The Export JourneyIn April 2012, now as manufacturers of installed birth baths, they received their first export enquiry, and came to Chamber International for help with fulfilling the order. Ruth says: “When we came to hire a birthing pool, AquaBirths was defunct and the owner, a midwife, was emigrating to New Zealand. Although we’d never run a business before, we took the company over on impulse.” Since then Ruth and David Weston have steadily built up the business, doubling turnover every year by manufacturing and supplying up to 40 birthing pools to NHS hospitals throughout the UK.
Then an enquiry came from Canberra Hospital, Australia, which was building a new maternity unit and acquired five birthing pools from AquaBirths. “It was a classic case of a small business winning an order and not really knowing what to do,” says Ruth. “We were like The Babes In the Wood so we contacted Chamber International for help”
Support from Chamber International
Documentary credit accounts manager, Roy Broadhead, and his team were quick to act and took over the entire logistics of the order. Roy says: “We try to help first time exporters avoid some of the pitfalls by working closely with them. Sometimes we become their export office handling orders from start to finish until they learn to do it for themselves. AquaBirths products are quite fragile and packaging was the first thing we needed to look at to ensure the baths arrived in one piece.”
Ruth Weston adds: “We could not have managed without Roy and his team at Chamber International. They took care of everything for us. Winning that order also showed us that we had to step up our business so we restructured our manufacturing to deal with the increase in orders we now had to expect" “We’ve now fulfilled two export orders since on our own, to Amsterdam and Gabon in Africa, and have also had other overseas enquires. We’re in touch with Roy Broadhead to offer us guidance and oversee us doing our own documentation and delivery service on simple orders but, for more complex ones, we’ll always go to Chamber International.”