Marty Cornish got used to not having what the other kids had: fancy sneakers, wholesome lunches and a dad to help.
But Marty had gumption and good ideas. He collected lost balls from the golf course, bleached them overnight, and resold them, making AU$200 a month — not bad for a 10-year-old.
As a teenager, Marty sold energy drinks and CDs, but inside the classroom he had zero-percent hustle. He flunked his courses.
After high school Marty drank too much, partied too hard and fell behind on his rent. Still, with his charisma and creativity, he found success in sales.
As an adman for a national firm, Marty was exposed to multimillion-dollar fashion brands — and decided to start his own. Made Status aimed to capture Marty’s own story: Making something from nothing.
To buy time while incubating his company, Marty joined the Australian army. Not only did he save money, he also learned to be a stronger leader who made quick decisions.
Still in the army, Marty enlisted his uncle to build a website and his then-girlfriend to design clothing. First run? Fifteen T-shirts.
Marty could have waited for deployment — but he chose to double down on Made Status. He sold his car, invested his savings, and grew his product line.
For the first couple of years, Marty still had trouble with the rent. But the brand moved in the right direction. Targeting new markets and honing Marty’s online following brought earnings to more than AU$100,000.
Online ads and email marketing boosted growth. Made Status recently had nine staffers and topped $1.2 million in annual sales. It’s a hit among athletes, hip-hop artists, and micro-influencers.
And the kid who resold lost golf balls can now afford to pay a few rounds himself.
Illustrations by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo
Words by Jacky Habib