Cumbria’s PaintGlow targets Middle East expansion after hitting £2m revenue

The Workington-based company directly attributed the revenue growth to an increase in overseas trade.

PaintGlow, established in 2009, makes colour cosmetics such as UV face and body paints, hair gels and hair colour streaks and sells across 78 countries.

Since working with business advisers at the Department for International Trade (DIT) in 2017, PaintGlow has identified opportunities for growth in the Middle East alongside means of expanding in its existing markets.

PaintGlow’s founder and managing director, Lee Dobinson, said: “Today, around 60% of PaintGlow’s sales derive from exporting alone.

“When we started out, we targeted countries and destinations known for their party hotspots, such as Spain and Greece.”

He continued: “However, thanks to customers rating our products on social media, we quickly started to receive orders from other countries around the world.

“We started working with DIT to consolidate this growth and identify new markets. Thanks to this support, we’re now looking to export to the Middle East for the first time.”

In the last 12 months, PaintGlow nabbed a £50k export deal in Germany on the back of a DIT trade mission to Spielwarenmesse, the international toy fair in Nuremberg.

PaintGlow also had the DIT’s support on trade missions to Cosmoprof Bologna in Italy and Cosmoprof Asia, which led to £95k of European trade and £350k from Hong Kong.

Paul Stowers, the DIT’s acting regional director for the North West, commented: “Exports of goods have risen 3.6% to £28.8bn in the North West during 2017 compared to the previous 12 months.

“PaintGlow is a fantastic example of a Cumbrian success story proving companies that export have everything to gain.”

He added: “The business was already a highly experienced exporter but we supported them on trade missions and provided advice helping them target new markets and secure trade wins.”