Case Studies

Grants4Growth - Bespoke disability aid business realise their growth ambition following grant funding

Posted by Social Change on 2018-04-25 00:00

Broken Fashion is an online disability aid company founded by Graham Mckay in August 2016. The company was established after a motorcycle accident left Graham unable to use his left arm. Having to use the same plain blue NHS arm sling for two years provided the inspiration that Graham needed to establish
his own company, one dedicated to making trendier alternatives. Graham currently runs Broken Fashion by himself (with the occasional help from his family) from his home in Grantham where he imports plain white slings from China and prints them with a chosen designs before mailing them out to his customers.
Graham claims that over a hundred thousand people in the UK alone are in need of a sling every year and with a growing number of designs to choose from Broken Fashion aims to be the go-to provider of unique arm slings in Britain.

 

Broken Fashion’s primary target audience is 18 to 60 year-olds however the business is hoping to start expanding to younger audiences in the foreseeable future.

Before obtaining the new printing equipment Broken Fashions used iron-on transfers to print his designs onto the slings. This method of printing is often unreliable as the print degrades rapidly over time, especially after
heavy use. As a result, Graham was seeing too many customers, unhappy with the poor print quality, returning their purchases.

After testing alternative printing methods, Graham concluded that a technique called dye-sublimation (this utilises heat to transfer dyes onto the slings) yielded the best result.
Not being able to afford the full cost of a dye-sublimation printer, Graham started looking for financial help, finding the Grants 4 Growth programme through an online search.
After being awarded the grant, Graham was not only able to buy a new Dye-sublimation machine but also an embroidery machine, which allows him to stitch the company logo onto the slings and so raise the Broken Fashion brand awareness.
Since purchasing the new equipment, the business has seen product returns all but disappear, production times halved and a turnover increase of over 1000%.

After expressing his interest in the Grants 4 Growth program over the phone, Graham received an application form through the post which he was guided through by a Grants 4 Growth Broker.

The application form asked Graham some basic questions about his business and how he planned to spend the grant money if it was awarded.
Two weeks after sending off the application form Graham received a letter saying that his application had been approved and that he would be receiving a significant contribution towards the cost of the new equipment.

"The application process was very straight-forward and stress-free, it could not be easier."

As the demand for Broken Fashion grows Graham hopes to employ an assistant to help him expand his product line to include other disability utensils and aids such as cast covers.
Graham wishes to sponsor certain health organisations such as specialist hospitals and disability charities. He is also hoping to support disabled sporting events such as the Paralympics.
There is great ambition and potential for Broken Fashion to expand their customer base in the USA and Australia, something that Graham will be planning to achieve once Broken Fashion becomes well established here in the UK.

How do I apply?

The Grants4Growth programme is funded through the European Regional Development Fund and is part of the Business Lincolnshire Growth Hub.

Businesses can apply to access the Grants4Growth funding opportunity through their online expression of interest form at grants4growth.sholland.gov.uk.

Alternatively, to find out more about the Grants4Growth programme or to enquire about eligibility contact grants4growth@sholland.gov.uk or phone 01775 764813.