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Redhead’s Lone Clothing founder named Entrepreneur of the Year 2023


There’s a hint in the name of the business – Lone Clothing Co. 

It’s a promise its founder Mitch Samways made in 2016 to ensure he’d always remain independent throughout his small business journey. 

And, it’s a commitment that is paying off for the 26-year-old. 

Mitch was named Entrepreneur of the Year 2023 at the Australian Small Business Awards this week. 

His name was chosen ahead of almost 5,000 applicants. 

Lone Clothing Co founder Mitch Samways

For the Redhead local the award means recognition for his hard work, and an energy boost that will encourage him to keep going. 

“There’s a reason you start your own business,” he told the Newcastle Weekly

“It’s your vision. You should never compromise on that.  

“Small business is the backbone of Australia, and everyone should be wholeheartedly supporting local business. 

“Everything can be found cheaper if you look for it, but that’s not quality and usually not ethical. 

“Big chains are not the ones investing in the local community.” 

Lone Clothing Co is an Australian surf label whose self-confessed focus is being fuelled by the enthusiasm of surfing, plenty of coffee and great vibes.  

On the surface it looks like a young brand selling boardshorts, tee shirts, caps and sunglasses, but if you dive in further, you’ll find it is so much more. 

Based solely at its Cowlishaw Street address within the cool coastal township of Redhead, the brand lives and breathes its philosophy of supporting local business and staying motivated to succeed. 

Every T-shirt sold under the brand’s iconic pal-tree and sunshine logo has been designed in-house, sourced locally and screen-printed by Mitch. 

His team, friends and family model the clothes for his various social media posts, and he regularly donates giveaways to local causes. 

Lone Clothing Co founder Mitch Samways says he’s lucky to have mates that will model his range

Mitch is committed to offering customers high-quality apparel at an affordable cost. 

He maintains a compliance with fair trade regulations, as well as close collaboration with our manufacturers. 

And, his promises have seen his brand recognised as Australian Small Business Champion of 2022 and Local Business Award for the Hunter region for 2021 and 2022. 

“Passion and consistency, they’re my two main ingredients,” Mitch muses. 

“To be honest I think you can do anything with those two things. 

“If you want to start a business, if you want to start a relationship, if you don’t have passion and consistency, you’re not going to make it, it’s just not going to happen.” 

The Lone Clothing Co brand has faced its fair share of challenges during the past seven years, least of all a global pandemic which saw Mitch having to restructure the business plan. 

“We had 15 staff at the start of Covid, but we couldn’t open the doors at either of our stores,” he says.  

At the time Lone Clothing Co was based at Redhead and Cooks Hill. 

In January this year, the Darby Street store was closed after the building’s owner decided to sell. 

“It’s probably better for us this way, we can focus our attention on other things, without paying twice as much rent,” Mitch admits. 

“It’s a sign it’s time to adjust and change again, and you need to be adaptable in business.” 

Lone Clothing Co is based solely at Redhead after it closed its Darby Street store in January.

So, what is his next focus? 

“Well first of all we’re super grateful to be recognised for all the hard work we do at Lone Clothing and Coast Productions, thank you to everyone who supports our brand and for joining us on this wild ride, it means the world. 

“Next is a focus on bringing attention to mental health, we’ve got an exciting collab coming up in that space,” he says. 

“We’re about to get all of our next season stuff arriving in store next week and I guess we’ll keep building and be the best company we can be.” 

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