To grow from a small designer men’s swimwear label to compete with multinational brands.
Owner and creative genius Adam Brown started Orlebar Brown seven years ago with just 1,000 pairs of tailored men’s shorts which he sold via his website in 2007. In a short space of time the business grew from this modest start to become a thriving premium luxury clothing and accessories brand stocked by London’s and America’s most famous department stores.
As a start up going through such an accelerated growth pattern the business was forced to develop in order to keep pace with demand. When newly appointed finance director, Irfan Harris, joined Orlebar Brown in 2010 he was presented with a variety of challenges. One of his initial challenges was to implement the first company audit. He also needed to discuss VAT issues relating to trading overseas and was considering introducing a staff employee share option scheme. Also at this time, the business was seeking investment in order to fund its rapid growth.
“I needed financial advisors with commercial sense”
Irfan knew he needed Auditors, but he wanted to work with a firm who would join Orlebar Brown on their journey, a firm who would appreciate the difficulties he faced and to whom he could turn to for commercial advice. Through a personal recommendation made to founder Adam Brown, Irfan approached Warrener Stewart to conduct the company’s first audit.
He found dealing with the Audit team very easy, their advice was so helpful that the relationship between the two companies grew. Next on Irfan’s list was to tackle the complexities the business faced regarding VAT incurred importing finished goods and exporting to the US, which he did with the help of the Tax team at Warrener Stewart.
“Warrener Stewart work hand in hand with us”
As the business continued to grow Irfan found Warrener Stewart a useful source of knowledge who were able to dispense invaluable commercial sense. Warrener Stewart also provided support to Irfan and his team as they went through the process of raising additional funding from two venture capitalists, and worked alongside Irfan and his solicitors to ratify the tax aspects of the funding agreements.
The cash injection helped the Orlebar Brown brand go from strength to strength with 2014 seeing the launch of a women’s and children’s range and further expansion into the US. Whilst still a young company putting solid financial foundations in place early on ensured that the business could flourish.
“The development of the business would not have been possible were it not for Warrener Stewart, they helped us negotiate through a lot of ‘red tape’ and to strike a balance between growing too quickly and ensuring that we continued to flourish.”
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