Australian fashion designer Sean Ashby has come a long way in the four years since using his life savings to set up men’s swimwear and clothing business aussieBum. The company has doubled in size each year since then. This past financial year it earned more than $5 million in sales and it carries no debt.
“The business has grown five or six times in terms of volume, but also awareness,” Ashby, 37, said.
Ashby, himself a keen surfer and swimmer, worked in the entertainment industry before thinking up the idea of aussieBum when he found it hard to find a good pair of men’s cossies. So he used his $20,000 in savings to make a series of prototypes and buy materials and began approaching local Australian retailers.
“The swimwear I wanted was not available so I took a bit of faith and just did it,” he said. “I had some savings for a house so I used that money to invest in getting all of the range created.”
But Ashby found local retailers did not see any potential in the product. So he took the rejections on the chin and instead launched an internet retailing business and began approaching department stores in Europe and the United States.
And luckily he did. Celebrities waering Aussie Bums include Ewan McGregor and Billy Connolly are fans of the cossies while Aussie pop singer Kylie Minogue featured buff men wearing aussieBum cossies in the video clip for her song Slow. Gorgeous soccer darling and men’s fashion trendsetter David Beckham has also been spotted in the brand.