How did I end up here? Part 1

by Alex Duncan  |  July 2, 2011 – 11:01 am


I sometimes experience a sense of disbelief when I take a step back and look at my life.

What the heck am I doing? Living in China, trying to build a company in the fashion industry…

How did it come to this? At what point did any of this seem like a good idea

If I try to trace it back, and I’m not trying to blame you here Mum, but I kind of feel like you’re very much the progenitor of this mild insanity I seem to have developed. When I was a little boy you always encouraged me to be adventurous told me I could be anything I wanted to be and I’m afraid to say I took you at your word. You sent me to drama exams which gave me empathy through teaching me how to pretend what it was like to be someone else be it Romeo, Bottom or MacBeth’s witches.

When I left school at 18 Mother encouraged me to take a gap year and head to Australia, that really opened up my eyes to how relatively easy it was to travel and see the world. The things I got up to in Australia (both naughty and nice) boosted further my confidence and as much as I learned a lot about Australia I also learned a huge amount about where I was from.

While a lot of people had just finished school by the time they arrived at university, by comparison I had already been out and seen and lived in a bit of the real world. I voraciously threw myself into all that university had to offer, theatre, rowing and student politics consumed far more of my time than studying Zoology did. I took what I had been told about “doing anything you want to do” and started to put it into practice with mixed results. During my time at university trips to South Africa, Egypt and New England gave furthered my fascination for travel.

All of this only begins to explain how I ended up here in China of all places. There is something more, why start a company? Those who have done it will tell you it’s the type of endeavour that only serious nut cases embark upon. All this can wait for part 2…