VANILLA Blush, which makes lingerie for people who have had operations like colostomies, has appointed a distributor in Poland where the Glasgow-based company believes it could build a significant business.

Founded by Nicola Dames after she had life-saving bowel surgery, Vanilla Blush reckons the deal could provide a boost to turnover worth up to around £1 million pounds.

With a population of 40 million, Poland is a big market. The company will face limited competition there in the specialist market to supply products such as swimwear for people who have had parts of their digestive systems removed in operations such as colostomies.

Ms Dames, 38, said: “Vanilla Blush is a great business story, we’ve gone from the east of Glasgow to the east of Europe.”

“Poland is a huge market, and we have been researching the eastern potentials for many years.”

With annual sales of around £350,000, Vanilla Blush believes the deal with Poland’s Creative View could help the company speed up its growth rate significantly.

Warsaw-based Creative View believes there will be strong demand for Vanilla Blush’s products in Poland.

Agnieszka Siedlarska, director of the Warsaw-based company, said: “With a Polish population of 40million, and with nearly a million Polish people living in the UK, and with the fact that statistically 40,000 of these people will have either a Colostomy, Ileostomy or Urostomy, then this business-alliance makes perfect business sense.”

The deal provides another endorsement for Ms Dames who launched the company in 2008 in the wake of having her large bowel removed in Glasgow’s Royal Victoria Hospital. This meant she had to use a colostomy bag.

After struggling to find fashionable underwear and swimwear that she could wear with the bag, Ms Dames decided to design her own range. The mum of two was able to draw on life experience gained working as an intensive care nurse and a fashion consultant.

Vanilla Blush’s products provide discrete storage for bags used for collecting waste.

Having re-mortgaged her home to help fund the start up of Vanilla Blush, Ms Dames found products she designed were in demand across the UK. The range includes lingerie, swimwear and menswear.

The company has won contracts with the NHS in Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Started as an online business,Vanilla Blush opened It opened its first store last year, in Bridgeton in Glasgow’s East End.

It has made inroads into a number of overseas markets, including Germany and France.

The company’s confidence regarding the move into Poland has been reinforced by its success in other markets it has moved into this year. Vanilla Blush recently won an order for 8,000 euros of stock for Denmark shortly after agreeing a supply deal for the country.

Vanilla Blush reckons sales in Poland could be worth up to 1.4m euros to the business, around £1m at current exchange rates.