Inside the SandDancer Clothing shop celebrating South Shields, as brand worn by Little Mix's Jade Thirlwall finds permanent home
SandDancer Clothing Co. is opening its first shop after seeing business boom during the coronavirus pandemic.
The brand was launched by menswear designer Andy Campbell in 2019 who wanted to pay tribute to his love of South Shields after spending decades working in the fashion industry.
The dad-of-three has was a former designer for Visage Imports – the South Shields-based clothing supplier which folded in 2013 – and has also worked in Manchester and Hong Kong before starting his own business.
Selling the likes of caps, hoodies and T-shirts inspired by the town, the brand has gone on to gain a number of celebrity fans, including Little Mix star and South Shields’s own Jade Thirlwall.
And now it is gearing up to open its first shop at 16D Amos Ayre Place in the Bede ward on Saturday, July 3.
Andy’s son, Oliver-James Campbell, 22, who is responsible for the brand’s social media and marketing, said: "We’re really excited.
"The shop is selling all of our stock, everything that people have come to know.
"So we’ve got a lot of hoodies, T-shirts and a lot more gift items as well – so more signs and mugs, facemasks and beanies.
“We’ve also just recently brought out doggie bandannas.”
Although the coronavirus pandemic was a challenge for many businesses, SandDancer Clothing Co. began to thrive after switching its focus to online sales.
Oliver credits the success of its website and social media accounts, which now have around 5,000 followers, as the reason they are now able to open the shop.
“As a business this is a massive for us,” he said.
“Since the pandemic began we pivoted to the website and we started doing well [through it] and that has allowed us to open the shop.
"So it is a major milestone to open the shop and hopefully we will continue to grow in the future.”
The brand, which will continue to sell items at The Word gift shop in the town, is a North East business through-and through.
All of its products are designed in South Shields and printed in the North East, while the business itself is family-run – with Andy’s son, Thomas Campbell, recently joining the team as head of fulfillment.
And its commitment to the region extends to those it collaborates with, as SandDancer Clothing Co. is set to launch a range of SandDancer spirits and cocktails after teaming up with the seafront’s Sand Dancer pub.
The drinks will be produced by a North East distillery and will be sold at the pub and in the new shop in the coming months.
“We’re really excited,” Oliver said.
"The building is set for huge growth over the next couple of years.
“The guy who owns it is developing it bit by bit. There are loads of independent businesses there he is planning on making it a big arts and cultural hub.
"So we are excited to be one of the first shops there.”
Customers to the new store will be offered a range of discounts including 10% off for liking its social media pages or for bringing a friend.
The shop will be open from 10.30am to 5.30pm on Saturday, July 3 and Sunday, July 4, with future opening times to be confirmed.