegan beauty products internationally.
“Their product is well branded and has generated lots of buzz in the US and Australia.”
“We’ve helped the business to establish a clear and effective export strategy using distributors and e-commerce sites. International orders now make up 50 per cent of the firm’s sales which is a great achievement.”