Borrower case study – Camal Enterprises

Dan from Camal Enterprises painting a model of Disney's Cinderella

What do you get if you combine Disney Princesses, Thelma Madine, Swarovski crystals and 150 years of experience?  Midlands based company, Camal Enterprises.

Camal Enterprises started life in 2009 in Stoke on Trent as a tableware brand, but when competition became restrictive, they turned their expertise to figurines. Both MD Wayne Nutbeen and Marketing Director Malini Pashley came from Royal Doulton, and their phenomenal experience in the world of china figurines has lead them to develop unique and globally popular pieces that are designed in the heart of the Midlands.

After 5 years of growth, the opportunity came up to gain the license for the Disney Princesses brand, to produce exclusive figures and china cups & saucers for the discerning fan.  There was an upfront licensing fee however, along with significant development costs, and the English Ladies Company, Camal’s figurine retail brand, needed additional funds to support the project.

The company had previously had a loan through local business ThinCats; an online peer to peer lending platform specialising in loans with security, with a head office in Ashby de la Zouch.  Ludgate Finance, Birmingham based experts in alternative finance, had advised them.  David Grocott, Director at Ludgate, has come to know Camal well: “They approached us originally to help improve an existing loan situation and give some opportunity for growth; banks tend to have quite a circumspect approach and don’t always see the potential as enthusiastically as Thincats investors do. Camal returned again to finance the Disney Princesses license; we knew it was a great opportunity not just for the company, but for ThinCats lenders as well.”

 

A trio of Disney Princess cups

“There are a massive group of Disney fans who grow up and continue their love of Disney, but there are very few products or gifts that are suitable for them,” explains Malini.  “Our Disney Princess inspired pieces provide the perfect product that can be taken on a life journey; handed down from parent to child.  We are developing our range, which currently includes Snow White, Belle and Cinderella, to incorporate more of the princesses, as well as some of the other very well-loved characters in the princess films.”

Malini describes the English Ladies Company’s other famous link: “We formed an alliance with Thelma Madine, legendary wedding dress designer, in July 2014; she gives us her new dress designs and we add a pose, hair style and expression, and produce some incredibly popular figurines with beautifully glamorous dresses, finished with Swarovski crystals and intricate platinum detail.”

Working alongside Master Painter Dan Smith, and others who all have significant experience working in the industry, Malini is justifiably proud of the nearly 150 years’ expertise that they boast between them, “We are on the cusp of having our pieces sold through the Disney Store online; we have taken our specialised skillset and transferred it to the mainstream, on products that showcase it well.”

The combination of remarkable expertise, sound advice and solid funding has launched them into a very sparkly future indeed.

 

Further information on the English Ladies Company’s products can be found at www.englishladiesco.com.  More details on Ludgate Finance’s services; www.ludgatefinance.co.uk. Information on peer to peer lending and funding; www.thincats.com.