At Heyland and Whittle, we're really proud of our gorgeous range of products. As well as being available through our official site, you've probably also spotted some of our products on sale at certain shops across the UK.
While we have a great customer base right here in Britain, we also want to bring our products to the rest of the world. We're now one step closer to achieving this, as we are happy to announce that our distributor in Taiwan has opened a new store.
Tung Fang Mai (TFM) has offered our range of home fragrances, soaps and cosmetics to their customers in Taiwan for around three years and is now pushing into China with their new shop. All of our products are still handmade and hand-packaged here in the UK before being shipped off for international sale.
We caught up with Yu-Hui Lu from TFM to find out exactly why Heyland and Whittle products are such a good fit for China and Taiwan.
All Heyland and Whittle products that we ship to Taiwan are sold by Espace Beaute, which is a brand under TFM. While this area of the business is reasonably new, TFM has been operating in Taiwan for over 40 years and is still going from strength to strength.
The company operates in two different areas: distributing and retailing lifestyle and cosmetic products, and spa and personal care - meaning it is perfectly placed to bring Heyland and Whittle to the Asian market.
Espace Beaute (EB) has been developed as a one-stop beauty spa, offering a great range of facials, body treatments, makeup services, manicures and pedicures. It opened at one location in 2011, before opening a second in Hong Kong in 2012. A third store opened in the Humble House Hotel in Taipei last year, and now they have a shop in China.
EB have also recently expanded to retail counters in major department stores, with a total of 14 counters in Taiwan and one in Shanghai, offering a range of lifestyle and personal care products.
TFM first saw Heyland and Whittle products in Fortnum and Mason, and was attracted to the bright colours of the packaging as well as the beautiful scents, said Yu-Hui Lu. At the time TFM was looking for an English company that created products using natural ingredients, so Heyland and Whittle seemed like the ideal fit.
According to Yu-Hui Lu, the trend for natural products is particularly prominent in China and Taiwan, with customers choosing products that use natural ingredients and are solvent and paraben-free as they are healthier for the skin, as well as more eco-friendly.
With the trend taking off more and more, TFM believe that Heyland and Whittle is a great brand to launch onto the Asian market. On top of this, TFM also love the fragrances that are available from Heyland and Whittle as the range is so wide and appeals to a wide customer base.
Yu-Hui Lu said "I heard that Paddy and Ursula picked out the fragrances by themselves and each has a story behind it. Also, they have a range called Hope and Glory, which uses the British flag as packaging and it really stands out!"
The Hope and Glory range is a particular favourite of TMF, while Yu-Hui Lu's favourite fragrance is Coconut, Vanilla and Blackpepper.
She would also like to see some new products from Heyland and Whittle, including shampoo bars and body scrubs, not to mention more beautiful fragrances. While we can't promise anything, we are always coming up with new scents and products so watch this space!
As well as selling via trade counters and the one stop spas, TFM also distribute Heyland and Whittle products to hotels in Taipei, meaning you can benefit from our products if you ever visit Taiwan.
Currently, you can find Heyland and Whittle at the Sheraton Hotel, Le Meridian and Humble House Hotel. TFM was keen to push into hotels with Heyland and Whittle as it is a great way to build up the brand in Taiwan. The three hotels that use them so far have had a really positive experience since they swapped from another brand.
While things have been going well with Heyland and Whittle in Taiwan and China, with the brand image being built up by TMF in a tough market - Yu Hui Lu said that how well-known a brand is is a big selling point for their customer base so things are only going to improve - there have been some challenges.
As TMF is based in Taiwan and we have our feet firmly planted in England, the time difference is the smallest challenge.
One thing we have to deal with is the long export time from our factory to TMF's. As our products are natural, they can be affected by things like humidity and temperature, as well as the lengthy transportation time. While this can't be dealt with properly in transit, TMF has installed a cooling system to ensure that once Heyland and Whittle products arrive in Taiwan, they are kept at the optimum temperature.
As well as this, TMF has had a lot of hoops to jump through when it comes to building Heyland and Whittle's brand in China.
Each new brand that is going to be sold in China comes with its own stack of paperwork, which is quite extensive, while each product also requires individual documentation. This means that getting authorised to sell in China takes a lot of effort, can be quite expensive and is incredibly time-consuming.
China's legislation concerning foreign exports also alters constantly, meaning TMF has to keep abreast of everything that is required to sell Heyland and Whittle in China.
TMF is now set to continue pushing our products in Taiwan and China, bringing Heyland and Whittle to even more people. With the company's reputation in these areas and its selectivity when it comes to the brands it distributes, we are looking forward to seeing Heyland and Whittle growing in popularity in the Asian market.