Janine Dutton set up online retailer Belle Lingerie in 2005, almost by accident. She was working part time whilst looking after three young children when she started selling items such as clothing and second-hand toys on eBay to generate extra income.
It wasn’t long until she realised that there was very little lingerie available on the site and decided to capitalise on this opportunity by specialising in intimate apparel and swimwear.
The business started from home, with Janine storing stock in her living room, and when she reached the point where she was making £10,000 per year and had ran out of space, she decided to leave her part-time job and focus on Belle Lingerie full time.
Twelve years on, Janine employs 20 people and operates from a 6,000ft2 warehouse unit. Last year, the business turned over £4 million.
Today, Belle Lingerie stocks more than 35 brands, including premium labels Aubade, Marie Jo (pictured below) and Maison Lejaby, and continues to grow its stock list.
Janine is passionate about bringing the best brands on board and giving customers the choice to shop a wide selection of ranges and sizes.
For someone who fell into running a business without any prior experience, Janine has made a phenomenal success of the company and still has ambitious plans for growth.
Janine’s recent achievements include winning the Telegraph and Argus’ Business Woman of the Year 2017 Award and being crowned Entrepreneur of the Year at the Yorkshire Post Business Awards.
According to the Lingerie Market Digital Insight Report by Inside Online, Belle Lingerie improved its visibility by 442% in 2017, appearing in the search results for lingerie-related words 2,129 times.
It also has a strong social media following, with more than 19,000 Twitter followers.
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Company: Belle Lingerie
Address: Chain Bar Road, Cleckheaton BD19 3QW
Tel: 0844 818 2005
Focus: Lingerie and swimwear retail