Aussie Couple Who Started a Small Streetwear Business From Their Spare Room Now Run a $10MILLION Sneaker Empire - and Have a Personal Shoe Collection Worth $1million

  • George and Olivia Kozma founded WAVES in 2018 as a family-run side hustle
  • Within 18-months the business had outgrown their spare room and was booming
  • Now they sell $250,000 worth of popular, rare sneakers online every WEEK

A couple has revealed how they turned their hobby selling popular sneakers into a $10million business so they could spend more time with their two young children.

George and Olivia Kozma are the founders of WAVES, an online store specialising in the resale of sought after shoes including Yeezy Slides and Air Jordan's.

The couple, from Western Sydney, started their business from the spare room of their rental property and told FEMAIL they were 'lucky to have a rack of accessories'.

'It was a bit of a hobby, I like street wear so thought I would sell a bit on the side too,' George said. 

Now they sell 150 pairs of rare shoes every day and have a huge, 500-square-metre warehouse to hold their stock.

George and Olivia Kozma are the founders of WAVES, an online store specialising in the resale of popular streetwear including Yeezy Slides and Air Jordan's

George used to own a security business but was never able to 'switch off' when he was at home.

'My wife was sick of me being on the phone all the time and she wanted a better balance,' he said.

- The couple started the business as a hobby in 2018

Now it is their main source of income and generates $250,000 worth of sales every week. 

The couple's two children boast their own shoe collection worth $30,000- 

In April 2018 the couple decided to invest $5,000 in stock, mostly Supreme accessories, to see if George's streetwear hustle could grow into a decent business.

Within 18 months the couple were moving $50,000 worth of stock every week - with sneakers selling from $500 to $5,000 on their site.

Now they sell about $250,000 worth of stock each week. 

'Some people will buy $10,000 worth of shoes in one transaction. But most people are comfortable with the shoes going for between $500 and $1,000,' he said. 

The increasing demand for the popular footwear is at the centre of their businesses success, as is their unique ability to source genuine stock, and their other ranges such as clothes and accessories including skate decs and bags.  

'We have worked hard to build relationships so we can get a large amount of stock, and our customers know we are legitimate so they are happy to come back,' George said.

When the Covid pandemic hit Australia 'e-commerce went crazy' with sales going 'through the roof,' he said.

It was an exciting time but meant the couple had to work harder than ever to make sure their supply chains were solid.

'The hardest thing was freight, it was really difficult to get stuff here from the overseas markets. It took months,' George said.

The coupe are able to source hundreds of shoes per week after building strong connections in the industry

Fortunately this was a double-edged sword as the couple was able to sell the stock for more once it arrived because it was so hard to get elsewhere. 

'It is an expensive business to be in, everyone at every level needs to take a cut and our DHL incoming bill is $20,000 per week now,' the father explained.

The couple now have staff in Paris, LA, New York and London to help source rare stock. 

Yeezy slides are the most popular item in the store and can sell for between $250 and $500 despite retailing for just $55.

'They are really hard to get at the moment and everyone wants them,' George said.

Customers have to join a lottery system to be able to buy the shoes in most stores, as do staff.

High-level executives can buy the shoes without joining the lottery but FEMAIL understands even they are limited to 'one pair per drop'.

George, Olivia and their children boast a million-dollar sneaker collection and aren't afraid to wear their rarest shoes.

'I have pairs worth $500 and I have pairs worth $25,000, my personal favourite are my off-white Chicago's which sell for about $15,000 with tags,' George said.

'Collectors say they stock one and rock one - we don't always stick to that though. Especially Olivia, she doesn't care about that at all and will wear whatever she wants.

'She also only likes the really rare, expensive shoes, she has a particular style and it isn't cheap. I am happy with $500 pairs where hers are consistently worth $5,000.

'She will thrash them too, she is loving her Travis Scott high tops at the moment.'

The couple's three-year-old daughter has 50 pairs of sneakers, while their three-month old son is 'currently rocking hand-me-downs'.

'Her collection is insane and probably worth about $30,000 because they don't make many kids' shoes so they are more expensive,' George said.

But kids shoes are among the most popular, owing to their rarity.

'People want their kids to be able to flex on the playground,' he laughed.

The couple are currently building their own home which will feature a walk-in sneaker wardrobe where their 'best pairs' will be on display.

'I am mostly thankful that I have more time with my family, my two kids,' George said.

Written By: Belinda 

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