Case Study

TLC Collagen Supplements

David Fern, Founder of TLC Collagen Supplements.

Case Study - TLC Collagen Supplements

In conversation with David Fern

I’m David and I try to be a young 42 years old! Before TLC Collagen Supplements, I worked loyally for 16 years for another firm that also sold collagen supplements. In that time, I built up a lot of experience and knowledge with how this super ingredient works, and how customers can get the best results from it.

What does your company do?

We specialise in hydrolysed collagen supplements and have our own TLC Collagen branded products manufactured to our specific requirements. Our two core products are TLC-Collagen® Beauty, & TLC-Collagen® Peptides. Both are odourless and flavourless powders, so can be added to any drink without really affecting the taste. Many love to add it to water, cordial, shakes and smoothies, or even tea or coffee, as it doesn’t affect the taste. TLC-Collagen® Beauty, as the name suggests, supports healthier skin, hair and nails. TLC-Collagen® Peptides is for joint care and mobility.

The quality of our ingredients is of paramount importance to get the best results for our customers. Therefore, our products are made with only the highest quality collagen peptides available, which are packed with 18 amino acids and are naturally a high source of protein, with zero fat and zero sugars, with only 26 calories per typical 7 gram serving.


I’ve pretty much had the idea of starting my company, and had my business plan figured out for some time, including the company name, and the formulations I’d use within my products, etc. It was more important to make sure the timing was right for my family and I.

I’ve always been passionate about Collagen, as I’ve seen how it has helped thousands of customers over the years with beauty benefits for skin, hair and nails, and also how it has helped those who once had joint pain and joint mobility issues to have a more active and satisfying lifestyle. My old employer suddenly relocated, and I wasn’t happy with the extra travelling. I’m grateful to have a close-knit family, including a loving wife and four amazing children, who supported my plans to start up the business, with the idea of one day working together as part of the family business.

Why do people need to take collagen?

Collagen is our body’s most abundant protein, and is present in skin, hair, nails, joint cartilage, bone, muscles and tendons, etc. Unfortunately, due to the ageing process, from the age of around 25, our body’s ability to produce its own collagen depletes at the rate of around 1% to 1.5% every year, meaning by the age of 45 we’ve already lost up to 30% of our collagen levels. This is noticeable with the onset of wrinkles, along with hair and nail quality diminishing. In addition, the general wear and tear on our joints becomes more apparent by the age of 45. So, there’s a need to take high-quality collagen supplements to help offset this.

We recommend a minimum of 3 months’ trial to allow the body’s natural collagen production to increase, and for the amino acids to do their repair work, as they are natural building blocks the body welcomes. The results we get is improved elasticity in our skin, stronger and healthier hair and nails, and improved support to joints with reduced pain and improved flexibility. Don’t just take my word for it. Ask Alexa, she seems to know everything! Try asking: “What is the body’s most abundant protein?” “At what rate does the human body lose its production of collagen?” and “What are Collagen peptides?”

The journey

The journey has been going very well on the whole. There’s been lots of stages from the point of forming the company to actually being in a position to sell.

For example, setting up business bank accounts, company branding, product labelling and design. Also, securing trade marks to protect my brand, which is TLC-Collagen®, with the TLC standing for ‘Tender Loving Collagen®’. We also had to create a website, with create content, as well as TLC Collagen Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.

So, there was lots to do before having finished products available to sell. The journey in general has gone well, with some stages taking longer than others. Now we’ve jumped lots of hurdles, we’re thrilled to be supplying customers with our amazing collagen products, and seeing many returning repeat customers, which is nice. A further blessing is my wife and eldest two children now work along with me daily, along with others, which is really nice.

The growth curve

At the beginning, there were a lot of expenses before reaching the point of having finished products available, launching, and being able to sell. For around 12 months now, we’ve been building up a loyal customer base and generating re-orders and new customers through recommendations.

We love to give new customers a discount to welcome them, and try our best to look after them thereafter. We offer free UK Delivery on all orders and new customers can use the code “NEW” to receive £5 off their first order. As many like to recommend us, we decided to introduce a referral program as a thank you. All these little things have certainly helped. So, I’d describe the company’s growth as growing steadily, as sales are on the increase month by month.

We realise the importance of having a great customer experience focus. We’re not a company that will ever hide behind the internet. Just as 1st Formations is available to call for questions and assistance, we set up a dedicated freephone number to provide a high level of customer service. In addition, we’re generating interest from the usual media platforms, organic SEO and more recently I was asked, because of my 18 years of experience within the collagen industry, to be interviewed on radio for a live Q&A session for the benefit of the public, which went really well.


The biggest challenge so far I would say was finding the right pharmaceutical contract packers to work with. As we care about our customers, it was vital we were prepared to find the best available partner who has the highest reputation, certifications, and practices, to manufacture our supplements with the finest ingredients.

Branding was also challenging, as it’s something that can’t be rushed and needs to be done right the first time around.


I love hearing our happy customers’ success stories of how our supplements are benefitting them. Hearing their feedback the positive transformations impact collagen has had on their daily lives brings me a lot of joy and satisfaction, and is incredibly rewarding. I’m a happy positive person and I feel it’s important for all to feel happy during their time in work. I’ve enjoyed creating a modern workplace atmosphere and a fun enjoyable environment to work in, with a feel-good vibe, whilst still with showing kindness and respect to others.

Of course, working hard to give our customers an excellent experience is vital, but I’ve learnt from experience that if you’re happy in your workplace, it reflects in the quality of your work, along with a greater work satisfaction. This is our in-house ethos now and it won’t change in the future. I’ve loved working with family, which has brought us closer, and enjoy treating our talented staff like family too. We’ve all enjoyed working together as a team.

The future

I’m delighted to say that the future is looking bright and positive as more and more customer reviews and testimonials along with recommendations are coming in.

We’re an innovative company and are always on the lookout to improve our customer experience and product lines and options, so without saying too much, watch this space. We’re also excited to be at the stage again where we are looking to expand to employ more staff to add to our existing talented team. This will allow us to continue to provide an exceptional high level of service to our valued customers.


Research plenty. Find your USP, and create a detailed business plan. Stay motivated, focused and positive. Trade mark and copyright where needed, to protect your company. Problem solve and find solutions and workarounds if needed. And find ways to switch off and recharge.

Using 1st Formations

I found 1st Formations through Google searches. I chose 1st Formations after reading through their extensive list of services, and after looking through many of their 5-star Trustpilot reviews. I had further confidence when I called on a few occasions with follow up questions, and found the staff extremely patient, friendly and helpful. They have lots of ongoing business support and advice, in addition to recommendations for modern business banking options and much more.

The company formation process

I found the whole process of setting up my company very simple and straightforward. The staff were very patient, and everything was clearly explained. I was kept updated on the progress along the way.

I would like to comment on the superb online customer dashboard. It’s a breeze to navigate around, clearly showing the full range of services 1st Formations offers. All of my purchased services are listed clearly with renewal dates, and I can update my payment method details easily. Thank you for creating these fine online tools.

1st Formations today

I use 1st Formations for my registered address and service address, and my confirmation statement submissions to Companies House. Their newsletters, YouTube channel, blogs and support are first class, informative, up to date and beneficial. With all the support they offer, it gives business owners the confidence that various things are taken care of, so we can focus on growing our business. They even offer company secretarial services. Don’t waste time searching around …you’ve found the best in 1st Formations.


We found 1st Formations online. They had great reviews, and I was also recommended by another business owner. They provide so many services which are affordable, so it was a no brainer for us.

Rupert Avery, Dos Mac Tacos View customer story
Rupert Avery and Charlie Avery, Founders of Dos Mas Tacos.