With designers from some of world’s best activewear brands like LuluLemon Athletica and Sweaty Betty on board, Sundried is the exciting new player in the growing UK sports clothing market.
It’s clothing and accessories are made for outdoor pursuits, and are all produced from responsibly-sourced fabrics and materials. Business Advice met Sundried founder Daniel Puddick to find out what it’s like to build a brand around your personal passion.
(1) Who are you and what’s your business?
I am Daniel Puddick. I’m a triathlete and personal trainer, and an entrepreneur. I’m founder and CEO of Sundried – a premium ethical active wear brand for men and women with a heritage in triathlon and outdoor pursuits. The brand is mindful of the environment, and people in its supply chain, every step of the way. During my last business, I created two sunglasses brands. Now, I am building a brand around my interests.
(2) How long have you been around for?
Sundried is new. I left my previous business – Sunglasses Shop – in November 2015, after building it from scratch and selling it on. I have been planning things for quite some time and we have had the collection in our hands for the last month.
(3) How do you make money?
Currently Sundried products are available for sale to customers online only. In the next few weeks we are expanding the team and taking on a sales agent. This year is mostly about brand building for us, and also raising capital.
(4) What makes you different and why should people take notice?
Our clothing is hand made with premium fabrics and materials. Our designers have worked for some of the world’s best active wear brands, such as LuluLemon Athletica and Sweaty Betty, and translate our commitment to understated design with subtle branding and simple styling fitted to flatter and to suit the whole day. Our construction, meticulous design and ergonomic features are inspired and tested by athletes to enable excellent performance when exercising.
We are mindful of the environment and people in our supply chain every step of the way. Sundried fabrics and materials are responsibly sourced and we give five per cent of our revenues to charity – currently Water for Kids – in a way that engages customers.
(5) What was key in terms of getting started?
We were seed funded by the Low Carbon Innovation Fund. We needed an investor that would understand ethics and low carbon production. The initial raise was key. While due diligence was going through I was developing the team. Having the right team has been very important to deliver Sundried as it currently stands.
(6) What’s your biggest achievement to date?
Sundried overcame a challenge for our trademark in the US. Securing the trademark was a key step in our business planning and protecting our name. Also, successfully securing all major social network handles @Sundried completed our marketing platforms. Securing the team and our brand manager was also a very important milestone for us.
(7) What setbacks have you had along the way?
In the first few months, juggling production, designs, testing and factory timing was very complex. The product took longer than expected but we were happy to take the extra time to get the production just right. It did mean we missed a few trade shows but better to have the product right.
(8) In five years’ time, I will be…
I would like to think in five years we will have the UK running nicely with early stage distribution in Australia and USA. Internationalisation is import to us, but at the same time we would prefer to get the UK operation just right before spreading our resources thin on the ground.
(9) What one tip would you give to others starting out?
Starting out is harder the more responsibilities you have in life. In my early days in business I could work 15 hours a day or more as I had no family. If you are thinking of leaving a full-time job, make sure you have enough cash flow to pay the mortgage, put food on the table and invest into your new business for two or more years.
(10) Who are your business heroes and why?
I love the quotes I read from Richard Branson. From the outside looking in, it seems he has an excellent work-life balance. I love reading success stories from all types of business leaders. Everyone who has succeeded and has a truly inspiring story.
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