A lingerie entrepreneur who ditched a career with Harrods to launch her own venture has secured £50,000 finance for her Newcastle-based business.
Sarah Northey, who runs Naughty Knickers Ltd from a unit at Lynnwood Business Centre, plans to use the invoice finance to fulfil a growing pipeline of orders.
The former retail worker moved back from London to the North East to establish the business three years ago, importing niche lingerie lines from overseas.
With funding from Positive Cashflow Finance, Ms Northey, who runs Naughty Knickers single-handedly, aims to expand on supply deals with the likes of ASOS.
Explaining Naughty Knickers’ beginnings, Ms Northey said: “I started looking into brands that you couldn’t get in the UK, and worked from there.
“I’d been working in Harrods, and was looking to become a buyer there, but this interested me more.
“It’s really taken off and now I’m outgrowing my Newcastle premises. The idea is to use this money to fulfil all these order opportunities with more stock.”
Three years into trading, Ms Northey is on the cusp of employing her first full-time member of staff – a marketer to raise the profile of Naughty Knickers within the consumer market.
Until now around 80% of her business has come from commercial deals, but now, as the business climbs towards £400,000 turnover in the next 12 months, Ms Northey hopes to diversify by selling direct to customers.
So far Naughty Knickers has landed an exclusive UK distribution deal with French lingerie brand Maison Close, and has worked with retailers such as FigLeaves and Coco de Mer.
It has also supplied North East online lingerie retailer House of Seduction.
Ms Northey added: “I’ve had a number of offers from investors but it was the working capital that I needed to grow the business by fulfilling orders quicker.”
David Smith, managing director at Positive, said: “Naughty Knickers boasts an enviable client base supplying a niche high end product which when combined with Sarah’s ambitious nature made it a very appealing business to be involved with.
“We are delighted that she has decided to work with us and look forward to assisting her achieve her growth plans in the future.”