I have always been passionate with traveling and quality seeking. In my early twenties, I became obsessed with this quality espresso coffee enough to set up three coffee bars in Sydney. It was great fun and I learned a lot along the way. After I sold my third coffee bar, I gave myself a year off to travel through Europe, Asia, and America – entering the unknown looking for unique hidden gems in diverse cultures.
By 2013, I was 29 and had found my next challenge – in Peru.
I was visiting my brother in Lima who was living there at the time. We were wandering in a market and that was when I came across the softest cotton I have ever felt – the Peruvian Pima. I was so impressed by the superior hand feel and durability of the fabric. I started to talk with fabric mills in Peru. I learnt about the unique qualities of Pima cotton that is its Extra-Long Staple fibres. It is what makes them so different from ordinary cotton. By the time I arrived back in Sydney, the first samples from the fabric mills arrived. I realized that these t-shirts were the start of a business.
In late 2013, with the first batch of 2,000 t-shirts, US$200,000 in savings and a business plan, I moved to Hong Kong to set up our global warehouse – the world’s largest logistics hub. We set up one central warehouse in Wong Chuk Hang, and from here, thanks to Hong Kong’s outstanding logistical infrastructure, we beat even national shipping services in the countries we ship to on cost and delivery time.
With our early success of the beta launch, selling out 2,000 Peruvian Pima cotton t-shirts to 8 countries within 3 weeks, we closed $1m USD seed capital raising round with Australian and Hong Kong investors. We moved to a bigger warehouse and hired a talented team who can grow and scale the GRANA brand globally. It all started with the Peruvian Pima T-shirts 4 years ago, and now we have been able to expand the range to fabrics like Chinese silk, Japanese Denim, French Linen, and Mongolian Cashmere.
This month we have relaunched the latest version of Pima tees; 4 years on and they are still our best selling product, holding a special place in our hearts of the team here at Grana.
In less than four years, we are shipping to over 70 countries and have not stopped traveling the world since to look for only the finest fabrics. I am so proud of our team and what we have accomplished together and look forward to the future.