A financial bump start for a growing business
Amy-Kate Crane and Kirsty van Deurs Goss, founders of the maternity wear company Heavenly Bump, realised that if their infant business was to grow into a large and successful organisation, their finances needed to be in good health. And, with help from British bank Aldermore this award-winning business is now in great financial shape to continue its impressive growth record.
Amy and Kirsty, a maternity clothing buyer and a designer working for a leading high street fashion retailer, decided to set-up their own business when their employer made the decision to relocate from their home town of Weymouth to London in 2009. With their extensive experience and understanding of the maternity wear market, Amy and Kirsty felt confident in their ability to build a blossoming business.
Their confidence was not misplaced. From small beginnings selling their range of fashionable and yet competitively priced maternity wear online, they were soon approached by their ex-employer who wanted to stock the Heavenly Bump range of maternity wear for sale via its website.
Amy explains the challenges they faced during the business’s early gestation period: “We were confident in our designs, but had to call in a few favours with suppliers in order to get the business up and running. It was a challenging but really rewarding phase in the company’s development. As the business continued to grow our success was recognised with a Gold Award for Best Maternity Fashion Brands from Practical Parenting Magazine and we were voted 2011 ‘Business of the Year’ in the Dorset Open 4 Business Awards.”
In 2012 the two ‘mumpreneurs’ extended their distribution still further by signing a deal with Tesco to market their own-label clothing via the supermarket’s website and organically growing the brand through ten independent boutiques across the UK.
Amy continues: “Suddenly our business was an infant no longer. It was growing rapidly and we could see the potential danger faced by many small businesses of running out of cash, due to the difference in payment terms between our suppliers and some of our distributors. We sat down with our accountant, who recommended that we consider invoice finance as a way to ensure we could keep on top of our cashflow.
“We arranged meetings with three invoice finance companies and eventually decided to work with Aldermore. Not only did they submit the best offer, but they demonstrated that they really understood the needs of businesses at our stage of development. We were also very impressed with their people, who were very supportive and were willing to provide as much help as we needed.
“Cashflow really is king for any small business. With the invoice package provided by Aldermore, we now feel that our finances are in good shape to support the business as it goes through the next exciting stage of its development.”
James Bingham, Associate Director of Sales at Aldermore, said: “Amy and Kirsty were not only clever in identifying an excellent market opportunity, but also realising that in order to turn their dreams into reality they needed to keep a tight control over their finances. Unfortunately, many growing companies have found to their cost that running out of cash can be a terminal problem. However Amy and Kirsty have avoided that pitfall by planning ahead and taking action.
“Aldermore is delighted to be supporting Heavenly Bump at this important stage in its development. With Amy and Kirsty’s expertise and enthusiasm, I have no doubt that this business will go from strength-to-strength and we’ll be hearing a lot more about its continued success in the future.”