Burleigh Heads, Queensland—In 2008, one of the world’s largest collections of action sports apparel was launched. As reported by Business Insider Australia, the resignation of CEO Surfstitch Justin Cameron in 2016 and speculations of his endeavours to take the company that he co-founded private led to soaring shares. In a recent interview, Cameron revealed how he was able to take a start-up and make it into a $500m+ IPO.
For Cameron, the realisation of his dream to open up a surf and outdoor sports retailer brand was the combination of experience and making the right decisions at the right time. Growing up right by Sydney’s Northern Beaches and attending school not a mile away, Cameron always had a passion for surfing and the lifestyle it came with. After obtaining a degree in commerce, he ventured straight into the global banking world, working for mega-corporations such as Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston.
However, after a time, Justin Cameron felt he was ready to take on a new opportunity: combining his love of surfing and the outdoors with his financial experience and background.
Initially, what would eventually become Surfstitch was much like any other start-up: lots of significant highs and lows while the founders navigated the waters and a steep learning curve. Later, one of Cameron’s investment banking contacts helped to back their endeavours through suppliers, warehouses, and stock.
By 2010, Surfstitch was quickly becoming one of the larger retailer brands in the action sports industry. Their rapid acceleration was noticed by the global retailer Billabong. Initially looking for a full-on buyout, a business relationship was formed between the two companies that allowed for increasingly rapid expansion of the brand throughout the industry. The Surfstitch brand had become such a household name that its reach spread to Asia and Europe.
Because of its widespread success and several restructures throughout the years, Surfstitch was the first e-commerce operation from within Australia to look into listing. Billabong was suffering from their own setbacks, which allowed Surfstich to buy back the shares they had initially sold. Surfstitch was juggling a number of responsibilities and potential buyouts while maintaining their high demand products and apparel. In December of 2014, they managed to launch their IPO with the business now at a value of over$500m after having acquired the largest action sport e-commerce operator in the USA from Billabong Group. Justin Cameron is the true model of the new age businessman who is as qualified as he is innovative.
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