South Shields couple's business is booming after overcoming cancer battle
A South Shields couple are seeing their business go from strength to strength, despite battling one of the toughest years of their lives.
Charlotte Bailey, 23 and Sean Ali, 27, set up health foods brand Super U after they graduated in 2017, selling unique blends of superfoods to customers across the UK.
They were inspired by how healthy, organic and naturally gluten free superfoods such as spirulina, baobab and açai berry were helping Charlotte to manage her coeliac disease, after being diagnosed at 16.
However, when Sean was suddenly diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin's Lymphoma in November last year, the news turned their lives turned upside down.
“He was in a business meeting when he noticed a strange lump in his neck,” said Charlotte.
“There were no symptoms, that was the scary thing, it just came up overnight.”
Two weeks later Sean began chemotherapy, followed by a course of radiotherapy treatment and he was eventually given the all clear in April 2018.
“It was the worst and the best year of our lives,” continued Charlotte.
“The business continued to grow but I found it really hard because I wanted to be with Sean all the time.
“I cared for him full time, but the business didn’t dip at all, we just had a feeling that we had to keep going no matter what.”
Now the pair have become the first from the North East to successfully raise investment on the business crowdfunding platform Seedrs, reaching £160,000 in just a week to help them expand.
Meanwhile, their products can now be found in retailers such as Selfridges, Whole Foods Market and As Nature Intended in London and this month they were shortlisted for two Great British Entrepreneur awards.
“The last year has been such a challenge, but we secured retailers, launched new products and raised investment, which are all massive hurdles,” added Charlotte.
“We’ve gone from not knowing where we were going to be in a years time, to achieving all of this.
“If this journey has taught us anything, its to make the most out of every day and that health really is the most important thing.”
Find Super U at www.superu.co.uk and on Facebook and Instagram @wearesuperu