Changing pathsGrowing up in Mackay and spending time on a family farm in the North of Queensland went some way to preparing Gillespie for life in the mountains of rural Japan. Even so, swapping the white sand beaches of the Whitsunday region’s iconic shores for Nagano Prefecture’s pristine powder snow has been something of an epic adventure for the thrill-seeking young Aussie entrepreneur.
“I started my career as an accountant, working for Grant Thornton in Brisbane. While I met some interesting people and enjoyed the opportunity to travel, it was quickly obvious that this was not a role I was going to dedicate 25 or 30 years of my life to. Those were important years, but ultimately they inspired me to find another path.”
That path changed when Gillespie was offered the opportunity to work in New York at age 25. He left Brisbane but ultimately decided against the role and spent time travelling instead.
A few months after returning to Australia, Gillespie and his friend Mitch Elsworthy started developing plans to launch their own business.