Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5

This Entrepreneur Dropped Out of Med School and Started a Business In His Garage. Here's How It's Going.

What are the key considerations for developing a social commerce brand the right way?

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

James McKinney's guest this week is Keith Eshelman, the co-founder and CEO of the Parks Project. The Parks Project is a social commerce company that has sells clothing and has donated over 50% of their profits to more than 50 partners such as Yosemite Conservancy, Sierra Club and the National Park Foundation.

After a weekend volunteering in the Santa Monica Mountains in 2014, Eshelman and his co-founder, both TOMS employees at the time, were struck by the challenges facing America’s underfunded and underappreciated National Parks. They set out to harness consumer power to help support the enormous backlog of underfunded projects within the national parks system ​by creating collections of apparel and accessories that would further connect consumers with the parks they love.

Within this episode you will hear quite a bit about the influence that Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS, had on Keith’s journey. And that’s the beauty of entrepreneurship…it’s not a solo journey.

In this episode, you'll hear:

  • How Eshelman was born in northern California and grew up around career professionals. He had a conventional path pursuing education that would lead him to a successful job.

  • How he wanted to be a doctor and went to UC San Diego Medical School, but left after his second year as he couldn’t consume the detailed information required for med school. He graduated with a management science degree, minor in Spanish that allowed him to travel.

  • How TOMS allowed him to have his first taste of entrepreneurship by being allowed to run popup shops.

  • How he found his problem and why he pursued founding Parks Project, and what he is doing to fix it.

  • How he started his company from his garage and has been growing his team ever since.

You can listen to the complete interview here.

Related: Execs at Coca-Cola Laughed at Her Idea to Start an Unsweetened Flavored Water Company. Now Her Company Is Worth Millions.


This Entrepreneur Maxed Out His Credit Cards to Build a Business That Helps Companies Protect their Data

The president and CEO of Data443 shares how his company secures and manages organizational data wherever it exists.

How This Doctor-Turned-Entrepreneur is Trying to Change the World Through Play

The CEO of In KidZ shares how she's trying to make inclusion a daily part of family life with her culture-focused company.

How to Lead Calmly and Effectively While Your Business Experiences Growth

The co-founder and CEO of Komodor discusses his company's journey and his advice for entrepreneurs who find themselves in the spotlight overnight.

This Meta Leader Has Interviewed More Than 300 Job Candidates. Here are Her Pro Tips to Help You Nail Your Next Job Interview.

Meta's head of Global Environmental, Social, and Governance Business shares her dos and don'ts when it comes to the phases of a job interview.

This No-Code Platform Just Closed a $55.5 Million Round B

The co-founder and CEO of EasySend shares how his company creates digital customer journeys and his advice for entrepreneurs looking to break through the noise.

This SaaS Founder Sold His Business to Oracle for $9.3 Billion

In November 2016, NetSuite was acquired for $9.3 billion. Founder Evan Goldberg explains how it happened.

These Founders Started Their Company With a $300 Investment. They've Now Done $1 Million in Profits.

Watch this exciting episode of 'Entrepreneur Elevator Pitch' to learn about Canadian legging company Rose Buddha and see which hopefuls are able to land investor capital.

This Digital Campaign Celebrates the Fast-Growing Workforce of Web Creators

Elementor's VP of Marketing discusses the company's digital campaign and how web creators fit into the larger creator economy.

Watch the 60-Second Pitch That Landed a $500,000 Investment

Find out which companies impress our investors on another exciting episode of 'Elevator Pitch.'

Why This CEO Believes Entrepreneurship Is as Important to Learn as Geometry

Ayele Shakur shares her bold plan to make entrepreneurship education a requirement for high-school students and explains why business leaders should get on board.

How this Healthcare Entrepreneur is Disrupting the Fertility Space

The Founder and CEO of Inception Fertility shares how his family's road to parenthood inspired a brand that's making fertility treatment more accessible and the patient experience at the heart of what they do.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.

  • An original series streaming weekly where you can Click-to-Invest while you watch. THEIR JOURNEY. Your decision.
  • Your favorite pitch show is back with new entrepreneurs pitching Entrepreneur's investors.
  • Host Nicole Walters interviews small business founders to discuss their unique challenges and experiences running and growing a business. 
  • Jessica Abo covers the causes people care about, the powerful work they do and how they got to where they are in the first place.
  • Bestselling author, Ben Angel, takes his audience on a journey into the entrepreneurial mind to uncover why we do what we do through his powerful short films and educational videos so you can unleash your ideas and potential.
  • Watch our staff interview top entrepreneurs and report on location in these exclusive videos.