Published On: Wed, Nov 20th, 2019

FLŌA Sports: Snow baselayer brand to expand with all-season fitness collections | City & Business | Finance

Spurred by strong demand from snowsports and athleisure customers, the start-up British designer and out-sourcing manufacturer is seeking up to £500,000 from angel backers. Funds will be directed at scaling and diversifying the business, creating an all-seasons operation. FLŌA, from the Norse meaning “flow” and for modern atheletes “in the zone”, got off to a flying start last winter with its Backcountry Baselayer sets (from £75) aimed at expert, off-piste skiers and boarders.

Made of a merino wool stretch fabric, the design features targeted ventilation and compression mapping for arms and legs, improving circulation and reducing fatigue.

Developing it has been a real feat however, says FLŌA’S founder and majority owner Fergie Miller, a snowsports entrepreneur and former racer.

“Natural fibres are warm but brittle so to make our seamless product, which is far more efficient and comfortable, was a challenge. Few factories can do it,” he explains.

Baselayers are not so basic either, he adds. “Our product differentiation is that we take them very seriously. This apparel is closest to the skin. Design and fit are crucial.”

More recently the company launched its super soft and tailored All Action range.

“These are also technical garments, but for trail running, climbing, hiking, yoga and Pilates as well as snow, the best multi-use action baselayers possible,” says Miller.

 “All Action has received a lot of interest from women and we are increasingly seeing purchases from both young and older customers beyond our core 26-50 demographic.

“Those orders are becoming more international – from Singapore, the US and Germany.”

Revenues are forecast to be £100,000 for 2019 with 300 per cent growth in the following two years.

The past months have been spent integrating the whole operation. “We needed to integrate a multi-channel approach covering ecommerce, wholesale distribution and our own retail points,” Miller explains.

Both product and brand matter in sportswear, he believes, and central to achieving that is a company’s team.

FLŌA’s has a serious pedigree and includes former designer for Nike Sean Pankhurst and renowned product developer Heather Brint.

Going forward the new collections will feature T-shirts, tank tops and leggings. 

“Building a business is a marathon not a sprint, it takes time to find the right people and you have to be both agile in management and focus on the moment. It’s not all about lofty targets,” says Miller. 

“Our bottom up approach is different to many others. We have multiple contact points with customers across social media and events. In future sports clubs and national sports bodies will be part of our strategy. One day I hope FLŌA will be creating its own fabrics.”

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