Entrepreneurs' Blog

05 Oct, 2012

Business In The Spotlight – BlueBella

Posted by: Bev James In: Business In The Spotlight|Personal Branding|Public Relations|start up loans|start-up story

Business In The Spotlight - BlueBella

Emily Bendell started her business: BlueBella after spotting a gap in the market for an upmarket brand that was still affordable, after a summer job in a sexy lingerie shop. Emily is now an Ambassador for Start-Up Loans along with 11 other young entrepreneurs. Here is Emily’s Start-Up journey:

What Makes Your Business Unique?

BlueBella is a sensual products brand that uniquely combines high end design and style with affordability and accessibility.

We target the Sex & the City generation of women that want gorgeous lingerie, nightwear, lovestuff and accessories – all presented in a feminine and beautiful way. We primarily sell via a Social Selling sales model.

We have a fast growing network of BlueBella Consultants nationwide that will go to a lady’s home at no extra charge to show her and her friends our collection and create a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

We tailor the party experience to the taste of the Hostess and offer a bra fitting service too.

Please Tell Us About Your Background

I studied Politics, Philosophy & Economics at Oxford University. It was whilst at university that the idea for BlueBella hatched. I had a summer job in a sexy lingerie shop and spotted a gap in the market for an upmarket brand that was still affordable.

I felt women had evolved beyond the seaside postcard idea of sexiness but there was still an alarming lack of choice for sensual products in the marketplace. On graduating I worked as journalist and began researching my idea.

At the age of 24 I gave up my job editing a legal and business journal and started BlueBella.

What Has Been Your Proudest Moment In Business So Far?

There have been many highlights such as being invited to 10 Downing Street on International Women’s Day and being asked to be an Ambassador for James Caan’s Start Up Loans initiative to help more young people start their own businesses.

For me, one of the proudest elements is that I have created a business that is all about making people feel good. Our products encourage women to celebrate and enjoy their bodies and they help couples have happier, healthier sex lives.

Plus we offer women everywhere the ability to run a fun and flexible business from home that fits around their family. Seeing women join BlueBella and gain confidence and financial freedom is incredibly rewarding.

One Consultant was an agoraphobic and through BlueBella conquered her fears. She is now one of our highest achieving Consultants. I have some incredibly touching e-mails from women that BlueBella has helped that I shall treasure forever.

And The Hardest Moment?

Lots of these too! I found our first investment round very difficult. I was out pitching to the business angel community which is 95% male. The majority just didn’t understand or want to engage in my brand.

any angels will invest in what they know and not surprisingly most, being male, were not familiar with lingerie and lovestuff! It was very disheartening but it prompted me to go out and find people in the industry that could also add value beyond cash.

It was also important to me to have some female backing given the female focused nature of the business – and I have now received investment from two all-female angel networks – Addidi and Incito.

Have You Adapted Your Business Model To Cope With The Economic Downturn?

There are two aspects of BlueBella that are well suited to the current economic climate. Firstly – the product. As people go out less they want to enjoy time together at home – and that is where we can help! Pleasure related home products tend to fare well in recession and we grew by 140% last year.

Secondly – as benefits get cut and pay is frozen – many women are looking for additional earning opportunities to supplement their family income. As such we have seen record numbers of women join BlueBella.

I don’t think direct sales companies such as ours get enough credit for the earning opportunities they provide which are especially crucial during these difficult times.

What Advice Would You Give To A Budding Entrepreneur?

The best definition I have heard of an entrepreneur is someone who has the ability to constantly fall over and yet constantly pick themselves up again. Things can and will inevitably go wrong at times.

My advice would be to not get disheartened by that – learn from each mistake and use the experience to improve your business.

2 Responses to "Business In The Spotlight – BlueBella"

1 | Amanda Shaw

October 5th, 2012 at 13:19

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That’s great advice Emily :)

2 | Danica Eveleigh

November 28th, 2012 at 11:09

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Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for supplying these details.

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  • Morgan Grage: I like this post, enjoyed this one regards for putting up. "No man is wise enough by himself." by Titus Maccius Plautus.
  • Derek: Brilliant article Bev, thanks for sharing. coincidentally the kilimamjaro example used is on my 2014 to do list! Ps thanks for the tips you gave me
  • jackson: thanks for your great article about developing your business idea to great business Jackson mutebi

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