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Quiet Achievers: Bremner Music Back to 'Case Studies'

Bremner Music represents the new generation of high value export product and they handle all the manufacturing and production from their workshop in New Plymouth. 

Trevor made the first prototype sshhmute from an old suitcase and brass in his workshop back in 1999, and the product has since been meticulously refined and developed.  It is now made from lightweight and robust ABS plastic, and manufactured in their purpose built New Plymouth production facility.

Practice mutes are an essential tool for any serious brass player, as it allows them to play and practice anywhere, at any time.  The sshhmute range is easy to play, tuneful, and encourages strengthening of the throat muscles.  Trevor says many of the world’s top brass players use and endorse their products.

“We regard this, and the fact that we are now recognised as one of the leaders in practice mutes, as our main success” says Trevor.

The market for the sshhmute is truly global, with sales throughout Europe, the Americas and Asia. The Bremners report that 95 percent of sales for the sshhmute are exported, and the company is looking to expand its dealer networks in the United States, China and Canada.

Not content with this significant success, the Bremners are working on a new range of practice mutes, which they are calling the “Gold Series”.  This is a range of whisper mutes intended for onstage performance.
The main difference is the volume. These mutes can be loud and effective enough to play on stage during a live show. This flexibility is something the Bremners say their suppliers and customers have been asking for. 

“In many cases players are required to play softer than the natural sound of the instrument. There is nothing on the market that will compete with the ‘gold series’ mutes. We are confident that we will have control of this world market.”

Betty and Trevor have used funding from New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, through the Capability Development Voucher Scheme, to refine their production process along Lean Manufacturing principles.  As a result they have cut their production cycle from 5.3 hours to 2.6 hours.

They have also received R&D funding from Callaghan Innovation for development and testing of the Gold Series. This new product has increased exports by 36%.

“Every small business should use Venture Taranaki as we have.  Venture Taranaki staff are always extremely helpful and the advice we have received has been very beneficial.”
To learn more about R&D funding or the Capability Development Scheme visit www.taranaki.info/business or phone (06) 759 5150.


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