Personal tragedy inspired the launch of TradeMutt | #523

Personal tragedy inspired the launch of TradeMutt | #523

This is a story about a business idea inspired by personal tragedy. Edward Ross and Dan Allen met on a building site and had a long, comfortable career ahead of them as well-paid carpenters. Then something terrible happened which changed the course of both their lives. It also led to the creation of a business that in its third year will turn over close to $2M! It’s an motivating episode 523 of The (11 year-old, award-winning) Small Business Big Marketing podcast.


Big Episode Today

  • We meet the founders of workwear clothing brand Trade Mutt, which was born out of an incredibly sad story.
  • This week’s Monster Prize Draw winner used an idea from this podcast to hook an ASX-listed company, and another lead worth over $1M!
  • Plus I let you in on next week’s guest who’s third generation chocolate shop is growing thanks to slime very state-of-the-art marketing.


A Little More About Aspect Legal’s Joanna Oakey

A big thank-you to long-time listener Arn Betteridge of Signature Clothing who introduced me to today’s guests, Ed Ross and Dan Allen who met on a building site in 2014. Two young tradies starting what they thought was going to be a lucrative career in carpentry.

Two years on, that dream came to a grinding halt when Dan received news that one of his best mates had taken his life.

This led to the boys questioning everything. 

“What are we doing?” “Are we really doing what we love?” “How can we put an end to young males suiciding?”

Fast forward to 2016 and Trade Mutt was launched, a social enterprise, Aussie workwear brand aimed at making tradies look and feel good at work, whilst reducing the rate of male suicide in Australia.

Basically, Trade Mutt makes loud and vibrant hi-vis workwear that include a bunch of crazy designs that act as conversation starters around mental health. In fact, on the back of every Trade Mutt top is the line “This is a conversation starter.”

Now, in 2020, the business will turnover close to $2M, employs 8 full-time staff and will have 1,000 SKUs by Xmas.

As is always the case, if discussions around mental health or suicide trigger something within you, then maybe listen to another episode … and please be sure to reach out to a friend

I started off by asking the boys to describe the conversation that led to leaving their jobs and starting a business …


Timbo’s Top 3 Attention Grabbers

  1. I love the way they’re building the Trade Mutt brand by always asking if what they’re about to do fits in with their moral compass.
  2. I love that they’re thinking about big PR stunts. I reckon the idea of being locked inside a port-a-loo in their CBD is a ripper. Speaking of big ideas, I’ll have Thankyou’s Daniel Flynn on an upcoming episode who’s just rolled the biggest dice of his business’s life!
  3. And I just love the fact that they’re bringing mental health to the fore. If you did just one thing as a result of this episode, could you PLEASE do that inside your business? Regularly. Don’t wait for the next RUOK Day. Do it today!


Dan & Ed from TradeMutt


Last Week’s Episode of The Small Business Big Marketing Podcast

Episode 522 – Answer this one confronting question and grow your business


Monster Prize Draw Winner

George Coudounaris of digital marketing agency Wayves.


Thanks for tuning in. May your marketing be the best marketing.



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