On January 28, the IEI Lab was at full capacity with Fox students, as past BYOBB winner, Brian Linton, returned to Temple for an open discussion to share how he won the BYOBB competition and how his business has developed since winning the business plan competition.
Founder and Owner of the outdoor apparel company, United By Blue, Brian has come a long way since graduating Temple University in 2008. Throughout his college career, Brian traveled up and down the east coast selling jewelry in order to make money. Although he enjoyed selling merchandise and interacting with people, his heart was not in the industry, but instead in the outdoor industry.
In May of 2010, Brian created a very basic, simple brand that he could stand behind. This brand was more than just making a profit, but also environmental action. Brian was able to create environmental messages through his brand via removing waste from oceans and waterways, making it creative and the perfect backbone to United By Blue.
Brian’s company began in one direction and since then has gone through pivots to get to where it is today. He confessed he initially only went after a niche market with a specific image, which caused his company some setbacks. Linton explained, “Realize the customer in your mind is not necessarily the customer out there.” With what began as an idea, has now transformed into a 20+ team, predicting to sell 75,000- 100,000 t-shirts this year.
Through a Q&A with the attendees, Brian took the time to share BYOBB advice on how he won the competition. He advised, “Show there is a market for your offerings, as well as data to offer the BYOBB judges. Be aggressive, but not naïve with your business plan. And overall, engage with your consumer base and have passion for your brand!”
Linton plans to expand his business in the future with opening a third store location, expanding the bag business and exceeding business to direct consumers. Learn more about United By Blue by visiting their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or search the hashtag #bluemovement for more information.