Matthew Fogarty, my husband and I, Avril Bastiansz bought Rowbust in 2008. Matthew had just finished his MBA and I had graduated from full-time Mum (our youngest daughter was about to start school), and we were looking for a challenge!
Rowbust was a brand in decline, the product range, business model and website all dated...Rowbust needed some TLC. The loyal customer following that remained were prepared to give us another chance. They recalled fondly the early days, the innovative, creative offering. The gap in the market still existed – we launched our new range of technical rowing gear at the 2009 National Rowing Championships – the Silver Oars range was born!
Our first regatta to Lake Barrington was exhilarating and an invaluable experience, one we will always remember and an inspiring success!
We launched our new website – providing clubs an Online Service a one-stop-shop for their kits and welcomed Mercantile Rowing Club, our first club on board. The Online Club Kit Service has grown overwhelmingly....Melbourne University, Hawthorn Rowing Club, Commercial Rowing Club, Brisbane GPS, Riverside Rowing Club, to name a few....
We continue to custom make school uniforms, strengthening the existing relationships with Wesley College Melbourne, Genazzano, Melbourne Girls Grammar and forging new ones like St Ignatius Riverview and Queenwood School in NSW and Christ Church Grammar in WA.
We take an active role in the rowing community; we sponsored the VIS athletes, and were naming rights sponsors of the Head of the Yarra in 2009 and 2010 and sponsored the Australian Henley in 2011, and more recently involved with The Australian Boat Race between the two major universities in Australia.
Our first distributor - Rowbust South Africa ...
We have travelled far and wide to meet our customers, joining them at all the major rowing events and regattas.........
Today, we proudly manufacture all our products right here in our factory in Melbourne. We continue to research and innovate and improve our products, we continue to embrace the vision and build on the ideals of the original owners of Rowbust adding our own value along the way..... always looking for the long term value helps us to act consciously in our daily work - still a long way to go!
We have a great team! We have a good product! We have loyal customers!
When Jennie and Jess Morrison started this business in 1985, there was not a rowing brand in the market, only custom made uniform suppliers. They brought a new energy and interest into the sport of rowing by launching the Chicks with Sticks training brand - more than just zooties!!
Training was a lot more fun, the gear was innovative, creative colourful and of high quality and made right here in Melbourne Australia.
The Morrisons were a rowing family with deep roots in the sport of rowing.They had intimate product knowledge and connections and the business which started in the garage of their home grew rapidly expanding into cycling and other sports. The business was then moved to a factory in Collingwood and flourished.
They sold the business for personal reasons in 2006 to the owner of Frenzi Swimwear, and the business moved to Williamstown.
Both Jennie and Jess still remain friends of Rowbust, and have volunteered their time experience and insight at various times during the past couple of years.
If I have to list them in order of priority, I would say that my number 1 value has to be Continuous Improvement or living the ‘Kaizen’ philosophy in everything we do - Live, Learn, Grow and Share. Along with this, we aspire to offer Remarkable Service what this means is that we try to make every customer interaction count, investing what it takes not only to earn their loyalty, but also inspire every to recommend us.
Another of our values is providing Quality Innovative Products – our products are designed for our customers, to enable them to perform better at the sports they enjoy doing. We listen to what they have to say, we ask them what they want and try our best to incorporate these ideas into our products. We choose our materials carefully; we test them and make our garments in our factory in Melbourne. We also try to build good, long term and Positive Associations not only with our customers, but also our suppliers and other organisations we deal with. These are our core values.
To be a responsible and respected member of the business community and the favourite choice of sportswear to rowers, cyclists and swimmers and anyone who loves sportswear!
Our Brands – Chicks with Sticks, Eat Sleep Row and Silver Oars.
Product Development and Sales