Post-cancer surgery lingerie brand looks to Dragons for £200,000 investment
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Caroline Kennedy Alexander is the brains behind LoveRose Lingerie, having spotted a gap in the market for luxury lingerie while she was recovering from a double mastectomy and reconstruction.
The brand is named in memory of Caroline’s sister, Rose, one of two of her sisters to have died from cancer.
Alexander studied fashion and founded and ran an international art gallery in Edinburgh for seven years before teaming up with fellow designer Sarah Bell Jones to create bras, pants, robes and suspenders made from sustainable fabrics and finished with silk.
The venture initially raised a five-figure sum during a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to help get the business off the ground and went on to win at the Scottish Edge Awards 2018.
LoveRose Lingerie’s two founders will now face the Dragons on the hit television series this Thursday, March 24, as part of efforts to raise £200,000 to accelerate the brand’s growth.
The firm plans to invest the money in expanding its product offering, which will include an Essentials line, allowing more post-breast cancer surgery women to wear LoveRose.
Alexander’s fundraising efforts have already attracted support from London-based venture capital investor Ruth McIntosh, who said: “I was delighted to invest in LoveRose because they fill a real gap in the post surgery market, designing lingerie that is certainly functional, but more importantly beautiful and sexy.”
Alexander said: “LoveRose is more than just bras - we put the emotional and psychological needs of our clients first. This is a market that’s shockingly underserved and so we’re helping to fill a massive and pressing unmet need.
“Our post-surgery bras give our customers confidence and renewed self-esteem. Unlike other post-operation underwear, which tends to be bland, matronly, and synthetic, our lingerie is designed with wire-free engineering and crafted luxuriously.”
She added: “Creating the brand has been such a personal journey for me, having fought off breast cancer twice myself, and having supported three of my sisters during their own battles with the disease.
“Post-surgery, I wanted to return to normal life, but I was totally underwhelmed by the lack of comfortable and attractive lingerie available to support the changes in women’s bodies, such as scarring, swelling and cording, and the need for extra support.
“I understand the emotional pain women go through, alongside the physical pain, including the anxiety and fear about how they will adapt their lives to the changes faced by their bodies.
“The response to LoveRose has been so encouraging, with 25 per cent of our customers already coming back to us to buy more lingerie for themselves and their friends and relatives.”
LoveRose advisers include Christian Maher, a former director of lingerie brand La Perla, and Yvonne Webb, a former national account manager at chocolate maker Cadbury.
One-in-seven women in the UK will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime, with more than 500,000 women currently living well after treatment.