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Funding deal for former oil worker

Clothing start-up wraps up beer and football deals

Duncan Skinner and Collette Norval
Duncan Skinner and Collette Norval

An Aberdeen clothing start-up, backed by social entrepreneur Duncan Skinner, has signed a licensing deal with Celtic FC and added BrewDog UK and The Royal Bank of Scotland Kiltwalk to its growing client list.

Launched last year by former oil worker Collette Norval,  SQUAD makes ‘multifunctional’ snoods embossed with a client’s logo from its base in Greenbank Road. 

The enterprise, which has been helped by Business Gateway Aberdeen City & Shire, will donate 100% of its profits to charity via The Skinner Charitable Trust. 

Already SQUAD holds licensing deals with the Scottish Football Association and Scotland Rugby and produces snoods for seven out of the 12 Scottish Premiership Football Clubs, as well as Edinburgh Rugby and Glasgow Warriors. 

Ms Norval, 27, said: “Having Duncan, a highly regarded businessman and director of Aberdeen FC, as our chairman has undoubtedly opened a lot of doors for us, particularly with Scotland’s top football teams, and the help our Business Gateway adviser has given regarding marketing and sales has been extremely valuable.

“Taking part in an IP audit organised by our adviser before we launched meant we avoided making a big mistake right at the start.

“He then offered us a unique opportunity to take a stand at Granite Expo 2016 which helped generate a lot of interest in what we were doing and a number of leads.

“Over the next year, we aim to build relationships with more clubs in Scotland and target those in the English Premiership and Championship. We’re also keen to explore opportunities with large scale organised events such as charity walks and runs, marathons, and obstacle races.”

Gordon Mackay od Business Gateway, added: “Collette and her team has worked hard to cement relationships with some of the country’s top sports teams and are now reaping the rewards.

“Having benefited from our start-up workshops and Expert Help programme, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, SQUAD has valued our support which has helped them overcome challenges and given them added confidence.”

Ms Norval added: “Securing the deal with Celtic has the potential to raise our profile on a global scale while the BrewDog and The Kiltwalk orders highlight our products appeal to commercial businesses and charities.”

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