Victoria Le Marquand’s new business, #FaceFlips, manufactures flip flops made up of official images of the band members’ faces.
The brand was launched earlier this year and is set to continue growing over the next 12 months.
#FaceFlips is Le Marquand’s third venture in online retailing, so she knows just how fickle the e-commerce industry can be for anyone who is not prepared for every eventuality.
She said: “I started off by designing the flip-flops I wanted to sell, ensuring that I had everything ready before I approached One Direction’s licensing team with the idea.
“Thankfully, the team loved the concept and #FaceFlips was born.
“We had only just begun trading when Zayn Malik left the band though, so that was quite a tense few weeks for all of us.
“The Zayn Malik #FaceFlips are now limited edition and are still very popular so it all worked out in the end.”
Le Marquand made the idea a reality after signing a deal with One Direction’s licensing team and securing a £15,000 start-up loan from the Coventry and Warwickshire Reinvestment Trust (CWRT).
Victoria and the team are now talking to the licensing team at Universal Music about doing the same for several of their artists next year.
She added: “We needed to finance our advertising campaign for the One Direction #FaceFlips and HSBC recommended that we approach CWRT as it has a start-up loan programme available for new and creative businesses like ours.
“The CWRT team helped us to update our business plan and include a budget for advertising, so that we could reach more of our target customers and grow sales using paid advertising alongside our original organic marketing.
“#FaceFlips is still a fairly new business, but we’ll be looking to create jobs as the business expands, which is assured thanks to the support we have had so far along the journey.”