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How UGG's Founder Pivoted His Business Model to Conquer the American Market

Brian Smith relives those first few years of rejection, slow growth and at last a breakthrough!

From selling merch out of his van on the sunny shores of southern California, to creating a billion-dollar international fashion brand, UGG Founder Brian Smith embarked on a long road to reimagine advertising and intuitively reach savvy consumers. This crazy Aussie came to the West Coast in search of the next big business opportunity to take back home. Instead, he discovered a missing staple of surf culture, sheepskin boots, and pivoted his business model to imported goods. As we now know, this fashion trend would sweep the nation -- but it didn’t start out that way.

After sinking his teeth into a mouthwatering Lockhart Legend at Grub Burger Bar (complete with beer-battered onion rings), Smith relives those first few years of rejection, slow growth and at last a breakthrough! His epiphany? Authenticity breeds success. Once that lesson had been learned, UGG blossomed into the global phenomenon it is today. Now, Brian lives by this credo: Feast upon uncertainty, fatten upon disappointment, invigorate in the presence of difficulties and enthuse over apparent defeat. Learn how you can turn struggle into success.

Related: From the Brink of Bankruptcy to Growing a Billion Dollar Business

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