|14 May 2020|
“To be completely honest with everyone, I was always thinking of what I wanted to do after school. I probably should have focused a bit more on my school work…”
Alfie was keen to get out into the real world and start living life. In his final years at Oxford Falls Grammar he admits he ‘overlooked a lot while at school’ and was dreaming of running his own business, something in the film and photography industry. He picked up photography early, his first camera being a hand-me-down from his sister Maisie. It sparked a love of capturing moments that can be looked back on for many years to come. By the time he graduated in 2017, Alfie was already operating his own business as a freelance photographer. Not sure of the best course of study Alfie worked on his business while also supporting himself part-time in retail, at General Pants. However, running his business didn’t quite go the way he anticipated sharing ‘it was much easier in my head’.
Photo: Selection from Alfie's portfolio of work available to view in full here https://alfienevin.pixieset.com/
While at General Pants, Alfie enjoyed seeing what a simple outfit could do to a person’s confidence and happiness, the idea of developing his own clothing line started to occupy him and take shape. Having a business model and name he needed to think through how to find the time and the investment to get it off the ground. Interestingly, Alfie’s studies at school helped in pursuing this venture. School gave him the opportunities to learn and develop knowledge about the multimedia industry. Further, he reflects on a project during Business Studies which 'birthed' what would eventually became his clothing line.
“While at school we were tasked to create a business plan for business studies, I took this opportunity and birthed what later became my own clothing line The Kingsmen Co.”
Separately, Alfie’s dad purchased an Australian trailer manufacturing company called Boeing Trailers. After initially, planning only to help out with a relocation to set up the business Alfie ended up joining his dad full-time largely driving sales, but as with any small business, roles are often diverse and he spends his time across inventory, procurement, scheduling and just about anything else that needs doing.
Photo: Alfie at work in the family business, Boeing Trailers
So today you find Alfie juggling a varied work schedule, some days out on a shoot in a corporate office, taking photos of luxury cars to the hours of editing, or creating new clothing designs to chatting to local suppliers. Alfie says ‘I never find myself being bored or my days going slow especially while pursuing my own business ideas’. He draws motivations from the new as well as the challenges but also finding the light at the end of the tunnel!
When reflecting on what he has learnt about starting a business he concedes that ‘I learnt very quickly to take the risks and see how it turns out. I’ve learnt that it isn’t that hard to start a business and make your ideas come to light. The hard part is staying true and sticking to your dreams.’ Alfie had a harsh realisation when releasing his first clothing collection. Seeing that it was a lot harder to sell when no one knew your name or brand. It wasn’t an internet overnight success, nor did it sell out in its first couple days. At the time he says ‘it was a complete motivation killer’. To his credit Alfie took stock focusing on ideas to help it along such as building his social media presence and executing additional marketing.
Photos: The Kingsman Co Collection on Instagram. For full range visit http://www.thekingsmenco.com.au
Alfie has also learnt over time to develop a thicker skin and not taking everything so personally, ‘I used to let the bad things get to me and affect my day.’ He also believes no risk no reward ‘I would have to say that putting my own time, resources and funds into my own clothing line has been the decision that has been the most rewarding.’
“I always come back to the willingness of each teacher (at OFGS) to help further your education and you as a person”
Alfie’s final thoughts about Oxford Falls Grammar has some sage advice for current students. ‘Many great times and experiences come to mind when I think back about my time at OFGS. From year 7 orientation day to year 12 graduation. Although, the one thing I would love to do if I could, would be go and speak to my past self while at OFGS I would tell myself to slow down and take in as much. Take in all the knowledge and life lessons given to you from your peers and teachers as is possible. I was in a rush to get out into the ‘real world’ and start living the life I had in my head and overlooked a lot while at school.’
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