The moustache wax used by Hercule Poirot is being sold across the world because of Brexit. Entrepreneur Richard Finney says quitting the EU gave him the spur to start selling his products in countries such as China and India and exports are now worth £1.5 million a year.
He previously worked in the film industry as a boom operator, and was employed on movies such as Billy Elliot and Wuthering Heights.
At the time, Mr Finney made moustache wax for personal use in empty baked bean tins at home.That changed when he fell in love with a make-up artist – and she asked to borrow a jar of wax to use with an actor, planting the idea that there might be a market for it.
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It’s kept David Suchet’s moustache in place as Agatha Christie’s detective Poirot, and tamed actor James Carter’s bushy eyebrows when he appeared as butler James Carson in Downton Abbey.
The product, which is now part of a range including beard oil, combs and men’s colognes, has proved a hit overseas. Founded in 2010, the business now exports to 40 countries and has an annual turnover of more than £2 million.
Mr Finney said: “I think in any business or any trade, you can’t rest on your laurels, so you have to keep pushing. I ensured that we were ready for Brexit to the best of our ability.”
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As a result of Brexit, we’ve looked at different markets because you have to expand your horizons, so we’re now in India and China and we’re opening up the United States at present. If it hadn’t been for Brexit, we may not have looked at these markets
He said a key component in the brand’s success was the British aesthetic of the products which are named after the intrepid – and fictional – British Edwardian explorer Captain Peabody Fawcett.
Mr Finney said: “The domestic market is dwindling but the export market is booming. Around 70 to 80 per cent of sales are exports.”
Marco Forgione, Director General of the Institute of Export & International Trade said: “It is vital that we get more businesses trading internationally and for the UK to be seen as an attractive option for inward investment, if we are to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and to produce real economic growth.“
The latest ONS trade figures, show the export of British goods to the EU and globally – including to China and India, have all increased – highlighting how attractive ‘Brand Britain’ goods are to overseas consumers.
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