United by their preference for one-off goods over mass-market commodities, Holly Tucker and Sophie Cornish wanted to tap into the talent of designers whose businesses were too small to reach the high street. The key to their success was to do it online. In 2005 they started building partnerships with designers, and by the following year they had 90 such alliances. Today there are 2,100. Thanks to their marketing backgrounds, the duo have won acres of free press coverage for their brand and secured funding from various backers, including Index Ventures. Sales, which represent the total value of goods bought through its website, have grown 155% a year, from £913,000 in 2007 to £15.1m in 2010, though it had some of the slimmest margins on the league table.
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