Vital Stats>> Spencer Antle, 38, of Island Co. in West Palm Beach, Florida
Company >> Upscale, high-quality line of classic travel apparel and swimwear
2007 Projected Sales >> About $3 million
Message in a Bottle >> When Spencer Antle was fresh out of college, he headed straight for Hollywood. He had an intriguing story to tell--one of escape, travel and living life to the fullest--and he hoped to reach an audience through movies. But because his tale didn't conveniently fit into the confines of the traditional blockbuster, he had to take it in a different direction.
In 2002, he started Island Co. By developing a line of stylishly comfortable apparel, including swimsuits, boardshorts, T-shirts, shoes and accessories, with lifestyle phrases such as "escapist" and "live on an island," he succeeded in getting his message across.
Island Fever >> Antle regularly jets off to the Caribbean, where he feels most alive and inspired, and brings back the spirit and lifestyle of the islands for his customers and employees alike. Island Co.'s 5,000-square-foot office boasts 80-degree temperatures, palm trees, reggae music and barefoot, bikini-clad employees. "You walk into the office and go, 'This is the real deal,'" he says. "And that's what it has to be. It has to be authentic."
Without Limits >> Antle's products are sold in more than 500 stores and resorts, and he launched a sportswear line in July. Obsessed with a sky-high vision for the company, Antle is focused on developing video content for the company's website to illustrate the spirit of the brand, starting a music division and opening the Caribbean's first Island Co. retail clothing locations.
Escape Artist >> Worst-case scenario, Antle will return to the islands and teach scuba diving for $300 a week, he says. "Once you have a fallback position, [there's no risk in] trying to achieve something great."