Silicawaters.com: Rex Garratt
Founded by a great grandfather, who proves its never too late to start a business, this silica-rich rainforest water helps those suffering with Alzheimer's
Tell us what your business does:
SilicaWaters.com is an online digital marketing and e-sales website dedicated to selling only one product: Acilis by Spritzer – silica-rich rainforest water with unique functional properties for good health.
We are a not-for-profit social enterprise business aimed at providing ‘health giving’ bottled water at an affordable price to families who need it, particularly those impacted by autism and Alzheimer's disease.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
From professor Christopher Exley, of Keele University, who is a world authority on the connection between silica and aluminium.
He uses Acilis by Spritzer in his scientific research which has proven that silica-rich water is the only way to remove neurotoxic aluminium from the body.
He convinced me there was a need to make Acilis available in the UK for consumers to follow his advice that drinking one litre a day of Acilis will help remove the toxicity of aluminium from the body.
How did you know there was a market for it?
From professor Exley and market research.
What were you doing before starting up?
Retired journalist and PR consultant.
Have you always wanted to run your own business?
This was a new challenge aimed at helping my fellow man to try and cope with conditions like autism and Alzheimer's in a simple, inexpensive, and non-invasive way.
How did you raise the money?
From a government start-up loan, delivered by Business Finance Solutions, and personal bank loans.
Describe your business model and how you make money:
We sell directly to consumers via our online shop, thus cutting out wholesale and retail mark-ups. This makes the product affordable for those who need it, and is in line with our business model as a social enterprise project.
Digital marketing and e-sales enables margin of up to 80% compared to 20-40% through conventional high street sales.
We are also using digital marketing and social media to grow awareness for sales rather than above the line advertising.
What challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was from Trading Standards who tried to prevent us sharing the scientifically proven benefits of our product with the public.
We entered into a DTI backed Primary Authority Partnership with our local council Trading Standards office and finally overcame this by raising the issue with our MP, and resorting to placing a disclaimer on our website.
This made it clear that all references to health claims were attributed to scientific research and individual contributors, and they were not the claims of our company or product.
What was your first big breakthrough?
Receiving bulk orders by the pallet load from customers who set up their own self-help groups to address the impact of autism and Alzheimer's on their lives.
What advice would you give to budding entrepreneurs?
Submit an application for the government Start-up Loans scheme and have faith in their own project if it benefits others.
Where do you want to be in five years' time?
Running a multi-national sales regime, bringing benefit to millions of customers desperately in need of a simple, inexpensive, natural and non-invasive way to offset neural conditions that are rapidly rising to epidemic proportions.