Student, designer and entrepreneur, Jayden English has just turned eighteen and immersed himself into a creative career that is quickly demanding the spotlight. Recently launching Turtle3 Co. in 2015, English has swapped country town Gatton for designing coastal inspired t-shirts.
Congratulations on the success you've had so far with your label Turtl3 Co. Tell me about the light bulb moment of when you came up with your business idea?
JE: After just messing around in class trying to find something to pursue following school, I drew up a few t-shirt designs and decided to get a few made for myself and a couple of friends. After seeing the shirts in person on myself and my friends I though that I could make something out of the design. Following this, Turtl3 Co. was born.
Having only turned 18, you're still quite young but seemed to have embraced the power of Instagram. How has this influenced and impacted your brands growth?
JE: Instagram has definitely been the biggest influence on the brands growth. A majority of the photos seen on the brands page are sent in or posted by customers. I have done this because I believe it portrays a raw and authentic view from the customer’s perspective. With the power of Instagram and social media it has allowed me to expand my brands reach into areas all across Australia and the world.
You've had some local famous faces sporting your designs including NRL footballer Suliasi Vunivalu. You must feel proud seeing your creations worn by the many?
JE: It feels surreal seeing some of my favourite NRL players wearing clothing that I have created. The moments I think that have hit me the most are spotting Titans Halfback, Ash Taylor and Cowboys Winger, Kyle Feldt on channel seven having interviews wearing Turtl3 Co. apparel. Being a huge rugby league fan, playing since the age of 7 it doesn’t feel real seeing some of the people you watch on TV every weekend wearing your stuff.
Tell me about the inspiration behind your current range?
JE: The current range is all about simplistic designs solely highlighting the original logos that were created when first starting the brand. Inspiration draws from a relaxed and laid-back coastal lifestyle. Being raised in the country town of Gatton, I have an outsiders look into the Sunshine Coast lifestyle. A lot of the stunning beaches and landscapes I have seen since moving have been influential in a lot of the designs.
When can we expect to see another collection drop?
JE: The next collection can be expected in early 2017 as I am still wrapping up a few pieces. In the up coming collection customers can expect to see a lot more colour and less structured designs.
You're studying a Bachelor of Design and Marketing next year at the University of the Sunshine Coast. How do you plan on managing your business and your studies?
JE: I started University at the University of the Sunshine Coast at the beginning of 2016. At times it was tough trying to balance study and working with the brand. Although the study does benefit the brand as ... I am able to translate experiences I have with the brand into my course and vice versa.
I understand that you design, market and sell Turtl3 Co. all by yourself. Plus, everything is made locally. What has been the biggest challenge you've learnt so far as you master multi-tasking?
JE: The hardest thing has definitely been finding time in between studying and social life to try and promote the brand, keep ahead of the accounting and get new designs out. It has been easy to forget things and fall behind.
What's next for you?
JE: Next, hopefully is to expand the Turtl3 Co. brand. The ultimate goal for 2017 is to increase my stock lists and get the brand into more stores!