Success Stories

Success Stories: Bravissimo

It was launched in a living room and started out by buying small wholesale quantities, just like many of our users, but now underwear brand Bravissimo is a multi-million pound company. Wholesale Scout looks at its success.
Bravissimo is now a popular high street brand and sells bras, swimwear and underwear to curvier women across the UK. But this now well-known brand actually started out fairly modestly in a living room.
Sarah Tremellen, CEO and Co Founder of Bravissimo, spotted a gap in the market over a decade ago when she was pregnant for her first child. In need of new underwear, she visited department stores and found it increasingly difficult to purchase a variety and instead felt very limited by her size.
That’s when Sarah and her friend Hannah Griffiths decided to launch their own underwear business to solve the problem. In 1995, sick of the lack of options on the high street for larger women, the pair set out to source colourful and fashionable bigger bras (above a D cup) and sell them on to the public.
The business was launched from a living room and started out as a mail order business, buying in modest amounts from wholesalers. Armed with a loan of £10,000 the duo sent a mail-shot to a small group of friends and family and started to take orders. Although manufacturers were generally only producing designs in smaller sizes, Sarah and Hannah dealt directly with suppliers in order to purchase the larger sizes that would go on to signify their brand.
A few years after, with the brand growing in popularity, Sarah bought out the business with her husband and now wholly owns it.
Despite taking three years to turn over a profit, the instant response and demand from the public was huge. After press coverage and demand from larger women, the first Bravissimo store was opened in Ealing in 1999 to encourage women to come in and try on the products.
The retail arm of the company proved so popular that today Bravissimo boasts over 450 staff members and over 20 stores across the country.
The business has now dealt with over half a million customers and turns over £40 million a year. And with a growth rate of 70% per annum that figure looks set to go up.

Related Posts