They’ve launched their own clothing line, have a hit TV show on TLC and are super successful influencers, paid to promote brands on social media, yet Love Island stars Alex and Olivia Bowen are worried about losing it all one day.
Chatting to Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time, the couple opened up about their fears for the future.
“We’ve come from nothing really, so to have this… I'm so petrified of losing everything I've got now,” explained Alex.
“I was a scaffolder before. If this all stopped now, to go back to scaffolding… l used to love it, but then because of what I do now I'd be petrified to go back to that life - financially, in that sense.”
The couple, who got married last September, decided to create their own clothing brand, Exempt Society, as an answer to the fragility of life as a reality star. Comparing themselves to “monkeys in a zoo” Alex said they’ve invested all their own money into their brand to ensure future success for themselves.
“We know this isn't going to last forever. We're not stupid,” said Alex. “Like reality TV… There's always going to be someone else that comes along that's better.”
“I'm very grateful that we're still doing this kind of stuff three years on, but it’s important having a business that we run, that's going to be our family-run business at the end of the day and is going to be a career when all of this ends.”
Having studied fashion design, photography and business at college, Olivia always wanted to have her own swimwear brand but didn’t know how to go about it – cue Alex.
“Alex has the balls to do it and he started it himself,” she told Kate on the podcast. “He took the risk, whereas I was too scared to take the risk. He just kind of started it…”
The pair do everything for the brand, from planning the launch party to art directing the shoots. And one thing Olivia is definite about it that their brand is for everyone to wear – she insists on using all sizes of models on the shoots.
She said: “This is where I have quite a strong opinion on the fashion industry using plus size, using different types of people because I know a lot of people do it for the press.
“I just think it's normal to have normal people model... I don't see the point in bringing out a line or a collection that isn't modelled by the people that are going to wear it.”
It seems like Exempt Society is going to be the main focus for Alex and Olivia moving forward. Olivia said the pair get asked about having kids, but it’s not for them just yet.
“We have just done a lot in three years, and when people ask about kids, we've been through so much in three years, I want to wait a little bit to have the next stage,” she laughed. “Our business is our baby at the moment!”