Miner Wear: Keeping British manufacturing alive

An entrepreneur looking to keep British manufacturing alive from the heart of Northumberland, Graham Murdie, founder of Minerwear, tells BQ of his story so far.

Founded in 2012 by Graham Murdie, Miner Wear designs and manufactures Dye Sublimated sports and leisure wear for sports ranging from Football to Netball.

BQ caught up with Graham to see how the business was going and the biggest challenges facing him as a British manufacturer.

Graham helped form a Rugby League Club and found that the turnaround times and prices of merchandise limited how the club could make money.

Speaking to BQ, he said: “I wanted to do something that could help the club so I started Miner Wear to make the club some money so it could survive.

“Sadly at the time my Granda had passed away. My biggest regret was I never got the chance to say Goodbye.

“I formed Miner Wear as sort of a memorial and my way of saying “Hello” rather than goodbye. In a way he’s my boss and I can’t let him down. That’s where my passion and drive comes from.”

Speaking about how he got started, Graham said: “I researched the industry for about two years before we started up. In this time I bought all my own equipment and basically trained myself how to operate them. Once I was confident of my ability that’s when I started trading.

“YouTube is a handy tool for research into potential equipment purchases and also “How To” videos. A lot support comes from my Family also. My dad used to have his own business and advises me on the accounts side of things. My Mam used to work in a clothing factory and used to teach sewing to young adults. So I can benefit from their years of wisdom and experiences.

“I received a lot of advice and support from Business Northumberland which allowed me the confidence to get out there and display my products. Their guidance showed me which areas to target and different angles to take.”

As far as challenges go, Graham believes his greatest hurdle to leap was, “getting people to trust my brand better and worth parting with their money;  over already established brands.”

Looking forward, Graham told us how his dream goal is to have his own factory manufacturing his produce: “My biggest target and ultimate goal is to have my own factory where I have complete control over my products. And to be classed as a “Big Brand”.”

He added: “The worst part about being a start-up is getting noticed and changing people’s minds about a new sportswear brand.

“The best part is meeting new people and exceeding their expectations about every facet of my business. From customer service, to the quality of products and our design work.”

Graham is a strong supporter of British manufacturing and sustainability, stating: “all of my company’s products are tailored to each customer. No two designs are the same. My designs stand out and catch the eye as well as the build quality of each garment. All of Miner Wears products are produced here in the UK so are completely ethical.”

BQ look forward to following Graham’s start-up journey and the development of the Miner Wear brand.