AccelerateHER finalist and award winning bike-wear and outdoor apparel designer and founder of FINDRA, Alex Feechan, named as a rising star of 2016 by Business Insider, has secured growth investment from TRICapital, Investing Women and The Scottish Investment Bank – the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise, Scotland’s main economic development agency.
On the board alongside Alex are Ben Thomas ex CFO of Tiso as Operations and Finance Director and Douglas Needham – Deputy Chairman of TRICapital as non-executive chairman, both appointed to help Alex grow the brand internationally. Douglas has had a successful career at CEO level in international textiles latterly with Dawson International
Alex spotted a gap in the market for well-designed women specific apparel when she started mountain biking 5 years ago. As an experienced designer, she observed that the Product available for women suffered from the ‘shrink it and pink it’ approach. Determined to do something better, Alex felt inspired to establish her own brand. Thus FINDRA was born.
FINDRA made the finals of Investing Women’s AccelerateHER competition at Edinburgh Castle in March this year. In the earlier stages of the business’s development, Alex was also part of the Entrepreneurial Spark Accelerate programme. which helped her validate her business concept. Alex was already working with Investing Women when she was successful in winning Scottish Edge funding in December 2015. Alex was introduced to TRICap leading to her succeeding in securing this investment – the first syndicated investment deal between TRICap and Investing Women. Investment has enabled Alex to grow her team from two to six people, supporting the company’s international sales growth. FINDRA presently sells to Australia, New Zealand and Japan and has active plans to expand into other key markets and countries; all from her Scottish Borders base.
Alex: “I am delighted to have secured Investment for FINDRA from such an experienced network of Investors. This initial round of funding will allow me to really scale my business and develop my brand.”
Alex further noted: It’s an exciting time for Entrepreneurs in Scotland right now, with a great deal of support available for start- ups. I have fully embraced these opportunities having come from a background in the textiles industry which is sadly in decline, I feel passionate about building FINDRA into a truly global brand from our Scottish base in Innerleithen ”
Rob Dick chairman of TRICap comments. “We are particularly pleased to be joined by Investing Women and to adding another Scottish Borders business to our portfolio and look forward to supporting Alex as she expands her brand internationally”
Investing Women’s Jackie Waring said; “I am thrilled that Alex has secured investment in an exciting marketplace which we can anticipate will be boosted by Olympic success and inspiration. Alex’s design talent and understanding of what her customer base wants, was obvious to us at Investing Women and Alex is right; we are investing in her as we believe in her. We are also delighted to have partnered with TRICap on this deal; our first investment together and I hope the first of many.”
Kerry Sharp, Head of Scottish Investment Bank said “It is encouraging that this new venture has such global export potential and that Alex has spotted a market niche within a worldwide market. I wish Alex every success with her plans for the future and am pleased to see her receive support from not only ourselves, but from one of our existing Scottish Co Investment Fund partners, TRICap, as well as from Investing Women too.”
Alex Feechan is an award winning designer and founder of FINDRA a fashion led performance driven outdoor apparel brand designed specifically for women.
With an MA from the prestigious RCA specialising in knitted textiles and a 1st class honors degree from the renowned Heriot Watt University Alex Feechan has worked within the global fashion and textiles Industry for over 20 years. With a design studio based in the beautiful Scottish borders Alex has travelled internationally to gain knowledge and insight into many global markets for which she has had the good fortune to design for.
Throughout her career Alex has worked on the design and development of luxury knitwear for some of the worlds most established fashion houses, brands such as Calvin Klein Escada, Brooks Brothers, as well as new design talent such as Mark Fast have passed through her hands.
Having set up Alex Feechan Designs in 1998 Alex has also been worked as a knitwear design consultant for a number of Scottish heritage brands based in Scotland. With her most recent role seeing her consult on a seasonal basis for Eland Asia a South Korean retail giant with stores in South Korea, China, Italy and the UK. Alex worked with many sub brands developing seasonal knitwear trends and designs.