Necessity is the mother of all invention, and this was the case for me as well. I struggled with trying to carry all my gear without looking like a dork (a man purse was not an option!). So I decided to solve it for myself and in doing so solved it for everyone else.
My “entrepreneurial itch” started early. During college at The Ohio State University, I created a “Buckeye Men” calendar. It was a massive success. We sold out shortly after announcing it and I was even profiled by a few local publications.
After college, being the dutiful son, I reluctantly went into the family business. It was far from my dream job. I was selling cemetery plots door-to-door in Baltimore. Talk about a literal dead-end job. And, no, people were not dying to get in.
After spending months trying to make my first sale, I did what so many other lost and confused individuals do...I went to law school. I graduated Summa Cum Laude and landed a job at a top law firm. As successful as I was, I still felt completely unfulfilled with my life and career. This all changed when I was in a Philadelphia airport and nearly had my earlobe ripped off after catching my headphone cord on a door knob. Looking back, I never could have predicted that was my “ah-ha” moment, but it was, and as they say “the rest is history.”
With the help of my wife and business partner, Laura (who is the driving force behind everything I do), I made the leap back to entrepreneurism by following through on an idea that was ripe for its time in the year 2000 – developing clothing so people can carry and use their electronic devices, the “original” wearable tech.
When starting the project, I realized there was a major disconnect between apparel designers, who primarily focus on style, and the end users who actually wear the clothing. With that in mind, I took just the opposite approach and began designing clothes with specially engineered pockets to hold everything consumers carry on a daily basis. Pockets for cell phones, sunglasses, laptops, a Discman (it was 2000 after all..), pockets-within-pockets to hold change or other small items...the list goes on and on. I started with a vest because it a versatile garment; something that could be worn comfortably indoors and outdoors.
When we were ready to sell our very first vest, the eVest 1.0, I made the decision to sell direct to consumers online rather than pursue normal wholesale distribution channels. I didn’t realize it at the time, but we were the very first clothing brand in the world without a store or catalog to do so. I knew that selling direct would connect my company with our customers on a much more personal level (at least I learned something from those door-to-door cemetery sales!). It turned out I was right. Our business grew as our customers appreciated what we were doing and provided us with extremely helpful feedback, ideas for new garments, additional features and so much more.
As more people joined the "pocket revolution," it became clear that the mission of SCOTTeVEST extended far beyond just vests. Today, with over 10 million pockets sold, SCOTTeVEST has developed hundreds of styles of multi-pocket clothing for men and women. Whether you are a professional on the go, traveler, technophile, outdoor adventurer or just all-around busy person, our pockets free up the clutter in your life and leave you free to focus on the moment, not where your stuff is (or isn’t!).
On my way to becoming the world’s self-proclaimed "Pocket Man," I’ve made mistakes and learned quite a few lessons. I love sharing these lessons and my tips/tricks with other entrepreneurs and even competitors. To do so, I’ve made numerous public appearances including Shark Tank Season 3, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch, as well as recently speaking at Google HQ and on the Fashion Forward panel on wearable technology at CES 2016.
The pocket revolution is not over. If anything it’s just getting started. If you are interested in booking me to speak at your next event or simply connecting to talk pockets and passion, here is my personal phone number (208-471-4704), email address, Twitter, Facebook, and Google + accounts. I look forward to hearing from you!