In August 2013, Arran Aromatics, Scotland’s leading manufacturer of luxury toiletries, lifestyle products and gifts, secured a £2.8m growth capital investment from BGF. This was BGF’s sixth investment in Scotland.
Founded by Janet and Iain Russell in 1988 on the Isle of Arran off the West coast of Scotland, Arran Aromatics has built a brand that is recognised across the world. The performance of the family owned business has fluctuated over the last decade and the company was rescued from the brink of administration in 2009 by independent businessman and turnaround expert, Iain Pittman.
BGF took a minority stake and BGF Investor Duncan Macrae took a seat on the board. Since BGF’s investment, Arran has recruited Jacqui Gale, who was previously chief executive of Crabtree&Evelyn’s business in Europe, Middle East and Africa, as its new chief executive to drive forward the company’s ambitious international growth plans.
Iain Pittman, who has had a long association with the company, has become chairman following the departure of Alastair Kerr. Alastair joined the business as chairman in 2013 when BGF invested in the company and stood down after completing his role to help stabilise the business and lay the foundations for its expansion.
Jacqui studied chemistry at Edinburgh Napier University before joining cosmetics brand Estee Lauder.
Her career has included working with brands such as Lulu Guinness, Pretty Polly lingerie/hosiery and Revlon Cosmetics, as well as driving the European performance of clothing manufacturer Russell Europe prior to its takeover by Fruit of the Loom and leading the growth of clothing distributor, Falk & Ross Group based in Germany.
Iain Pittman began working with the company in 2009 and brought on board BGF to take a minority stake in 2013. The company has annual revenues of around £5m a year, and employs 120 staff on Arran and in its network of ten shops and nine concessions on the UK mainland.
All of its products are still made and hand-finished in Scotland, before being sold in more than 30 countries. The business most recently opened a new store in Edinburgh’s George Street, relocating from a basement space to a prime retail position in the heart of the city’s stylish shopping district.
Arran Aromatics also creates bespoke products for several big-name brands, including Cromlix, Abode Hotels Macdonald Hotels, Cameron House and the DeVere Group.