Reeling in domestic and global rewards
A Top End fishing tackle company with its unique style of sun protection products
After 30 years in the mining industry, Steve Ludwig decided to return to his hometown of Darwin to start his business named Top End Importers. After initially concentrating on importing outdoor fishing equipment, Steve developed a sun protection clothing brand called 'Frillneck'. This year alone he has exported sun protection products to France, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, the United States, Noumea, Singapore and Thailand via e-commerce.
Frillneck is the clothing brand for a line of sun protection headgear and fingerless gloves that showcase Australian Aboriginal art in the design. Frillneck purchases the rights to the artwork and the artists receive a percentage on every purchase. This approach builds social capital in the local community by providing an economic base for Indigenous artists.
For the past few years, Top End Importers has participated in trade shows such as the International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades in Orlando, Florida. The Convention is the largest sports fishing trade show in the world. Their participation has boosted their promotional campaign and provided key networking opportunities.
Top End Importers is one of a collection of stories showing how Australian businesses, especially small and medium enterprises and the communities in which they are based, benefit from international trade and/or foreign direct investment.