I am happy to introduce Abu Sayed, a friend who always puts a smile on my face. He is the founder of Wildhood Clothing, a brand like no other. Sayed arrived in Canada from Bangladesh in 2013 and has truly embraced and enhanced his new home. I have been a fan of Wildhood clothing since I first heard about it (you may have seen our collaboration!!) and I continue to be amazed every time I make a purchase or attend one of their events. The first time I met Sayed, I was truly inspired by his outlook on life and business and his radiant, humble personality. That is why I am proud to share our conversation with you all in the hopes that you will feel the same.
TWT: Please tell our readers a little about what you do.
Sayed: I work for Wildhood and am trying to encourage people through my brand.
TWT: What does the Wildhood brand represent?
Sayed: The Wildhood brand represents the daily explorer. Those who dreamt of seeing mountains when only grass was at their feet; those who could taste the ocean’s bitter touch, when the land stretched on for miles; those who made angels in the sand because they knew they belonged in the snow.
TWT: Beautiful words. So what led you to get into clothing design?
Sayed: I have never thought I would be in the clothing business but I always wanted to do something on my own where I can create things and add value to others. After I moved to Canada I noticed that the market is flooded with cheap quality clothing. I have heard so many complaints from my friends about their clothing; how it changed shape and colour after one wash. This got me thinking I can do something in this sector and started to do some research here in St.John’s and overseas how to make quality clothes from scratch where I can control the quality and offer something better than anyone!
TWT: What makes your clothing different?
Sayed: We make everything from scratch, we know where our ink and emblem comes from and it’s all fair trade.
TWT: What was the biggest challenge you faced when starting your businesses?
Sayed: Obviously my biggest challenge was the language. As you know I’m an immigrant and came into Canada with very little English. Secondly, finding the supplier, even though I am from Bangladesh and Bangladesh is the second largest garments exporter country in the world. It’s always hard finding the right people but if you keep looking you can find it.
TWT: What has been your key tool to success?
Sayed: This is something I can tell you once I become successful 😉 but right now I think perseverance, hard work, be true to yourself who you are, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and not dwelling on your weakness is helping me a lot throughout the journey and of course not giving up!!
TWT: Can you tell our readers a little about your journey as a newcomer in Canada?
Sayed: I came to Canada in March 2013 with little more than the clothes on my back. I didn’t know English that well, as I mentioned earlier, so I had some difficulties communicating with others. You know, it’s harder when you know very little English and you are new in Newfoundland. After a few days I started working in a pizza place and I did everything in order to have a better life in a new world. I worked really hard, I used to work 9 to 5 regular job. I saved $900 to buy a used car, which allowed me to do pizza delivery from 5 PM – 3 AM after my regular 9-5 shift. In the meantime, I did my market research, made the connection in my home country with the suppliers, and built a team with combined experience of more than 40 years in the garments industry and finally was able to start my business with the savings money from pizza delivery.
TWT: That is incredible! What motivates you to get up in the morning and do all that you do?
Sayed: I am obsessed! I can’t help it. I have big dreams and lots of my dreams don’t allow me to sleep. I think dreams come true when preparation meets opportunity and I am preparing, I don’t feel like I am working.
TWT: What and/or who inspires you?
Sayed: Humans and trees!
TWT: Please tell us about the incredible work you do for local charities and causes.
Sayed: I helped raise money for YACC (Young Adult Cancer Canada) and Candle Lighters. I try to keep low about charity works I do. My father used to tell us you must help others if you are in a position to help. If you are doing charity with your right hand, your left hand shouldn’t know about it; but we are living in a different world where we spent lots of money just to announce that you raised money for charity.
TWT: That is a very humble perspective, which I am sure we can all appreciate and respect. On a lighter note, what is your favourite local hotspot?
Sayed: This is really a hard question for me. I love every single spot in St. John’s, like the jelly bean row houses downtown, Signal Hill, Cape Spear, Harbourfront, and each and every single trail on the East Coast Trail.
TWT: Us too! What is at the top of your bucket list right now?
Sayed: I just did a collaboration with Drock (Gary Vaynerchuk, Videographer) based in NYC. So, I want to go to New York to meet him in person!
TWT: Do you have a fave quote or words to live by?
Sayed: Evolve or Die.
TWT: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions for us. We really appreciate it, especially considering how busy you are!