Born in Port Elizabeth but raised in East London, the former professional soccer player said the idea first came to him in 2006, when he was between contracts with Bush Bucks and Moroka Swallows.
He started the clothing venture but it was put on hold for three years when he moved to Johannesburg to play soccer, until he returned back home when his contract ended.
Picking up where he had left off, Haschick said he asked his cousin, a graphic designer, to draft basic designs for him. He named his clothing line Silver Stallion, after a nickname he had been given by friends.
Speaking to Saturday Dispatch at his Beacon Bay Crossing store, Haschick said the sweat and tears had been worth it. “I was feeling a bit disillusioned with, and uninspired by, the football fraternity and I had picked up some career-threatening injuries so I decided to come home,” he said.
“I basically picked up where I left off…I gave the brand a reboot, and changed the name from Nimbus to Silver Stallion. Friends had always joked about me, calling me the ‘Italian Stallion’, after Rocky [the character played by Sylvester Stallone in the movie Rocky]. Also, I liked what the animal stands for.
“It stands for freedom, and this was going to be my chance to be my own boss and tap into my entrepreneurial spirit.”
Without any knowledge or experience of the fashion industry, Haschick said he developed a selection of branded men’s T-shirts.
He was one of two South African businessmen shortlisted for an online mentorship programme in 2015 conducted by Virgil Abloh, who mentored Kanye West.
Struggling to find business-support, he said he was forced to work his way from the ground up through collaborating with skilled people.
Through this circle, Haschick learned the ins and outs of the industry, such as clothing manufacturing and screen printing, skills he then put to good use in his business.
After marketing his products through Facebook while selling them from home, where clothing rails were set up on his veranda, Haschick opened his first store in 2014. “It was in Berea, a small room which was like a box. I was there for a year. I did okay but a lot of people battled to find me because I didn’t have any front-window signage.
“I also did a lot of online sales via social media and via my website. After the lease for a year was up I didn’t renew it because I needed a bigger space.”
From there he sold his goods at the Beacon Bay market, the East London Agricultural Show and the East London Home Expo. “I even got an opportunity to do the Grahamstown Arts Festival through Seda [Small Enterprise Development Agency].”
In 2015 his big break came in the form of a vacant shop in Beacon Bay. It was then that his line expanded to include women’s T-shirts and tops, and shorts for men and women.
It grew to include branded caps and women’s wide-brim hats, products for beards, hand-crafted leather items such as belts and wallets, and sunglasses.
Haschick said the next step was to boost online sales to sell nationally and internationally.
“My goal was to create something excellent, something of an international level. I’ve always tried to hold myself to the highest standards in terms of product, and people who have supported me from day one to this day know…the only word to describe Silver Stallion is ‘quality’. That is something that we’re very proud of,” he said