From death's door to entrepreneur, Tristan's turning heads
Four years ago doctors were questioning if Tristan Sik would even survive catastrophic injuries he suffered when the bike he was riding was hit by a car.
Now the 17-year-old Rainbow Beach student is not only thriving, but making waves in the business world after launching his new Sik Ladz clothing line.
The brand marks the latest stage of the teenager's astounding recovery since he broke his leg, hip and collar bone and, despite wearing a helmet, suffered six fractures in his skull that led to a severe brain injury.
Carolyn Elder, Tristan's mother, said Sik Ladz came about when her son hit a roadblock during his apprenticeship with the family business.
Mrs Elder said the theory of work was fine but, due to the lasting impacts of the accident, which include difficulty walking unaided, he could not manage the practical aspect of work.
"He was down in the dumps," she said.
" (Sik Ladz) was something he thought he could do."
The brand was not supposed to launch until Tristan finished Year 12 but "but Tristan being Tristan … he's like a bull at a gate", his mum said.
Although he has been given a helping hand in putting together the line's designs, there is little doubt who is running the show.
"It's all him," Mrs Elder said.
"I've been told numerous times I need to remember it's his business, not mine."
Mrs Elder said even before the accident Tristan was always "very certain about the way he had to look".
"He likes to look good going out," she said.
"He wants the design to be about all the things Sik Ladz do: camping fishing, surfing, four-wheel-driving … his designs are going to reflect that."
The line is already gaining steam, too.
Mrs Elder said Unearthed in Gympie and Epic Ocean Adventures in Rainbow Beach were two stores already on board for the ride, and other shops - including some on the Sunshine Coast - had shown interest too.
An online store has also been created, but Tristan has also relied on word of mouth.
"My husband took the boys camping and Tristan took his business cards with him and he got a couple of sales from that," Mrs Elder said.