1) When did you start your business (and/or) hobby? How did you come up with the idea/inspiration?
Inspiration: a) Being 6’8 my main inspiration was finding a t-shirt that fit me and wasn’t a sexy crop top (or became one after 1 wash. b) I also wanted a t-shirt that not every second person owned AND c) a t-shirt that’ll last more than 1 wear, heck a t-shirt that’ll last more than 1 season!
Skumi was born in 2008 as an on the side gig whilst I was also working at the Hyatt in Coolum. What started as a small stall selling fishermans pants (Hey – don’t knock it! They were cool back then!) evolved into printing my own artwork at that of local artists onto high quality cotton T’s alongside some ready made T’s that I handpicked from various places. Roisin came on board in 2014 and these days Skumi is best known for its party shirts and long lasting quality T-shirts.
2. What does your daily life look like? Where do you find the time to create?
Daily life: Early morning surf, play some guitar, perhaps a nap …… no wait – we have kids. . . These days it’s more like wrestle mania with a freakishly strong 2 year old and some serious life vs death negotiating with a 5 year old. Working from home with a 2 and a 5 year old is both challenging and fulfilling. . . and challenging! There’s a lot of tag teaming and working late. We try to embrace the quiet seasons and get creative then. . .oh and there’s the occasional paper, scissors, rock to see who can get out for a surf too. . .
3. What keeps you going when things are tough or you have a lack of motivation? What is your main drive?
I think the beauty of working with your partner is when one person loses motivation, there’s an opportunity for the other person to step up and bring something new to the table. We really do love what we do and are really proud of what Wade has created. We have really amazing customers that we get to see weekly at the markets who really appreciate that we can bring something different to their world.
4. What is the main thing you have learnt while running a small business or passion project?
Oh jeez. So many lessons. Never substitute quality. Value your customers. Take on feedback – but also know that you can’t make everyone happy. You’ll attract the right people along the way. Be fair. Check the weather before market day!
5. What does each sale mean to you?
Skumi solely supports our little family of 4. We seriously love our shirts and get really happy at the thought of someone out there rocking their Skumi shirt out in the world. We love it when we see people out and about in them. They just look SO GOOD! (if you’re wearing one and you can feel a telepathic high five coming at you – that’s us). Every sale allows us to keep doing what we love but also puts food on the table. We live a very simple existence – luckily it doesn’t cost money to surf or to climb Mt Coolum. As long as we have enough money to fuel Wade’s chocolate addiction, Roisin’s bikini obsession, and the girls’ sparkly shoe needs, then we are happy!