STARING at piles of fabric in her parent’s box room, Melanie Marsden had no idea that in just a few years it would all lead to her running a multi-million pound empire.
The couple set up the brand – which boasts famous fans including Jesy Nelson – with an investment of just Â£1,000 to make their first 100 bras.
Thanks to their savvy marketing they now rank in the top 10 richest Brits under 30.
The company is worth an estimated Â£200million – and has enabled Mel and Dan to enjoy luxurious holidays and the wedding of their dreams.
It’s a world away away from their life a decade ago, when they bought dresses from factories in China to resell on eBay through their company Fashion Eyes.
This early taste of the fashion industry and influencer market spurred the couple – who have been together since they were 16 – to set up their undies brand in 2015.
Mel, originally from Birmingham, admits they did things back-to-front, cooking up a marketing strategy before they set to work on their product.
She told Wales Online: “For us it was a conversation around what is going to be cheap, small to store, something that will slip through a letterbox when you post it, lightweight so not expensive to ship, easily brandable â we had those criteria and underwear ticked those boxes for us.”
To make their first bras, Mel and Dan cut out pattern pieces and sent them off to be stitched together in Bulgaria, before delivering the finished products to their team of influencers.
It was a clever strategy, and one that worked phenomenally well. Lounge Underwear has 3.2million followers and during last year’s Black Friday event they took 25 orders every second.
These days the couple have a 100-strong workforce who operate out of a swanky office in Solihull – having moved warehouse every year for the past five.
And judging by Instagram, they enjoy a life of luxury.
Dan regularly shares snaps from across the world, including Lahore in Pakistan, France and Venice, while they enjoyed VIP treatment at Royal Ascot.
They’ve even managed to get out to the Bahamas – shooting their first swimwear collection there, though they found time to enjoy some downtime swimming with pigs.
Melanie’s account features snaps of their lavish wedding at their home near Birmingham.
Celebrities flocked to congratulate the couple on their nuptials, with Love Island’s Jourdan Riane posting “OMG. Congrats”.
Melanie opted for a traditional white wedding dress, while Dan donned a pale beige suit.
The couple are parents to a young daughter, Felicity, who Dan has even taken into the office to get her “started early”.
She’s set to have a comfortable upbringing, as Lounge Underwear turned over a Â£55million profit last year.
Mel still can’t believe how successful they’ve been.
“We’ve really grafted and we’ve put in a lot of time into building the business,” she told Wales Online.
“We’ve worked to create the beast that we have and when you read a story about yourself it’s like: ‘Pinch me â how has this happened?’”
Despite their huge success, Dan and Mel remain down to earth and love nothing more than relaxing at home with a cuppa.
Dan claims the pair don’t fly off to the Bahamas every weekend on a private jet but recognise they are privileged.
Mel told The Times: “We probably donât appreciate the scale of what weâve done â it all happened so quickly. Our lifestyle has changed in that we live in the house we do, but apart from that we are just two normal people.
“Weâre still mates with all the people from sixth form and we just love being at home, relaxing and chilling, drinking about ten cups of tea a day.”
Despite their humble surroundings becoming significantly less humble, one thing that hasn’t changed is their marketing style.
Instead of the couple picking which celebs and influencers to send their products to, they now have a team of 18 staff dedicated to doing that entirely.
They have no plans to slow down or step away either. While they might be worth millions, Dan insists there are no plans to part ways with their company any time soon.
He explained: “Do I want to slow down? No. We want to be the biggest underwear brand in the world.
“There are no plans to sell Lounge in any way. The vision is to keep scaling and I want to create a group of companies.”
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