Bluebella brings in retail heavyweights to mastermind US expansion plan

Lia-Bra-and-Brief-Bluebella SS17

Bluebella has appointed a new board after raising £1 million through crowdfunding, double its original target.

The British independent label has brought in two retail heavyweights to drive sales and help mastermind a big expansion into America.

Experienced retail investor Richard Sims joins as chairman after being a member of a small executive team behind a management buy-out of four loss-making brands from Arcadia.

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Sims has also invested and had non-executive roles in other successful retail start-ups, including Polarn O. Pyret and Mint Velvet.

The Natalia Body in black.

The Natalia Body in black.

Eva Pascoe also joins the board as non-executive director. She has more than 20 years’ experience in e-commerce as former managing director of Arcadia’s (Topshop) e-commerce division and as a partner in The Retail Practice where she is a consultant to blue chip clients looking to expand their online presence.

Bluebella founder and CEO Emily Bendell said: “I have been working with Richard and Eva for some time now and they bring a unique and incredibly valuable breadth of knowledge and expertise to the business.  I am delighted they are now joining our board.”

Bluebella founder Emily Bendell.

Bluebella founder Emily Bendell.

Sims commented: “I have been helping with the strategy for Bluebella for several months and it’s a fantastic opportunity to invest in and join the talented team of Bluebella. I’m excited to be able to help Bluebella grow the brand to become respected and established in its market.”

Bluebella hit its £500,000 target nine days early on the equity crowdfunding site Crowdcube and additional investment took the final total to £1,088,700.

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