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“Life is waking up and doing exactly what you want to do until you fall asleep at night, whether it takes 10 days or 10 years to find it, you must. Doing what you want to do for your life defines success for me and for us at Donk Clothing.”

This is the opening gambit from two product design students who are looking to break away from the norm and follow their dreams.

“We wanted a creative outlet away from our studies, and from this Donk Clothing has been an idea that has blossomed.” Founder Tom Symons told us.

Dreaming big near Kalbarri, a coastal town around 600kms north of Perth in Western Australia

Being both only 20 years of age, it seems the duo faced an uphill struggle all packaged up nicely with a good dose of negativity.

“We get an awful lot of, ‘Do you really understand what you’re doing’ or perhaps ‘It’s a phase, you’ll need to find a proper job’. No. We want to work for our dream, not somebody else’s. We are determined to drive and work harder than anyone else out there and this attitude can really be applied to anyone, in any field.”

There is definitely a confidence about the pair but how do they feel they can differentiate themselves in what is a super crowded and competitive market?

We want to work for our dream, not somebody else’s

“From the outset, we wanted to push quality through everything we do. Being a surf and travel lifestyle brand, we feel the environment and world around us is extremely important. With everything we do from products to packaging, we are striving to create the perfect experience not only for the customer but also the environment. All our products are made to withstand every adventure you can throw at them.”

The Donk crew at Lion's Head in Cape Town, South Africa

The Donk crew at Lion’s Head in Cape Town, South Africa

And what about the drive and the passion? It is clear they want to succeed but what is their secret to keeping moving forward?

“Whether you want to be a surfer, skater or are a dreamer like us; follow what makes you happy, and seek out the people who compliment and encourage this. Surround yourself with positive people throughout your field of work, passions and interests and they will multiply any drive you have on your own.”

Donk Clothing

So what other questions are they constantly faced with?

“How? Where do you even begin? We get that a lot.” Tom says.

“The key – being relentless. Absolutely relentless. Always work harder, and never let anyone tell you can’t do something because with belief, everything is possible. If there is something YOU believe in, you CAN make it happen. Especially in industries such as the surf and travel lifestyle market, the competition is often huge multinational corporations, but you need to use this competition to drive you and your project forward.

“Yes, it’s hard, but if it is something you believe can work and are willing to put in the hours, then it can be totally worth every second.”

Donk Clothing

“We are a couple of guys with a dream, and we’ll get there because we believe we can. As Steve Jobs so rightly says, ‘Here’s to the crazy ones, because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do’.”

Tom signs off with the Donk manifesto “Dream big. Stay Chilled.” Four words that do a very good job of summing up this interview and their brand ethos.

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