The South Shields family business behind the hoodies Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall loves
SandDancer Clothing Co. has overcome the challenges of the Covid pandemic to have a successful first year in business and gain celebrity fans including Little Mix star Jade Thirlwall.
The clothing brand, which celebrates South Shields, has marked its first anniversary since it was founded by designer Andy Campbell, 52, in tribute to his love of the town.
The dad-of-three launched SandDancer Clothing Co. on October 19, 2019 after spending decades working in the fashion industry.
Andy was a former menswear designer for Visage Imports, the South Shields-based clothing supplier which folded in 2013, before working in Manchester and Hong Kong.
Adorned with the SandDancer logo the items initially went on sale in The Word gift shop and quickly became popular.
After the pandemic hit the brand swiftly moved online.
Andy’s son, Oliver-James Campbell, 22, is responsible for the brand’s social media and marketing.
He said: “Every small business is feeling the impacts of the Covid pandemic but what has really helped us is the social media stuff.
"A lot of our sales are really driven by social media."
Oliver-James said: “Jade was watching a South Shields match while we were selling the hoodys at the ground and she saw one and like it.
"She then posted a video on TikTok of her wearing loads of hoodys and she had the SandDancer one on.
"After seeing the success we had with Jade, we reached out to Joe McElderry [and] we saw that in some photos taken from a trip he was in our SandDancer baseball top.
"It’s been really good to get some of the local celebrities involved.”
As well as celeb fans, SandDancer Clothing Co. has also aquired fans around the world, with ex-pat ‘Sanddancers’ ordering items from their hometown and Shields residents sending the clothes to relatives abroad.
Working with other local businesses has been key and the company has provided clothing and uniforms for the Sanddancer Bar & Restaurant, SBG Gym and sold items from Goldies Coffee House in the town.
SandDancer Clothing Co. has also used local photographers such as Newcastle University student Abbie Ditchburn to take its campaign shots and works alongside North East printing companies.
The business is set to expand but will remain a true family affair with both Andy’s son, Thomas Campbell, 19, and wife, Linda Campbell, involved.
One of the brand’s most popular items is the Herd Groyne pull over hoody, which features the iconic South Shields lighthouse, and the label is looking at launching a summer beachwear collection inspired by the seafront next year.
“The summer collection will be focused on beachwear and will feature the likes of board shots and tank tops, so we’re looking forward to that,” OIiver-James said.
“Currently we are working on our Christmas campaign as we look to make up for some of the hardship we faced when Covid first happened.
"So we are offering free delivery over £50 and will even be doing last-minute deliveries on Christmas Eve!”
Find @SanddancerClothing on Facebook or atwww.sanddancerclothing.com