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Grab Your Atlas

With all the opportunity in the world awaiting, why would you start a local business?

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This story appears in the March 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

In 1998,the two owners and sole employees of Mindless Reaction decided it was time to think big. Bigger, at least, than the 12 T-shirts they'd designed in their garage over the past two years and sold to family, friends and local Huntington Beach, California, surf shops. As the company's booth became a popular stop at trade shows and stores nationwide began clamoring for more of their products, high school pals Marcus Avritt, Rudy Senteno and Keith Mallos realized their passion for riding the waves and looking good doing it had the potential to turn terrific profits-not just at home, but in international markets thirsty for products with American cachet.

"There was never a doubt," says company president Avritt about whether Mindless Reaction would be a global success. "We were living in Huntington Beach where a lot of successful clothing companies came from, and we knew everybody in the industry. Maybe it was just inexperience or youth. We just kind of dove in headfirst and never looked back."

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