With our support, SIR the label is taking Australian aesthetic to the global markets, leveraging social and digital channels to foster a worldwide customer base with their fast-growing international wholesale business.
After creating SIR the label (SIR) from their desire to fill the gap in their own wardrobes, Sophie Coote and Nikki Campbell’s range of feminine, minimalist wardrobe essentials with a uniquely Australian aesthetic quickly took off.
Their strong social media and digital presence launched the fashion brand internationally and quickly expanded into the wholesale market within their first year selling to Barney’s and Matches Fashion.
Initially, Coote and Campbell had self-financed their business, reinvesting the profits as the business grew organically. Eventually they needed additional finance to meet the strong demand for their garments overseas but was unsuccessful from obtaining this from their bank due to lack of security.
"SIR has grown exponentially since its inception in 2014, this has resulted in a drastic increase in our production costs', Coote explained. 'When taking on major international wholesale accounts you have almost a six-month lead time between paying for production and receiving the funds from the account. Which results in cash flow delays - an issue a lot of growing fashion businesses face”.
Maintaining creative control
Coote and Campbell considered selling some of the equity in the business to finance their growth, but they were worried that bringing in other shareholders would dilute their control of the brand.
Coote came across an email from Export Finance Australia explaining how we could help businesses in the fashion export industry.
We initially provided a Small Business Export Loan, enabling SIR to finance their sales orders and production bills. As the brand continued to expand their customer base, we also provided them with an Export Line of Credit to further support their international growth.
"The line of credit facility is allowing us to grow at a faster and more secure rate, having that buffer of credit for production means we can accept and produce more orders", said Coote. "The offer that Export Finance Australia has is really there to support and foster growth for businesses on an international trajectory."
Coote was delighted with the positive, supported and friendly interactions with our Business Development Director and Fashion Sector Lead, Charith Amarasinghe and Transaction Management Director, Colin George.
"They made the application process extremely seamless and easy for us", she said. 'The support from the team throughout the process made us feel proud that we needed financial support because our business was growing on an international trajectory.
With our support, SIR can continue to focus on expanding their international wholesale presence and brand awareness overseas. Locally, they are also looking to grow further in the retail space with plans to open their second store in Sydney.