Calla Shoes founder Jennifer nominated for prestigious GBEA honour

The Newton-le-Willows based founder of leading women’s footwear brand Calla Shoes, Jennifer Bailey, has been nominated for the ‘Fashion and Beauty Entrepreneur of the Year’ category at the 2021 Great British Entrepreneur Awards (GBEA),

Wednesday, 7th July 2021, 8:32 am
Jennifer Bailey
Jennifer Bailey

The Great British Entrepreneurs Awards acknowledge the journey of entrepreneurs and businesses across the UK, providing opportunities for winners and finalists to connect.

Founded in 2013, the programme has continued to celebrate the incredible stories that have taken individuals to where they are today, regardless of size or turnover.

Based in Newton-le-Willows, Jennifer took a huge risk when starting the business in 2016 with just £35,000 in start-up loans and savings after being laid-off from her job and expecting her second child.

By 2017, Calla was one of the first businesses to receive a seed investment of £75,000 from the British Design Fund (BDF), which supports early-stage ventures in UK design and manufacturing that fulfil a clear need in the market.

Fast-forward five years and Calla Shoes are now worn by thousands of women worldwide, with celebrity fans including Tamzin Outhwaite and ‘The Crown” actress Imelda Staunton.

Calla Shoes founder, Jennifer Bailey, said: “I’m over the moon and so proud to have received this nomination, especially in an industry as competitive as Fashion and Beauty.

"I started Calla with the goal of giving the 10 million women in the UK who suffer with bunions, options for chic and stylish footwear, after struggling to find fashionable and comfortable shoes for my own wedding in 2010.

"After two years of planning to launch the first Calla collection in 2016, it’s truly exciting to be recognised for something that has taken so much passion and hard work.

"Calla is a growing brand with big ambitions. This nomination is a great achievement for the business, and one that demonstrates we are well on the way to expanding our reach both in the UK and overseas. Now I can’t wait for the finals!”

Finalists of the GBEA regional awards will go head-to-head at an awards ceremony this September, with the organisers awaiting government guidelines on whether this will be a virtual or face to face event. The regional winners will then go through to the national finals in November.

The GBEA nomination comes on the heels of Calla also receiving a nomination for the Enterprise Vision Awards (EVAS) 2021, and being shortlisted for the Drapers Footwear Awards 2021, and with Calla gearing up to release a new collection of comfortable lace-up trainers later this year, it seems nothing can hold Jennifer back!

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