South Wales clothing company Bear Strength has realised the power of social media as sales of the brand’s signature CrossFit clothing went global almost overnight.

Through harnessing the power of online marketing (notably Twitter), the local brand, which was set up by brothers Gareth and Andy Shears, both former pupils of Bassaleg School, Newport, just 12 months ago, has experienced a surge in overseas sales, resulting in significant growth for the small, owner-managed company.

Although the company, which provides functional fitness clothing that boasts their unique in-house designs, is now well-established within the UK’s CrossFit community, but their new approach to social media has seen a surge in demand for the products in the USA and as far afield as New Zealand.

Gareth Shears said: “We established Bear Strength to provide fashionable yet functional clothing for the CrossFit community which my brother Andy and I are proud to be a part of. We have experienced steady growth since day one thanks to a loyal following within the field but the bigger picture has always been to expand beyond this realm and into the greater lifestyle and fitness sectors.

“Social media now allows us to chat with both fans and potential customers pretty much 24/7 so, as a growing business, we’d be silly not to take advantage of this - and the proof is in the pudding.”

One of their most desired designs is the ‘Strong Is The New Skinny’ slogan vest, which has been an international best-seller among girls looking to support a more positive body image, and has seen tweets of praise and support come flooding in from around the globe.

Though firmly sticking to their Welsh roots, the brand is now looking at designs specifically targeting their newfound American and international following - and some charity collaborations are also in the pipeline.

The brothers are hands-on when it comes to sourcing the best ethical clothing that offers quality, functionality and style and the entire collection is designed by Andy – a graduate of Cardiff Met.