Sasha Selemba has nothing but great things to say about his experience at Caulfield Grammar, with the day-to-day interactions with his classmates and teachers being a real highlight. An avid rower during his time at school, Sasha’s favourite memory was the 2017 Head of the River competition in which his team made the A Final in the First VIII. It was through sport that Sasha thrived and learnt incredibly important life lessons like ‘get comfortable being uncomfortable’.
“I still remember and cherish the hours the whole squad put into the sport and the lessons learnt through the process. It taught me about consistency and discipline, being part of something bigger than yourself, and really how capable I am. I’m glad to still be in contact with a lot of people from school and will look to further develop my ties.”
Steps into the ‘Real’ World
After graduating in 2018, Sasha tried a few different things before finding something that was the right fit for him. He commenced a Bachelor of Business at Monash University while also continuing to row at Mercantile Rowing Club. In 2020, Sasha transferred degrees into a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Finance and began working as a rowing coach at Caulfield Grammar.
In 2021 Sasha and fellow alumnus Tom Slorach started a business with the pure intention of ‘giving it a go’ and gaining experience while at it. The two of them founded a clothing brand called duzh vug. A year later the brand gained popularity and it wasn’t long before the two of them decided to put more time and effort into the business.
In the second half of 2022, Sasha took the opportunity to study abroad. He was away for six months studying and living in the United States. “I was genuinely challenged by my time abroad, but I loved it and developed greatly in various ways. For anyone considering doing an exchange, I highly recommend the experience.”
Since Sasha’s return to Australia, duzh vug has taken the world by storm, being involved in markets at both Beyond the Valley and Pitch Music Festival. The whole journey has proven to be a big learning experience for Sasha but the freedom to create something is so worthwhile. Sasha’s favourite thing about owning a business is meeting people and seeing their brand out in the wild. Whilst his least favourite thing is looking after the accounts and taxes!
Although Sasha’s journey to becoming a business owner wasn’t straightforward there were a few critical steps in building a solid foundation: Knowing that things won’t always be perfect, brutal communication, taking thought-out risks, being disciplined and consistent, and be willing to try new things and ‘fail’.
In the future, Sasha hopes to be working and living in the US in either finance, start-ups, as an entrepreneur or in the venture capital space. In terms of the fashion industry, Sasha hopes to see greater adoption of recycled materials and eco-friendly manufacturing.
Looking back on his earlier years Sasha recommends getting out of the ‘school bubble’ when you can. “Meet new and different people, experience different things, take risks, get comfortable being uncomfortable, be vulnerable, be unapologetically you.”