Melanie Brownlow, Managing Director at HotHouse, tells about their journey to winning a Queen's Award.
HotHouse creates, develops and manufactures its own brands of personal care and beauty products in the UK for the retail and online sector, at home as well as internationally. HotHouse was started in 2007 by experienced sales & marketing professionals, with the idea to create British Brands, all with UK manufactured products. HotHouse is most famous for its self tan brand St Moriz, along with children’s bath time toiletries Kids Crazy Stuff, as well as haircare brands ColourVibe & Shades (London) and Asper & Jones English toiletries.
Applying for the award
The Queens Award was always something I wanted to achieve having seen other brands win this prestigious award. It was more about timing as to whether we should apply as I wanted to ensure we won! With our International business going from strength to strength year on year it was important we applied for the International Trade award. We were also confident that having the award and being able to promote this on all our products would help us build more business in new markets.
Winning the Award
We were so excited about the pending winners announcement that I was checking daily to see if we had received anything from the Queen's Awards Office. It was later one Friday evening when the email came through. I was ecstatic. Clearly, as you can’t share the good news with everyone, it was a tough secret to keep, but when the embargo passed, the whole company was brought into the office for a champagne reception! Everyone was delighted and with business going well all round, it was fantastic to share that the whole business had been recognised for all the hard work that goes into achieving such an award.
Obviously, the reception at Buckingham Palace is an experience no one can forget, but what an unbelievably proud moment when it sinks in that you are there because of what you and the business has achieved! We will also hold a full day of celebrations with all staff and family when we open a further facility and when we receive the award from our local Lord Lieutenant.
What the award means for our business
The award is a truly remarkable achievement and shows our current and prospect customers the quality our business can offer. We are a proud British manufacturer, and the UK heritage of quality really means something to our UK and International customers. We share the experience and the value the award brings in every customer presentation which always raises eyebrows and it also allows them to sell our products in their markets with confidence
Why should you apply?
I would encourage any business to strive for this award, even if you don’t succeed first time. This award really sets you apart from other businesses and shows the market in which you operate that you are a recognised business of excellence!