Calla Shoes sets its sights on wholesale market after securing British Design Fund investment

Calla Shoes has secured backing in the British Design Fund’s first ever wave of investments. The brand, which specialises in footwear that eases the pain of bunion sufferers, plans to triple its revenue in the coming months and expand into the wholesale market.

More than 100 product designers and manufacturers have applied for the early stage investment fund since it launched in 2017. Calla Shoes is one of just two UK brands that will receive part of a £500k product-focused investment pot.

Founder Jennifer Bailey recently secured backing following a unanimous decision from the organisation’s panel, which applauded the brand’s ability to mix fashion and design to solve a universal problem.

The funding will be used to continue sourcing innovative materials that complement the Calla range. It will also support a large scale online marketing campaign which will seek to triple revenue within 12 months and hit the £1 million mark within three years.

Bailey comments: “For so long, Calla’s marketing strategy has been executed on less than 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.

“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.”

Damon Bonser, CEO of the British Design Fund, adds: “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. Furthermore, the products she has created are beautiful, stylish and eye-catching – an anomaly in the current bunion footwear market.

“Jennifer’s expertise in marketing has seen Calla emerge as a direct-to-consumer sell brand, but it won’t be long before wholesale is calling, as demand for the products continues to rise. We anticipate that, combined with ongoing support from the BDF, Calla will become a multi-million pound turnover business within a few years, and it should be seen as an example of outstanding product design in the fashion market.”

Calla is the first fashion-focused bunion shoe brand in the UK. The collection is designed in conjunction with professional fitters, podiatry experts and experienced shoe designers to equally balance aesthetic and comfort for the wearer. The shoe range supports and disguises the bunion by being wider than the average shoe with additional volume in the toe box while simultaneously complementing the wearer’s individual sense of style.

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