Ben and Victoria Watkiss, founders of Stubble & Co.
(L - R): Ben and Victoria Watkiss, founders of Stubble & Co.

Entrepreneurial couple’s lifestyle brand secures multi-million-pound investment

The consumer-specialist investment firm, Growth Partner, has completed a multi-million-pound investment into Stubble & Co, taking a significant minority stake in the growing brand.

Stubble & Co, maker of ‘functional and stylish’ bags, has achieved sustained triple-digit growth. The business has delivered consistent profitable growth with a sales CAGR of 173 per cent over the last three years, while continuously increasing its investment into ESG initiatives. The business is on track to achieve sales of £10m this year.

Stubble & Co is the brainchild of husband-and-wife founders Ben and Victoria Watkiss. Ex-Loreal, Victoria has over a decade of experience in consumer marketing, whilst Ben previously specialised in marketing and advertising risk, and supply chain consultancy.

What emerged is a ‘trailblazing’ Direct-to-Consumer (D2C) lifestyle brand since its inception in 2017. The company has not only carved out and owned a niche for itself with its hero ‘Roll Top’ product range, but also seized new opportunities as it broadens its range into adjacent categories with the baggage industry, such as its recent ‘Tote Bag’ launch.

The journey began with the launch of Stubble & Co’s first generation of products via Kickstarter, where they achieved a milestone of selling £80k worth of bags within 30 days. This initial launch not only elevated the brand’s profile from nothing but also served as a litmus test for market demand and product fit, marking a “resounding success”.

Throughout its six-year journey, Stubble & Co has maintained its independence, bootstrapping initial growth to date and eschewing external investment. The company exclusively operates through its Shopify Plus e-commerce platform, with a steadfast commitment to remaining at the forefront of software and e-commerce technology systems.

In 2022, the company proudly joined the 1% for the Planet initiative, vowing to contribute 1 per cent of its annual sales to approved environmental non-profits and earlier this year the business also became a Certified B Corporation.

Looking ahead, Stubble & Co is poised for more collaborations and partnerships with other brands. The company has solidified a partnership with Brentford FC, becoming their official bag partner for the current season, which coincided with the launch of Stubble & Co’s new Kit Bag.

Ben and Victoria Watkiss commented: “We’re exceptionally proud to have built Stubble & Co into a £10m profitable brand without outside investment, but we also believe the right partner will help us grow further and faster.

“As our growth continues to accelerate, now is the perfect time to bring in this major investment from Growth Partner to support the next phase of our development. The experience and network from Richard and his team are going to be invaluable as we build a globally recognisable brand.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

Our Partners