New investment puts CALLA on the front foot in its battle with bunions | City & Business | FinanceHeat Profit
Ten million UK women experience pain when walking or standing because of the bone joint distortions, forcing them to miss out on stylish shoes because only trainers or the frumpy options available deliver the comfort they crave.
Manchester-based Calla was founded by Jennifer Bailey last year to address a gap in the Market for a condition that’s universal and offer women more design choice while not aggravating their physical problems.
Now the firm’s one of the first to receive backing from the £500,000 product-focussed BDF set up to support early stage UK design and manufacturing companies that fulfil a clear need.
Bailey said: “Calla’s Marketing strategy has been executed on less than a shoe string, but this means the business can grow exponentially quickly, adapting to and meeting the huge demand we have from customers in the UK and abroad.
“Despite competitors in the USA, France and here in the UK, Calla has a slightly different technical approach to the others. Our range supports and disguises the bunion by being wider than the average shoe with additional volume in the toe box, where bunions sit.
“We are currently exploring and testing various leathers and man-made materials to make sure we can continually innovate and improve the fit and comfort of the shoes. These include stretch materials and leathers which have more flexibility than others.
“We also have plans to work with a university podiatry department to further improve our knowledge and understanding of feet that suffer from bunions.”
Damon Bonser, BDF chief executive added: “We’ll soon be launching a second, larger fund that will see us lend our support to between 10-15 early stage product businesses each year.
“In 2019, we’ll also be launching a later stage fund for follow-on Investments to be given to the companies we worked with when they were in their infancy. The BDF strives to be a continuous arm of support for ambitious British product companies.”