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The Good Life

No marketing campaign was necessary for these purveyors of positively charged t-shirts.

learn more about Gwen Moran

By Gwen Moran • Jun 1, 2005

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

In 1994, brothers John and Bert Jacobs were hawking theirT-shirt designs on college campuses and sleeping in their van whenJohn, now 37, scrawled the beret-wearing smiley face, Jake, on awall. When 48 T-shirts featuring Jake and the phrase Life is Goodsold at a street fair in a matter of hours, they knew they hadsomething great.

In the retail market, Jake's positive message reso-natedwith merchants, who couldn't keep him on the shelves. Soon, theBoston business was fielding orders nationwide, catapultingLife isGood to more than $40 million in 2005 sales. Beyond a fewtrade shows and industry ads, word-of-mouth has been their solemarketing method. In 2002, the company also created a charitabledivision to stage fundraisers for children's charities andspread the good word.

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