Long-standing Redwood client, The Mall Fund, has named handmade, up-cycled jewellery and clothing company, Recluse Colony, the national winner of the Retail Factor 2014. The annual business competition, now in its eighth year, is designed to promote the next generation of entrepreneurs and provides contestants with the chance to trial their ideas in a busy shopping centre and to meet thousands of customers face to face.

Retail Factor, which launched in January, provided 12 start-up and online businesses shortlisted from across the UK with the opportunity to trade rent-free at The Mall shopping centres for three weeks. Businesses were assessed by a panel of experts on commercial viability, originality, market appeal and development potential.

Based on its strong performance during the trading period at The Mall Wood Green, Recluse Colony was selected as the national champion by the judging panel, which included senior industry figures such as Ross Bailey of Appear Here and Andy McWilliams of Ann Summers.

Recluse Colony Founder, Lauren de Lacey, who works alongside 26 designers to create original, quirky products out of recycled materials, has been awarded a £1000 contribution towards stock and business mentorship from industry expert Andy McWilliams, Multi-Channel Director at Ann Summers.

Mark Bourgeois, Executive Director of Capital & Regional, owner of The Mall Fund said: “The Retail Factor continues to draw a diverse range of start-up and small businesses and it was a tough choice between each finalist. However, Recluse Colony stood out as a truly innovative concept and we were impressed by Lauren’s natural business acumen and long-term strategy for her idea.”