Recently Nigel Clifford got in touch to tell us about his new idea for keeping our valuables safe and dry on our travels: Adventure Underwear. Intrigued, we asked Nigel to send us a pair (review coming soon) but in the meantime we spoke to him about his own travels, attending a youth entrepreneurship camp in Lithuania and launching a new product onto the travel market.
Before we talk about your new product, Adventure Underwear, tell us a little bit about your own travels?
Over the last 3 years I’ve made my way to about 13 different countries, travel has become a real passion of mine and I love immersing myself in a new country to experience a place as the locals would. Some of my highlights have been swimming with piranhas in the Amazon, volunteering in the shantytowns of Lima, dancing in Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival parade, getting messy at the Boryeong mud festival in Korea and witnessing San Francisco’s gay pride parade.
Okay, tell us about your new idea, Adventure Underwear.
Adventure Underwear is the most practical solution to safeguarding your valuables anytime, anywhere without sacrificing comfort or style, a pair of 100% merino wool men’s boxer briefs with two pockets hidden behind the waistband, one quick access pocket for hiding cash and credit cards and one pocket that’s waterproof up to 60m deep and large enough for a passport or smartphone. The pockets are large enough to fit a passport or smart phone and our superfine merino wool fabric is quick drying & odor resistant, which makes it perfect for travelers. We’re also in the process of designing a women’s version of Adventure Underwear.
If people are interested they can check out our Kickstarter page to see them in action and get their hands on a pair.
What inspired you to come up with the idea for Adventure Underwear?
I had friends who were held up on the beach at gun point, I saw a gang of kids pickpocket a backpacker in a block party, I had a friend get her bag stolen in a dark alleyway, I met a couple of guys who had been robbed at machete point and I had another friend fall asleep on the beach with her camera in front of her face only wake up 5mins later and find it stolen. I became frustrated because there were no complete solutions to travel theft available, so I decided to create Adventure Underwear.
What do you feel is wrong with existing travel security products?
Traditional approaches like money belts are uncomfortable, difficult to access, not always waterproof and obvious to criminals and pick pockets.
Our ultimate goal is to rid the world of dorky looking money belts forever and replace them with stylish, comfortable and practical Adventure Underwear, allowing people the freedom to do what they want when they want.
You quit your job to begin designing Adventure Underwear. What were you doing?
I was working as an industrial chemist in the oil and gas industry. I’ve had to learn all about manufacturing & marketing from scratch, every day there is something new to learn which is quite challenging but exciting at the same time.
Have you done anything like this before? What experience or qualifications are you bringing to your new career move?
I have been at the helm of several non-profit ventures before, which include two national conferences with the National Association of Australian University Colleges and being President of St George’s College Club at the University of Western Australia. These experiences have really helped build a foundation of organizational & problem-solving skills that I use every day in my business.
You attended a youth entrepreneurship camp in Lithuania. Tell us about that? How did the camp help you?
It was the Blacksmith Liberty & Entrepreneurship Camp, which is held during August each year in Trakai Lithuania. The camp organisers select 50 people from around the world, aged 18-25 to attend the camp and they provide accommodation, food and mentorship for free for the 5 days. We were pummelled with practical advice from self-made millionaires like Simon Black, Craig Ballantyne, Sam Wolanyk and Brian Tanura.
Not only did the camp give me clear objectives to focus on for my business, but it was also an amazing networking opportunity, I actually met my business partner for Adventure Underwear at this camp.
So are you a stay at home businessman now, or will you be packing a pair of your Adventure Underwear and setting off into the world again soon?
I’m co-ordinating our kickstarter campaign from home at the moment, but I will have to do a bit of traveling for the business later on. We want to bring our product to as many travellers as possible so this means getting exposure on multiple continents. It’s also important for us to stay in touch with our customers and being a regular traveller is part of that.
When you do set off on your next trip, It’ll be all five star luxury from now on for you, will it?
No way! I love crowded backpacker hostels and couchsurfing. I don’t travel to relax in luxury, I travel to have new exciting experiences. I’d choose street food and a spontaneous adventure with a local over a comfortable guided tour and a five star restaurant any day.
If you like the idea you can back the project and get a discount on a pair via their Kickstarter page.