Optical Business Develops a Clear Growth Plan with Support from Greater London Investment Fund

Situated in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, Eyewear Direct was founded in 2018 by Brett Waugh. Brett’s vision was clear: to design, manufacture and distribute quality eyewear at competitive prices, be that Sunglasses, Optical Frames or Safety Glasses.

The Eyewear Direct team scour the world for inspiration, visiting trade shows in London, Paris, Milan and New York, enabling them to bring the most current designs to the factory, ensuring their customers are the first to wear the latest look.

Their impressive brand portfolio consists of Ashton Riley, HOOK LDN, Rédélé, and Sunwise. Optical frames and safety glasses are available from Specsavers and independent opticians throughout the UK, whilst sunglasses can be purchased from several high street retailers such as John Lewis, Debenhams, Crew Clothing, Saltrock, Claire’s and M&M Direct. They are also available from high-end, popular British mail order and online clothing retailer, Boden.

Brett Waugh, Founder of Eyewear Direct commented: “As the business continues to grow, our GLIF loan will help us invest in our team, enabling us to create 7 new positions with a primary focus on business development and relationship management. We are also looking to strengthen our marketing function with PR and advertising to support the industry events which we attend. This loan will create exciting opportunities for us and for London.”

David Booth, Senior Fund Manager for The FSE Group, who managed the £55 million GLIF debt fund on behalf of Funding London, commented: “It was a pleasure to work with Brett and support his business expansion plans. The business demonstrates strong commercial traction in an exciting market, as well as growth in his London team. GLIF helps to support innovative growth companies with the potential to impact on the local economy. We look forward to the next stage of Brett’s journey.”

Maggie Rodriguez-Piza, CEO at Funding London, adds: “Enabling the pursuit of opportunities for ambitious London based businesses is the focus of our ‘Greater London Investment Fund‘ (GLIF). We are therefore, delighted to support Brett and his team by providing the capital required for the Eyewear Direct expansion.

GLIF is a £100m initiative to help address the SME finance gap in Greater London, promoting economic growth through enterprise and an inclusive and sustainable economy. £55m of debt funding is available, via loans between £100,000 and £1m, to early-stage and established SMEs looking to scale-up and realise their growth ambitions. GLIF is financed through the European Investment Bank (EIB), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), London Waste & recycling Board (LWARB) and Funding London’s Legacies.