Meet the Aqueos Founder
Ambitious plans for firm supplying revolutionary products
Aqueos, a Wilshire-based company that supplies a range of ground-breaking products for horses and dogs, has set out ambitious plans for growth in the next few years.
Aqueos is the brainchild of mother of two, Tracy Richards who started the business from her home in Pewsey, Wiltshire as a small, medium enterprise following a successful career in marketing and as a Managing Director of a wholesale clothing company where a part-time, Financial Director introduced her to a disinfectant solution developed for the human dental market.
Having used the product largely in the stables back at home, its use then inspired Tracy to create her own range of disinfectants and with some product development and branding, Aqueos was born.
The new business allowed Tracy to follow her passion for animals - she is currently renovating a small holding back at home and over the years her family have kept, dogs, horses, poultry and alpacas. Tracy’s eldest son is also a member of the Household Calvary so horses have always played a big part in her family’s lives.
“Aqueos was incorporated in 2010 but it took a year to develop the range. It has been growing organically ever since but we are ready for a big push now the children have left home,” explains Tracy.
“The range started with equine and then moved into canine. My first large customer was Wadswick in Corsham who then put me in touch with a wholesaler Battle, Hayward & Bower. They have been fantastic and we are still working with them today. As we have progressed, we have taken on more pet wholesalers, moved into the equine dental market and have a growing export market working closely with the UKTI.”
The range of sanitising products use a technological breakthrough to produce a water-based disinfectant that kills 99.999 per cent of known bacteria, fungi and viruses - Aqueos disinfectants have less than 1% active ingredients in them and animals can return to treated areas immediately. The disinfectants can be used on any surface and carry on working after application.
The range of Aqueos shampoos for dogs and horses are both anti-bacterial and anti-fungal and are an effective deodoriser. They help to combat itchiness, soothe minor skin irritations and are gentle on the skin, leaving the coat soft as well as the mane and tails on horses. They can be used on minor skin wounds and are alcohol and phenol free.
Aqueos typical customers include horse and dog owners, dog groomers, dog boarders and walkers, vets, equine dentists, wholesalers, country stores, tack shops and pet shops. They are hoping to expand more in the dog grooming, boarder and dog walking markets which have seen several successful franchise businesses launched over recent years. They are also now taking on a distributor in the UAE as well to cater for the sanitising needs of warmer countries where bacteria are more prevalent.
All Aqueos products are fully tested and come with an excellent pedigree and meet high performance standards.
“We are so glad that 99% of our products are manufactured in the UK. The active agent in Aqueos is registered on the European Biocidal register and effective against test standards EN1276 (Bacterial), EN1660 (Fungicidal) and EN14476 (Virucidal). It also typically exhibits the highest biocidal efficacy of all quaternary compounds. The performance advantage is especially evident in the presence of hard water and organic soiling, compared with simple Benzalkonium chloride quaternaries.
“Our stable disinfectant is DEFRA approved and we have carried out more detailed approvals for Strangles, Ringworm and Parvo Virus,” says Tracy.
Aqueos works closely with their manufacturers and their brand ambassadors to develop new products. These include eventer, Kitty King and, up-and-coming young Marlborough eventer Chelsea Pearce, and the young show jumperOscar Hobby who is the son of eventer Fiona Hobby (she has moved now)
Tracy also works closely with the Greatwood charity near Marlborough which uses retired racehorses to help disadvantaged children. In particular they find Aqueos hand sanitising foam a great boon for keep visiting children . germ free
Aqueos has won a number of industry awards for their products including PATS New product – Anti-Bacterial Dog Shampoo runner up 2013 and winner in 2015 for their Spray Plaster which can be sprayed directly onto animals and protects minor cuts and grazes from water, dirt and bacteria - it gives a bandage-like protection and stays elastic but is still breathable and waterproof.
In terms of the future, Tracy wants to roll out an education programme to emphasise the importance of sanitation and to explain why regular cleaning is so much better than then having to deal with a situation that could damage an equine or canine business.
She concludes: “Most of our new business comes from recommendations, it is fantastic when a customer has a problem with their horse or dog, and you are able to help. We are also currently going through a full environmental review and are looking to do what we can to lesson our impact as a business."