By Terry Murden for Daily Business
A Borders-based entrepreneur has signed a deal with a global retailer to sell her outdoor wear designed specifically for women.
Alex Feechan, founder of Findra, is to collaborate with Wiggle, Europe’s top retailer for cycling and sports clothing.
The deal comes after Wiggle invited Ms Feechan to start talks three months after she launched the brand. Wiggle has agreed to comply with her key brand values.
“It’s important for me to know that we have stayed true to our brand and principles: this collaboration allows us to do this,” said Ms Feechan. “I’m delighted to see Findra open up to a global audience, it’s very exciting.”
Findra will get its own brand store which is something normally reserved for more established brands with a proven track record in sales delivery and distribution.
Ms Feechan launched Findra after a twenty year career in fashion and textile design. She combined her skills with her enthusiasm for mountain biking to make suitable apparel specifically for women.
“I just found that there were so few garments available for women bikers,” she told Daily Business in an interview in March. Most offerings were an “after-thought” which fell into the the “shrink it, pink it” category – scaled down versions of menswear with a “patronising” feminine touch.
She has designed lightweight seamless tops, as well as shorts and accessories which are being made in the Borders where she used to work and where she still lives.
Ms Feechan told the Scottish Institute for Enterprise (SIE) student summit in Edinburgh that her ultimate plan was to have a chain of outlets.
She said many women dislike going into bike shops which tend to be male domains. For that reason she sells online and direct at shows.
Finance for the venture came in the form of a bank loan from Royal Bank of Scotland.