What It's About
When the choice came down to "sink or swim", this banker chose "swim"—swimwear, that is.
Words of Wisdom
According to Jake, while you should always expect that you'll need to pay your dues no matter what industry you go into, he also thinks that you should be true to yourself and accept that people will either be on board or they won't. Wise words indeed!
Jake was expecting family and friends to support his swimwear label early on but was shocked to see strangers purchasing in the very first month. It was so surprising that he accused his partner of using fake names and addresses to buy as a show of support!
Notes from Chris
Jake Smith thought working in finance would be exciting. He expected a world of high-end suits, fancy business dinners, and Rolex watches. What he found was that it was actually kind of boring. But it pays well! Which is important for Jake as he lives in Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world. Still, money can’t buy everything, and for Jake, days at work often left him feeling stranded in a sea of mediocrity. That’s why, in late 2017, he began looking for something creative and fun to do outside of his day job. He could keep a solid income and find a sense of fun and creativity in a new endeavor. To come up with an idea, Jake took a deep dive into some of his favorite things. He’d always loved textiles, patterns, fabric, and design. So, he decided he’d get his feet wet and have a go at designing his own product … and the product he chose was right on his doorstep. Jake hails from Bondi Beach in Sydney, one of the most famous beaches in the world. Bondi is also the home of several famous swimwear brands like Speedo, AussieBum, and Seafolly, to name a few. Australians love to swim, and they love fashionable swimwear! These success stories inspired Jake, so he decided to combine his love of textiles and design and create his own men’s swimwear label. He named it SMITHERS Swimwear—not after the Simpsons character. It was a combination of his last name, Smith, and the word "bathers"—a common name for swimwear in Australia. Over the past twelve months, Jake has shipped swimwear to fashion capitals like Paris, New York, and London all the way through to unexpected places like Taiwan, the Cayman Islands, and Dubai. He’s humbled to know that people are strutting across beaches, laying poolside, and cruising around resorts in SMITHERS all over the world. He’s also managed to keep his head above water and still hold onto his day job. While he's not looking to leave the bank anytime soon, the label is doing well financially. Jake sells around $5,000 in product every month after being in the market for just over a year. For year two, he’s working on a whole new range of designs ready to rumble for the next Australian summer. He believes his success so far is just a drop in the ocean of what SMITHERS can become. So, as the sun rises over the beaches of the Australian coast, Jake is enjoying the view.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- SMITHERS Swimwear: Come on in, the water is fine—learn more about Jake's swimwear line over on his website!
- Bikini Model Creates Multi-Million Swimsuit Line: A swimsuit model uses industry connections and social media savvy to launch a high-end shopping site taking on major swimwear companies from the beaches of Miami
- Electrical Engineer Sells $800 Swarovski Crystal Bikinis: The next time you need a Swarovski-covered crystal bikini for a fitness competition (or just a walk to Starbucks), this engineer has got you covered. Strike a pose!
- Fashion Buyer Creates Quirky Comfort Craze: Men’s overalls that double as sweatpants: yes, this is a thing—and an experiment to sell them brings in $64,000
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