Written by Tegan Brideson for AdrianErdedi.com
Slumber Fun For Your Aussie Buns
I’ve got two words for you. aussieBum. What do you think? Sean Ashby’s story from “jack of all jobs and really a master of none” he says, to a creative CEO of a globally successful Australian owned and made brand is an inspiration.
He was approached to participate in Channel Nine’s ‘Secret Millionaire’ and the comparisons to be made from what he could have become to what he has become are close to home. Ashby says “I started aussieBum to give myself a job as none were being offered, so I could pay rent and support myself instead of ending up a real bum.”
The designer was originally supporting himself in jobs ranging from a barman to a personal trainer and when he began developing the aussieBum label, he says “for me, it was all about the idea of doing what I believed in.” The brand will be ten-years-old next year, an achievement that proves hard work pays off.
In the ‘Secret Millionaire’ episode, Ashby participated in CEO Sleep Out, an event he says he was “wrapped to be a part of.” The company raised and donated over $30,000 to the cause.
“It was something I signed up for personally because I am a great believer in walking the walk and not just talking the talk,” he says. Striving for his company to be become more community oriented meant this was a way that he was prepared to participate and contribute, aiming to motivate others to [do the same] in the future.
He didn’t have any expectations when it came to stepping out of his comfort zone either, “apart from wanting to get more involved in my community and show support for those who are sometimes overlooked,” said Ashby.
It’s started the ball rolling for future community projects but Ashby’s passion for aussieBum is to maintain an Australian identity and to continue his Australian made brand’s successful competition in the global market.
This is all carried out with fun being the main objective. The company has a London based office to maintain the relationships with major buyers so travelling is also a priority. He says the buying and selling trips involve “lots of alcohol” [laughs] and “plenty of time spent at the buffet breakfast counter, I love breakfast I do.”
We’d all be laughing too apparently if we watched how Ashby taught himself the online store aspect of the site. aussieBum’s initial domestic and international success can be attributed to the e-commerce website, something he says he was totally uneducated in. “It’s amazing what you can do when your back is against the wall and it’s up to yourself to make your dreams come true” he says.
When asked if he’s ever dreamed of opening a stand alone store he answers with a laugh, “bloody hell yeah, it’s one of the most commonly asked questions.” He’s thinking more along the lines of a café though, where he says “people can hang out and enjoy the lifestyle and perve factor of the brand… and I also like the idea I will have somewhere to go for breakfast.” Straight to his heart.
Secret Millionaire airs on Channel Nine.
Copyright © Tegan Brideson 2010