In 1989, John Jacobs, along with his brother Bert, designed their first tee shirt. They knew nothing about the business. For five years, the brothers hawked tee shirts in the streets of Boston and traveled the East Coast, selling door-to-door in college dormitories, and sleeping in their van. By the Fall of 1994, heading home from a long, less-than-fruitful road trip, Bert and John were desperately searching for answers to keep the dream alive. Little did they know, the only answer they needed was back in Boston, hanging up on their apartment wall.
A dozen years later, their business, Life is good, has reached sales of over $100 million a year, with products sold in nearly 5,000 retailers nationwide and in 29 countries. The Jacobs brothers and the business they built offer strong lessons for entrepreneurs everywhere, a fact that Inc. Magazine recognized when it featured the brothers as its cover story in October, 2006. John Jacobs is adept at drawing lessons from his first-hand story that can inspire and guide organizations of all sizes.
Today, Life is good is committed to spreading the power of optimism and helping kids overcome poverty, violence and illness. With the Life is good Kids Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that uses play to strengthen and heal children whose lives have been deeply impacted by trauma, Bert and John aim to do just that. Fellow BrightSight Group speaker Steve Gross serves as the foundation's Executive Director.
John Jacobs is co-founder and Chief Creative Optimist of The Life is good Company. A privately held business based in Boston, MA, Life is good® spreads positive vibes through its colorful collection of apparel and accessories and through its social mission to help kids overcome poverty, violence and illness. Bert combines innovative business lessons, humor, and inspired story-telling to weave the compelling story of how he and his brother John, with a combined sum of just $78 in the bank, launched a business that now sells products in over 4,500 retailers nationwide. Life is good attracts a rapidly growing community of optimists, including over 1.5 million followers on Facebook, by forging meaningful, emotional connections. Fusing the interests of children facing life-threatening challenges with the interests of its business at every touch-point, Life is good also presents a powerful and inspiring model for seamlessly integrating a for-profit and a non-profit. Bert's innovative lessons on branding, leadership and corporate social responsibility apply to organizations of all sizes, and his inspiring story will help you see how optimism can truly take you anywhere.
TAGS: Branding, CEO, Entrepreneur, Inspiration, Leadership, Motivation