‘Building community’: Menswear brand Co Tyrone goes global
A proud man from Co Tyrone has opened up about how he turned a vision into reality when launching a new business.
Seán Murphy, from Gallbally, was working as a trainer at a gym outside his home when the Covid-19 pandemic hit, putting work for the fitness industry on hold.
The 28-year-old has used the lockdown to “hone his skills” in the business world, reading books and listening to podcasts for inspiration.
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Fast forward two years, Seán is now the owner of MOVE Clothing, which has grown from a collection of branded sweatshirts to an attractive range of adaptive and versatile sports and leisure clothing and accessories to be worn on the go. anywhere.
“What started with just a few sweatshirts in our initial iconic range, has blossomed into something beyond what we could have imagined when we started the journey,” Seán told Belfast Live.
“I was working my way up the fitness industry. Strength and conditioning was the profession I was heavily invested in and I was working from my gym outside my home. Covid-19 then came in March 2020 and with all the restrictions I had to close the gym for the foreseeable future as all businesses especially gyms had no clear future as the virus was completely unknown.
“I’ve always been into fashion and sports and one night during lockdown I watched a documentary about the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers on ESPN. When I saw the retro vibe of their tracksuits, I had a light bulb moment – which I would love to design my own concepts, not to sell but just for a personal task.
“I literally drew sketches on an A4 page, colored them and sent them off to vendors to recreate. When I received them and they went well, I had to decide if I really wanted make it a reality.”
Seán says his vision for MOVE was to have gym products to complement his own gym brand.
Using the same logo as his gym, because it was a standout design, he saw that it worked well in the apparel world. Not knowing if it would be a success, as soon as he launched MOVE, sales began – by the hundreds.
“I never looked back,” he said.
“MOVE launched on a Friday night in the middle of May 2020. It was when restrictions eased and you could meet other households but only outside. I hadn’t seen my friends since the start of the lockdown and we agreed to meet that evening, I remember posting it on social media from my car literally before we met them outside.
“All night my phone vibrated in my pocket with notifications and I had no idea what people were saying. I hadn’t seen the boys in months so I didn’t want to be on my phone all night to check.remember coming home and can’t wait to see the answer – i couldn’t believe it.
“There were thousands of interactions on all the posts combined. It was a surreal moment. I didn’t sleep that night with the buzz. It was a huge step in the journey and a moment that I’ll never forget.
“Things have been going really well. We now have an office with four full-time employees, including myself. We also have a warehouse that we erected last year. It’s crazy how it’s become a work not only for me but also for others in the office. We’re in the top 1% of Shopify stores globally based on traffic. That’s a crazy statistic and one that highlights strong growth since we started start
“When I saw people wearing MOVE at first I was really shy and shy. I still do it to some degree but not that much, I’m just a shy guy anyway so it’s just in my nature.
“I love seeing it outside my home now and really appreciate anyone who buys a product. People will send me pictures if they’re on holiday all over Ireland and see a MOVE top. I love seeing how far we go and hope it becomes more and more popular all over the island.”
Following in the footsteps of his brother, owner of Murphy’s Gaelic Gloves, Seán saluted his parents, family, friends and community for their continued support on this journey – which has only just begun.
Admitting that building a new brand isn’t the norm in a rural area like his, he said being around his friends, who also own businesses, is a great atmosphere in which to thrive.
Seán continued: “We are currently enjoying the process. We certainly don’t get carried away with massive plans. We hope to continue our ranges steadily – we like to plan each one carefully to keep up to date, but also produce quality garments .
“We are due to launch our MOVE Golf gear in April and that is something I am looking forward to. We just want to continue the progression of the brand until it is known throughout Ireland and the UK. United.
“Recently, I have been planning to start my strength and conditioning profession all over again and be able to run TWO successful businesses working simultaneously. I haven’t had time to do this due to the workload of setting up the MOVE brand, but now I have systems in place and a fully functional office, I hope to work at both.
“For every person who has ever purchased an item, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Every sale means a lot to me and you are the ones who make the brand grow – not me. Without sales, this wouldn’t be possible and I hope you can continue to do so as we grow this brand together. One of my visions for this brand is to create a community and I treasure every sale as it means the community grows and strengthens day by day. in days.
“Lots of people have started businesses like me and their success stories inspire me. I’m just a normal guy and always will be – if anyone wants to contact me to ask me anything or even give me advice on whatever it is, then they can do it, I’d love to hear from them.”
For more information visit the MOVE website here or email [email protected]
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