A multi-award winning Portsmouth entrepreneur says she has doubled her turnover in just one year since taking a manufacturing unit at one of Portsmouth City Council's enterprise centres.
Portsmouth born and bred business woman Samantha Worsey launched natural skincare products manufacturing firm Southsea Bathing Hut from her Portsmouth kitchen table in 2015 after friends suggested that she turn her hobby - a love of soap-making - into a business.
At the end of this month 37-year-old former events manager Samantha will take Southsea Bathing Hut into a new shop at 2c Albert Road, in the shadow of the Kings Theatre.
Samantha is excited to announce that the move will allow her to take on more local staff to add to her current work force of mum Patricia and husband John.
The former St Swithun's School pupil says the success of her start-up business is due in no small part to her decision to take up residence in the council's Portsmouth Enterprise Centre, in Quartremaine Road, in April 2017, when her fledgling business was just two years old.
"We've doubled our turnover since moving to the unit in Portsmouth Enterprise Centre," Samantha said.
"It's really taken off from here - we've been able to attract investment and this unit has been a big reason why the business is doing so well and expanding."
Little did Samantha know when she founded Southsea Bathing Hut that the soap-making industry already had strong historic roots in her beloved home city of Portsmouth harking back to the 17th century when Portsmouth families made soap to sell to the large naval base. Indeed many of the traditional manufacturing techniques that Samantha uses have their origins in that period of the city's proud history.
"I love what I do," Samantha added.
"And the unit we've been using at the council's enterprise centre has helped me to develop that because it has given us a real stamp of professionalism and somewhere to bring suppliers and stockists to discuss how we can work together.
"Since we moved here we've been able to scale-up the operation, buy in bigger bulk to help us achieve better margins on our products and it's given us more storage space as well as extra support from the business community and network that has built up here over the years."
The council helps local businesses to start up and grow in its 36 enterprise and business units at Portsmouth Enterprise Centre as well as in a total of 75 more units at Victory Business Centre, Fratton, and Challenge Enterprise Centre, Hilsea.
Samantha said that before she moved Southsea Bathing Hut to Portsmouth Enterprise Centre she had to store her products in three storage units spread many miles apart and that through her connections at the centre she had been put in touch with the PCMI work placements scheme as well as numerous back-to-work schemes and networking events that will continue to help her business to flourish and help local people to access employment opportunities.
To find out more about Portsmouth Enterprise Centres call 023 9282 6225.