An out-of-this-world clothing business

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Clothing making a name for itself

It was back in 2011, watching images of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with avoidable burns and injuries from the petrochemical based clothing they were wearing, that Andy Caughey had the inspiration to start Armadillo Merino.

The company specialises in next-to-skin clothing for extreme conditions, often used by professionals in high-risk environments. Made from merino wool, the clothing is more comfortable than synthetics and is safer because merino doesn't melt and has a higher level of flame resistance. Police forces, firefighters, special forces, even NASA astronauts are among Armadillo’s customers.

The business is now well-known internationally and has garnered an impressive amount of global press coverage too.

“We’ve had coverage in national papers and TV that has led to immediate spikes in sales and a strong fan base of professional users, but now we want to build our brand awareness and sales on the consumer side too.”

“This would just be a tremendous injection of confidence and cash. I’d invest it in marketing and spreading the word about what our products can do for consumers.”

The cash challenge

The company has used seed funding to help it grow and has entered into collaborations with retail clothing brands such as Tom Ford and MONOCLE.

“We need financing to grow the B2C side of the business,” Andy says. “We do sell to some retail stores but currently most of our consumer business is online sales via our website.”

Despite the success in establishing the brand, it’s been a big transition from the days when Andy was MD at John Smedley Ltd, the Derbyshire knitwear manufacturer employing over 400 people.

And for the future?

“When you run your own business, you have to do everything yourself! Work-life balance can be a challenge – it’s something I’m constantly working on! The key things are to make sure you exercise and sleep enough to keep healthy.”

"And for the future, we are planning to take on more staff,” Andy reflects. “At the moment it’s just me and Hamish my business partner – we outsource our design, website and production work.

We have a very flexible model, working remotely and making maximum use of web-based business apps. We’re not tied to any one place – in that sense, we’re a 24/7 global business!”

More about Andy Caughey

A proud Kiwi, Andy Caughey has had a varied and mobile career since graduating with a degree in agricultural commerce from Lincoln University in New Zealand. His CV takes in Scottish apparel and accessories producer Grants of Dalvey, the New Zealand Merino Company that trades New Zealand merino fibre, Ibex Outdoor Clothing and UK knitwear company John Smedley Ltd, where he was MD. Taking this knowledge and experience into his own hands, it was in 2011 that Andy set up Armadillo Merino to carve out his own distinctive niche in the clothing business.

visit the Armadillo Merino website

Good Funding for Armadillo Merino

Our Cash Advance would work well for someone like Armadillo Merino.

It’s cash ready to go when you are, and you can use it however you want- like marketing in Andy’s case. And he doesn’t even have to wait, it’s the fastest loan on the market!

Rather than taking weeks to put in place, the money can be in his account within the hour.

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