Victoria Stapleton, Founder & Creative Director, Brora:
Brora is about fabulous colour, wearable clothing, quality designs.
For the first ten years of Brora, it was all about our cashmere knitwear. The business grew really organically in those first ten years, the critical bit was when I wanted to move the business out of London, I wanted to have a lot more space, I wanted to have a design room, I wanted to have a pattern cutting room, I wanted to have a photographic studio, it had got to the time where we really did need more space and it was obvious it wasn’t going to be in London.
I was banking at the time with a small private bank, and they weren’t interested in lending any money at all and my strong advice was that Barclays would be really helpful.
Lisa Gray, Relationship Director, Barclays Corporate:
It’s great to have Brora banking with Barclays, Victoria is such an icon in the fashion world, and she really does help Barclays back, she’s spoken at quite a few of our conferences, which is a really good thing for us to have. She speaks for the Women in Retail as well, which Barclays is a sponsor of and also I’ve asked Victoria to help out some of my newer customers starting up. The guys that she helped just found it valuable, what she imparted to them.
The response to it was so good, it was sort of palpable in the room, you could feel people were really energised and excited, I think it’s a really good thing, to get out there and have a forum to speak, so firstly I really like doing it, secondly Barclays are kind enough to ask me to do it several times and thirdly it seems to be really popular, so it’s a bit of a sort of win, win situation.
It’s such a support in the back of my mind knowing that we have that sort of relationship with the bank, because so many people’s businesses crumble, because of their relationship with the bank. Barclays have really come to me and said, you know we really believe in Brora, we really believe in you, we really believe in your business, and we want to support you wherever you’re going. So whatever you want to do, just come and talk to us about it, how good is that?