Q What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?

I have 2 other businesses, selling knitwear and as an online fashion retailer so have experience in this particular market. I designed the flip-flop and approached the One Direction Licensing Team with the idea. They loved the concept and #FaceFlips was born.

Victoria Le MarquandQ Tell us about your business

We have the exclusive rights to sell the #FaceFlips design as agreed with the One Direction Licensing Team in the UK. The flip-flops retail @£18 and go up to UK size 6. We sell five styles each featuring a different member of the band. We are marketing the product through social media, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. We are looking at other celebrities for next year and are currently in discussion with the licensing team for Universal Music regarding several of their artists.

Q How did you go about setting up your business?

Once the design had been approved by the license team we contacted the bank / companies house and set up the company.

Q What has been your biggest challenge so far with running your own business?
We have only just begun trading but Zayn Malik leaving the band was quite a tense few weeks!!

Q How did/have you overcome these challenges?
The Zayn Malik #FaceFlips are now Limited Edition and still popular thankfully !!

Q What do you love about running your own business?
Everyday is different, its an exciting new business, with a huge market and an instantly recognisable product.

Q Are there any top tips that you would like to share with others thinking about starting or growing their own business?
Do your research into the market thoroughly, get advice from people you respect and don’t think its an easy option!! Much as having your own business means you can create your own schedule and essentially have more freedom, on the flip side you are always tied to it, there is no escape, even on holiday!!

Q How much did you apply for and over what term?
£15,000 over 5 years

Q Why did you access financial support through CWRT?

We needed to finance our advertising campaign and had a CWRT recommendation from HSBC.

Q What support did you receive from CWRT? i.e. did you find the process simple? Were you helped to improve your business plan and financials? Anything else?
CWRT were always helpful and supportive during the process. I was allocated a great mentor, who helped me update our business plan that we had used to borrow money from the bank (we were only able to lend part of the start up finance that we needed from the bank). The process was simple and fairly quick and we were really happy with both the mentor and the support given.

Q How has the loan provided helped you?
We now have a budget for advertising so we can reach more of our target customers and grow sales using paid advertising alongside our organic marketing.

Q Has the loan helped you to create any jobs?
We have only just launched but we are looking to create jobs as the business expands.