How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

What started as a fitness supplement brand stocked at a gym has transformed into a multi-million dollar luxury activewear empire selling affordable staple pieces adored by A-list celebrities. 

Co-founder Don Robertson, from Perth, Australia, worked as a gym receptionist in 2012 where he sold the ‘Muscle Stax’ protein bars and products – but when the sports club became bankrupt he lost ‘everything’.

‘We couldn’t get back into the gym and the stock was seized, which left me in $80,000 worth of debt,’ the 32-year-old told Daily Mail Australia. 

Despite the financial hardship, STAX. launched in 2015 by Don and partner Matilda Murray, 29, and has turned over $30million in the last financial year alone. 

Since then the business has gained a mass following, capturing the attention of celebrities, including actress Jennifer Lopez, singer Rita Ora and singer Lizzo.  

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

Affordable activewear brand STAX. launched in 2015 from humble beginnings by Don Robertson (left) and Matilda Murray (right)

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

The business was originally a fitness supplement brand called ‘Muscle Stax’ sold at the gym Don worked at, but when the club became bankrupt he lost ‘everything’ 

STAX. was born out of the spare room in Don’s mum’s house where they packed orders for months before moving to Matilda’s dad’s house and worked from the living room. 

For the first couple of years Don was crippled by the fear of failure looming in the back of his mind but he was determined to succeed. 

‘It was truly tunnel vision and I had to figure out a way to make it work rather than focusing on the massive sum,’ he said. 

The couple took ‘every opportunity’ to show off the brand in public spaces by working with local influencers, taking photos outdoors and selling stock at local markets – all while working full-time. 

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

STAX was born out of the spare room in Don’s mum’s house where they packed orders for months before moving to Matilda’s dad’s house and worked from the living room

The duo couldn’t afford to hire professional models and gifted the products to local influencers to share photos on social media.

‘Word of mouth travels quickly in Perth and we honed in on a modest approach of making one sale rather than selling out an entire collection,’ Matilda said.

Don, who designs the pieces, said Matilda joined the brand at the ‘perfect time’ and adds a feminine touch to the business. 

Seeking a new opportunity to grow the brand further, the duo moved to Sydney in February 2019 and started operating out of their small rented apartment. 

‘We were a couple kids from Perth who had no idea what we were doing and considered Sydney to be place where “everything happens”,’ Matilda laughed.   

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

Seeking a new opportunity to grow the brand further, the duo moved to Sydney in February 2019 and started operating out of their small rented apartment 

Over the past two years as the brand has grown to attract an international following, they have moved four times to bigger warehouse and office spaces. 

‘We wanted to work full-time for as long as possible and in 2019 we were supported by Matilda’s salary,’ Don said.   

Matilda worked from home in the STAX. warehouse and would help Don pack orders on her lunchbreak.  

‘We were having our best few months yet and so we ordered the latest collection in bulk – but then Covid hit,’ Don said. 

The couple lost all communication with their supplier and the latest collection premium seamless version two was lost at sea. 

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

‘We had no idea when or if the stock would arrive,’ Don said, Matilda added: ‘We couldn’t do anything, we just had to hope and pray it arrived.’  

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

Over the past two years as the brand has grown to attract an international following, they have moved four times to bigger warehouse and office spaces 

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

The premium seamless version two range sent the brand viral online and featured tights, crop tops and shorts. Once launched the collection sold out in 60 seconds

Eight weeks later to their surprise the shipment filled with the new stock arrived on Sydney shores, which became their ‘breakthrough’ collection.  

‘Because of Covid we couldn’t hire professionals so Matilda modelled the new line and I took the photos,’ Don said. 

The premium seamless version two range sent the brand viral online and featured tights, crop tops and shorts.  

Once launched the collection sold out in 60 seconds. 

Due to the ‘crazy demand’ the brand implemented a pre-sale model where customers could purchase products that were out of stock. 

‘People were willing to wait eight weeks to get their hands on the latest products,’ Matilda said.  

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

Over the past 18 months STAX. has seen a ‘huge’ growth, capturing the attention of Hollywood celebrities in the US

Over the past 18 months STAX. has seen a ‘huge’ growth, capturing the attention of Hollywood celebrities in the US.  

They now have more than 40 employees to keep up with demand – a sigificant difference to the small team of four 12 months ago.  

‘The passion and core value has always been focued on the fashion – we offer luxe designer pieces at an affordable price,’ Don said. 

The luxury pieces are designed in house and sizes range from four up to 26, providing inclusivity to a wide range of body types. 

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

‘The passion and core value has always been focued on the fashion – we offer luxe designer pieces at an affordable price,’ Don said

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

, How STAX founders went from being in debt to turning over $30MILLION, The Today News USA

Earlier this month STAX. dropped their latest collection ‘premium seamless version five’ (PSV5) on Friday November 12 that features the ‘mini lounge shorts’ priced at $49.95 (pictured) – earning $350,000 in 20 minutes 

Earlier this month STAX. dropped their latest collection ‘premium seamless version five’ (PSV5) on Friday November 12 that features the ‘mini lounge shorts’ priced at $49.95 – earning $350,000 in 20 minutes.

The shorts are available in six different colours – black, sage, blue, brown, beige and dark grey – and would be perfect for lounging around the house.

During an earlier pre-sale the brand earned $200,000 before the latest collection officially launched.

‘The pre-sale was completely unaccounted – nobody knew about it and was only available to VIP’s and those tuning into the live runway stream for our launch party last Friday night,’ Matilda said.

‘It was open for 25 minutes and totalled $200k – we took a chance as we’ve never done a surprise pre-sale before, and it was really well received!’

Made from a nylon spandex blend of a material, the shorts would be comfortable for all-day wear while offering a flattering look.