There are some new kids on the block in the Australian fashion industry; Established in Cairns in 2015, David and Goliath Clothing Co are taking these coastal streets by storm. I decided to investigate and take a look behind the scenes to see what makes David & Goliath Clothing Co what it is. It is with absolute honour and pleasure to introduced the power couple, personal friends of mind and the Founders of David & Goliath Clothing Co; Luke and Bella Sinopoli.
Luke and Bella are two of the most genuine, kind-hearted and life-giving people you will meet. Both running after the things of God, dreaming to see this hurting world impacted and changed for His glory and so in love with each other. Cairns is blessed to have you, our world is grateful for the two of you and I, for one, am so honoured to be a part of what you guys are doing.
So, tell me a bit about how you guys met?
Looking at each other, they both have huge smiles on their face.
Bella: We met at my 16th birthday party. I had my birthday on the Cairns Esplanade and Luke was a friend of a friend, Jake, who came to drop my birthday present off. The minute I saw him I was like ‘ooh he’s cute.’ Nothing came of that but then I bumped into him like 3 weeks later at a girlfriend’s going away party. It’s funny because I didn’t know the friendship group so whenever I went out I always wondered if Luke would be there.
The rest is history, really. We got to know each other a bit better and hung out. Luke met up with me at my work for lunch one time, I worked at Forever New at the time, and he came into the shop looking for me and I remember seeing the back of his head from the storeroom as he was leaving so I ran out the door pretending to go to the bathroom. I looked super cute that day, I even remember what was I wearing! Do you remember??
Cue nervous laugh from Luke.
Luke: Uhm.. How am I supposed to remember?! That was 6 years ago.
How would you describe yourself?
Luke: I’m pretty enthusiastic and driven. I’m very motivated to have a life where I don’t need to struggle. I value family a lot and can be a bit crazy sometimes haha. I have a short tempter.
Bella: We are both very people orientated, passionate and family orientated. I’m also driven and I’m very emotional. (Luke starts laughing and nodding) I’m an over-thinker, I over-think about what others think of me, I’m a bit of a people pleaser and don’t really say what I think.. I’m always hungry haha and I’m very loving.
(Seriously, how cute are these two??)
Who are your personal fashion icons?
Bella: Oh wow! That’s really hard! I guess because I’ve always worked in the fashion industry I always see on-trend products and I love a classic style. I don’t know, I guess I like really expensive things like Chanel hahaha but I don’t have one particular fashion icon. I don’t know why, but I don’t.
Luke: I don’t think I’ve ever really thought about it. I think I just look at something and think, “ah I’d like that.” Plus, having Bella in that industry you just know what people want and what I want. Being a bloke I don’t really care. We get a lot of inspiration from social media but we don’t have one person in particular.
Bella: We really aren’t “in the know.” We just see the fashion trends and can appreciate it. I’ve never really had a desire to want to the creators behind the brands but I’m actually shocked that I don’t have a fashion icon, but I don’t haha.
Luke this question is for you: What lead to the creation of David and Goliath?
Luke: It’s funny when we think about it and how it started; Bella has always been in the fashion industry and had her own label selling and designing her own high-end fashion pieces for the Races. She was doing that when we met and after a while she ran out of time and got promoted at her work. It started costing a lot of money and there wasn’t really a market for the products in Cairns so she was just doing one-off pieces for friends every now and then. I’ve always loved fashioned, looking nice and so we kind of always wanted to do it.
Bella: We always spoke about having a shop and selling our own label one day.
Luke: We never really got the opportunity to do it and it never felt right. I believe it’s because we left God out of everything and I really think that’s why in never worked out or felt right. The minute we put God at the centre of it all everything just happened so quickly and so easily. It all happened and fell into place for us; we just had the idea to do it and chose to base the label on God and Christianity. We really wanted to use our brand to donate money to an organisiation that was close to our hearts.
$2 of every purchase is donated to Destiny Rescue. Why Destiny Rescue?
Luke: We went to Easter Fest a fair while ago and saw the Desinty Rescue tent there. I was only a new Christian at the time and it completely blew me away. I wanted to help out but I could never go over to go on the missions trips because of work commitments. You’d think that donating $2 might seem like nothing but you know, God could call you to do something different and it might not necessarily look like being a part of the rescue teams but it will still have a great impact.
So, we started thinking about what organisiation should we donate to, we had no idea and prayed about it. For a while we were praying and that’s we just got the name for the label as well. We had a list of names but we felt like David and Goliath was the one; it’s a men’s label and David and Goliath is a pretty manly story in the Old Testament. The underdog that could do anything with God in it and we just loved what the name represented.
I remember being in the workshop and hearing that the Founder of Destiny Rescue was going to be interviewed on Triple J and that the founder, Tony Kirwan, was from Cairns. I couldn’t stop thinking about it all day and when I got home I just sat in the car waiting for the interview. I even recorded the interview and got goosebumps listening to it. I thought, “Could you have a more obvious sign from God?” And even the fact that the guy is from our home town was just crazy. I showed Bella the recording and we just knew.
Bella: Haha, I actually cried. Destiny Rescue has always been in the back of our minds and I just feel like God was trying to show us that it’s all about Him and not us.
Luke: I started thinking things like, “why would these people want a young couple to partner with them?” I really started doubting it all and so one day I just decided to call them. I spoke to a lady and she said it was a good idea and that she would put me through to David, the Queensland Director. She asked me a few questions and said that she would pass my number on to David. To be honest, I never expected him to call me. That was on Friday and first thing on Monday I got a call from David, I seriously couldn’t even believe it! I gave him the run down and a rough idea of what we wanted to do.
I said we wanted to raise as much awareness for them as possible and the biggest goal for us isn’t money but the awareness of how bad slavery is. David really liked it and he sent us all the stuff to get us started to start donating to them. He sent us brochures to send with all of our merchandise and from there we just had to make the clothes and come up with the designs. It went really well from the get-go. We had to find everyone to get the label off the ground but it honestly all just fell into place. It wasn’t easy but God always came through for us.
We didn’t know what to do with the screen printing and every quote was just too expensive, so one day I was in another workshop selling some random chemicals to other mechanics and this guy called and said, “I’m a screen printer and I need these certain chemicals.” I didn’t know if I could help him but I met up with him. I was able to help him so I took a liberty and told him the story about our label. He thought we were crazy for what we were doing by donating some of our profits but he was so awesome about it and we are still working with him and his company now. They are seriously the best.
Starting a clothing brand is never easy, so what were some unexpected hurdles?
Bella: For starters, the fashion industry is very cut-throat. There are a lot of people that want to help but there are a lot that don’t. It’s not what you know but who you know. You need to have the right connections.
Luke: You have to go directly to the wholesalers and being the new kids on the block those companies don’t want time-wasters. It was hard not being able to just go to Google to find the wholesalers but having to go underground to find them was pretty challenging.
Bella: Cash flow when you’re starting out is hard but we just trust in God to pull through for us. We decided not to invest 100,000s of Dollars but we still invested a lot of money for a young couple just starting married life together. We decided to take the shot and just trust God.
Luke: We had a few troubles with the website launch, as well! It crashed on the first day and I’m at work stressed trying to get it fixed. People are calling me and texting me and I was just stressed.
Luke starts laughing and shaking his head.
Bella: Time management is a huge thing for us. We both still work fulltime and we are out and about a lot. Luke will usually sort the orders out on his lunch break, it’s very time consuming and there’s a lot of sacrifice involved but you just learn to time management. It’s so worth it though.
And what were some of the unexpected benefits?
Luke: We had some pretty high expectations from the start; we are big dreamers and we know that God is in it.
Bella: We have a lady who is a regular shopper at my store. She styles wardrobes for famous people over in America. I’ve been serving this lady for about 2 years and she came in one day and I told her about David and Goliath. She told me what she does for a living and we ended up having coffee with her. She said that if we ever have designs that A-Listers could wear, like inner city urbans designs, she would definitely use our label. So it’s been really cool cultivating that relationship. We also met a whole bunch of really cool people that come out of nowhere that really want to help you and want to get our brands out to sporting or music icons.
Luke: I reckon because it’s for a good cause and not personal gain people want to help.
Seriously, thank you guys so much for your time! Listening to the journey has been so inspirational and it’s been great to get the behind-the-scenes view. I’d just like to ask one more question before we finish our coffees; If you could tell your 16yr old self one piece of advice what would it be?
Luke: Don’t waste your time with stuff that doesn’t mean anything. Don’t waste your time and money drinking and partying when you could be out making a future for yourself. If I didn’t party I might have given myself a 5 year head-start; it made me who I am today but I would say don’t waste your time.
Bella: I would say the exact opposite! I would say don’t grow up too fast. I mean we married young and did grown up things young. So, like take the time to enjoy not having responsibilities and don’t grow up too fast.
Luke: And I’m the opposite haha! I would just say that if I didn’t waste my time drinking, partying and doing drugs I would be so much better off now but I guess it’s all in God’s hands because I probably would never have met Bella and had the life experiences that I have now. I can appreciate life now knowing a life without God and a life with God. Our upbringings are totally opposite but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Bella: I would also tell myself to stop looking in the mirror and look out the window. Stop focusing on what others think of you and getting so self-obsessed but look out the window and focus on others, on who you can help. Have a servant heart for others and not yourself. We are all so selfish and self-absorbed but constantly looking out the window changes that.
So there you have it, a sneak-peak inside look into all things David and Goliath plus a look into the lives of the Founders. These guys are absolute guns and world changers; I am championing you guys and thank you for blessing me with the opportunity to interview you both.
Do yourselves a favour and head over to their website here, check out their catalogue and get yourself some phresh threads! $2 of every purchase is donated to Destiny Rescue to aid in fighting 21st century slavery.
And don’t worry ladies, their merch is just too good to let the guys have it all. Plenty of girls I know have their products, myself included!