- Danielle Wightman-Stone |
Contemporary luxury British accessories brand Hill and Friends is celebrating its third birthday by launching its first investment campaign with Seedrs, one of Europe’s top equity crowdfunding sites.
The crowdfunding campaign comes as the accessories brand, founded in 2015 by Mulberry's former creative director, Emma Hill and Georgia Fendley, also hailing from Mulberry, where she was brand director, reports impressive year-over-year growth and is currently on track to deliver one million sales this year, following an impressive year that saw sales for Q1 up over 100 percent on last year.
The brand is looking to raise 655,695 pounds via the crowdfunding campaign to help it expand its direct-to-consumer channels, as well as develop new categories, under what it calls “ambitious” growth plans.
Hill and Friends chief executive Georgia Fendley, said in a statement: “It is a very exciting time for us here at Hill and Friends. It’s been rewarding to see positive results so early in our development, but we do not want to become complacent. We built our brand on the concept of collaboration and this is exactly what we envisage for this next stage of our development.
“Since the beginning, we have been driven by a very clear mission - to build a fashion brand that works hard to maintain a special relationship between the brand and its customers, who we would rather call Friends. Allowing our community to be able to invest in the business is a step closer to completing our mission and we look forwarding to this next stage of growth together.”
British accessories brand Hills and Friends launches crowdfunding campaign
The brand, which is already a firm favourite with fashion insiders and celebrities including Claudia Schiffer, Laura Bailey and Gemma Arterton, has recorded impressive growth, with the company stating first-quarter sales doubled year-over-year following the opening of its first brick-and-mortar location in London’s South Molton Street in September 2017, with overall product sales growth up 97 percent versus last year.
The accessories label has also seen continuous growth on its e-commerce site, with direct-to-consumer sales being its fastest growing channel and last year accounted for 52 percent of total revenue for the business. The brand has also seen a significant return on investment via social media with revenue driven through social channels increasing by 141 percent.
On an e-mail sent out its to subscribers, Hill and Friends said: “We are crowdfunding the next stage of our development, giving our customers a chance to own the brand, as well as the bag!”
Subscribers could then click through to a pre-registration page for the crowdfunding campaign on Seedrs, which stated that the brand is on a “mission to make the handbags we want to carry with the values we hold dear”.
Hill and Friend’s investment bid comes as the global personal luxury goods market has returned to healthy growth, reaching 262 billion euros in 2017, and the UK landscape is also thriving, with a study by Mintel showing that 59 percent of women aged 16-24 have bought a bag in the last 12 months, with 33 percent adding that they prefer to buy designer bags.
Founded by Hill and Fendley at London Style Week spring/summer 2016, Hill and Friends has become known for fusing the pair’s signature wit with quality and sustainable and ethical values, as 100 percent of all its products are made by hand in Europe and are sourced as a by-product of the food industry. Stockists include Harvey Nichols, Net-a-Porter, Harrods and Selfridges.
The pair have a successful background in luxury accessories, as during their tenure at Mulberry, revenues increased from 51 million pounds to 169 million pounds and profits grew from 5.2 million pounds to 36 million pounds.
Images: courtesy of Hill and Friends