#AussieEssence | Job interview insult leads to passion for fashion

Australian fashion entrepreneur and founder of aussie essence, Grant Goldfinch, has revealed that he was inspired to launch his menswear brand when he was told, at a job interview, that he was unemployable. 

After being involved in a car crash, Goldfinch’s wrist was badly injured and now has very little movement. That is the only scar he still bears. But the Sydneysider has proven there’s certainly nothing wrong with his business nous!

“In a job interview last year the interviewer said, ‘You’ll never get a job with that,’ pointing to my hand,” he recalls. “I was shocked. I was speechless. But that evening I came up with a plan to do even better than getting a job. I decided I’d start my own business, and I would never treat anybody with that sort of disrespect.”

Having worked on a successful men’s underwear start-up, Goldfinch had come to know the fashion industry from the inside. He is constantly surprised, he says, when he hears people telling negative stories about the fashion industry in Australia.

“It’s true that Australia could have more major labels that are locally owned,” he says. “But spend some time looking around the small to medium fashion businesses, including manufacturers, designers and retailers, and you actually find a very healthy industry in Australia. It is one that is doing world-class work, especially in the high-end, women’s clothing arena. But menswear brands are few and far between, especially since Mambo was sold recently to a US firm.”

“Once I was able to source the material I was after, having patterns designed and finding a great manufacturer wasn’t difficult at all. It was really more about figuring out which manufacturers I got along with best. Then it was just a matter of getting some of our mates to help us set up the e-commerce space to show off the products I’ve created, and convincing my dad to park his car in the driveway as my stock overtook his garage!”

aussie essence now sells t-shirts, singlets, shorts and sweaters worldwide via its website, and retailers are also beginning to show interest in the young, unashamedly Australian brand.

“My inspiration comes from everything uniquely Australian – weekend barbecues, kicking a footy around the park, or hitting the beach,” Goldfinch says. “With the sort of lifestyle we enjoy, it’s no wonder Australians make great clothes to match.”

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