Suffolk-based HBD Europe Ltd has taken production of its globally renowned SBC brand in-house in a project part-funded with £120,000 from New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership’s Growing Business Fund.
HBD Europe Ltd was established in 1992 and has been a continuously growing and developing company ever since. HBD is the parent company for SBC; one of the most highly sought-after professional British brands, respected by therapists and celebrated by consumers for maintaining a determined balance between exceptional quality and considered affordability. Now in its 26th year, SBC is sold throughout the UK and internationally, as well as on QVC UK, Italy, Germany and France, Shopping Live Russia and TVSN Australia.
With a growing customer base, SBC’s results driven, affordable products are in demand. To help with this rapid growth, we had an aspiration to take the big step to consider manufacturing our products ourselves. In early 2015, representatives from HBD attended a seminar in Aldeburgh which was presented by Business Shapers. From this seminar, we realised there was an opportunity to receive growth funding which would enable us to build our own manufacturing plant, on site in Needham Market. They helped us to formulate a business plan which we then submitted as an application to the LEP’s Growing Business Fund; a team came to visit us, and after an assessment we were granted the funds we needed.
It has taken 2 years but we have successfully been able to plan and build a manufacturing plant which includes mixing vessels, bottle filling lines and a laboratory, none of which we could have done without the funding we received, as well as the support from our Suffolk Grant Coordinator.
Since the plant has been up and running, we have manufactured 13 brand new skincare products, including 2 inspiring new collections and there are more than 30 new products in the pipeline, which is very exciting for us. One of the new products was a sell-out on QVC UK earlier this month and it’s just been successfully shortlisted in the 2017 Pure Beauty Awards – a first for SBC. We have employed over 50 additional staff throughout the company since the project began over 2 years ago, all of whom are in permanent positions and come from the surrounding villages and towns.
Paul Mason, Founder and Managing Director of HBD, expresses his delight at the recent growth: “In the 50 years I have been running my own business, without doubt, this is the most exciting time I have ever had. The growth of our SBC Skincare Collections in the UK, Europe and around the world is truly staggering. The company is growing at an unprecedented rate, which pays testament to the enthusiasm and dedication of the entire team here at HBD Europe & International.”
Chris Starkie, Managing director of New Anglia LEP, said “The success of SBC is a great example of how growth funding can benefit the economy of the East. Bringing production in-house has improved the company’s resilience as it continues to expand and provide new jobs for local people.”