Online Highlands beauty brand eyes international growth after funding boost

An online beauty start-up based in the Highlands has received a funding boost as it looks to grow its footprint.

Marianne Morrison is the founder and chief executive of Highlands online beauty start-up Bubu.
Marianne Morrison is the founder and chief executive of Highlands online beauty start-up Bubu.

The money will allow skincare brand Bubu to acquire stock and bolster the business as it eyes rapid international growth.

The Alness-based firm was launched in November 2019 with UK fashion retailer Pretty Little Thing.

Despite the impact of the pandemic, Bubu is said to remain on a strong growth path, hiring three employees during lockdown. It is currently preparing to open a new working warehouse and laboratory space in the Highlands.

Founder and chief executive Marianne Morrison said: “Being a small company has allowed us to sustain the business during the pandemic and we have even been fortunate enough that we are in a position to grow, with our focus being on online retail.

“Our online business is now in a stable position and over the next 12 months we will be looking to balance that with an instore offering.

“Over the Christmas period we trialled a pop up store which was really successful. Unfortunately, due to the circumstances brought about by Covid-19, our retail plans have been put on hold for now, but we have big ambitions for Bubu and a variety of new concepts in the pipeline.

“This year has given us the opportunity to bring forward some of our plans. We have branched into body care and makeup sooner than we would have and also had time to focus on the development and manufacturing of our own range, enabling us to bring more products in-house.”

She added: “While we will remain a Scottish-based company, our ambitions are to trade internationally as soon as the business landscape allows more certainty.”

The funding has been provided by specialist finance provider DSL Business Finance.

Stuart Yuill, executive director at the firm, said: “Not only from looking at the overall business plan for Bubu, but also looking at Marianne’s background of extensive beauty and business experience, we knew she was an excellent candidate for financial support through the Scottish Growth Scheme.”

Murray Marshall, DSL Business Finance loan officer for the Highlands & Islands, added: “Marianne is a very driven individual who knows the industry well and presented us with a realistic plan and the information to back up her assumptions.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We’re more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers. If you haven’t already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription:


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.