If the names Jack Steele and Matt Ford don’t ring a bell for you, then their online moniker, The Inspired Unemployed, definitely will.
What started as a funny Instagram page where the boys, along with their group of mates, would post parodies and skits, has quickly exploded into viral fame, with a combined social following of over four million, an eight-part television series, a Spotify podcast, an alcohol brand, and collaborations with some of the biggest stars.
Now, the duo are joining the ranks of celebrities like David Beckham, Britney Spears, and Michael Jordan with their own signature fragrance, Inspiré by No. Emploi – but they’ve managed to hold onto the larrikin charm that got them there in the first place.\
In fact, Matt and Jack found themselves entering the celebrity fragrance arena as “a joke”.
When Matt “randomly met” acclaimed Australian director Justin McMillan on a Byron Bay beach, the duo began chatting. “We were like, it would be really fun to make a fragrance commercial – a parody of one, of course,” he told marie claire Australia.
Three years later, they decided to put the idea in motion, enlisting McMillan’s expertise to bring the hilarious concept – complete with horse riding, fire, and plenty of smouldering – to life, but were still oblivious to just how big the project would become.
“We just thought you’d shoot it on an iPhone or whatever, and we didn’t really know the scale of [McMillan’s work],” Matt laughed.
In fact, there was initially no plan to even produce a fragrance to go alongside the film.
“The film came first, and then the product came after that. And we kind of just thought, ‘We’ll make a couple hundred and give them out to people as a joke.’ And then it turned into this big thing. I think there’s like, 30 000… hopefully we sell them all.” Jack said.
To celebrate the fragrance launch, the duo took over Bondi’s iconic Icebergs restaurant, with countless local celebrities (who they now count as friends), from Hamish Blake to Isabelle Lucas making an appearance.
But despite running in a slightly different circle than they did in their hometown of Kiama, New South Wales, the duo haven’t lost sight of what’s important to them. Rather than pocketing the earnings from their fragrance venture, Matt and Jack are calling for submissions from people and charities doing it tough, and will be sharing 100 per cent of the profits with a selection of the nominees.
For Jack, the decision to give back with the project was easy. “We’ve always kept the same values,” he explained.
“We might be doing cooler things and we’re not on the job site anymore, but our friends and family are at the core of everything. That brings us back to reality. As long as we’re having fun, and making people hopefully smile, that’s all that matters at the end of the day.”
As for what you can expect for a fragrance cooked up by these two, Inspiré by No. Emploi boasts a sophisticated scent profile of pink pepper, apple leaf, and mandarine zest.
Inspiré by No. Emploi is available to purchase online now via Chemist Warehouse, and will be available from November 9th at Chemist Warehouse stores Australia-wide.