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Growth Through Exporting Case Study - Rachel Simpson

Thursday 11th July

Boutique bridal brand, Rachel Simpson, is acclaimed for their unique designs and high-quality yet affordable products.

But this is a brand that is now popular in the UK and overseas having successfully developed its reputation across Europe.

Rachel Simpson founded the brand in 2008 after studying footwear design. Simpson saw a gap in the UK market for non-traditional bridal shoes. After setting up in her garden workshop she began creating her shoes and soon found herself inundated with orders. 

Her brand is now well-established within her market and is recognised for its quality. Its popularity has grown considerably, and her range of products has since expanded to incorporate occasion and evening shoes as well as handbags.

With great success domestically, Simpson turned her attention to exporting. Her first instinct was to begin within Europe. With Department of International Trade support she attended two trade shows – Bridal Week in Barcelona and Interbride in Dusseldorf. These tradeshows proved critical to establishing herself internationally and the business subsequently secured 18 new business deals within Europe, taking turnover to £1.2 million.  

Having been aware of the growing demand in Japan for Western-style wedding ceremonies, Simpson was keen to tap into the market there. She engaged with the DIT, liaising with a local International Trade Adviser for translation services and market intelligence. 

With their support she was able to secure business deals in Japan and her bridalwear is now available across the country. Export to Japan, however, is just one step in a much larger export plan. With a fully international website and stockists across Europe, the Americas, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, Rachel Simpson is a truly global brand. 

"DIT’s support has been invaluable. From funding our trip to the trade shows to finalising the documents we needed to make it all happen, it’s been incredibly helpful knowing that support is available. I am positive if we can do it, other businesses can as well” (Rachel Simpson, Founder).

Useful Links

The Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP Growth Hub has a team of advisers with all the help and support you need to help grow your business.

T: 0800 032 3488

And the Department of International Trade has an experienced team of International Trade Advisers based here in the West Midlands ready to help you become a global success story. Get in touch today to discover the support you could receive to grow your business overseas.

T: 0345 222 0159

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