Wednesday 19 December 2012

A Day Out at Baylis and Harding

Baylis and Harding are a company I have heard about but up until recently I did not know a whole lot about who they were and what they did. This all changed in recent weeks when I was invited along to their head office with 5 other bloggers to have a look around and find out more about the company and the people behind the name.

I was astounded to learn that the Baylis and Harding head office was right on my door step in Redditch, The Midlands, a mere 20 minute drive away. Upon arrival I was in awe of the beautiful offices and the attention to detail throughout the entire building.

Baylis and Harding produce affordable luxury products in the bath, body and cosmetic department and while featuring their own lines they also produce many retailers own brands, but as to which ones they kept a firm secret from the start of our meeting to the very end.

The company was originally founded by David Slater and Marcia Simmons back in the 1960’s, back then they had a little office based under Spaghetti Junction in Birmingham and were known as ‘Midland Cosmetic Sales’.

The main point of sale for the then small company was on road trips to hairdressers to sell setting lotion. Marcia and David developed the very first gift set by using baskets left over from floral arrangements and turkey nets, today gift sets have been widely developed, and Baylis and Harding have a gift set for every occasion and budget!

The company today has now been taken over by the next generation, the children of the founders. Adrian Slater and Tania Fossey who have worked hard over the years completely re-branding themselves and even re-naming themselves as Baylis and Harding. The new name comes from their Grandparents, Granny Baylis and Granny Harding who cared for them a lot as children when their parents were busy starting up the company. They wanted to keep the company true to their roots and keep the family within the business, and looking around their offices I can see Granny Baylis and Granny Harding looking back at me from many corners of the room from the many photographs that feature on the walls around the building.

Both Adrian and Tania spoke proudly and modestly about their company, and it was apparent to me that they were dedicated to their roots and were passionate about brining quality, affordable luxury to every household. In new research that has been carried out Baylis and Harding now feature in 1 in 3 UK house holds demonstrating that their reputation is continuing to grow and are now a household item of choice.

One question on everyone’s lips was ‘How do you keep your prices so low?’ The answer to this question is simple and lies in the packaging and ingredients department. If you look at the shape and the size of the bottles used for Harding and Baylis then you may notice that they are all the same or very similar, as by keeping the design the same they can keep the packaging costs down to a minimum. On the ingredients front they get a break down of all the ingredients so that they can look at it more closely and give a realistic ‘what it should cost’ price.

We were all treated to a beautiful lunch and it was lovely being able to sit around and eat without little hands pulling the food from your grip before it even reaches your mouth. I have to say I enjoyed every bite and relished in the fact that Leo was at home with his Granny.

After lunch to top off an already brilliant day we were taken upstairs to a room where we were to take part in a super market sweep. Now I have always seen these take place on the television but never expected to take part in one, but now here I was being presented with a very sturdy Harding and Baylis gift bag and being told I had 10 minutes to fit anything and everything I could inside!

Of course I did not need telling twice, and so began my strategic packing so that I could squeeze as many goodies inside. It was nothing like what you see on the television, it was not cut throat and everyone walked instead of ran and by the end everyone was just as civilised as when they first went in, even if we were all struggling to carry our now bulging goodie bags.

I have come away from this experience really impressed with Baylis and Harding, a home grown company who still have the same values and principals that were first implemented by their parents. Today even with the company going from strength to strength it was wonderful to see that they still hold their family traditions and passion for developing new products at affordable prices.

You can view the entire range here.

Disclaimer: I was invited along to the Baylis and Harding head office and provided with a delicious lunch and very generous goodie bag. All views and opinions expressed in this post are factual and/or my personal opinion.


  1. It looks fab, we were supposed to be going but I couldn't get the time off work! xx

    1. It would have been lovely to see you! x


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