A Lancaster couple are moving their highly successful haircare business out to California to take on the American market.
Scott Michaels’ Hairbond products are now being distributed to 30 countries around the world, and the entrepeneur says the American move could be worth £2m in retail sales per year.
Scott, originally from Lancaster but now living in Hest Bank with his wife Lyndsey, said trade shows in Long Beach, California, had prompted a lot of interest across the pond and has led to the couple deciding to set up an American arm of their Lancaster-based company.
Scott, 33, said: “We launched in America three years ago, but to do the mass market, we’ve had to set up a business over there.
“In America the standard of barbering isn’t that high, so we’ve been out showing different techniques, and I saw the potential of getting into the market.
“We’ve gone from being little Hairbond in Lancaster, and we’re now working with the big boys.
“It’s the only way to do it, we can’t have anyone else in the supply chain if we want to benefit from the larger deals.
“Someone else will be running the UK based operation while we’re over there.”
Scott recently commissioned an advert for 2015 starring Olympic boxing medallist Tony Jeffries, and has also worked with England cricketer James Anderson on promoting and marketing his range of hair products.
Scott said: “We’ve spent a lot of time over there already but this will be that next step up. What’s on the market over there at the moment is mid level, but this is premium British quality. We’re looking to move at the end of this year, with a full scale launch in 2016.”
Hairbond currently operates from Big Storage on the White Lund Industrial Estate, but was originally started in Scott’s garage.
He sold his Penny Street barber shop The Cutting Room to his brother three years ago.
“In total we’re in about 2,000 salons and 300-400 barber shops,” Scott added.
“It’s going really well. People want to look good at the end of the day. We’re shipping the product from Birmingham, and then over to California. It’s expensive to do but it’s the British angle that makes it work.”