Case Studies
Emma Hogg, co-founder of Made Bare

Made Bare

Partner: Starling Bank
Region: North East
Location: Wynyard, County Durham
Programme: Bounce Back Loan Scheme

As a self-employed, one-woman band whose company was still new, chemistry teacher Lisa Hogg didn’t qualify for any grants that would help her weather the coronavirus pandemic. Seeing her sales decline, and needing to sustain the business, she applied to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) for support.

Read what Lisa had to say in this BBLS case study.

British Business Bank: Can you tell us what your company does?

Lisa Hogg, founder of Made Bare: I’d suffered with eczema in the past and struggled to find products that I could use. As a chemistry teacher, I started researching and making my own.

It didn’t take long to realise that other people would also benefit from natural, cruelty-free products, and in January 2020 I launched Made Bare. I work from home in County Durham, making and selling lip balms, lip scrubs and body scrubs.

How did COVID-19 affect your business, and why did this mean you needed funding?

Like many small businesses, my sales dipped at the beginning of lockdown. But I was also seeing increased support from customers through emails and social media.

When it came to financial support, I wasn’t entitled to any self-employment grants as I’d only recently launched the company, so I applied for a Bounce Back Loan to sustain and grow the business.

How did you find the application process?

It was so simple. I put in an application with Starling Bank, had a response within three or four hours and the money was in the bank by the next day.

 

Initially, I was getting my labels printed by another company. With the Bounce Back Loan, I’ve been able to buy my own printer. I’ve also put money into creating new products, and digital marketing.

Lisa Hogg, founder of Made Bare

 

What advice would you give to other businesses that are applying for a Bounce Back Loan?

It’s more general advice, but as someone who does everything themselves – from sourcing ethical ingredients to designing digital advertisements – I’d urge other one-women bands to absolutely go for it. Women are amazing and we can juggle so much. If you think you’ve got an idea, share it and take the plunge.

I’d also say don’t be afraid to spend money on advertising and don’t give up after just a few days. Let it settle, let the analytics do its thing and wait for the orders to come in.

How did your Bounce Back Loan help your business (for example, with paying bills, paying staff, buying stock, paying down debt etc.)?

Initially, I was getting my labels printed by another company. With the Bounce Back Loan, I’ve been able to buy my own printer. I’ve also put money into creating new products, and digital marketing.

 

This case study first featured on the Starling Bank blog page. Find out more about Made Bare

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