Alternative funding approach puts customised clothing company a furlong ahead
A West Yorkshire company that specialises in the exclusive design and sale of women’s equestrian clothing is continuing to target global customers in an untapped market thanks to a funding boost.
Fuller Fillies Ltd, based in Fitzwilliam, near Wakefield, is the world's only fully-coordinated equestrian clothing collection dedicated to plus-size only female riders.
The company distributes its show wear, outer garments such as jodhpurs and gilets, riding boots and accessories via a worldwide network of stores and internet retailers and can now ensure it has the capacity to fulfil bulk orders thanks to a £30,000 cash injection from Finance Yorkshire.
Fuller Fillies Finance Director Chris Boast explained: “The equestrian industry may be struggling but at Fuller Fillies we’re experiencing quite the opposite.
“Stock is, for many businesses, an ongoing issue because you need the funds to buy the stock. We’re growing quite fast – very fast within our own industry - and saw 25% growth year on year over the last two years and that includes in a recession.
“Before the Finance Yorkshire investment we were experiencing times when we didn’t have enough stock to meet orders across a three-month period and if you don’t hold enough stock you will lose business. It was vital to our survival that that was addressed.”
Fuller Fillies’ garments and products are aimed at women with UK dress sizes 16 to 24.
“No one else does what we do,” said Suzanne Wild, Fuller Fillies’ Designer and Managing Director. “Our clothes are proportionately correct because they are based on the measurements of hundreds of women we researched – they are not just a standard UK size 10 that is then ‘scaled up’ because we know the end product will not fit people properly.
“In the UK half the female population are a size 16 or over and so this is a market that other people are starting to wake up to.”
Fuller Fillies looked for another approach to resolve the company’s stock and general working capital issues.
Mr Boast said: “We were looking at alternative sources of funding because we were aware that banks were tightening their belt and felt that Finance Yorkshire would identify and recognise the areas our businesses needed supporting.
“They were very helpful and straight forward to deal with and gave us a lot of guidance.”
Finance Yorkshire Investment Manger Ian Howson said: “Fuller Fillies have not just found a gap in the market – some might say they have discovered a largely ignored market altogether.
“The company has stockists from Canada to Australia and across Europe which means Fuller Fillies is exporting the Yorkshire brand along with its products to these global markets.
“We’re pleased the Finance Yorkshire loan will help enable them to turn around orders and deliver products promptly and professionally.”
Helping a range of small and medium sized businesses to meet their funding requirements for growth and development, Finance Yorkshire provides seedcorn, loan and equity linked investments, ranging from £15,000 to £2m.
The project is supported financially by the European Union. It has attracted £30million investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme, £15million from Yorkshire Forward’s Single Programme, and £45million match funding from the European Investment Bank.
For more information about Finance Yorkshire, please visit www.finance-yorkshire.com or ring 0845 649 0000.
Note: this news article is from Finance Yorkshire’s previous fund. Read more about Finance Yorkshire