It's been a wild ride from day one to the present day, six years on. Swipe through our brand timeline and join us on this topsy turvy journey!
BUT FIRST, COFFEE
What better place to test our coffee-based skincare concept than the London Coffee Festival?
The scrubs flew out the door – whoosh! We came, we scrubbed,we conquered. Maybe, just maybe, we were on to something.
It was time to take the leap…the UpCircle sibling co-founders Will and Anna quit their jobs and risked it all to nurture their by-product beauty baby!
Geographical boundaries. Who needs them? Not us. We hopped our scrubs over the channel and secured distribution in not 1, not 4, not 6 but 8 European countries over the next 6 months. To meet our ever-growing list of retailers (including online giant Beauty Bay) the coffee shop portfolio had to expand. By the end of 2017 we are regularly collecting coffee grounds from 100 artisan coffee shops.
INTO THE DEN
The co-founding siblings take their chances against the Dragons…and walk away victorious. The duo received investment offers from 3 dragons and agreed a deal with Touker and Tej.
As our product ranges expand we take the opportunity to unify the brand, unveiling a fresh new look and name. Our circular economy mission is now front and centre: we’re ready for world domination.
WHERE ARE YOU NOT STOCKED?
A panel of Sainsbury’s buyers listen to fast-paced pitches from six beauty brands shortlisted from over 60 companies. UpCircle is chosen as a winner! We make plans to roll our products out in stores later in the year. Just seven months after rebranding we launch our full UpCircle range into the UK’s leading health retailer – Holland & Barrett. Online, we’re taken on by Ocado and Feel Unique and Look Fantastic.
The world is hit by a pandemic that no one could have predicted. Our office is back to a team of two, and we pivot our product offering with the release of a brand-new hand + body wash. As we navigate the many challenges that 2020 throws at us, we decide to bring in some new team members to assist! All via Zoom interviews we grow from a team of three to a team of eight between April and June. We release THREE brand new products featuring FIVE repurposed ingredients! We’re back on Zoom for a virtual press launch!
CIRCULAR PACKAGING TOO
April saw two major highs for UpCircle! We launched our Refill Scheme helping us close the loop (or, as we prefer, circle) on packaging. Anna is honoured in Forbes 30 Under 30, a truly deserved award for one of our co-founders. In May we took our website overseas and launched our EU website! We’re thrilled to share the UpCircle mission with even more of you. This was a huge help in navigating some of the post Brexit complications too.
BACK OUT INTO THE WORLD
As people returned to work and started to travel again, mini versions of our products became necessary to support consumers on the go. We created a travel-sized product range of the products we consider on-the-go necessities. This range expansion also doubled up as a “try before you buy” range at a lower cost. We also launched our very first out of home campaign which saw our Serum proudly displayed in bus stops all over the UK.
As part of our ongoing efforts to improve profitability, as well as our carbon footprint, we are also starting limited local manufacturing in the US of some our best-sellers. By this stage, UpCircle is available in America in JCPenney, Whole Foods, Credo, Natural Grocers and even online with Walmart marketplace! To top it off, before Christmas we find out that we’ve won the US CEW Award for sustainability excellence – Anna’s acceptance video is shown to a packed hall in New York!
SMOOTH OPERATORS NOW
For the first time in seven years we are actually ready for “Christmas in July” – the deadline for getting festive launches ready for press! We finalise the formulation for our Conditioner Crème and artworks are created for a Christmas bauble and cracker! Our Shampoo Crème steals the best-seller spot from our Face Oil – the first product to do so in five years!
SCOOPING UP AWARDS
Our Hand Cream is selected as a finalist in the CEW beauty awards and our shampoo wins Top Sante’s best shampoo for afro / textured hair in their haircare awards! We’re also listed as a top 20 company to work for out of 14000 applications and are shortlisted in the SKY zero footprint fund. Time to make our first television commercial – eek!!