Jake Bullough, founder of Crowdcube #FundedClub member, Beara Beara, recently discussed how his company has grown since its success on the equity crowdfunding platform. The company, which offers consumers leather bags, successfully secured £203,540 from 131 investors last year.
“Beara Beara is a brand of leather bags, combining British design and skilled Bolivian leather workers. Our hope is that everyone who purchases a Beara Beara appreciates the skill, determination, respect and love that goes into making each individual bag. Bolivia is an isolated country and we take pride in providing employment for over fifty people who would otherwise be struggling to find work.”
He went on to share what the company has done with the funds:
“Since receiving the funds on Crowdcube, we have expanded two key areas of our business; our store and our team. We now have a store to showcase the brand and give us a ‘home’. It’s great to have somewhere to interact with customers, since we used to primarily be an online business. The second area we have invested in is our team. We have recruited three new staff members, which puts us in great position to expand and handle the increase in sales. It also means that now I have the time to focus on developing the brand, and work ‘on’ the business as opposed to ‘in’ the business.”
“Recruiting the right staff was a challenge. As a small business you often find the best candidates are sceptical about joining a small team, however, with some patience it has come together nicely. The other main challenge has been finding the time to communicate with our investors. I think communication is key to a good working relationship, however, sometimes it’s a toss up between actual work and updating people about this work. I think I’ve now found a balance.”
In regards to Beara Beara’s future, Bullough added:
“Part of our plan is to open an office in Asia, which would handle distribution and sales for the region. I’ve had great meetings with the UK Trade & Investment and UK Fashion & Textiles, and have successfully secured funding to attend two trade shows this year, so things are moving forward in this area and we’re excited about what 2016 holds.”
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