Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Hampshire beauty therapist launches new collagen supplement

Hampshire beauty therapist Lynne Baker from Calla Salon has seen five years of hard work and investment come to fruition this month as her new collagen supplement drink has been launched onto the market.

Lynne, who also set up retail and trade beauty therapist business Calla Distribution, is so well regarded in the beauty industry that she’s often known as “Lynne the Skin”. She is also a former registered nurse who came up with the idea for a new high-potency supplement drink called Calla-Coll when faced with pain and additional problems caused by osteoarthritis.

Looking for alternatives to surgery with which to help the joint pain, she searched for a natural product that would help and hit upon the idea of a collagen supplement. After extensive research and clinical trials into the benefits of collagen on the body, she started to formulate the high-potency drink with the help of a specialist lab in Sweden using bovine collagen.

Containing award-winning Pure Peptide and Hyaluronic Acid, Calla-Coll’s ingredients also include 10,000mg of Type I and Type III collagen plus Vitamin C, Vitamins B5, B6, B7 and B12, Copper Gluconate, and Silica. Just 25ml a day can help give the body a wide range of health benefits including:

• Boosting natural collagen production
• Promoting smoother, plumper, brighter skin
• Strengthening hair and nails
• Reducing joint pain associated with arthritis
• Increasing joint mobility
• Helping with healing

Lynne said: “Once you reach the age of 20, the body’s natural collagen production begins to slow down, resulting in lines and wrinkles and wear and tear on the entire body.

“Most of the time, skincare is limited by the fact that there is only so much it can do when applied to the outside of the skin. It can only really be at its most effective when it can start work from the inside.

She added: “We’re all living longer, but that’s no good if you’re ageing badly. It struck me that we need to take more preventative measures to help our health, rather than waiting until things start to hurt.

“I wanted to create something that would mean that people could stop taking painkillers and anti-inflammatories and to help people to repair the body. I researched what happens to skin when it ages and it was evident that helping the production of collagen would help. It’s everywhere in your body; it’s the ‘scaffolding’ that holds your body together – it’s not found in plants.”
Calla-Coll has a pleasant berry taste and can be either taken on its own or added to a smoothie to help with the body’s production of collagen. She added: “People don’t want to take tablets or have to spend time mixing powder with water. I wanted it to be simple and pleasant, plus to ensure that the bottles are as ecologically sound as possible.”

The product launch sees a dream come true for Lynne who knew from a young age that she wanted to be a beauty therapist but had successful careers in both nursing and IT before she launched Calla Salon in 2008.

It’s now available online or from selected beauty salons, hair salons, osteopaths, personal trainers, and nutritional therapists Since its launch, it’s already proved popular among beauty experts and exceeds all European and Swedish standards. The collagen is also sourced from organic, free range, grass fed, and non-GMO cows. Early anecdotal evidence has shown that the product can help the health of gums, nails and hair, reducing blood sugars, as well as general health.

*Are you a journalist or blogger who would like to try and review? Tweet @margaretmcdpr or email magatha28 at hotmail dot com*

Monday, 18 December 2017

British manufacturing piece in YOU magazine

We were delighted to have helped get one of our clients into YOU magazine last weekend when they ran a piece on artisan producers.

You can read the piece here:

Thursday, 30 November 2017

How to choose a PR firm

We’ve had some really exciting PR workshops in the last couple of weeks helping people to come up with ideas for 2018 on how to promote their businesses.

So if we’re showing people how to do PR, why are we also recommending that it’s a good idea to hire a PR firm?

Well, it’s a huge time-saving if you can get a professional to help you. They know what kind of stories to look for, what to ask you, which publications to place it in and hopefully can write it quickly with fewer mistakes. They know the industry so have good contacts. And a journalist can spot a professional from an amateur release within seconds, which could mean the difference between publication and hitting ‘delete’.

In reality, while you could write a release and send it out, it’s one of those things you can delegate if you have the right PR person in place, freeing you up to spend time running the business. After all, that’s probably what you’re best at!

So now it comes down to choosing the right PR person. It’s a huge decision and can be game-changing for your business.
It’s an important decision and a huge investment of time, money and reputation.

Here are some ways to think about:

1. Keep an eye on the media to see which company names keep popping up in print. If there’s some PR coverage and ideas you like, why not find out who they use?
2. Think about budget. Larger, international agencies have great contacts, resources and impressive offices, but can cost literally thousands of pounds a month. Alternatively, very small agencies tend to be run by former journalists who really understand the press. They often work from a kitchen table or shed and have lower overheads.
3. What are your customers reading? Does your PR person have contacts there? Have they had pieces published there before?
4. Do they understand your business sector?
5. Do you get on? Are you happy for them to call you to ask strange questions? With so much riding on PR, the relationship can be stressful, so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get on, but can you work together? The better your relationship, the easier it is for your PR person to understand what you want and get the right coverage for your business.
6. Do they promise the world in an attempt to win business?
7. Are there lots of hidden costs or a simple fee structure?

It’s not easy, but once you’ve found the right firm, great things can happen!

Thursday, 26 October 2017

But why should you do PR?

If you're a small business, it can be time-consuming and expensive to get your name in front of prospective customers.

That's why getting positive press coverage is an affordable and effective option compared to activities such as advertising, sponsorship and marketing.

Often, people say that they don't have a good story or that the press aren't interested, but actually small businesses have a huge advantage compared to larger corporates. They tend to be of more interest to journalists because they have better backstories, or are family-run or do things that are interesting. Perhaps they use an old family recipe or bring their product to market in an innovative way. Sometimes the founder found themselves unfulfilled by corporate life and so now has an inspiring work-life balance.

Press coverage is cost effective too. You can put aside some time to do it yourself or you can find a PR pro or agency to do it for you (I'll be talking next month in my blog about ways of finding a PR person who is a good fit for your business). A piece in a newspaper or online tends to stick around, meaning that people are still reading it and finding you months or even years after publication.

The other positive about PR is credibility. You can tell people all you like that you're the best in the business, but potential customers really want to hear this from a third party. And what better endorsement for you than a positive piece from a journalists on your business, product or service.

If you're local to West Berkshire and would like to give your PR a kickstart, then check out the following two workshops:

Fri, 3rd Nov
PR brainstorming session in Hungerford (address on booking)
Just £16.52

Wed, 8th Nov
How to write a press release:

Friday, 15 September 2017

New patron for West Berkshire Mencap

West Berkshire Mencap has announced its newest charity patron – Josh Dugdale.

The filmmaker and owner of the Wasing Estate joins a list of famous patrons including actor Lorraine Chase and celebrity chef Daniel Galmiche who support the charity and raise awareness of the work it does for people with learning disabilities and their families.

Mr Dugdale has supported West Berkshire Mencap for years, but decided to become a patron recently owing to the enthusiasm and leadership of its chief executive Leila Ferguson.

He said: “West Berkshire Mencap is an amazing charity doing incredible work, and it’s a great honour to help. Without the key work that they do – staff, volunteers and families- I can see that there would be an enormous gap to fill, so it’s a privilege to lend support.”

Leila Ferguson added: “We are so grateful to all of our wonderful patrons and are excited that Josh is joining the team. He is a busy man and has such amazing experiences under his belt from founding the Glade Festival to documentary making that we’re thrilled to have him on board. We hope to collaborate with Josh to put on a fantastic Mad Hatter’s tea party in the ground of Wasing in the future to help raise funds for the charity.”

West Berkshire Mencap continues to organise fund-raising events in order to ensure the organisation can continue to provide services. Its next major events are a wine tasting event at Englefield on Friday, 29th September, a murder mystery event on Friday, 20th October, a quiz on Friday, 10th November and its annual race day in early 2018.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017


Newbury lettings agency Regent Lettings has marked its tenth anniversary with a celebratory cruise along the Kennet and Avon Canal.

pic by Stuart March

The firm was founded by husband-and-wife team Graeme and Gill Leech in 2007 and since then has grown in strength and reputation as a specialist, local residential letting agency.

Along with staff, clients were invited to the special event on the horse-drawn ‘Kennet Valley’ barge that departed from Kintbury. The evening included a buffet from Inner Circle Catering, and champagne to celebrate. There was a speech by Mr Leech and a raffle in aid of West Berkshire Mencap.

Regent Lettings is an established, independent agency that is a member of ARLA (Association of Residential Lettings Agents). It offers managed and non-managed services, including impartial advice on property investment in the local area. Regent carries out accompanied viewings, full referencing, video inventories for accuracy, prepares tenancy agreements, lodges deposits with the DPS (Deposit Protection Service), carries out regular property visits and keeps up-to-date with the ever-changing legislation.

Mr Leech said: “We’re so appreciative to everyone who has supported us on our lettings journey over the last 10 years and delighted that they are able to share the celebration with us.

“Our ethos is to treat every property we work with as if it is our own. We work hard to match the right tenant with the right property and all of the rental properties in our care are supported by our team of local property specialists.

“Our aim is to be the most trusted and respected agency in the area by providing expert advice to clients.”