It's really important to us that you know who we are, where we came from and what it is we do here in Lichfield. So here's our story.
Tash (Natasha when in trouble or when her Mum or Nan used to call her) is where it all started.
Tash trained and qualified as a Beauty Therapist at Cannock College straight after leaving school at 16. Tash trained for 2 years before her first job at the House of Minster in Lichfield. She worked there for 9 years and pefected her skills in all elements of Beauty Therapy. Tash is one of those lucky people who not only loves what she does, but she's also really good at it and that shows with the level of loyalty her clients showed to her year after year.
Our Son Henry was born in 2002 and the following year in March 2003 Tash took the opportunity to open her own small - but perfectly formed - Treatment Room at the Lichfield Health and Fitness Club. Tash went from success to success and continued to build a very loyal following of clients.
I get asked loads and loads "why did you start Pure Beauty Online?" and I'm afraid the explanation is not only dull but a bit weird too.
I used to be a Chef a long time ago, but I secretly wanted to be a Computer Programmer. I convinced a Company near Oxford to give me a job and I loved it and I did that for a long time - until one day I wondered how these websites take money (technical aspects you understand) and how it get's into your bank. So whilst looking into this and learning about Merchant Banks and Payment Gateways and Cart Software I found myself sitting in my loft office at home and setting it up. Basically a technical exercise resulted in our online business.
Tash was still operating her Treatment Room and I started selling Dermalogica from my loft office and then the spare room and then the extension on the back of the house and then finally we bought it all together at Porchways House in Lichfield
We're very proud of our Salon. A 3 story Georgian Building in Lichfield which not only did we refurbish but we ended up rebuilding. We have 5 Treatment Rooms and a room where we pack and send all of our customers' orders.
We are not a multinational. We're not a massive company with a warehouse, and robots that pack the orders. We are never, ever going to fly your order to you in a drone and we will never be able to offer same day delivery.
(This next bit is a dig at those massive companies that sell billions and then tell everyone how good they are for payinga few million in tax to the Government). We operate our business from Lichfield. We are registered in the UK. We pay Business rates to Lichfield District Council. We pay VAT and Corporation Tax and we contribute towards the National Insurance and Pensions of the people that work for us.
We will always answer our phone (or call you back if we're busy on the phone!). We will always answer your emails and not promise to get back to you within 48 hours (who does that by the way? It's just lazy and shows that they really can't be bothered!) - we generally respond with an hour or two. Sometimes within miniutes.
There are fewer than 10 of us who work here. Tash and me, a team of 4 Front of House Staff who answer the phones, answer emails, take orders, pack and send orders and look after our Salon Clients, and then we have 3 Therapists - and that's it.
Generally I find that people want to support small businesses nowadays and that their story is an important way of letting them into that and enabling them to share it. Our customers want to be part of that and our customers are the most important thing to us.
That sounds trite and I understand that - but to us, and most other small businesses, it is not only true but it is vital. We have no real room for manouver as a small business. The margins are low and the costs are high. We do not have a large corporate team to ensure everything gets done - we have to do it all ourselves, so each and every customer and each and every order they place with us is critical and genueinly means everything.