Valued at £2,822,490, the London-based shoes label founded five years ago by Katy Chandler and Julia Elliott Brown aims to revolutionize the way women shop for shoes by allowing them to design their perfect pair online. Upper Street offers over 5 million shoe design possibilities, giving customers a shoe shopping experience that they are bound to love.
“We believe existing footwear retailers and ready-to-wear brands simply don’t give women the choice, product uniqueness, fit or service they’re looking for, despite the proliferation of footwear styles on the market,” stated the campaign. “The global footwear market is forecast to be worth $500bn by 2018 (Euromonitor March 14), and the luxury footwear market in the UK alone will be worth over £3bn by 2017, and 25-30% of consumers are interested in being able to customize products (Bain & Company 2012), so there is an untapped potential with very few existing brands offering any level of customisation.”
Shoppers spend an average of £254.50 per order on the site as the business follows a direct-to-consumer model with shoe production in-house, gross margins are healthy. The innovative online 3D Shoe Designer allows women to select from a wide range of contemporary shapes, styles, design finishes, and beautiful luxury materials to create their perfect shoes from over 5 million possibilities. Upper Street offers a number of product lines, from high heeled court shoes, through to ballet flats and high sandals. Boots and flat sandals are launching in 2015, which should increase the average order basket and share of wallet significantly. Premium options including luxe materials and personal inscriptions also increase order value.
The All-Women Upper Street team noted its significant accomplishments to date on the campaign:
- Backed by leading VC Venrex (NotOnTheHighStreet, JustEat, Smythson), and the British Business Bank.
- Double-digit annual revenue growth*, thousands of customers acquired; 20% repeat purchase rate.
- 91% of customers would refer Upper Street to a friend. <5% product return rate.
- High profile customers include Helena Bonham Carter, Erin O’Connor, Jodie Kidd and Tess Daly.
- Strong social media following: 51,000 Facebook fans, 4,000 Twitter followers.
- Acquisition of US competitor Milk & Honey in 2014.
- Phenomenal press coverage includes Marie Claire, Elle, InStyle, Stylist, Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, Telegraph and Evening Standard.
- An ASTIA company 2012; female-led high growth potential company.
- Wonga Future 50 Real Business award winner 2012; new entrepreneurial businesses triggering change in their market.
- Shortlisted for Drapers Footwear & Accessories 2013 award for Growing Business / Brand.
- Shortlisted for PayPal eTail Awards – Best Small Pureplay Etailer 2013.
Campaign funds have been earmarked for marketing initiatives to maximize the impact of the new website, extended product range and recent acquisition of a US customer database. Marketing initiatives will focus on online advertising, including pay-per-click advertising on Google, promoted posts on Facebook, and Search Engine Optimization.
There are also backer rewards: £100 investors receive an exclusive Upper Street tote bag and leather key-ring, £1,000 investors – receive an Upper Street gift voucher for £100 and £2,500 investors receive an Upper Street gift voucher for £350. 47 days remain on the campaign.
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