LUSH 1995 - PRESENT
After Cosmetics To Go went into administration, the founders all ended up back at 29 High Street Poole.
They started buying fresh things like oranges, lemons, juices, cinnamon, etc. from the supermarket and they put this into the soaps. The first ones were Banana Moon in its cylinder shape, molded from un-used drainpipes. Red Rooster was molded in new cat litter trays (never used by cats) and Bohemian was made in a window planter. Liz always says they were like the characters in the English children's book The Borrowers.
They worked hard, with Paul Greaves returning too because he realized couldn't work with anyone else. Ro and Mike (her fiancé) soon to be husband) cleaned up the old shop units and wrote up the day's specials with chalk on blackboards; this was the best way to be able to change the boards regularly for daily specials. Helen, Mark, and Mo were making products upstairs while the others sold them.
They opened the doors of the store in Poole and were a little worried, as many people in the area had lost their jobs. But customers started to roll in because they had been very good to the Poole community. Many people came in, gave them a hug, and said "Here is £10 What do you want me to buy?"
From this point they worked hard, wanting to call themselves 'The Cosmetic Warriors From The Temple of Temptation' but this was already registered. They called themselves the 'Cosmetic House', because they had always felt like designers at a fashion house. Liz sent 2,000 letters to old CTG customers, enclosing a photo of the team saying: 'Remember us? Do you want to buy some soap?'
Still not satisfied with the 'Cosmetic House' name, they launched a competition for customers to give the company a new name, and someone from Glasgow named Elizabeth Bennett came up with 'LUSH', which is defined as being fresh, green, verdant, and drunken women and fitted us very well.
They started to use the factory premises again when they opened Morris Road, this factory is still used today to make the secret Essential Components for the products (perfumes).
At this time, a man named Andrew Gerrie called CTG to buy more shaving cream - he had been a CTG customer and had wanted to take it to New Zealand and Australia, but at the time they did not do this. They told him what had happened to CTG and he persuaded his boss Peter Blacker to invest in the new company. This was the first time they had taken outside investment, and it allowed them to open the Covent Garden, London store. This was a tiny store and was featured in the film 'My Fair Lady' with Audrey Hepburn who is one of Mark's most favourite actresses. They invented the 'Luverly' ballistic for this store as Audrey sang "Wouldn't It Be Luverly" in the Flower Market of Covent Garden for the film.
Andrew's friend Craig Greenwood was a stockbroker in London whose firm had money to invest in London businesses. As we now had the Covent Garden store we could be called a 'London business'. The investment allowed us to open the Kings Road store, which was the first big store and had to quickly be filled with product. On the opening morning Liz, Mo, Mark stood together in the store, and Mark said "If this isn't a brand, I don't know what we'll do".
Luckily for all of us, it was a brand. The store was packed with customers, celebrities, and people from around the world who wanted to open LUSH in their countries. From this point LUSH began to grow.
On a trip to London, Mark and Karen Woverton happened upon the budding company. He and a friend consistently came into the Kings Road shop and though they drove Rowena crazy, their persistence prevailed and the first overseas partnership was completed with Canada. Then they opened Croatia, and Craig Greenwood, Andrew's friend, took LUSH back to his home of Australia.
Lush progressively grew, and in time bought back the names and formulas from both Cosmetics To Go and Constantine and Weir. Anita Roddick passed away and Lush began to talk more about their ethos. Lush has since taken the cosmetic industry leaps and bounds animal cruelty, and environmental responsibility.
After three years of development, the first Lush Spa opens in Kings Rd, London. Now we have over 650 stores and several factories in over 40 countries. Factories around the world. There are roughly 6000 people working for Lush from selling soap on shop floors, to filling presents, to travelling in the jungles looking for fairly traded raw materials. Lush prides it's self on being dynamic, original and progressive.