NOT many foreigners pitch up in Spain and create a brand…particularly a beachwear brand.
But that is what John Lodge has done with his exciting flip flop company Beachy Feet.
Based out of Marbella, the hip range of cool footwear, bikinis and T-shirts is set to go stratospheric now the Covid crisis is beginning to subside.
Created by the savvy Brit, 32, who moved to the Costa del Sol, via a ten-year stint working in the music and fashion industry in London, he is finally starting to make waves.
Marbella town hall is already helping to promote and support the brand, while others, including the Junta de Andalucia, are queuing up to help.
“This started as a 10 year project but we have quickly realised there is huge potential potential for a longer term growth story” Lodge, from Milton Keynes, explains.
“The global market in flip flops is worth a staggering 22 billion euros with the Brazilian brands, like Havaianas and Ipanema, taking 70% of that.
“I figured a country so linked to beachlife and culture like Spain could seriously eat into that.
“If I can emulate the Marbella Med culture and make it quintessentially Spanish I’m sure it will grow fast and be a big success.”
He certainly has pedigree, having set up and sold his own fashion accessories company back in the UK.
Cleverly tying up deals within the music industry, including the Rolling Stones, Guns n Roses and Billie Eilish, the company was distributed worldwide generating meaningful revenue, before he decided to sell the business in 2020.
He has sunk much of the proceeds of the sale into this new venture, while also moving to Marbella with his family to explore pastures new.
A key unique selling point of the BeachyFeet is that all of the products are designed and inspired by all things Andalusian and Lodge is working with suppliers in Alicante and Elche to progress manufacturing the product domestically in Spain.
“They are the largest producers of footwear in Europe and of excellent quality. I can get everything I need there and don’t need to go to China, where I used to go to source product,” he explains.
“I spent half my life in factories in China, even in Wuhan, learning the ins and outs of how things are made and I know it can be done here in Spain.
“We work closely with local Marbella based artists and graphic designers as well as local logistics and retail and manufacturing partners.”
Demand for the brand has skyrocketed this year with interest and orders from ‘all corners of the world’, so much so that the brand has had to plan two additional production lines for 2021.
The former Country Sales Manager of competitors Havaianas has also recently joined the growing business to help stimulate growth in the brand.
Spurred on by critics, who insisted it was bound to fail (one dubbed it the ‘flip flop flop’), John has recently extended his distribution network to the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, and the UK.
Even the Middle East is showing interest with the brand now stocked in all the major shopping malls in Dubai and he is increasing availability in department stores, beach boutiques, hotels and airports locally.
BeachyFeet sells a range of Mens, Women’s and soon kids Flip flops as well as Bikinis, Nail Polishes and Anklets – available online at www.beachyfeet.es
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