Behind the Brand
My name is Cam. I'm from Melbourne, Australia, and these are the events that led me to create LYER.
Mum and Dad have told me that I started riding a pushbike at age 2. They said I even refused training wheels. Once I started, I was off, and I never looked back. I started riding motorbikes at 8, and I’ve been hooked ever since. My first bike was a 1982 XR75, and I loved it more than anything.
I've always had a crazy side. I was already drinking, smoking and getting into a lot of trouble at 14 years old. The early signs of my mental illness had started to appear. The crazy darkness is something that would come to visit me many times in my life.
By the time I was 21, my life was totally off the rails. I was just trying to have a good time, but my life was so messed up. I'd go from job to job, either quitting or getting fired, and then move on to the next thing.
Here's a list of the jobs I had by the time I was 23 years old:
Paperboy, chocolate factory worker, fish and chip shop worker, trolley collector, spray painter, wood heater factory worker, landscape gardener labourer, pizza delivery boy, postie Kenworth trucks factory worker, TNT courier, phone book delivery man, panel beater, welder/ boiler maker, car detailer at Jaguar, bakery delivery driver, lawn mower/ gardener, telephone advertising salesman, computer salesman, plastic bag salesman (serious), tattooist, insulation installer – and maybe a few more I can't remember. You get the point.
At 23, I travelled to London with my brother Dougo. There, he was stabbed in a random knife attack and nearly died.
It changed our lives forever. He spent 6 weeks in intensive care, but went on to make a full recovery. I was convinced he was going to die, so I went nuts and the cops locked me up. I suffered for a long time afterward. I couldn't shake the sense of guilt and I drank to forget. Looking back, I realise I was suffering from post traumatic stress. After a few years, I stopped the drinking and took antidepressants, and the fog finally started to lift.
Then at 25, I met my wife and my whole life changed again. This time for the better, and I knew it was forever. I had managed to pull myself out of the rut that I was stuck in for so long, and it was as if the universe rewarded me for it. We now have 2 amazing kids and they're the best thing that ever happened to us. Tahlia and I got together on the 08.08.08 and we married on the 08.08.2016 exactly 8 years later. Everything I do is for my family.
Dougo and I started a roofing business together when I was 26. And in its first 12 months, it turned over more than $2 million. It was a huge success. We had a big factory, 2 trucks, 5 cars and 15 employees and things were absolutely flying.
But by the time I was 32, we had lost everything. We were completely broke. I made too many mistakes, and they took our homes and almost everything else. But we still had each other.
We were left with a tax bill of $157,000. They tried to bankrupt us, but we wouldn't allow it. It took us 5 years to pay it back, but we did it.
It was when I lost everything, that the idea for Live Young Enjoy the Ride was born.
I abbreviated it to LYER for short.
I didn’t know where to start. I had no idea about designing technical garments or shipping from China, but I stayed up late every night and educated myself about everything I could find.
I was working a shit job to make ends meet, and so had no money to put into a huge venture like LYER. So we moved into Tahlia's parents house to save some money to get it started. In late 2019, we finally launched our dream. And now the journey has just begun.The LYER brand cares about more than a big profit margin. It's time for something different.
Such is Life.
This is a story of never giving up, and not letting go. I think that counts for something. I've grown up and now and conquered my demons. Mostly. And if my journey resonates with even a few people out there, then I'm happy.
It's more than a name, a motto or a product. For us, it’s a way of life.
Live Young. Enjoy the Ride.
Cam Douglas - Founder
‘Boldness has genius, power and magic within it.’ - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe