London: A couple who created a hair-loss shampoo after suffering from the problem themselves and turned it into a £5M business – with one bottle selling every 30 seconds. Matt, 43 and Gail Waterman, 45, from South Yorkshire, were desperate to find a product on the market to address their own thinning hair, and tried a lot of expensive formulas.
When they struggled to find anything that did the trick so decided to come up with their own formula, containing biotin and caffeine – which has since become the best-selling shampoo Watermans, which is on track to turn over £5M this year.
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The couple’s success is a far cry from Matt’s ‘really poor’ upbringing, on what he describes as ‘one of the worst council estates’ in Newcastle. ‘My mother was an alcoholic and we often had not electricity and no heating at home,’ he explained. ‘I couldn’t even afford a loaf of bread for long period times.
‘I went to live with my grandparents when I was 16 and they put me through college. I moved away to Yorkshire when I was in my early twenties to start afresh.’
He continued: ‘A lot of people turn to crime in those situations. But you just need to remind yourself that your background does not define what you are, or what you’re going to do with your life.’
‘I saved money by doing marketing for companies and eventually became the marketing manager of Dating.com with a salary of £35,000 a year, before launching the business with Gail.’
‘We just created our products to start off with for my benefit but because it was so effective, we decided to pass it on to other people who had hair loss problems with no success,’ said Gail, who was working as a hairdresser at the time.
‘We both saved money from savings and made our first 5,000 bottles of shampoo and put them for sale on Amazon.’ She continued: ‘Three months later, they were already out of stock and now our products are so popular one tube is purchased every 30 seconds.