Northampton based mother, entrepreneur, and business owner Annie Hawkins founded her business, Simply Coconuts, 4 years ago whilst pregnant with her first child.

At a pre-natal group for expecting parents Annie became aware of a wide range of chemicals used in many branded baby lotions. As she herself has sensitive skin, she was worried about which skincare products were safe to use on her new-born son. She decided to research natural and organic baby moisturisers that were free of harsh chemicals and found a clear gap in the market for chemical-free products. Inspired, Annie decided to create her own coconut-based organic and natural baby skincare range: Simply Coconuts.


After 3 years of product testing, Annie launched her product in April this year. However, struggled to raise awareness of her range amongst parents. From her research, Annie knew that going to local and national trade shows would help her to reach her target market and raise her product profile, but with little to no marketing budget, she thought she didn’t have many options.

Simply Coconuts marketing to success

With the help of a Velocity Growth Hub grant, Annie was able to pursue her trade show plan.

Annie was successfully awarded a grant of £1,800 under the Growth Hub ERDF project.

She used this funding for trade show stand space at the NEC and marketing materials to help her showcase her products. This ensured her stand made an impact and was able to start building her brand amongst her target customers.

Following on from the support from the Growth Hub Annie plans to continue going to large trade shows to raise further awareness of her fantastic product. She is hoping to secure deals with a variety of UK-based distributors, with aspirations to take her business abroad.


“The grant funding massively benefitted my business. At the show, I was able to sell my products, raise my brand awareness, and network with distributors. The last was an unexpected bonus, as I had never even considered the networking possibilities the show would provide my business with.”

“The Growth Hub’s grant funding has definitely helped me to develop my businesses, but also their courses and mentoring opportunities are so valuable!”

“Don’t give up on your businesses due to a run of bad luck, you never know what opportunities could be right around the corner”