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2.8.11

A bee venom face mask endorsed by the Duchess of Cornwall has helped a British beauty firm secure a £100million contract with China.

It means thousands of its therapists will travel to the Far East to offer treatments in salons used by an increasing number of affluent middle-class women.

The £55 mask, promoted as an organic alternative to Botox to smooth lines and hold back the ageing process, is one of several treatments developed by Deborah Mitchell for her Heaven brand.

She claims the mask, which uses bee venom as its main ingredient, can knock up to ten years off the appearance of middle-aged women. It is one of more than 150 beauty techniques she has developed using mainly organic ingredients, mostly from British suppliers.

Miss Mitchell has signed a ten-year distribution deal, which will see her treatments and products – including cleansers, toners, moisturisers and cellulite creams – sold in 2,500 stores and salons in China.
It was helped by the fact that Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, is a fan.

The deal involves setting up a centre in Shropshire to train dozens of British therapists at a time to travel to the Far East to operate the salons.

Under the contract, the Chinese will use the Heaven by Deborah Mitchell name and employ at least one British therapist trained by the firm at each of the stores.
Heaven has been enjoying record growth in the past two years as sales have soared in the UK and abroad.
Retail analyst Mintel said there has been particularly strong growth in non-surgical treatments to hold back wrinkles.

'With high profile celebrities – and now even royalty – choosing to help nature with fillers and lifts, non-surgical procedures have never been so popular, as numbers have passed the one million barrier for the first time,' a spokesman said.

'Accessibility has been a key driving force, with consumers now able to have a procedure in their lunch break or alongside their dental appointment.' Miss Mitchell has run her business for more than 25 years.

She opened a Heaven store in Taiwan in May and distribution deals for the brand have also been signed in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau and Japan.

Speaking of the Chinese deal, which is the biggest so far, Miss Mitchell said: 'I will be looking to supply 3,500 trained staff to work in China on a rotation basis.

'I've a very good understanding of how their markets [in the Far East] work and the processes of doing business there.

'This is a fantastic success story of a great British product going worldwide and creating jobs for thousands of British people.'


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