WHEN Alex and Doug Hainstock (pictured) launched their fashion business out of the back of a van in 2012, they dubbed themselves 'deviants' - a couple of boys who were hungry for the counter-culture.
Five years on and the brothers now run the aptly named DVNT, a successful international brand which designs, manufactures and sells clothing to more than 2,000 stores worldwide.
The duo began by designing and selling merchandise for bands at local gigs and ever since they have been out to defy the norms of fashion.
"It's hard to pinpoint exactly when it kicked off - Doug was in charge of designing merch, and we got to a point where we wanted to branch out and try and make some money of our own," says Alex.
"That's when we got our van and went out on tour."
Alex and Doug travelled the length and breadth of the country, peddling a box of printed samples on long trips including from Brisbane to Adelaide and to Canberra.
The original DVNT van
"It was a lot of fun, however it was two guys sleeping in a van in the middle of winter, there was a lot of condensation," admits Alex.
After six months out on the road, DVNT got its first big run of orders which allowed the Hainstocks to seek a more permanent situation.
It didn't take long before DVNT was taking on new staff members and selling into national retailers including City Beach and The Iconic.
The company has since grown year-on-year and it now trades in overseas markets including Canada, the UK, Europe, South-East Asia and recently the USA.
The Hainstocks are also looking forward to launching DVNT in the fashion capital of New York early next year.
"Next year we will head to New York to collaborate with some big names in the fashion Industry, and to see what else we can achieve," says Alex.
"The connections we could make over there are ridiculous, this financial year will be four times what it has been."
The Hainstocks have recently been named finalists in the Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards and despite their success, they remain humble as they look back on the ups and downs of their journey.
They believe building a business requires nothing less than complete commitment.
"It's 100 per cent about persistence," says Alex.
"Sure, there have been some depressed nights looking around for other jobs, or when we were paying ourselves $60 a week and I was thinking 'how the hell am I going to take my girlfriend out for dinner'."
"But it's so rewarding now, we have a couple of good staff working for us and we have consistent customers. Basically, we can live like normal members of society again."
Even though they might be paying the bills like 'normal' people, it's unlikely that Alex and Doug Hainstock will ever lose their 'deviant' edge.
Business News Australia
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