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Calla Shoes wins first British Design Fund investment

Lauretta Roberts
30 January 2018

Manchester-based footwear start-up Calla Shoes has secured part of the first wave of investment from the newly launhed British Design Fund.

The £100,000 turnover business was one of two to receive part of the £500,000 fund and will invest the money in strategic marketing to triple sales in the next year and achieve £1m in turnover in the next three years.

Calla creates fashionable and comfortable shoes for women suffering with bunions and it will also use the funds to expand overseas partnerships and source innovative materials.

Founder Jennifer Bailey said the business' marketing strategy had so far been executed "on a shoe string". "It’s contributed to steady but maintained growth that has seen us reach some impressive milestones; however, to achieve accelerated growth, I was acutely aware Calla needed third-party investment," she told BQ.

“This has been a long time coming, and I’m thrilled Calla has been recognised as the life-changing product it is. This investment means the business can grow exponentially quickly, adapting to and meeting the huge demand we have from customers in the UK and abroad, and adding to our range to ensure Calla Shoes remains at the forefront of footwear fashion,” Bailey added.

Damon Bonser, CEO of the British Design Fund, said: “The British Design Fund is tailored to support product-based businesses that fulfil a clear need. As soon as we met her, it was immediately clear that Jennifer understands her market, and has applied her experience to come up with a solution to a global issue.

"Thanks to Jennifer’s expertise in marketing, Calla is perfectly primed as a direct-to-consumer selling brand, and we anticipate that, combined with ongoing support from the BDF, Calla will become yet another multi-million pound turnover business emerging from the North West, in a relatively short space of time," he added.

The British Design Fund is an early stage investment fund that specifically invests in, and provides support for, early stage UK product design and manufacturing companies. ​The Fund seeks to work with extraordinary entrepreneurs, with scalable products, who are ready to accelerate growth into the retail space and build long term value and thriving stand-out businesses.

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