How Leeds-born entrepreneur created successful lockdown business after buying an old Barbour jacket

When Ryan Mallinson bought an old Barbour jacket, he didn't realise it would be the inspiration for an incredibly successful business which has transformed his life.

By Daniel Sheridan
Saturday, 15th January 2022, 4:45 am

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The 38-year-old Leeds-born entrepreneur bought the jacket a few years ago and decided to try and fix it up, despite a lack of experience in re-waxing.

Ryan scoped out sites across the internet to attempt to find ways to do it and realised there were many people doing the same.

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Ryan Mallinson's business has attracted customers from Barnsley to New Zealand. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

After research, Ryan discovered that many people were spending over £250 on a jacket only to realise they could have re-waxed their old one.

He decided to try and change that by launching his business Mallin and Son.

Despite working full time, Ryan decided to spend his evenings driving around Yorkshire to collect and return jackets from residents - in turn building up the reputation of his new business.

His fledgling business soon outgrew this service and Ryan quickly launched online.

Now, customers from Barnsley to New Zealand have used Ryan's services and he has employed a team to help keep up with demand.

"It soon became apparent we had found a real gap in the market", Ryan said.

"We were then approached by the largest wax jacket manufacturer in the world to become a partner and take work from their flagship store.

"All the while, running the business from a tiny loft at home."

Ryan spent the rest of the year establishing the business as what he said is the only premium wax jacket specialists in the UK.

"We soon built a loyal following", Ryan - now living in Ossett - explained.

"With a deep interest in the fashion world but with no qualifications or experience, I designed some garments simply to wear myself.

"When they were posted on social media, we received lots of messages asking where they could be bought.

"We released a really small range at the beginning of 2021 to see if the appetite was there and it sold out on pre-sale."

With the rewaxing and repairs taking care of itself, Ryan immersed himself into the world of clothing manufacturing, trying to understand the business and how it worked.

"It was a steep learning curve for someone from a council estate in Swinnow", he said.

"In October 2021, we designed and released a full Made in England range of sweatshirts and T-shirts, limited to 100.

"By the end of the year they had sold out.

"We also managed to get them into retailers in Scotland and Wakefield with retailers in Japan asking to stock with us simply not having enough to fulfill."

Winter 2021 really saw more and more people take notice of the brand, with a number of celebrities and fashion royalty either buying, sharing or wearing the jackets.

Dad-of-two Ryan and his team has now rewaxed more than 2,000 jackets.

He is now looking forward to releasing a spring and summer range at the end of February.

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