A former motocross racer turned traditionalist who earns $7 an hour has revealed how he turned his clothing company into a hugely successful $100 million global company.
Jason Daniel, 36, from Logan, Queensland, is the founder of sportswear brand LSKD, short for the nickname “Loose Kid” he earned after fearlessly riding BMX tracks as a child.
Between 2019 and 2019, the company experienced rapid growth, with annual revenues increasing from $1.6 million to $76 million – reaching $100 million in 2024 – and the label was founded by stars such as Hailey Bieber and Emily Ratajkowski.
The company started in 2002 as Loose Kid Industries when Daniel was 16 and working as an apprentice carpenter, although he had been making T-shirts for the local BMX community since he was 12. In 2007, his mother bought him the LKI trademark.
Fast forward to this year and the father of two children under the age of 10 has just introduced the brand to the vast American market, establishing a base in San Diego, a sun-soaked southern California city that is a perfect fit for the brand’s surf, skateboard and streetwear-inspired roots.
Jason Daniel, CEO of LSKD, pictured with his wife Ally, has built the company into a $100 million empire that recently expanded into the US market
Stars like Hillary Duff, Zac Efron and Emily Ratajkowski (pictured in LSKD tracksuits) are fans of the label
After years of running a side business, encouraged by his surfing and BMX friends, Daniel started working more seriously after completing his carpentry apprenticeship in 2010 and deciding it wasn’t for him.
Since a broken wrist also derailed his motocross aspirations that year, he went all out with his clothing brand.
“My career path was to go, to endure, maybe this is my calling, to have a sportswear brand… I thought I could really do something with it – it just clicked in me,” he said QWeekend magazine.
The company’s Australian base in Loganholme, south of Brisbane and en route to the Gold Coast, is a huge warehouse with a gym and event space, bustling with a hip staff of social media-savvy 20- and 30-somethings.
However, Daniel explains that getting to this point has not been easy at all.
His first major purchase was gambling: he used his mother’s credit card to buy 1,000 blank T-shirts on which he had his logo printed.
Fortunately, they sold, and he used the money to buy more supplies, gradually filling his mom’s house – his dad left this photo when he was 17 – with boxes full of boxes of supplies waiting to be printed or shipped.
He said there were constant attacks in the company’s early days, but that only “fueled his fire.”
They eventually invested in three shipping containers placed in their backyard where they could store their goods out of the way. His mother continued to work in the business accounting department for over a decade.
Jason and Ally pictured from the early days of the business in 2009, when it was known as Loose Kid Industries
The couple have two young children Hendrix, five, and Freya, two, and live in Daisy Hill adjacent to Logan in Brisbane’s south
In the first half of 2010, the brand, then known as LKI, survived and was launched in retail stores across the country, but frustratingly, its profits were not growing.
“The brand wasn’t doing well. We stayed at the same level of revenue… staying around $3 million (annual revenue) for five years,” Daniel explains.
He told the newspaper that for him personally it was an indefinite period, his attention was fragmented and he was reluctant to follow the advice of his employees.
The brand’s first expansion into online sales ended in a $100,000 disaster when Daniel hired someone to develop the online store against an employee’s warnings.
The venture failed and he later had the website rebuilt using Shopify, although he used the experience as a learning tool and attributes it to the moment he realized the company’s success depended on working with his team.
This change, coupled with a period of intense personal reflection on what he wanted to achieve in the business and where he wanted to take it, obviously meant a change of course for the company.
He began to research other successful business leaders in depth, such as Lululemon founder Chip Wilson, and met with others such as Penny Skateboards founder Ben Mackay.
Among his favorites, he read voraciously motivational books by authors such as Simon Sinek.
By 2016, the company was growing at a rate of 15 to 30 percent annually, and by 2018, after more than a decade of trial, error and learning, it changed its name again to LKSD.
Two of the most difficult moments occurred in 2018 and 2019 when his brother and mother were laid off. It was a move he struggled with greatly, especially given their early support, but ultimately felt it necessary to take the company in a new direction.
Since then, the company has weathered the wave of the “activewear” boom, and its “Rep Tight” is one of its most popular products.
The company developed its own “buttery-soft material” that has received thousands of positive reviews online.
The website’s description illustrates the trendy appeal: “Whether you’re pushing your limits in training or just crushing your daily to-do list, Rep Tight has you covered.”
The brand has built its success on a combination of stationary presence in recognized stores and an online store, and recently also in its own stores
Rep tights are one of the company’s bestsellers, made of non-standard, “soft” material
The company currently relies on a two-channel approach to selling its products in physical stores, which gives the brand a visible presence while the e-Commerce website showcases the entire range.
This is accompanied by a sophisticated marketing strategy that includes text messaging, social media and the production of custom video content to build a connected community.
Daniel attributes the company’s ultimate success to his willingness to accept mistakes, learn from them to improve, and value his team.
There were weeks he didn’t pay himself to make sure they were paid.
“The last 5 years have been something I didn’t think was possible,” he admits.
“It took over 10 years for the brand to actually do anything, and making mistakes was the best thing I ever went through because it helped me continually improve, learn, and understand why we are here.”
“When you make mistakes, that’s how you get better as a team, and as long as you have those mistakes, you can keep working on them and improving them.”