Josh and Arran Stewart quit their jobs in March to focus full-time on their side hustle.
The brothers didn't want to keep dreading work and have that "Sunday feeling" midweek.
They started clothing brand Illicit Bloc with about $2,500 after being furloughed in the pandemic.
Josh and Arran Stewart were both garden surveyors when the pandemic struck.
Liaising with factories and parcel companies didn't leave them much time to do anything else but work, however.
After the brand started gaining some traction last year, the brothers from Buckinghamshire in England realized it might be time to focus on their side hustle full-time.
"It got to Wednesday and we had that Sunday feeling where we felt we had to go back to work and leave what's actually important to us," Josh Stewart said.
The brothers took the plunge and quit their jobs in March. "It involved driving 1,000 miles some weeks," Josh said. "Our love for art, design, and fashion pushed us to make the jump to full-time."
They are Illicit Bloc's only workers and are the co-directors and creative designers. Josh, 30, helps brings his 27-year-old brother's vision to life. Arran finds inspiration mainly from Pinterest, using boards for different sports and archives.
They started their brand with just £2,000 (about $2,500), and by the end of last year had sales of about £330,000, according to financial documents reviewed by Insider.
Illicit Bloc offers items including hoodies, sweatshirts, zippers, joggers, and shorts with prices that start at £55 ($68) for a hat, to £155 ($193) for a hoodie.
They use four specialist factories in the UK to create a garment: a fabric knit house; a construction factory (where they cut and stitch garments together); a dye house for pigment wash and pre-shrink; and another for the artwork.
Not about the money
In April the brothers gave themselves their first pay checks since starting the brand of about £1,500 ($1,870) each.
"I know it sounds cheesy, but we're not doing it for the money," Arran said. "This was always the dream: to get out of bed and not dread work."
They said working full-time on the clothing brand will allow them to ramp it up – but admit that it's a learning process as they had no training in pattern cutting or working with fabrics. "It's taken a bit longer for us to get a bit more momentum," Arran said.
"You have to have something that gets you to the dance," Josh said. "You have to have some sort of undeniable skill and original angle and stay true to what you actually want to do."
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