Our Aussie business feature continues with this inspiring interview with Stride founder, Jordan Wilkes. We absolutely love hearing peoples’ stories about how they arrived where they are today. This is Jordan’s journey of founding his Australian business Stride, an ethical fashion company:
1. Tell us a bit about your business and how you got to where you are now?
Stride is an online store that showcases ethical fashion from over 75 Australian labels. Think of Stride as similar to ASOS or The Iconic, but for slow fashion! Lots of Australians are fed up with a fashion industry that abuses human rights, destroys our environment, and even has child labour in their supply chain. Through Stride, Aussies can vote with their wallet for the world they desire – they can match what they wear with what they believe.
I have had an interesting career before Stride. I always had business aspirations, but my ambition since I could remember was to play professional soccer. After returning from playing soccer Greece in 2018, I finished my business degree and decided to pursue my business ambitions – hence Stride was born soon after.
2. What do you love most about your business – how is it unique?
It would definitely have to be the value-driven cause of Stride. Yes, we are a for-profit enterprise, but the overarching goal of ethical production and sustainable practices go far beyond the benefit of Stride. It truly humbles me to know that I am empowering Australians with good intentions to shop fashion that is contributing to a better world for them (and the people around them).
3. What’s your life mantra?
I’m not sure if it’s specifically a mantra, but a Tony Robbin’s quote that has always stuck in my mind is “Hell on Earth is meeting the person you could have become”.
I’ve been blessed in so many aspects of my life that I want to live it to my fullest potential – I don’t want to look at some young guy in 30 years time and think ‘that could have been me’.
I love how this quote is also very personalised in that it is the person that YOU could have become. It’s insular and not to be compared to someone else’s success; it’s all about being the very best person YOU can be.
4. What else would you be doing if you didn’t do what you do?
In a dream world, it would be playing for Liverpool FC – but I’m nowhere near good enough!
If I wasn’t operating my own business, I think I would be working for a marketing agency. Marketing in all it’s forms has always fascinated me and I’m always interested to see how platforms and messages can compel people to convert.
5. What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
I’ve received some really thoughtful gifts in the past, but I can’t remember them!
For my last birthday, my girlfriend got me some Airpods and they have been a game-changer for so many reasons – work, exercise, podcasting.
6. What’s the best gift you’ve ever bought someone?
This may not be the ‘best’ gift, but I think it might be the most thoughtful one. My girlfriend and I were watching TV and she commented on how much she loved the earrings that the person on TV was wearing.
I noted that in my head, and the next day, I tried to Google these green earrings… but I didn’t get far! So I thought I may as well DM the person on TV and just ask.
To my surprise, she responded in like 20 minutes and told me where she got them from.
A quick online order and after a few days I had them – my girlfriend was very appreciative!
Jordan is the founder of Stride – Australia’s leading ethical fashion store with over 75 local labels.
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