Curveball / Shutting up shop – When closing the door leads to the open road

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Episode notes

“Sometimes there’s a monstrous demonic fire front that’s bearing down on your little town, and your little team... and the only thing that you can do to stay alive, is to quietly and quickly make an orderly exit via stage left.” 

 Wow. Let us set the scene for you here. Marine Hautemont and Rob Malicki sent Curveball that message as they clinked champagne glasses in a trailer park in remote northern Australia and toasted their decision to close the doors on their business. 

The business, AIM International, had gone from a $6 million turnover, to zero, virtually overnight. 

It might seem an odd thing to raise a glass to, but the pair are genuine. As they tell Curveball, winding up the business they loved gave them, and their two kids, the road-tripping freedom they would never otherwise have known. 

But once you’ve shut up shop, packed the kids in an RV and hit the road... what next for a couple of entrepreneurs? 


Curveball is a production of Deadset Studios. Leaders reveal their darkest moments and share tips on how the deal with those things you just can’t see coming. 

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This was episode was produced and edited by Liam Riordan, with sound design by Kristina Miltiadou. 

The executive producers are Rachel Fountain and Kellie Riordan. 

We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the land on which this show was made.