A North East company that restores and resells luxury handbags is aiming for growth after securing Â£ 800,000 from the North East Venture Fund (NEVF), backed by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia.
Handbag Clinic restores around 700 bags each month and resells around 300, including luxury brands such as HermÃ¨s, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior and Gucci.
In addition to its e-commerce site, the company has stores at King’s Road in Chelsea and Leeds, concessions at Fenwick’s in Newcastle and Colchester, and franchises in Europe and the Middle East.
The investment will allow Handbag Clinic to create around 20 jobs at its Burnopfield, County Durham facility, further develop its technology and strengthen its management team.
The company has appointed Beatrice LaFon, former CEO of Claire’s Accessories, as president and Ian Griffiths, founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, another Mercie-backed company, as a digital strategy consultant to help boost its commerce sales. electronic.
Handbag Clinic was founded in 2013 by Charlotte Staerck and her husband Ben, as a spin-off from her leather restoration company, the Furniture Clinic. Today it employs nearly 30 people, mostly in the North East, and offers a three-year program to train staff in catering techniques.
He is also working with Durham University to adapt facial recognition technology to authenticate handbags and assess their condition and value.
Charlotte Staerck said: âDespite difficult business conditions during the pandemic, we have experienced steady growth and record online sales.
âWe are delighted to welcome both Beatrice and Ian to the Board of Directors – their unparalleled knowledge and expertise will provide tremendous added value. They share our vision and, with the new investment, can help us achieve our aggressive growth plans, taking Handbag Clinic to the next level. “
Jan Oosthuizen and Thea Tebble of Mercia worked on the case. Oosthuizen added, âWith sustainability now a central concern for many consumers, the clothing resale market has experienced unprecedented growth in recent years. Handbag Clinic is one of the market leaders. This funding will allow Charlotte and her team to strengthen her position. and take the company to the next stage of its development. “
Womble Bond Dickinson advised Mercia while Handbag Clinic was represented by Square One Law. Ryecroft Glenton Corporate Finance provided financial support for due diligence.