A Manchester-based body awareness photography company founded 10 years ago by a toothpaste engineer in their garage will have sales of £ 1.7 million in 2021.
Andrew Wood Photography has also moved from its Chorlton location to a 4,000 m² studio on Ashton Old Road near Manchester city center – twice the size of its previous premises.
The company of the same name was founded by Andrew in 2011. He quit his job as UK Director for Engineering at Colgate when the factory moved to Poland to pursue his passion for photography.
With sales of £ 75,000 a decade ago, Andrew is now at the helm of what he describes as the only photography company in the UK that focuses solely on “the trust of specialists to empower photography”.
Nine new employees have also joined the company and complement the 27-strong team, which consists of a photographer, two make-up artists, marketing, telesales and customer service employees.
The company offers a range of experiences including “glow” makeovers; Boudoir and burlesque to help women struggling with body awareness.
Andrew said, “When I was a little boy, my father paid me two compliments – one of which was that I got a decent picture.
“I always wanted to work for myself, so it was the right time when Colgate moved the factory. I started family photography and took photos myself in my garage.
“The company has now evolved into something completely different and in recent years we have focused exclusively on body awareness photography for women. There is no one else in the country who does exactly that.
“I’m really proud of how we’ve grown – 40 percent every year for the past nine years, only last year Covid was the exception.”
Just before the pandemic broke out, the company welcomed its 10,000th customer and then had to close its doors.
Vacation helped Andrew keep all of his staff and use the time to focus on the new office move and expansion. He also received help from the GC Business Growth Hub, which helped him network with other companies, train the management team, and implement new ideas.
He said: “Despite a difficult past year we are in a good place now – a bigger, better, more modern studio and we are confident of reaching £ 1.7million.
“We are aiming for £ 4.6 million in sales in three years to expand nationwide and open more studios across the country.”
The new location near the city center includes four modern studio rooms as well as all back office tele-sales and marketing functions.
The company has welcomed women from across the country, including those struggling with eating disorders and life-changing surgeries.
Andrew said, “People travel miles to come to us for our work. Our focus is to build confidence, strength and courage for every woman.
“The feedback we get from them and hearing the difference we’ve made in their lives makes it worthwhile.”
In 2016 Alton Towers’ accident victim, Vicky Balch, who had her right leg amputated, posed for a photo shoot on the recommendation of her friend and described the experience as “amazing”.
To learn more about Andrew Wood, visit www.andrewwoodphotography.co.