Friday, October 21, 2011/
Name: Dan Murray
Business name: Sly Underwear
Changing careers from a concreter to an underwear magnate is not your standard entrepreneurial tale. But Dan Murray has thrived on doing things a bit differently.
Murray realised there was a gap in the market for stylish underwear for men, so went about sketching out a few designs on Microsoft Paint and sending them to China to be produced.
After spending the majority of his $25,000 start-up funds, from his job as a concreter, Murray hired some friends to help him out and managed to secure a further loan to get the business to the next level.
A friend helpfully nominated him for Triple J’s Catapult competition for young entrepreneurs, which he subsequently won.
The resulting publicity caught the attention of Jalil Keval, a US-based consultant to the likes of Tommy Hilfiger. Within a few months, Murray had jumped on a plane to learn from the best.
Three years on, Sly Underwear has a presence in 170 stores across Australia, with distribution deals for the US and New Zealand. The UK and South Africa are next in Murray’s sights.
Murray says: “The beauty of today is the power of the internet. You can research your market, competitors, find suppliers, negotiate a deal on production, pay for your order, clear customs, find sales agents and launch a social media campaign to promote your new brand within the industry you have researched.”
“All this from behind a desk without ever giving up your age to anyone – although I wouldn’t recommend it, as business is all about good relationships.”
“Just give it a go. It sounds very clichéd but it’s a lot easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.”
All that glitters is not gold: The upsurge of paid followers and engagement on LinkedIn Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Bin juice bingers: How to avoid the sinister clutches of the procurement department and its cold benchmarking Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Locked and uploaded: How to take bricks-and-mortar stores digital with video Michael Langdon Levity director
Why retailers have no idea about the future Dean Salakas The Party People chief
There's only one way to attract and retain millennial talent — but it'll cost you a few bricks Lauren Lowe Future Fitouts co-founder
Advice for going green, from one chief executive to another James Chin Moody Sendle co-founder