Our Story UR

OUR STORY


HUMBLE BEGINNINGS 2009>2011

URBAN RETREAT by Acti-Labs is a family-run business born from humble beginnings. 

Initially created as a small, bespoke manufacturer of luxury professional products for a number of exclusive Spas across the world, but primarily in Russia. 

The company we know today started out as a family mission to keep a small laboratory and its employees afloat amidst a period of world financial difficulty when the € was much too strong to allow export to our primary markets to be viable. 

After a lot of deliberation and many sleepless nights, we came to the conclusion that the only way out of the crisis was: the lab had to create its own brand, become its own customer and sell its products direct to consumers on its own terms. In turn, the success of the brand would allow the Lab to regain profitability and look after its staff. 

The new mission was not without risk, creating a cosmetics brand from scratch involves time and money even for a manufacturer, but an undying belief in the performance of our products enabled every member of the Laboratory to thrive. From mopping floors to R&D, no one considered themselves above any job in a group effort to ensure the launch of the Lab’s own Brand. Our determination was unwavering.

THE FOUNDATIONS 2011>

By now all money had run out. Still based in France, working 2 jobs to pay bills and with no knowledge of Direct Sales, armed only with determination and belief in the products, the owners made regular visits to the UK to recruit a sales force. 

ActiDerm was launched in the UK in June 2011 with just 11 great skincare products. The brand quickly became popular enough to achieve our goal of keeping the production staff employed. We are eternally thankful to the founding sellers who joined us at the beginning, and we are very proud to say that a good number of them are still with us today.


THE EXPANSION 2012> 

Initially, the relief of being able to stay in business was overwhelming. We did not have any goals beyond avoiding failure, but now we had achieved that, we very quickly focussed on creating security, to avoid ever being in the same situation again. 

Driven not only by a devoted team of laboratory personnel but also a community of passionate consultants, the brand advanced. Some of our existing contract clients started to see renewed success and place more and more orders for their products.  Suddenly we had the opposite problem: a production workforce with too many customers!  We also had our own plans to expand our range beyond just skincare and re-brand to become known as ‘Acti-Labs’. We separated Contract Manufacturing and opened our new laboratory facility which is exclusively dedicated to developing and producing our own Acti-Labs branded products.



DARE TO DREAM 2021>

Today we find ourselves amidst another global crisis, the world is turned upside down again, reeling from a global pandemic. Luckily for us, this time, our business is thriving as the online world started to boom! Because of this, the logical business strategy would be to steer away from bricks and mortar and focus solely on our online business, but we want more... we can see more! 

Acti-Labs has now acquired the product trademark URBAN RETREAT with which we are re-entering the Professional Beauty and Wellness sector with a New Professional Product Range for use by SPA Hotels, Professional Aestheticians, MUAs, Dermatologists, and Doctors whilst our online shop and network of Beauty Consultants "bring our Spa directly to customer’s homes".

We don’t want to just "expand", we don’t just want to "grow"... we want to EVOLVE! 

The next chapter has begun.


DISASTER 2023>

"A large fire has engulfed a warehouse on an industrial estate.

More than 100 firefighters tackled the blaze at Walworth Business Park in Andover, Hampshire, which broke out shortly after 10:00 GMT.

The fire also spread to at least one neighbouring building. There were no reports of any injuries.


Nearby roads were closed and people living or working in the area were urged to close doors and windows due to the amount of smoke. 

The fire started shortly after 10:00 GMT.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said the two-storey building in Walworth Road was being used as a furniture and paint store.

The fire ripped through the building occupied by The Dormy House, a family-run business making bespoke furniture.

Acti Laboratories, a cosmetics and perfume mail-order business operating next door, has also been completely destroyed."



We are pleased to announce that our relaunch plans are well underway. If you know us well, you know that we are always seeking ways to improve and innovate. In an effort to use this massive setback to make us stronger and even better than ever, we have a few exciting things to share. 

1. We are moving our business operations to operate entirely in France. This move will allow us to offer more efficient service, whilst reducing our Carbon Footprint significantly by eliminating one step of our previous delivery process.

2. This downtime has given us the opportunity to evaluate our product ranges and we are very excited to say we will be adding various new items to our product line when we relaunch.

3. Our teams are working intently and our goal is to relaunch in early September 2023.

Thank you for being a loyal UR Customer! We will be back and better than ever very soon. Please check back for updates regarding our progress.


MEET THE TEAM




JOHN MILLER

FOUNDER ACTI-LABS


YELENA MILLER

FOUNDER ACTI-LABS


GEORGE HAMMER

FOUNDER UR SPA


HANNAH PEARCE

DIRECTOR OF FIELD DEVELOPMENT & TRAINING




JESSICA RICARD

MANAGING DIRECTOR 

FRANCE


ANASTASIA MILLER 

HEAD OF LOGISTICS


NIKI GOOD

CREATIVE DESIGN



DIONNE LUDFORD

CUSTOMER RELATIONS