independent

Wednesday 30 July 2014

'Ruby' offers chance to invest in fashion label

Published 24/09/2013|05:42

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A NORTH Wexford retailer is offering members of the public the opportunity to invest in its new fashion line which it is planning to expand internationally.

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Ruby Rouge on Esmonde Street, Gorey, is inviting members of the public to invest in its 'Doll' label, through the crowd funding website 'Linked Finance.' It's hoped the investment will expand the brand and generate local employment.

The boutique is owned by husband and wife Cyril and Niamh Byrne, who have many celebrity clients, including Sinead Desmond and Lorraine Keane.

Their 'Doll' brand of vintage, girly glamour launched in 2011, and has proven a runaway success and is now stocked in 14 shops nationwide.

The 'Doll' label is designed by Niamh Byrne and buyer Colette Kinsella. Now, they are looking for a business loan of €16,500 to create employment and extend their current 'Doll' line into the lucrative international market, starting with the UK in Spring/ Summer 2014.

To do this, Ruby Rouge has become the latest of a fast growing number of businesses which are bypassing the banking system and turning to crowd funding.

Crowd funding is a new initiative to Ireland where businesses can apply to have their loans fully funded by members of the public through a new online company called Linked Finance.

Since Linked Finance commenced in March this year, more than half a million euro has been raised, and is ready to be loaned out to more businesses in Ireland seeking credit.

Peter O'Mahony who runs the Laughter Lounge in Dublin, set up Linked Finance with the backing of prominent businessmen Kingsley Aikens, Bobby Kerr and Feargal Quinn.

Mr. O'Mahony said, 'This concept is new to Ireland, but is a successful method for SME funding in the UK. It is a simple way to inject cash into supporting small to medium sized enterprises, bypassing the often restrictive and cumbersome banking system. We are delighted that a business as current as Ruby Rouge has decided to come on board, we know it will prove very popular with our lenders.

'We decided to go down the crowd funding route with Linked Finance because "Doll" has such a strong customer base and online following that we wanted to give the customers the opportunity to be part of the label,' said Cyril Byrne of Ruby Rouge. 'It is also a very difficult time to get finance from the banks as they are reluctant to lend to the retail sector. Furthermore, I think crowd funding is great for local business, people like to see their local shops doing well.'

For more information on becoming a borrower or lender visit linkedfinance.com

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