Sydney parents turned a side hustle in their spare room into a multi-million dollar business in four years

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When George and Olivia Kozma determined to speculate $5,000 within the aspect hustle they ran out of their spare room, they’d no clue they’d simply began a multi-million greenback enterprise.

Waves Never Die, their on-line streetwear retailer, started on a single shelf and has exploded within the final 4 years, the enterprise bringing in a whopping $10 million in gross sales in 2021 alone.

All of it started in 2018, when George began promoting streetwear equipment from the model Supreme whereas additionally working a safety job.

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George and Olivia Kozma (pictured in 2018) were big fans of streetwear and decided to turn that passion into a side hustle.
George and Olivia Kozma (pictured in 2018) had been huge followers of streetwear and determined to show that zeal right into a aspect hustle. (Instagram)

“We had full-time jobs, so it wasn’t one thing we went into pondering it was going to be our future,” Olivia tells 9Honey. She ran her personal laser hair elimination enterprise on the time.

“It was only a passion to be sincere. We simply love road put on, we love sneakers,” George chimes in. “We began with $5,000 within the checking account, that was our first funding.”

The money helped them safe Supreme merchandise from Paris, which they’d shipped to Australia to promote to native consumers. 

A lot of the inventory match on a single shelf of their dwelling in Prestons in Sydney’s west and orders had been gradual at first.

“George would come dwelling after work, pack an order or two… it most likely took 10 minutes of his day,” Olivia recollects.

George started selling sneakers and accessories from their home.
George began promoting sneakers and equipment from their dwelling. (Instagram)

They used social media to attach with prospects and simply earlier than COVID-19 hit, George reached out to Married At First Sight star Martha Kalifatidis on a whim, within the hopes of getting extra girls within the model.

“Martha has an enormous Australian following, an enormous feminine following. And he or she’s not afraid to put on what she desires,” he says.

“I despatched her an e mail and thought, ‘no method we’re gonna get a response’… then she replied.”

The MAFS star agreed to share their model on her Instagram web page and all of a sudden Waves By no means Die was flooded with orders from Kalifatidis’ feminine followers.

“She put us on the map. We would not be the place we’re right this moment if it wasn’t for her, as a result of our feminine gross sales are 70 to 80 per cent [of all sales],” the Kozmas say.

Martha Kalifatidis poses in streetwear from Waves Never Die in 2020.
Martha Kalifatidis poses in streetwear from Waves By no means Die in 2020. (Instagram)

Then the pandemic hit and hundreds of thousands of Australian companies went beneath, however in a shocking twist, Waves By no means Die noticed an unbelievable increase in enterprise.

On-line procuring exploded throughout lockdowns and the model was all of a sudden promoting nearly $100,000 value of sneakers every week, greater than 10 occasions the conventional quantity.

“We had been producing as much as 5,000 orders a month throughout COVID, particularly these final three months. They had been our file months,” George says.

Couriers had been stopping by the home a number of occasions a day to drop off new inventory and choose up outgoing orders, although some did not realise it was for a enterprise.

“One in all them really thought I had a procuring downside. He goes, ‘what’s your husband going to say about all this procuring?'” Olivia laughs.

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Olivia and George Kozma pose with their children, Remy and Penelope.
Olivia and George Kozma pose with their youngsters, Remy and Penelope. (Instagram)

Waves By no means Die was rising at a charge the Kozmas by no means anticipated and was not a aspect hustle they might run out of their dwelling whereas additionally elevating their first little one, Penelope.

“It was an excessive amount of. We had possibly 150 packages sitting within the hallway. We’d be up till midnight, one o’clock within the morning, packing orders with a one-year-old,” George recollects.

Olivia and George needed to decide concerning the future for his or her enterprise and their household. They both needed to scale it again massively, or surrender their day jobs and go all-in.

However George was hesitant to surrender their full-time jobs once they had no assure the enterprise would proceed to succeed. Ultimately, a remark from Olivia helped him determine.

“I stated to him, ‘on our worst week, can we pay our payments and take care of our household?’ He stated sure after which I stated, ‘effectively, that is all we have to do’,” she says. They had been all-in.

Olivia with daughter Penelope, who arrived in August 2018.
Olivia with daughter Penelope, who arrived in August 2018. (Instagram)

In 2020, George and Olivia each give up their jobs and moved the enterprise out of the spare room it had outgrown and right into a 120 sq. metre warehouse.

A 12 months later lockdowns hit Sydney and Melbourne once more and their gross sales soared to $1.8 million a month, so that they upgraded once more, this time to an enormous 500 sq. metre area.

In 2021 alone, Waves By no means Die made $10 million in gross sales and this 12 months is shaping as much as be much more worthwhile, with the model anticipated to hit $15 million in gross sales in 2022.

George and Olivia by no means dreamed that their aspect hustle would flip into such an enormous enterprise, however insist they are not millionaires simply because gross sales are within the hundreds of thousands.

A lot of the cash Waves By no means Die makes in gross sales goes again into the enterprise and shopping for extra inventory. George even says their weekly DHL invoice is over $20,000.

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The Kozma family pose together inside one of the Waves Never Die warehouses.
The Kozma household pose collectively inside one of many Waves By no means Die warehouses. (Equipped)

“If I confirmed you a screenshot of my checking account you’d suppose, ‘this man’s received no cash’. Individuals suppose, ‘these guys are making hundreds of thousands’ however… every little thing goes again in,” he explains.

Whereas they’re “blessed” to be in a cushty place due to the enterprise, Olivia says they’re nonetheless a traditional Aussie household of 4 after welcoming their second little one, son Remy.

“We flew out to LA just lately and somebody on Instagram stated ‘why aren’t you flying enterprise?’ … we do not have that form of cash in our accounts,” she laughs.

In truth, when the couple arrange their first retail area in one in every of their warehouses final December, it was thrown along with IKEA furnishings.

“I went and acquired some cabinets from IKEA and we simply laid some sneakers out,” George reveals. “And we had a file Christmas final 12 months!”

The Waves By no means Die retail area in Moorebank has since undergone a luxurious revamp forward of the 2022 holidays and is ready to reopen on December 10.

With sneakers from manufacturers like Nike, Adidas and extra on the highest of many Aussies’ Christmas lists, George is reminding customers to be cautious of paying high greenback for fakes.

He is seen knock-off sneakers listed on-line for as excessive as $800 and is aware of it may be exhausting for the common shopper to inform the actual deal from the fakes.

“It goes right down to even simply the odor of the shoe, the glue of the shoe. If it has a really unhealthy pungent odor, lots of occasions it is not genuine,” he advises.

“Stuff to additionally have a look at on the merchandise is your field label, your dimension label, the stitching and the color of a sneaker, even the tissue paper used [in the box].”

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For anybody trying to purchase official sneakers as a present this Christmas, he warns to stay to credible manufacturers and verified sellers and keep away from shopping for from strangers on resale websites.

As for his and Olivia’s recommendation to different Aussies hoping to show their very own aspect hustle right into a multi-million greenback success like Waves By no means Die, they insist it is all about being affected person.

“Everybody has to begin someplace. I feel when you’re simply passionate sufficient and love one thing sufficient… Individuals wish to assist small companies,” George says.

Olivia provides: “Undoubtedly simply be affected person, take alternatives, take the dangers. We have taken so many dangers; some have paid off, some have not, however you simply be taught and you progress on.”

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