Steri-Spray is daily becoming a more recognized brand name in the commercial shower and tap market, with our showers and taps regularly being specified on NHS new builds and building refurbishments.
Enquiries and sales are steadily growing weekly in many different commercial sectors. We now are also getting interest from different countries throughout Europe. We are even in the process of a sale to a Canadian Mining Company for 120 panel showers, so word really is spreading!! “Steri-Spray goes Global”
I left school at 15 with no qualifications and first worked at a carpet warehouse. For the next seven years I progressed to fitting carpets. Throughout this time I helped at my father-in-law’s water treatment company. The experience was an enjoyable one, and eventually I became employed permanently by the company.
When my father-in-law retired the business was sold. I continued to work for the company as their Chief Engineer before leaving to start my own business, Helmore Industrial Water Treatment, in 1994.
Whilst working in a hospital during this time I first became aware of Legionella. The presence of the bacteria forced the hospital to function with only two working showers. This unacceptable situation prompted me to find a solution. Studies of various types of water treatment led to the idea of inserting ultra-violet (UV) into the showerhead. With a prototype made, I set about getting the idea patented.
Attempts to use the route provided by invention promotion companies proved fruitless, as did a licence with a major $13bn U.S. Corporation. The negotiations and fees involved proved to be insurmountable and I was forced to re-mortgage our house twice. My wife Gill supported me and co-ran the water treatment business whilst I pursued the venture. Eventually her loyalty and our perseverance would start to reap rewards as we began the journey to Dragons’ Den.
An argument with my teenage son Chris led to an ultimatum – I gave myself until my 40th birthday to get the idea off the ground. A sharp dose of teenage realism stating that the shower idea might never come to anything prompted me to apply to the BBC’s Dragons’ Den. My subsequent appearance attracted the interest and investment of Theo Paphitis and Deborah Meaden. Steri-Spray was finally born.
Since the investment the product has been developed to the point that it is 100% market ready. Such developments do not provide business income initially so I combined working on the product with running my water treatment business.
The product and its components are manufactured in the UK. Further tests have been carried out on the product by the NHS and Steri-Spray counts the NHS and other members of public sector as valued customers. The tests were carried out specifically by Belfast NHS Trust. The incoming water supply was found to contain legionella, and water leaving the Steri-Spray showers was declared clear of the bacteria. The system was a proven success!
As a result Steri-Spray showers are used in high risk cancer wards. The product has been crucial to stopping legionella bacteria coming into contact with patients whose immune system would not be able to fight off such a disease.
A more recent development are our Steri-Spray taps, which have been tested by the Health Protection Agency and are proven to be better than 99.99999% effective in killing Pseudomonas Bacteria, a bacteria that has been a contributing factor in the deaths of neo-natal babies recently.
Steri-Spray, is now recognised as a life saving Dragons Den Investment.
Honesty: Always be honest. It is vital that your customers and people around you trust you.
Good service: If you always provide a good service, sales will naturally follow.
Work hard: There are no ifs or buts about it, if you don’t work damned hard you will not succeed.
Perseverance: Success appears to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go.
Pay Suppliers on time: Then they will always help you out when you need to supply urgent orders.