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March 12 2014 Latest news:
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A natural health supplement called Works with water is the brainchild of a woman from the Ribble Valley. Amanda Griffiths met her PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
If your blood pressure is rising, your cholesterol levels are a concern or you complexion is less than peaches and cream, a woman in the Ribble Valley might just have the answer.
Jules Birch is the founder of Works with Water Nutraceuticals, which claims
to be the UKs first company to pioneer soluble supplements which are 100 per cent natural.
The ingredients, which are mixed with water, are scientifically proven to help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure and have a positive impact on skin.
Word about their efficacy is spreading with Boots now joining Waitrose and Holland & Barrett in stocking the sachets.
But it hasnt been an easy ride. Jules started the brand almost by accident, researching one of the ingredients for a client who suggested she took on the work of creating the supplements commercially.
My first reaction was that I couldnt do that, says Jules, whose family home is in Grindleton. But I started thinking about it and decided to have ago. My background was working in the food industry and I have a lot of contacts. But I had no money to fund it so I said I would if they were prepared to help.
It started as a bottled water but technical problems resulted in Jules
marketing it as a powder that people could mix for themselves.
The range went into Waitrose and Holland and Barrett, but right from the
start I wanted to be in Boots, she says Being sold somewhere like that
gives it credibility.
Her biggest critic is her dad, a man who, she says, began taking my products reluctantly and has become evangelical about them. He and my mum have been telling all their friends about them!
The breakthrough came at a meeting with Boots last year when buyers said they wanted to take all three products for 365 of their stores nationwide. Ironically, her local store in Clitheroe isnt one of them.
We went on sale in Boots in February; its still really early days but its great to finally be there. Its a dream come true, says Jules.
When they first went on the shelf I was following people up and down the
aisles to see if they would pick it up or not.
There are three separate products in the range - one to reduce blood pressure, one to reduce cholesterol and the other for acne for both men and women.
However, Jules is quick to stress that they shouldnt be used instead of medication professionally prescribed.
The ingredients come from abroad but they are packed in Ellesmere Port and distributed from a base in Blackburn.
Its not an easy commercial environment at the moment and Ive realised in just a few months that they were priced a bit above what people could afford. Its painful but weve dropped the price and re-packaged them changing the way you take them.
Instead of taking two a day, now theyve been re-packaged so you only take one a day but dont miss out on any of the benefits.