A former Mount Isa resident has teamed up with a Townsville friend to start their own North Queensland apparel business.
Knots Apparel Co. was launched by Nikki Beetham and Alix Harrington in April 2020, producing a clothing line for modern camping and fishing families.
While camping and fishing with their husbands and children, Nikki and Alix found themselves discussing funny slogans and started to think about printing them on shirts.
"The idea came up a couple of times over the years and eventually we decided to have a go at it," Ms Beetham said.
"Given the name Knots we initially started with a few designs themed around the name, so we started with the granny knot and zero knots.
"We have just released one called the Rod Grabber, which our husbands usually call us when the fish would take the bait and someone would race to grab the rod and it's usually the same person every time. So that was the inspiration around that one."
Knots Apparel Co. stock a range of mens, womens and kids apparel including shirts, shorts and hats.
"They are great for general street-ware but also designed for fishing and camping," Ms Beetham said.
"I know other fishing apparel for my girls was very generic, just a pink fishing shirt. So we wanted to offer more of a universal range for what the kids might be interested in."
"We are keeping the apparel slogans light and that people can relate too."
Ms Beetham said when the business launched they sold out of some products in days.
"We sold out of a few items straight away, for us it was trial and error to get the right amount of sizing for the demand," she said.
"We sold out of our headware in the first two days, so we were frantically trying to restock."
Ms Beetham said launching the business in the middle of the pandemic came with its challenges.
"It's a very slow production line at the moment, it is almost three times as long as what it would normally be without COVID-19," she said.
"So it is taking longer to restock and get new stock in, but it is what it is, we are working around it and our clients are pretty supportive."
The response from customers, Ms Beetham described as "overwhelmingly positive."
"I think growing up in Mount Isa, I still have a lot of friends out there who helped support the business get off the ground.
"Everyone has been sharing our posts and inviting friends to get involved and support local, so it has been fantastic for us.
"We are getting a lot of return sales now, we are pretty pedantic on making sure it is the best quality for comfort and reliability by using Australian suppliers."
Ms Beetham said they were now looking into expanding the business to stock in retail fishing stores.
"Now we are looking at breaking into a few local tackle shops, so people can try the product on in store," she said.
"We are looking into breaking into the Mount Isa market by stocking at Tool 'N' Tackle and giving locals the opportunity to shop in store and support a local business at the same time."
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