French underwear label Jolies Culottes raises €1 million to boost growth
The adventure of Jolies Culottes, launched in 2017 by Florie Ducamp Albert and Prune Aubry, continues with fresh backing. At the end of the month, the French women’s underwear label, distributed exclusively online, is in fact set to complete a second funding round, this time worth €1 million. The funds will be used to finance new developments, and especially to step up the pace of the label’s expansion, after the initial targets have been achieved, with nearly 50,000 units sold.
Indeed, Jolies Culottes is keen to broaden its horizons. It started by selling quality women’s underpants, made in Europe and Oeko-Tex-certified, offering lower prices for bulk purchases, and it now wants to extend its range. The first new products will be underpants for young girls aged 3 and upwards: five models will be launched in November, and the plan is to introduce another 20 new models each year.
A few weeks later, as winter will be about to start, Jolies Culottes will launch its first range of tights: three models (opaque, semi-opaque and plumetis) produced in Portugal, with a very comfortable fit, competitively priced from €12 to €15 per pair.
Then, next January, Jolies Culottes will introduce the first bras to match its bio-cotton underwear.
Besides bolstering these product launches, the fresh capital will chiefly enable Jolies Culottes to accelerate on two other fronts: visibility -- via new communication investments, and hiring -- to support the label’s growth.
“Our expansion could be self-financed, but now is the time to accelerate, notably to broaden the brand’s audience, having built our consumer community exclusively through word of mouth,” said Ducamp Albert.
Jolies Culottes has an ambitious goal in its sights: to reach a revenue of €15 million in three years.
It also considered brick-and-mortar distribution, though it eventually decided to stick to a pure-player model to safeguard profitability and maintain its initial bulk-discount strategy.
Jolies Culottes’s approach enabled its founders to attract a large pool of investors for its recent €1 million funding round: two institutional investors, BPIFrance and the Nouvelle Aquitaine region’s investment fund NACO, and above all a sizeable number of private investors from the South-West of France, via groups of business angels.
Jolies Culottes made its break-through online, tapping the body positive trend with an eye for sustainability, selling Europe-made, biological and wellness-inspired products, with a fashionable aesthetic of course.
Now it wants to appeal to a much greater number of women, extending beyond its organic following on social media. To do so, the label’s founders are resorting to more traditional communication media (PR and perhaps also posters) and are keen to broadcast a new message, casting Jolies Culottes as a transgenerational brand.
“We mustn’t be exclusively youth-focused, we’re currently targeting 20-year-olds only. Our slogan from now on will be ‘from 3 to 48 years of age’, offering something for women of all ages. It will be one of our dominant themes in the coming year,” said Ducamp Albert.
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