Located in Bulls on the West Coast of the North Island, SCULLYS is the epitome of a local Kiwi business set up “out of the garden shed”.
In 1992, founders Judy and Gerry Scully returned from overseas inspired by the lavender fields abroad and decided to turn inspiration into reality. What started with afternoon teas and creating Lavender infused products in the family woolshed has grown in significant proportions to a successful export business employing over 10 people in the region.
SCULLYS offers a suite of bath, body and home products made almost exclusively with New Zealand ingredients and resources. It now exports to several international markets – China, Japan, America, Sweden, the Netherlands and Australia – with a firm eye on other European exports later this year.
Speaking of the FernMark Licence Programme, SCULLYS Operations Manager Sarah Parkinson says country of origin attributes have become increasingly beneficial when venturing into new international markets, a key pillar in their long-term plan and strategy.
“Being a licenced FernMark member helped SCULLYS to tell our homegrown Kiwi business story and become a brand that consumers in offshore markets care about. It brings trust and certainty to these markets and really takes our offering to the next level by promoting our products as uniquely New Zealand.”
She adds that the extra tick of approval in a Government endorsement sense also helps to strengthen consumer confidence that SCULLYS products are authentic and ‘of New Zealand’ standard.
“Not least to mention the physical display of the FernMark logo on our products, which reinforces our story and provides a tangible link between the brand and New Zealand…that’s a huge benefit for an evolving brand like ours,” says Parkinson.
Over the last four years, SCULLYS has bolstered its team with new hires that have extensive experience in trade and marketing, which has changed the dynamic of the business and resulted in significant growth.
SCULLYS Brand & Marketing Manager Alex Tee says that SCULLYS has seen a 100% year-on-year increase in online sales between 2018 and 2020 – and rapid growth doesn’t look like it will slow down anytime soon, with sales forecast to increase again this year.
The secret, says Tee, “is a special power in the team that’s created by great people who keep things moving, offer reliability and consistency, and put their heart into our products and service.”
“This is what makes customers come back, because we genuinely strive to provide the best quality products that give our customers an array of creative gifting options to choose from, all of which are hand crafted with love and care. A sure example is the team’s dedication to customers during the COVID-19 pandemic. After SCULLYS was deemed an essential service for its soap production line, Parkinson went the extra mile by offering personalised packaging and gift cards on every Mother’s Day gift during the first lockdown.
“Our response to the pandemic was ‘we can’t let it knock us, we’ve just got to keep things ticking over’, and our customers appreciated the communication," says Parkinson.
Since then, the brand has seen an increase of people supporting locals, and in return it has also helped schools and organisations, by donating products to fundraisers and events that support the New Zealand community.
The FernMark has been a key driver behind SCULLYS’ local growth strategy and forged genuine trust with its key stakeholders – from distributors right through to customers in the local New Zealand market.
“To us, the FernMark represents a symbolic mark of quality and trust to international and local audiences. As Kiwis look to support locals, adopting the FernMark felt like a natural partnership that not only bolstered our export offer, but also supported our strategic focus on domestic growth.”
Looking ahead to the future of the business, Parkinson is optimistic the range will continue to reap the benefits of the FernMark as it expands into new offshore markets.
“The family values of ingenuity and thinking outside the box are reinforced through everything we do. As we continue to grow the business, we will also continue to promote our unique point of difference to the world, which is about producing quality products in line with our business value – ‘crafted with care and love by SCULLYS’.