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How Brian Smith, The Founder of UGG, Australia Built a Brand That Matured Into A Billion Dollar Global Icon

How Brian Smith, The Founder of UGG, Australia Built a Brand That Matured Into A Billion Dollar Global Icon

On today’s episode of Gritty Founder, Kreig Kent talks with Brian Smith about his journey as an entrepreneur.

Brian Smith was born in Australia, where he developed his love of surfing. A chartered accountant, he studied at the UCLA Graduate School of Management, and with $500 of start-up money, he founded UGG Imports to bring sheepskin footwear to America. After seventeen years, as sales reached $15 million, he sold the business to Deckers Outdoor Corporation. The UGG brand has since exceeded $1 billion of international sales several times over.

Some Questions Kreig Asks Brian:

– When you were growing up, how did you learn about entrepreneurship? (1:30)
– Did your parents support your entrepreneurial ideas? (4:50)
– What do you think is the most important skill an entrepreneur needs? (6:47)
– How important is advertising when you are starting a business? (13:44)
– What advice would you give a first-time founder who wants to start something but is not sure what to build? (16:04)
– What would you say to founders who are in the process of starting something, but have picked the wrong idea? (18:58)
– What is the most important piece of advice you can give the next generation of founders? (25:30)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

– How Brian became an entrepreneur (1:31)
– How Brian came up with the idea for Ugg boots (3:32)
– The importance of being able to pivot as an entrepreneur (5:33)
– Why you need a certain level of ignorance when starting something (6:47)
– One of Brian’s failures that turned out to be a blessing (10:32)
– Advertising and the importance of sending the right message to connect with your target market (11:27)
– It’s not how big you are that counts, it’s how big you are perceived to be (14:21)
– How Brian unintentionally lost all ownership of Ugg, the company he started (20:22)
– Every new business or venture starts as an infant. You can’t give birth to adults. (25:52)

Connect with Brian Smith:


See Also

Also Mentioned on This Show…

Brian’s favorite quotes:
“Most often, your most disappointing disappointments become your greatest blessings.”
“If you can’t act effectively, don’t act.”

Brian’s book recommendations:
Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill
Losing My Virginity by Richard Branson

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