Fittamamma will receive a £150,000 loan made up of £131,250 from CIOSIF and £18,750 from SWIG Finance, who work with The FSE Group, the appointed CIOSIF Fund Manager, on delivering smaller business loans. As the business grows over the next three years, it is forecast to create five new jobs.
The business, founded in 2012 by mother and daughter team, Deborah Hazeldean and Alexandra McCabe, spotted a gap in the market for stylish, well-designed and supportive maternity fitness wear. The range was developed over time, with a particular eye on the detail, ensuring it would meet the ever-changing body needs of pregnant women wishing to enjoy the benefits of exercise during and after pregnancy.
The team worked with the University of Portsmouth to carry out independent tests on the new range, with the results proving that the uniquely designed Fittamamma vests and leggings, not only look stylish but provide important, essential support where it’s needed most, reducing “bump bounce” by a significant 48% compared with other maternity ranges.
Studies have shown that exercising in pregnancy is beneficial for both the mum-to-be and her baby, decreasing some common discomforts such as backache and fatigue, reducing the risk of gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia, boosting mood, managing weight gain and improving strength and stamina in preparation for birth and parenting. Research has shown that babies born to active mums tend to develop more quickly and have improved long-term vascular health.
Alexandra McCabe, Co-Founder of Fittamamma comments: “With plans for my own family on the horizon, I realised that pregnant women were consigned to the back of the gym, with no fitness wear that accommodated or supported the changes to their bodies – staying active was clearly more challenging wearing fitness wear which simply didn’t fit. I recognised this was a serious gap in the market and started work on my own brand and Fittamamma was born.
“The unique design and fabrics we have developed for our range provide support throughout pregnancy and afterwards, negating the need to purchase additional workout clothes. This CIOSIF loan will enable us ramp-up our marketing to raise brand awareness, scale-up the business and to recruit more likeminded people to join our team. I’d like to extend my thanks to Mike, from The FSE Group who helped us secure the funding to make this possible.”
The deal was led by The FSE Group, and SWIG Finance as part of CIOSIF. Mike Chapman, CIOSIF Business Manager at SWIG Finance, added: “It was great to meet Alexandra and Deborah and to hear about their inspirational story. The range is very well designed and these are exciting times as the team seek to create jobs in the Cornwall area for their expanding team. I am really looking forward to the next stage of their journey.”
Sarah Newbould, Senior Manager at the British Business Bank, said: “ CIOSIF was established to supporting growing and innovative businesses across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and we would encourage other smaller businesses to contact the Fund to see if it can support their growth ambitions..”
LEP non-executive director John Acornley, who chairs the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “CIOSIF exists to help entrepreneurs like Deborah and Alexandra access the finance they need to realise their business ambitions. This latest investment adds to the growing diversity of businesses the fund is supporting across the local economy.”
CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020. Further investment has come from the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LEP and HM Government.
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and is operated by appointed fund managers The FSE Group. For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2