Necessity is the mother of all invention, and this was the case for me as well. I struggled with trying to carry all of my gear in my existing pockets. I knew I didn’t want to deal with a backpack and there was no way I would consider carrying a man purse. Unsatisfied with the how the clothing of the day addressed my needs and the lack of other options, I decided to solve this problem 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, selling cemetery plots door-to-door in Baltimore. It was a real 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 the 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 in the year 2000 by following through on an idea that was ripe for its time– 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 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.
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. 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.
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, gadget lover, outdoor adventurer or just all-around busy person, our pockets organize the clutter in your life and leave you free to focus on the moment.
On my way to becoming the world’s self-proclaimed "Pocket Man," I wrote a book highlighting my mistakes and lessons I learned, which you can buy on Amazon here. I love sharing my tips and tricks with other entrepreneurs as well as my competitors. 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 CES Fashion Forward panels.
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!