Glitter queen Glamavan steps up the sparkle with new Rubik’s deal

The new Rubik’s Eco-Glitter Gift set (£18) marks a move into brand licensed products and a bigger stage for the Bedfordshire-based micro business and founder Toni Cassidy. Her glitter packs in Cube-themed colours make a timely team of craft, education and therapy, she explains.  

“Our sustainable glitter, from plants not plastic combines with Rubik’s recycled plastic and problem solving which is always good building skills and keeping the brain active whatever your age. Then there’s the therapeutic aspect that helps in troubled times.”     

Previously almost entirely offline, Cassidy pivoted into ecommerce after lockdown wiped out all the usual bookings such as weddings and festivals for her mobile events and glitter bars.   

Developing her website and selling new gift and party sets, her online pamper and party sessions are hosted via Zoom. 

Displaying more dazzle than a Strictly final, her spare room became a packing and filling station for the 100 different coloured glitters.  

Now she is turning into a mini manufacturer with a new office and equipment handling the production and labelling, enabling her to step up volumes as orders from Poland to France and Australia increase.

That gives Cassidy, a former police officer, hope of a £200,000 turnover in 2023.

She admits however “I still don’t know where I got the perseverance from in April to carry on. I felt I had to find an alternative and not waste what had been created”. 

That instinct was spot on and reflects new research from Lloyds Bank that suggests that digital technology has saved 2.7 million enterprises, some 50 percent of the UK’s microbusinesses (ones with fewer than 10 employees).  

For a majority multi-channel adaptation has been the order of the day with around half crediting digital capabilities as helping to protect and build their operations. 

“My heart jumped,” recalls Cassidy when she found out she had been awarded a £5,000 grant from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership. This has funded her equipment investment, fundamental to broadening the scope of her sales. 

The Bioglitter, derived from hard woods and primarily eucalyptus, is supplied under licence by pioneering British producer Ronald Brittan and is certified as 100 percent fresh water biodegradable.

Despite the innovation receiving a lot of high-profile coverage, widespread awareness is still low and Cassidy believes much more education about guilt-free glitter is needed. “Through online I can help spread the word,” she adds. “Offering a sustainable product has become more important than ever.”

When “normal” returns Cassidy plans to open a concession with the goal of franchising her operation because, as all glitter devotees know, sparkle is not just for Christmas and Glamavan’s high shine mermaids, unicorns and fairy dust outlast the seasons in a good way.

  • Lloyds Bank 2020 Transformation with Tech report is created in partnership with Be the Business, an independent charity focusing on building leadership and management capacity among SMES with the aim of closing the productivity gap. For more information visit UK Business & Charity Digital Index - Business Resource Centre

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