Itchy beard business continues to grow

Amanda Thomson outside her new location for Metal Panda
Picture: Michael Gillen
Amanda Thomson outside her new location for Metal Panda Picture: Michael Gillen

At a time when retailers are finding it tough, business partners Amanda Thomson and John Rodger are bucking the trend.

Just 20 months after launching Metal Panda in the Howgate’s Level 3 Indy Shops, their aromatherapy and essential oils business has been so successful they recently moved into a ‘proper’ shop of their own!

The enterprising couple from Maddiston started out selling a softener on Facebook that Amanda had prepared from natural oils to deal with John’s itchy beard!

When orders started pouring in, friends suggested she turn her ‘hobby’ into a full time career.

Becoming part of the Indy Shop market in the Howgate last March was the next step, offering a range of products for the male grooming market created by Amanda from natural oils.

That quickly expanded into selling homemade bath bombs, natural beauty products and other popular brands.

To meet demand, they moved Metal Panda to a larger unit in the Howgate and opened a beard bar, but in June realised even bigger premises were needed and switched the business to 8 Vicar Street.

Amanda said: “Things were growing so fast we needed the extra space to allow that to happen. When the chance of the shop came up we grabbed it with both hands and just a few months in know we have made the right decision. It’s been fantastic.

“We’re now running bathbomb-making classes for kids and adults and offering holistic and spiritual services.”