Several weeks ago Victoria Eggs was honoured to be recognised as one of Birmingham City University’s 2014 ‘Alumni of the Year’. The awards ceremony was a chance to publicly celebrate the achievements of BCU’s most successful students and took place in front of several hundred recent graduates in Birmingham’s prestigious Concert Hall. Since graduating with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2005, Victoria went on to create her own range of greetings cards using photography she collated during a year of travel before designing for companies abroad. However, in 2011 Victoria established the eponymous brand ‘Victoria Eggs’ and it was for this, her most recent venture, that she was presented the award in the category of ‘Enterprise and Innovation’, earning her lunch with (amongst other honorary awards recipients) Gok Wan!
The award recognised the increasing exposure of Victoria Eggs clothing, home accessories and art prints, now being stocked by over eighty British retailers including Selfridges, Liberty, Debenhams, John Lewis and Lakeland. The company was also credited for its continued growth into an international brand with stockists in France, Asia, Australia and the USA. Meanwhile, ambitious plans exist to develop overseas markets in the coming months.
Not only do Victoria Eggs products celebrate the best of British culture but they are a tribute to the best of British industry having been sewn and printed within the United Kingdom. Birmingham City University itself has a reputation for working with local communities and, as a result, an invested interest was taken in Victoria’s insistence on sourcing domestically. When asked about her commitment to British business, Victoria commented:
‘It would have been very easy to just outsource it to a company in the Far East, but I think we can still manufacture great stuff in this country, and I wanted to see how far I could go by developing suppliers in the UK.’
This was noted in the award that credited Victoria with ‘providing a variety of employment opportunities in a rural area’, thanks to her reliance on suppliers in Lincolnshire. BCU also identified the contributions of Victoria Eggs towards traditional British manufacturing, citing her use of a factory in Stoke-on-Trent where mugs are finished by hand. The accolade concluded by acknowledging Victoria’s eyes to the future, having used her experience to act as a mentor to other young entrepreneurs by taking on interns and providing them with invaluable work experience and advice to ensure the continued success of creative industries.