Jessica Wilson grew up in a small farm town (Karangi), starting her first business at 16 years old – running formal after parties for students on the farmland she grew up on, utilizing different paddocks as venues. From there she grew and scaled this business to cover 16ths, 18ths, and 21st and made enough money to put herself through her first year of university.
She then dropped out of University after a careers advisor told her she ‘didn’t have it in her’ to have a career in the fashion industry due to her lack of contacts and small-town roots. Jess then dropped out of university.
Knocking on doors Jess secured an internship which leads to a full-time job working throughout fashion weeks, Jess then from 19 years to 21 worked throughout Australia, New York and Paris fashion weeks with some of the biggest fashion brands in the world. This unique perspective allowed Jess to see an emerging trend within the global fashion industry which resulted in the launch of Stashd.
Jess noticed the emergence of tech and the change in buying cycles, so booked a one-way ticket to Sillicon Valley at 21 with no contacts and lived off two-minute noodles for two months, but managed to meet people from the likes of Yahoo, Facebook, and Google which gave her the insight to start Stashd.
In 2016 Jess then took Stashd into China, launching via a TV series ‘The Next Unicorn’ (China’s version of Shark Tank x The Apprentice) which was a televised global search for the next billion-dollar business in China. The judges included the seed investor in Paypal, Seed investors in Baidu, the ex CEO of Alibaba and partners of leading China funds Sequoia, GGV, and Zen Fund. The television show was aired to 15 million per episode in China and Jess placed in the grand finals with the bronze trophy as the last western team and last female founder.
She’s been pinned by Forbes as one of 1,000 entrepreneurs under 30 to change the world in 50 years and named in Smart Company’s 30 Under 30 three times.